Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Due to the introduction of new forms of corporate mobility (e.g. e-bike schemes, ride-hailing, ride-sharing or car-sharing[i] and zero-emission vehicles) as well as the rise of the hybrid working model and technological advances, the corporate mobility ecosystem is changing rapidly. Interconnected with a network of systems and mobility services, it is becoming ever-more complex and increasingly user-centric. Hence, there is no time to waste in preparing your fleet and mobility strategy in the context of today’s ecosystem. In this article, we outline how you can harmonise your mobility strategy with the developments affecting your business and your market, as well as the transformational, social, technological and economic shifts happening in the fleet and mobility sector.
Evaluate the past, analyse the present, forecast the future
In the context of today’s ecosystem, your fleet and mobility strategy requires systems thinking[ii]. This means you must first gain an understanding of the interdependent structures and players in the dynamic mobility system, and then of their effects on one another, your business and your mobility requirements over time. Just like a traditional strategy, an ecosystem strategy is about evaluating the past, analysing the present and forecasting the future. However, unlike a traditional strategy, it considers a broader sphere of influence to include the dynamic intent and actions of the various players in the market and the mobility needs of your organisation and your employees.
Here are four key steps to consider when preparing your organisation’s fleet and mobility strategy:
1. Consult the business to identify objectives
A key part of developing the strategy is to define the purpose of mobility. A good fleet and mobility strategy should outline how it fits in with the business objective as a whole: the what, why and how. Therefore, the fleet & mobility manager should study the whole organisation to understand the needs, requirements, purposes and other factors that play a role in how the various departments within the company use mobility. If you fail to consult all the relevant stakeholders when putting together the strategy, your new mobility programme may not meet the needs of all users.
2. Examine the market and mitigate risks
In a rapidly evolving market, it’s advisable to keep a close eye on the new mobility players and their capabilities. Today’s mobility ecosystem is full of tech-savvy start-ups with innovative new developments and digital services. Although there are lots of great initiatives out there, many start-ups are in the midst of the transformational process to become mature organisations; without a steady revenue stream, they might face funding issues or they may lack the expertise to deliver on their service promises and achieve the required growth. Therefore, allow yourself sufficient time in your strategy preparation to conduct a thorough RFI process so that you can really get to grips with the market and the capabilities of the various new players.
It is also worth considering future factors and possible interruptions. Future factors can include the possibility of technological advances which – throughout the life of your strategy – could affect your fleet and mobility operations. Ensure a flexible strategy to accommodate changes and set out an approval protocol in advance. Interruptions can include any risk factors that may disrupt operations, such as a supplier issue, product recall or injury to an employee while using a mobility solution. To demonstrate the resilience of your strategy, include a formal risk matrix which allows issues to be identified and matched with mitigation actions or preparedness policies.
3. Develop a mobility lifecycle plan
A mobility lifecycle plan considers the entire life of the asset (e.g. an electric vehicle) or mobility service (e.g. corporate car-sharing), from procurement through to disposal or end of the subscription. It outlines how the mobility asset or service will be procured, used, maintained, repaired and managed, and should form part of your fleet and mobility strategy.
4. Set and prioritise goals and develop a roadmap to achieve them
Your mobility strategy should not only state your goals (e.g. to achieve to zero emissions by 2030 globally), but also outline your tactical plan for accomplishing them (e.g. by immediately offering electric vehicles or e-bikes in those markets that are already EV-ready, and by offering them in other markets when they have achieved certain basic requirements for electrification such as fiscal incentives and adequate charging infrastructure). You should prioritise the goals based on your business needs and the market availability.
Seizing the ecosystem opportunity in mobility
There’s no point in having a mobility strategy in the context of today’s ecosystem unless you monitor its effect. That’s why it is paramount to define mobility performance indicators and establish ways of measuring your success. It’s also important to keep your mobility strategy agile enough to respond to unprecedented circumstances, especially when business-critical mobility is involved. For example, think about how your strategy could be quickly adapted in the case of a pandemic such as COVID-19 to ensure it continues to provide an optimal framework for the flexible management and use of your mobility assets.
Strategy plays a crucial role when setting the direction for your fleet and mobility programme. It aligns your team’s activities with your organisation’s wider business goals, helps you nail down the key drivers impacting your performance, and guides you in prioritising the operations and functions that need improvement. It also allows you to clearly define the roles, responsibilities and KPIs for every resource available to you and used by your team. Last but not least, it strengthens the engagement of your key stakeholders.
[i] Ride-hailing is when a person ‘hails’ or hires a personal driver to take them exactly where they need to go. The transportation vehicle is not shared with any other riders, nor does it make several stops along a route. Car-sharing or ridesharing is not personal transportation, since a rider shares a vehicle with other riders. It will make stops to pick up other riders.
[ii] Systems thinking is a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way that a system’s constituent parts interrelate, and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems.