Donlen has embraced mobility as a service for some commercial fleets, and has set up an internal team to offer carsharing, ride-hailing, short-term vehicle rentals, and other products, the company's mobility leader told Automotive Fleet.
The company is pulling closer to its corporate parent, Hertz Global Holdings, to position itself to meet these emerging mobility trends. Donlen unveiled a new corporate logo on Nov. 20. Hertz acquired Donlen in 2011.
In the past few months, Donlen has begun laying the groundwork to enhance its mobility services. In June, the company appointed John Korte as vice president of mobility business development. He had served in a client relations role. At the same time, the Bannockburn, Ill.-based company set up a mobility team under Korte that includes associates from sales, product, customer service and consulting functions.
"We feel that while the end goal to manage fleets in the mobility-as-a-service space remains to capture and share actionable data to control fleet costs, the products required and services demanded by these new fleets benefit from a dedicated team across all functions of Donlen," Korte said.
Donlen is also looking to develop technology partnerships with third-party providers of solutions that provide greater mobility options to fleets, including potentially developing mobile apps that would allow corporations to reserve vehicles for shorter term use.
Donlen is meeting emerging market needs such as mobiltiy with an approach described internally as "deal-based innovation," Korte said.
Korte expects Donlen to include mobility services into traditional enterprise fleet in the coming years. Companies could ultimately offer employees a monthly mobility budget managed by the fleet company that allows for multiple modes of transportation including access to a company vehicle, he said.
By offering mobility services, Donlen can help corporations with vehicles that are deemed to be underutilized. This would allow fleets to operate more efficiently and control costs in the future.
Mobility solutions have been slower to find their way into the commercial fleet industry, but have found fertile soil among government agencies who manage motor pools with underutilized vehicles, including New York City; Norfolk, Va.; Samford, Conn.; and Gila County, Ariz. over the past year. Zipcar has been partnering with municipal fleets since 2009.
Korte discussed Donlen's mobility plan at the Fleet Forward Conference that took place in Miami from Nov. 7 to 8.