PHH Arval clients can now connect directly with one another in a private social networking community, a recent enhancement to PHH InterActive.

The PHH InterActive Community is the latest in business technologies designed to promote communication and information sharing, explained Greg Corrigan, VP, business analytics. "PHH clients can interact directly with PHH staff, other clients, and client groups in an informal conversation."

Specifically, Corrigan said, the Community allows participants to:

  • Find out what others have to sa about specific fleet-related topics.
  • Pose questions to or seek information from peers.
  • Exchange ideas and share information with others facing similar fleet management challenges.

In addition to networking with colleagues and PHH employees throughout North America, PHH clients can also "subscribe" to the Community, allowing specific types of information to be "pushed" to their e-mail boxes. "This feature enables participants to see what others are saying about a topic of interest without having to check continually with the Web site," said Corrigan.

PHH InterActive is a clients-only information management system that allows clients to access comprehensive information and analysis, conduct transactions, order vehicles, and utilize a variety of consulting and analytical tools and benchmarking information. The secure site accesses over three terabytes of information stored in the PHH data warehouse.

The idea for an online community surfaced at client meetings, Corrigan recalled. "They told us one thing they truly value about the meetings was the chance to network with each other."

PHH's Innovation Center prototyped the Community and previewed it to Advisory Board clients, where it received enthusiastic reviews. Launched last October, PHH InterActive Community has experienced "lots of traffic," said Corrigan. The online conversations often include such questions as, "What do you do if...?" Best practices are shared and others "get validation of their recommendations, such as when the boss asks, 'Who else is doing this?' " Corrigan said.

Chris Eberline, senior buyer for video display manufacturer Daktronics, has found the PHH online community "very helpful" for connections to other fleet managers "to get information and ideas, to look at things in a different way."

A "relative newcomer" to fleet, Eberline manages a 400-vehicle sales and service fleet. Headquartered in Brookings, S.D., Daktronics' wide range of video displays is used in such venues as NFL stadiums, retail outlets, Times Square, and local school sports facilities.

For example, said Eberline, he sought other fleet managers' advice on acquiring out-of-stock vehicles when, "due to the economy, OEMs began cancelling production lines," particularly for the smaller SUVs used in his fleet.