The emergence of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is changing the landscape of fleet management and will continue to do so at an accelerated rate for the foreseeable future, which means fleet professionals will rely on fleet management companies to lead the way in navigating these changes.
This drive toward MaaS will affect carsharing, ridehailing, and last mile delivery fleets, which represent a new market and opportunity for fleet management companies to provide value to an ever-evolving space. These new fleets in the MaaS vertical are also all pointing to the ultimate goal of mobility: autonomous vehicles.
Traditional fleet clients will be able to incorporate these new vehicle utilization models into their fleet strategies. For example, supplementing a vehicle with an option for an employee to utilize carsharing or ridehailing where appropriate and have their fleet management company manage those transactions.
New mobility fleets need the services that fleet management companies provide in order to control costs. There is a massive flow of data that, if managed properly, will allow MaaS companies to transport products and people from point A to point B in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.
The baseline for successfully keeping costs low in the mobility space is the ability to acquire the right vehicle at the right price and remarket that same vehicle at the optimal time, maximizing resale.
The successful execution of these two areas minimizes the effective depreciation of the assets, allowing mobility companies to offer their service at a price point that is attractive to the end user. Access to data and having the right fleet management partner and technology will also allow a carsharing or ridehailing fleet to have maximum time availability for usage by clients, thus leading to more revenue for the fleet. Fleet management companies’ ability to capture and manage all the data and spend for the fleet and provide actionable suggestions for cost savings and operational improvement is the most critical need for mobility fleets today.
Additionally, MaaS fleets are somewhat unique in that there is a direct link between utilization and profitability. This increased vehicle utilization may mean vehicles need service more often than many traditional fleets, while also not having an assigned driver that can take that vehicle in for service in most cases.
This creates a unique challenge for fleet management companies, but also an opportunity to create mobile servicing platforms that will ultimately not only help mobility fleets but potentially the traditional customer base as well.
As FMCs adapt to these new demands, and introduce new products and services to meet them, it will make the overall service level offered for all fleets better.
Over the next several years, vehicle ownership will ultimately decline for both companies and the private sector as the mobility space continues to develop a model based on flexibility and the ability to have the right vehicle at the right time.
Fleet management companies who have traditionally helped companies realize the lowest possible TCO (total cost of ownership) will now be expected to help companies realize the lowest possible TCM (total cost of mobility) which may very well be a combination of vehicle ownership, utilization of carshare and rideshare, and other emerging public transportation options.
As fleets navigate this changing landscape, fleet management companies will play a pivotal role in paving the path for the mobility revolution.
Editor's note: John Korte is VP of mobility business development at Donlen, a role that he has served since June 2017. Earlier, he was VP Client Relations with Donlen.