The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) has partnered with the Mexico Fleet Manager Group to create a Mexico Fleet Council to provide multinational companies an opportunity to facilitate the dissemination of best practices to both Mexican and U.S. fleets.
“This voluntary cooperative relationship between the Mexico Fleet Manager Group and AFLA is designed to assist the two associations to better fulfill their respective missions to their members,” said Mike Antich, chairman of the AFLA Global Task Force, which led this initiative. “This includes working together to increase networking opportunities among fleet professionals, the voluntary sharing of non-proprietary fleet information, and to develop educational materials to be shared between the two associations.”
The joint mission of AFLA and the Mexico Fleet Manager Group is to develop open dialogues and positive relationships with other multinational fleet organizations with the goal to foster a better understanding of the regional fleet environments in which each operates.
“Our joint goal is to create a fleet community that will collaboratively shape the future direction of fleet management at multinational companies in Mexico and the U.S. for the betterment of all,” said Rodrigo Monroy, LATAM - JAPAC fleet manager for AbbVie Farmaceuticos Mexico, and co-founder of the Mexico Fleet Manager Group.
The scope of the voluntary cooperation in the AFLA Mexico Fleet Council includes establishing regular communications between the two organizations.
“This will facilitate networking opportunities between AFLA and the Mexico Fleet Manager Group,” said Jaime Bringas, fleet manager for Teva Pharmaceutical Mexico, and co-founder of the Mexico Fleet Manager Group. “The sharing of best practices concerning the Mexican and U.S. fleet markets will be mutually beneficial to both associations.”
Other forthcoming initiatives include the joint development of industry white papers and webinars on subjects that are of mutual interest to the two groups. We would work together to jointly identify these topics. In addition, AFLA will provide access to industry information on its website to members of the Mexico Fleet Manager Association.
“To create deeper ties between the two associations, we will establish semi-annual in-person meetings to identify other opportunities as to how the two associations can work together to further develop the partnership,” said Bill Elliott, AFLA executive director.
Exchange of Information
Both associations will exchange non-proprietary information and best practices concerning their respective fleet markets for the mutual benefit of the members of both associations.
“Our vision is to enhance the role and value of fleet management at multinational companies by communicating best practices. We will pursue this vision through leadership and service to the fleet community by voluntarily sharing information that will strengthen the fleet profession for all, while embracing the uniqueness of proven fleet applications in different parts of the world,” said Mary Sticha, AFLA president.
The two associations will strive to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship that embraces innovation, which is open to new ideas, and shares a vision of creating partnerships between our members to develop an interconnected fleet community with easily accessed channels of communication for the sharing of fleet data and best practices.
Founding of Mexico Fleet Group
The Mexico Fleet Manager Group was co-founded by Monroy and Bringas in 2013. “After some research I realized there were no fleet associations in Mexico. Both Jaime and I envisioned the potential and benefits of having a fleet association and started one,” said Monroy.
Since its founding, the Mexico Fleet Manager Group has grown to 20 fleet managers representing a variety of industries operating fleets in Mexico.
The objective of the Mexico Fleet Manager Group is to share non-confidential information, such as the type of vehicles provided to a salesforce and management, the type of insurance used, maintenance practices, fuel policy, and if employees are allowed to use company-provided vehicles for personal purposes.
“The response of the fleet managers in our group was great,” said Bringas. “First of all, we were able to share best practices and confirm whether our program was competitive, and if it wasn’t, we were able to improve it. The fleet information that we shared was beneficial and made us more educated in terms of fleet knowledge.”
Genesis of the Global Fleet Networking Consortium
The trend toward the globalization of fleet management practices is accelerating. “When the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) made the strategic decision to launch its global initiative, there was no organized mechanism for global fleet organizations to network between themselves to share best practices and market knowledge,” said Mike Antich, chairman of the AFLA Global Task Force, which is establishing partnerships with fleet associations around the world. This initiative ultimately led to the creation of the Global Fleet Networking Consortium.
“AFLA’s leadership sees that the globalization of the fleet market will be a continued trend in the years to come,” said Bill Elliott, AFLA’s executive director. “As global responsibilities are continuing to be added to the plates of fleet managers and fleet industry suppliers, the Global Fleet Networking Consortium gives us the opportunity to learn from and connect with our global peers.”
The first member of the Global Fleet Networking Consortium was the Australasian Fleet Management Association (AfMA), which has 550 members. “The Global Fleet Networking Consortium is a fantastic initiative by AFLA, and AfMA is proud to be the first member to join with AFLA,” said AfMA Executive Director Mace Hartley. “Communications and technology facilitate global businesses; however, laws and operational frameworks for fleet management are vastly different and increasingly complex. This initiative seeks to embrace the strength of each partner and share the combined knowledge with our members.”
Next, AFLA and AfMA jointly reached out to the Asociación Méxicana de Arrendadoras de Vehículos (AMAV), which translates to the Mexican Vehicle Leasing Association.
“We are excited to join and be part of the Global Fleet Networking Consortium. AMAV comprises the most relevant FMCs and rental companies in Mexico, and on a daily basis, our members face the challenges of managing large fleets in our country,” said AMAV President David Madrigal, who also serves as president of Fleet Management Mexico at Element Fleet Management. “We are confident that our members will benefit from sharing the expertise, regional challenges, and technology trends within different regions.”
Momentum snowballed from there. AFLA, AfMA, and AMAV then jointly approached the China Road Transport Association (CRTA), which was enthusiastic about the idea and were likewise focused on the opportunity to establish partnerships with the other international associations.
The principles of the AfMA, AMAV, and AFLA MOU were endorsed by Roger Ge, vice chairman of CRTA Car Rental-Leasing-Taxi Committee, and the 1,000-member strong association joined the Global Fleet Consortium.
Now four associations strong, as a group, the members of the consortium identified the U.K.’s largest fleet group, the 350-member Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO), as their European partner. ACFO’s directors immediately saw value in the consortium and quickly agreed to join. In short order, the consortium had grown to include five associations representing four continents.
“Technology is rapidly shrinking the world, and in the developing age of business mobility, connectivity, ‘Big Data,’ and autonomous vehicles, global boundaries will increasingly disappear,” said John Pryor, chairman of ACFO and fleet and travel manager for the London-based Arcadia Group. “Many of the issues confronting fleet decision-makers in the U.K. will be the same as those being tackled in the United States, Australia, Mexico, and China, so it makes logical sense to pool our collective knowledge, experiences and advice and communicate best fleet management practice worldwide.”