The trend toward the globalisation of fleet management practices
is accelerating. As more companies operate multinational fleets, fleet managers
must adapt and grow their skillsets to meet a host of new challenges and
opportunities. Fleet management and leasing companies, vehicle manufacturers,
and service providers are responding with new solutions for harmonising
policies, finding efficiencies, and controlling costs.
trends coalesced with the creation of the first-ever Global Fleet Networking
The Need for a Partnership
There are a number of professional associations that represent the
interests of fleet managers worldwide. One of them is the Automotive Fleet
& Leasing Association (AFLA), of which Automotive Fleet’s editor, Mike Antich, is a member and
desire to launch a global fleet initiative was raised at AFLA’s past strategic
planning meetings. The association’s board of directors agreed that, although
AFLA was, and should remain a U.S.-centric organization, it was important to
recognize the needs of its many members who manage fleets for multinational
AFLA embarked on this initiative, there was no organised mechanism for global
fleet organisations to network between themselves to share best practices, and
market knowledge,” said Antich, who also serves as the North American chairman
of the annual Global Fleet Conference, which is a joint venture between Bobit
Business Media and Nexus Communication, the publisher of Fleet
Europe magazine. The
conference alternates between Europe and North America.
AFLA’s board of directors decided to create a Global Committee
tasked with seeking and establishing partnerships with fleet associations
around the world and asked Antich to serve as committee chair. The other 26
committee members include global fleet managers from multinational companies,
along with key managers from global auto manufacturers, fleet management
companies, and fleet services providers.
said their goal was to create a true partnership of equals to which individual
associations could bring new ideas to benefit their counterparts around the
world. They decided to initially call it 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, and we are thrilled to
be a part of the Global Fleet Networking Consortium,” 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, this consortium
gives us the opportunity to learn from and connect with our global peers.”
The committee agreed that AFLA should draft, in cooperation with
other fleet associations, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would lay
out the principles of the consortium.
purpose of the MOU is to establish a partnership that promotes cooperation
between fleet associations internationally to allow them to work together to
build mutually beneficial relationships,” said Antich.
to Antich, the individual MOUs signed between the fleet associations are
designed to create the framework for cooperation that will enable each of the
associations to benefit from collaborative activities in fulfilling their
strategic missions. With this, as a goal, the associations agreed to:
Mutually support each other’s conferences and educational events to their
Exchange non-proprietary information and best practices concerning their
respective fleet markets for the mutual benefit of the members of all
participating associations. This would also include reciprocal links to each
association’s websites and exchange of newsletters and other non-proprietary
Share local fleet market information with each association functioning
as a resource center for one another’s members.
Establish regular communication between the leadership of the participating
associations by providing quarterly updates on new developments for the
potential benefit of each association.
Commit to continuing dialogue between the participating associations to
identify mutually supportive initiatives.
“The long-term vision
is to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship between the members of the
Global Fleet Networking Consortium that embraces innovation, which is open to
new ideas, and shares a vision of expanding this partnership to other major
fleet associations around the world,” said Antich.
The Snowball Effect
first member of the Global Fleet Networking Consortium was the Australasian
Fleet Management Association (AfMA), which has almost 550 members. Antich first
reached out to AfMA Executive Director Mace Hartley in June 2016. In August, a
contingent from AFLA met with Hartley in New York City and Hartley quickly
became an enthusiastic supporter of the new idea. AFLA and AfMA drafted and
signed a memorandum of understanding, and the Global Fleet Networking
Consortium was officially established.
“The Global Fleet Networking Consortium was a fantastic initiative
by AFLA, and AfMA is proud to be the first member to join with AFLA following a
face-to-face meeting in New York last year,” said 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.”
Founding members of the Global Fleet Networking Consortium:
Australasian Fleet Management Association (AfMA)
Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA)
Asociación Méxicana de Arrendadoras de Vehiculos (AMAV)
China Road Transport Association (CRTA)
Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO)
AFLA President Michael Bieger said he was
encouraged by AfMA’s enthusiasm for the project.
“The Global Fleet
Networking Consortium, proposed by AFLA and embraced by progressive fleet
organisations across the globe, such as AfMA, the first partner to join this
worldwide network, will set the standard for cooperation and knowledge sharing
in the fast-paced and complex world that is our industry,” said Bieger, who is
also the senior director of global procurement for ADP. “It brings an
exponentially greater wealth of resources and people available to fleet
managers across the globe than has previously been available; earlier efforts
were characterised by single point of contact referrals. Now the power of the
partner organizations and their memberships will be available to all. This is a
truly exciting new step.”
Next, AFLA and AfMA
jointly reached out to the Asociación Méxicana de Arrendadoras de Vehículos
(AMAV), which translates to the Mexican Vehicle Leasing Association.
The presidency of
AMAV rotates annually and AFLA met with then-current AMAV President Peter
Rodríguez, who is also the owner/president for Global Motors Leasing.
current AMAV president is David Madrigal, who also serves as president of Fleet
Management Mexico at Element Fleet Management.
“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 Madrigal. “We are confident that
our members will benefit from sharing the expertise, regional challenges, and
technology trends within different regions.”
Things snowballed quickly from there. AFLA, AfMA,
and AMAV then jointly approached the China Road Transport Association (CRTA).
Earlier, Antich had been invited to speak at the CRTA annual conference in
Beijing, and he took the opportunity to meet with their leadership team. They
were 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
Now four associations
strong, as a group, the members of the consortium identified the U.K.’s largest
fleet group, the 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.
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.”
The Global Fleet Networking Consortium will hold
its first-ever in-person strategic planning meeting on June 9 at the conclusion
of the Global
Fleet Conference in Miami. “
There, all members of the Global Fleet
Networking Consortium will meet to determine how best to work together to
better serve the needs of each association’s membership,” said Antich.
More information on the 5th
annual Global Fleet Conference, which
will be held June 6-8. 2017 in Miami, can be found on the conference web site: www.globalfleetconference.com