Say the word ‘carpooling’, and for many people, it conjures the idea of taking turns to ferry kids to Saturday morning sport or a group of colleagues travelling to work together.
Today, however, the idea of carpooling has been re-invented as an innovative way for organisations to lower their costs, improve their environmental footprint and incentivise staff.
Gone are the days of allocating a dedicated vehicle to a staff member. Fleet managers have realised that every vehicle sitting idle in a parking lot for hours is money lost to the organisation. We live in the sharing economy era, and today, the trend of shared vehicles is slowly picking up steam within many sustainability-driven organisations.
There are several advantages for organisations that embrace the carpooling model, particularly for their bottom line, as the fleet is usually one of the organisations’ top three operating expenses.
Adopting carpooling within an organisation requires a change in mindset, from processes and company-wide buy-in to program implementation. This is made easy with the right carpool booking tool, which will help you comfortably manage the availability, booking, routing etc., for your fleet of vehicles in one place.
The kind of carpool booking tool you need within your organisation will depend on the size of your fleet.
Usually, organisations with larger fleets prefer integrated fleet management solutions that come with carpool booking features. This helps them manage all aspects of their fleet on one platform. Organisations with smaller fleets prefer to invest in just the carpool booking solution.
Irrespective of your carpool booking feature requirements, if you are looking for a carpool booking solution to remove the booking headaches and right-size your vehicle fleets, Intelematics CONNECT’s Carpool Booking feature is your answer.
Some of the key benefits of adopting a carpool booking program include:
Fleet optimisation and vehicle utilisation
The success of any carpooling program within an organisation depends on maximising vehicle utilisation while ensuring all vehicles within a fleet are fully optimised. The practise not only improves productivity but translates into time and cost savings for the organisation.
An effective booking system optimises the use of a fleet by ensuring vehicles do not sit idle in a parking lot. In the long run, this enables fleet managers to right-size their fleet — lowering not just the capital cost investments related to vehicle procurement and maintenance but also other associated incidental costs like parking.
According to Paul Oliver, Fleet management expert and Principal at Fleet Advisory, when working with a large public utility organisation with a fleet of more than 1,500 vehicles on conducting a fleet audit, he found that their vehicle to staff ratio was more than 70 per cent.
“This meant there was one vehicle for every 1.4 employees, even though some employees did not use their vehicles for business, and others had less than 25% business use.
The organisation had already implemented pool booking for other assets, such as heavy vehicles and specialised equipment, they extended that to their vehicle fleet.
The result was a halving of the vehicle fleet over two years, improved vehicle standardisation which delivered more cost reductions, and more streamlined administration.”
If reducing your fleet costs is your primary objective, having a carpooling solution gives you the flexibility of moving away from a wholly-owned fleet of vehicles to operating a flexi-fleet. It enables you to use subscription companies to provide you with vehicles as and when required. To be booked, managed and monitored on a single platform. Such initiatives bring down your vehicle costs and give you the flexibility to pivot quickly to any circumstantial changes and resize your fleet based on demand or the type of vehicles needed for a job.
Long-term benefits – Using your fleet assets to generate revenue
Fleets are a cost centre for most organisations. Necessary tools requiring consistent optimisation to ensure the Return on Investment (ROI ) is maintained but never really a source of revenue generation.
But a custom carpooling solution can change that for you.
Use company vehicles to incentivise staff
Your fleet is an asset that can be put to work in other ways when not deployed on your organisation’s core business. For example, modern fleet management extends to out of office hours and outside of business operations.
Your fleet is an asset that can be put to work in other ways when not deployed on your organisation’s core business.
Why not incentivise staff to hire and use company vehicles during out of office hours in this ride and car-sharing era? In place of booking an Uberpool or a Car Next Door vehicle for personal use, staff can leverage the idle company vehicles.
Many of them will be accessing these platforms as part of their private mobility needs – why not make your vehicles available to them beyond the office?
CONNECT’s carpool solution also delivers better administrative outcomes in areas such as ATO-certified Fringe Benefits Tax filing. Through an electronic logbook, administrators and drivers easily qualify official and personal use of vehicles and better manage their FBT returns.
Rent out company vehicles to third-party car-sharing platforms
Are extra vehicles available in your pool?
Take the concept of carpooling one step further and place your idle and underused vehicles into third party car subscription fleets. That way, your unused vehicles become available to other departments, new organisations, and the general public, creating a new revenue stream that turns your fleet cost centre into a profit generator.
There are also third-party car-sharing platforms in the market where other organisations and private individuals can utilise your vehicles.
These additional use cases for a carpool booking solution maximise the ROI from your fleet and contribute to better sustainability outcomes for your organisation and the wider community.
A single integrated carpool booking platform can deliver all of these functions and outcomes, providing a great experience for users while delivering on the checklist of efficiencies.
At Intelematics, based on requests from our customers like RACV and Alpine Health, we are working on adding many such revenue-generating and management features to our carpool booking platform.
For those looking for modern, easy-to-use carpool booking software for their organisation, Intelematics CONNECT’s carpool booking feature is being rolled out now. It is available either as a standalone service or as an added feature in our fleet management software.
The following was originally written by Intelematics