by Johan van Niekerk, Fleet Solutions Consultant, FleetDomain – part of the Argility Technology Group.

The internationally accepted format of managing a fleet effectively, is that of: Assets; Fleet Operations; Driver and Safety Management. These matters are in turn all inter-related when it comes to determining the total cost of ownership (TCO); cents per kilometre (CPK) or cents per hour attached to any one vehicle.

Let's take an in-depth look at each one

Assets incorporates:

Managing depreciation influencers during the life cycle of a vehicle can result in a significantly improved resale value at the end of the lifecycle of a vehicle in your fleet. Depreciation as a percentage of the retail price is normally estimated to be between 35% and 47%.

Fleet Operations incorporates:

With passenger and light commercial vehicles costs are measured as a percentage (%) of the original retail price. In the case of commercial vehicles same are measured as a % of the net funded value inclusive of accessories and body fitments. It should be noted that values can differ dependant on the operational, or conditions of usage of the vehicle. Controlling these costs and managing change processes to achieve savings will result in an improved TCO.

Having these costs reflected in a Fleet Management Information System (FMIS) and managing the exceptions against stated objectives, will allow the fleet manager to make objective decisions to reduce costs.

Driver, Safety and Risk Management encompasses vehicle plus driver, licence renewals. This also covers company policies managing all aspects of vehicle usage including: drivers; driver training; accident management; GPS/tracking and reporting.
Ensuring that vehicle and driver licences are renewed timeously, safeguards companies against insurance claims not being honoured and possible lawsuits.

Policies governing driver’s eligibility to get behind the wheel of company vehicles; rules around car allowance vehicles; the necessary training required to improve driver quality; vehicle safety procedures – inclusive of COVID dictates - all contribute to a better and improved fleet operation with a subsequent reduction in costs.

It is a fact that: unless the behaviour of a driver can be changed; no savings will be achieved.

Fitting a reputable GPS/tracking unit to fleet vehicles – one that can report on the aspects that cost a fleet owner money such as speeding, harsh braking, excess idling to name just some - will have a direct savings result in fleet operating costs.

Example: reducing speeding; harsh braking and excess idling; will cut maintenance, tyre, and fuel costs. Furthermore, fewer accidents and fines received by driver will have cost reduction benefits.

Accidents and increased vehicle costs have a direct effect on the resale value on termination of a fleet vehicle.

Although the AARTO demerit system and process surrounding same was found to be unconstitutional, the problem of fines received by drivers still exists.

Companies should be aware of the number of fines received by a driver and for what reason.

Example: Drivers receiving fines for speeding can result in more accidents which can become an HR problem with associated increased costs.

It is important to take a holistic view of Fleet Management. Companies operating a fleet need to invest in a proven, tested Fleet Management Information System (FMIS) and a reputable GPS/tracking system supplier. Moreover, driver training needs to be performed by a certified/recognised vendor.

By investing wisely in this way – the business will experience positive changes around safety and risk issues with a definite improvement in return on investment (ROI).

Should you require any additional information, guidance, or training to improve the above fleet management cost contributor’s contact us on:
011 712 1300, email info@fleetdomain.net or visit our website, www.fleetdomain.co.za


Brief Biography: Johan van Niekerk, Fleet Solutions Consultant - FleetDomain

Johan van Niekerk, FleetDomain Consultant

He has 38 years’ experience in fleet management, fleet sales training and consulting. Van Niekerk has a profound understanding of the fleet management industry, including funding options, safety and risk assessment, plus the development of safety, driver and vehicle policies.

Over the years, he has gained experience conducting fleet evaluations and audits, plus providing fleet management training to executive and various levels of management personnel. He has also conducted fleet sales training courses for manufacturers, automotive groups and dealerships.

Van Niekerk places improvement of ROI in corporate enterprises and parastatal organisations through fleet optimisation as his main business objective. He also assists businesses with budget development, scenario analysis, forecasting and ultimately the entire management spectrum of corporate fleets from procurement through to disposal.

A fleet management information system allows fleet managers to leverage their drivers as assets, rather than liabilities.

By Johan van Niekerk, Fleet Consultant for FleetDomain.

Research indicates the global fleet management market is expected to grow to $34 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% during the forecast period.

These statistics reflect some fleet management services but predominately the GPS/tracking and card methodologies – which is not a holistic representation of the full market, but rather only components of it.

As with so many industries, COVID-19 massively disrupted the fleet management arena to an extent never previously experienced. Delivery disruptions, order cancellations, non-payment of accounts and many other influences forced company executives and fleet managers to re-evaluate all factors that influence fleet operating expenses.

All businesses are firmly focused on cost reduction, risk mitigation and improved safety. The fleet industry is no exception, with many businesses at last beginning to understand why they need to implement a fleet management information system (FMIS) solution.

Fleet management can be defined as a set of theories and applications that are combined to produce an end result of a reduction in fleet total cost of ownership (TCO) and an improvement in return on investment (ROI).

Through a process of consolidating all costs relating to a fleet of vehicles, an FMIS covers the entire spectrum from procurement through to disposal. Moreover, it encapsulates all data for full fleet management, inclusive of depreciation, maintenance, tyres, fuel, insurance, GPS/tracking, accident management, licence registrations and fines management.

In a nutshell, the ‘right’ FMIS solution will provide control over:

Reporting is an essential part of any system deployed. For example, standard reports, as well as exception reports, will immediately shine a spotlight on problem areas. These reports can be scheduled to run automatically at pre-set times. Reports can be e-mailed to selected recipients, irrespective of being logged on.

The goal of a FMIS is to reduce TCO and deliver an improved cents per kilometre outcome.

Dashboard indicators allow the company to see the state of its fleet at a glance. Exceptions are flagged and can be drilled down, with immediate report analysis.

The goal of a FMIS is to reduce TCO and deliver an improved cents per kilometre outcome. Basically, FMIS provides control over the entire fleet with real-time data, improved operational efficiencies and inevitably better ROI.

FMIS is a particularly attractive proposition for fleet managers/supervisors as they leverage their drivers as assets (rather than liabilities).

Software vendors in the sector are incorporating more out-of-the-box features for driver management/behaviour monitoring – this latter is crucial, as without the ability to change driver behaviour, there is no improved ROI.

It enables businesses to manage, monitor and control their fleet with real-time data, improved operational efficiency and better insights that support quicker and informed decision-making.

Drivers and vehicles are among the core components of fleet companies and the management of both is vital, not only to limit costs, but to ensure the business is operating as efficiently as possible.

Vehicles are expensive to buy, equip and maintain, and no matter how many vehicles a company has, fleet costs probably form a large percentage of the budget.

It is common knowledge in the industry that the operating costs of most unmanaged fleets are 10% to 15% higher than they should be.

Aside from the depreciation on the vehicles themselves, fleet costs include items such as maintenance, tyres, fuel, accidents, licences, permits, tolls and fines. Based on the average running cost of a vehicle, it is probable that vehicles each cost anything between R6 000 and R12 000 per year more than is actually necessary.

Fleet administration is time-consuming and laborious, involving the completion of many forms and time consumed in traffic departments whenever a vehicle or driver-related issue arises.

Moreover, if a company is not aware of additional requirements, such as ID copies, driving licences, medical certificates, etc, then this simple exercise can turn into an ordeal that necessitates multiple trips and unnecessary admin.

Besides the increase in complexity and administration, it is vitally important that any fines accrued by vehicles and drivers are managed correctly, as mistakes or misunderstandings can result in drivers’ licences being invalid, or even the loss of an operator’s licence.

It is crucial to limit downtime of both vehicles and drivers. If they are not out on the road, they are not earning money. Vehicles parked in a workshop or panel-beater, or waiting for permits or licences, are not productive, and a driver waiting for licence or public driver permits cannot go out and earn money for the company.

More importantly, companies cannot afford to send out unlicensed vehicles or drivers, as both the financial risk and potential liability can be crippling.

An FMIS enables informed decision-making and negates all of the foregoing – essentially it boils down to using the latest technology to run fleet businesses in an optimal manner and it is imperative to survival and growth.

Source: IT Web


Johan van Niekerk is fleet consultant for FleetDomain, a member of the Argility Group.

He has 38 years’ experience in fleet management, fleet sales training and consulting. Van Niekerk has a profound understanding of the fleet management industry, including funding options, safety and risk assessment, plus the development of safety, driver and vehicle policies.

Over the years, he has gained experience conducting fleet evaluations and audits, plus providing fleet management training to executive and various levels of management personnel. He has also conducted fleet sales training courses for manufacturers, automotive groups and dealerships.

Van Niekerk places improvement of ROI in corporate enterprises and parastatal organisations through fleet optimisation as his main business objective. He also assists businesses with budget development, scenario analysis, forecasting and ultimately the entire management spectrum of corporate fleets from procurement through to disposal.

The Argility Technology Group (ATG) has announced an exciting business development as it becomes part of a global enterprise – the Smollan Group – an intelligent commerce solutions business, driving sustainable growth and operational excellence. Smollan has acquired ATG from Capital Eye Investments – a private equity and venture capital company that invests in technology-driven businesses with a particular focus on emerging markets.

Smollan has a 90-year history of partnering with brands to create and execute insight-led solutions to deliver growth, wider distribution and operational efficiency.

ATG’s origins trace back to a 35-year plus history as a leading software developer and supplier to the retail and supply chain sectors.

James Collett, Smollan Chief Data Officer, emphasises the importance of the strategic acquisition.

"ATG joining the Smollan Group is a significant step forward in our strategy to expand our technology and data offering within retail and supply chain. We are extremely excited about the synergies which exist between the businesses, and as a leading global commerce solution company, we will be looking to grow the ATG footprint internationally. An aligned and strong culture is always foundational to creating a successful partnership, and in ATG and its people, we believe that we have found just that. We look forward to welcoming ATG into the Smollan family,” says Collett.

Marko Salic, ATG CEO, notes this is one of the most important events in the history of Argility.

“ATG is immensely excited about this new phase in the history of the group. Over the past five years, we have made notable strategic investments in the acquisition of companies that have served to augment our goal of partnering with retail and supply chain organisations to help them digitise and transition into industry 4.0. The purchase of ATG by Smollan represents a substantial investment in our business and an expanded pathway to global markets. The synergies between Argility’s vision and mission with that of Smollan made this a very appealing move for us and a good cultural fit for our group. Combining these strengths will serve to enhance ATG’s portfolio, and expand our solutions and service delivery for current and future customers,” says Salic.

The Smollan acquisition of ATG has been ratified by all regulatory bodies and is effective immediately.


The Argility Technology Group

The Argility Technology Group is a leading innovator and implementer of digital commerce and supply chain software solutions in Africa. Our vast experience combined with a depth of proprietary software and skills enables us to address the multitude of challenges facing businesses in today’s era of digital transformation.

We solve complex business problems by supplying and supporting various customised software solutions such as: Point of Sale; ERP; Warehouse, Fleet, IoT and Proximity Management; Data Science (Artificial Intelligence) solutions and more. We strive to become a technology partner and an extension of our customers’ businesses and not just another solutions provider.

The group’s origins trace back over thirty years as a leading software supplier to the retail sector. Decades of long, prosperous customer relationships bear testament to our customer-centric culture, exceptional service, and innovative thinking. From single systems to the digital transformation of an entire organisation - we have the solutions, skills, and experience.

The Argility Technology Group is comprised of: Argility; Cquential Solutions, Fleet Domain; SkyData Communications, and strategic partners, Ashanti AI. All are foremost technology developers and suppliers of enterprise software solutions for the Retail, Supply Chain, Fleet industries as well as a comprehensive IoT framework that enables local enterprises to integrate, manage and optimise their growing IoT ecosystems.

For further information: www.argility.com

Smollan

Founded in 1931, Smollan is a global commerce business, delivering growth for retailers and brand owners across five continents. We partner with brands to create and execute insight-led solutions to deliver growth, wider distribution, and operational efficiencies.

Internationally recognised for our exceptional human platform of over 80 000 people and our sophisticated systems, we drive sales and create brilliant shopper experiences for some of the world’s most loved brands. We work at the pivot point where retailers, brands and shoppers intersect.

Contact us at www.smollan.com


Source: IT Web

Elite Truck Hire – a leading transportation and vehicle leasing organisation with over 35 years’ experience in the sector – launched a search for a specialist fleet management programme that led the company to FleetDomain, a member of the Argility Technology Group.

Elite group CEO, Byron Corcoran, notes they required a solution that could act as the backbone of the growing company, streamline business processes and ultimately allow managers to access reliable data to support fact-based decision-making. “FleetDomain is a fully integrated system that runs our workshops, parts stores and operations for both our ad-hoc truck hire as well as Full Maintenance Leasing divisions. The system includes a fully integrated accounting system and has very comprehensive report generating capabilities,” says Corcoran.

“It was also important that our investment in new software was backed by a financially stable provider with access to excellent development resources to ensure continuity and improvement. The software also needed to provide a robust business process architecture and workflow that would support best practice and make it hard to commit fraud.

“I also wanted a web-based system so that it could be accessed anywhere, anytime and would not necessitate a significant increase in our in-house IT capability. We are a truck rental and leasing company, not an IT shop,” Corcoran says. “It was critical that the software included fully integrated accounting functionality rather than exporting data to a standalone accounting package.

“Since implementation, we have never experienced any adverse system issues – billing has run smoothly without any incidents from day one. From a management perspective, FleetDomain makes it easy to access the information needed to understand not only how the company is doing, but how to manage it better,” says Corcoran.

Designed specifically for the industry, FleetDomain’s software met Elite Truck Hire’s criteria and its implementation has delivered clear benefits to the group. The application is delivered as a service via a web interface, and FleetDomain is responsible for all support and development.

Key benefits that the FleetDomain solution delivers include:

FleetDomain MD, Jai Kalyan, says the relationship with Elite Truck Hire commenced in 2017 when the group first implemented the FleetDomain system to manage its then fleet of over 1 200 vehicles ranging from 0.5-ton LDVs to 14-ton trucks. “Elite later implemented FleetDomain at its Forklift Rental business during July 2019 and quickly realised the benefits of being able to better manage its business on a state-of-the-art fleet management system,” says Kalyan.

He highlights the enduring and successful business relationship with the Elite group. “We work closely with the Elite Truck Hire team to implement software improvements and provide additional value. On that note, we have just launched a complete upgrade of the software that enhances the user experience and provides even better uptime. It also adds new functionality such as graphs and a mobile app. Because the upgrade moves away from proprietary code, it will be much easier for our developer team to enhance the software going forward, ensuring customers like Elite can continue to rely on it as they grow and the market changes,” concludes Kalyan.

Source: IT Web

FleetDomain, a subsidiary of the Argility Technology Group, has launched a major upgrade of its flagship fleet management software. Letitia Hulbert, Operations Executive at FleetDomain, says the upgrade will dramatically improve the user experience via a new and more intuitive look and feel, along with enhanced performance.

“The upgraded application is much faster and more reliable, and it's going to be easier for our developers to enhance the programme as the market needs change going forward,” she says. “Our customers have come to rely on FleetDomain to manage their businesses effectively and provide a solid foundation for growth – the new version of the software incorporates all the intellectual capital we have accumulated over the years but is now better positioned to build on that capital to help customers adapt to changing market conditions and seize new opportunities.”

The new version of FleetDomain moves away from proprietary code and is written in modern programming languages such as HMTL 5, making it far more flexible in terms of development. Customers are presented with a greatly improved graphical user interface, making for a better user experience.

In addition, developers with the appropriate skills are more readily available.

The use of open programming and an improved backend design has had a major impact on reliability, says Hulbert. In fact, FleetDomain now has an uptime of 99.9%, something that’s very important for a business-critical application.

The new functionality includes access to user-friendly graphs – simplifying decision-makers' ease in monitoring their businesses – plus it supports data-driven decision-making in real-time. Another important enhancement includes a mobile app, which means that managers can stay in touch with the business even when they are on the move.

Jai Kalyan, Managing Director, FleetDomain confirms the upgrade is free for existing customers. “There is no impact for our current customers – we do the upgrade overnight so that when they log on in the morning, all their data is populated so that they can get on with their business – benefiting immediately from the enhanced functionality and better user experience. We also believe that the new, improved version will open up new markets for us,” he concludes.

Source: IT Web

It’s a long road to POPIA compliance and while the finish line is in sight, only one attitude will ensure your business crosses the line with confidence.

By Tanya Long, chief operating officer, Argility Technology Group

With the deadline for the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) coming into effect in a matter of weeks, companies are driving towards compliance and have been hard at work to prepare for this − in most cases for years.

At the Argility Technology Group, we embarked on the compliance programme many years ago, which has left us in a confident position that our company has always taken protection of personal information seriously, and that the process would not turn out to be an onerous one.

The sheer volume of work required is, of course, still daunting in terms of the man hours necessary to get to the finish line.

Having appointed our CEO as the chief information officer who takes full responsibility for our compliance, we set out three years ago to strategically and methodically embed compliance across the organisation.

With the support of a team of 15 people and every department across the organisation committed to the management of their own compliance processes, the challenge of documenting every process and running gap analyses, educating staff and collating reports has usurped hundreds of man hours since we began the process in 2018.

When compounded with the normal commitments of running the business and meeting all strategic targets, this has been challenging, to say the least.

This process, while daunting when trying to articulate the Act and tie together the various components, has been a good one. In many instances, it was a matter of clarifying what is required and seeing it is already in place. The process also helps to identify gaps − going forward it unquestionably adds another level of governance and trust, both internally and for our customers.

Compliance demands a change in behaviour wherever a business works with data.

My advice to all businesses on the POPIA journey − and we are all in it up to our necks − is to exercise an abundance of caution, meticulously follow all the paths I have outlined in the foregoing and then commission consultants to verify you have not only done enough, but have done it correctly. This latter is more likely to produce a peaceful night's sleep without POPIA nightmares breaking through.

Across the South African market, we encounter many large enterprises that − like us − have been on a compliance journey for years, but for many, the work performed to date will not be enough to meet the deadline.

Flurry of comms in run-up to the deadline

We are now seeing signs that the challenge isn't over: many companies are already sending out their letters requiring confirmation of POPIA compliance, and this is set to become a flurry of mails between business networks across the country over the next couple of months.

Responding to these and attending to risk ratings for every department and every process will become increasingly time-consuming and is not to be taken lightly. We are all in the same boat, and of course, we are also sending out our mails to third-party suppliers and recording responses.

As with every business in the country, we must evaluate these responses in terms of risk ratings and compliance − the POPIA buck does not stop with your business but also applies to all your business associations. So, there will be questions that surface around responsibility and accountability for commercial implications, data on shared infrastructures and in transit via third-parties external to the entire environment, to name a few.

Third-party operators and vendors that process personal information must, in terms of POPIA, provide assurances of the necessary security and compliance measures, but we are all possibly set to encounter grey areas, such as when a customer processes data using a system built by a vendor, particularly if the agreement is a subscription model. If the data belongs to the customer, and is processed under the authority of the customer, should the developer of the system have any accountability?

Questions such as these will spark debate. In business today, there are many overlaps and ripple effects, and where one system impacts or integrates with another, the responsibility for managing and securing the data is not always clear.

Any company in the position of providing services to businesses is a data operator, but they are also a data processor within their internal structures and processes, raising a potential need to negotiate the impact of compliance and shared risk models. All organisations in this position will need to address the question of how to ensure third-parties they engage with remain compliant.

This is an ongoing process and will not end with the July deadline. Compliance demands a change in behaviour wherever a business works with data. It requires ongoing control and maintenance, with governance committees meeting regularly to assess and review measures. Compliance must become a part of your processes − across every department, partner, supplier and individual involved.

Indeed, it is already a culture at our organisation, and I feel this is how all companies must approach this daunting task.

Source: IT Web

FleetDomain, proudly part of the Argility Technology Group.

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