Let’s talk about fleet management with Robert Torday - a mobility consultant with over 15 years of experience

Let’s talk about fleet management with Robert Torday - a mobility consultant with over 15 years of experience

We are excited to announce our partnership with Bobilité, a leading mobility consulting company. Robert Torday, consulting engineer and the owner of Bobilité, was kind enough to answer some questions about his company and the new partnership.

Robert, would you mind telling us about yourself and how you got started with Bobilité?

My background is in mechanic and energetics engineering, and I've spent 16 years working for an energy supplier company. My former company had a large fleet of over 600 vehicles, including personal cars, trucks, and other commercial vehicles. The company was very orientated towards sustainability, and we had a lot of concerns about climate change and reducing the carbon footprint while at the same time reducing our business costs. During that time, I got introduced to Logifleet, and I noticed significant improvements, number one being the accurate tracking of mileage for personal usage of the vehicles.

A few years ago, I left my previous position, and I started working as a consultant for strategy and sustainability in fleet management.

Where did the idea of partnership with Logifleet come from?

Well, I discovered that many companies in my area used Logifleet devices. They would use it to find some initial problems, such as the fact that their vehicles are used for personal trips much more than reported, but they wouldn't know what to do with it past that. So basically, they would have all this data that they don't know how to use and all these problems that could be fixed if only they knew how to create objectives for improvement. So, I've reached out to Logifleet and told them that maybe some companies need more than just the software and data. They need support and consulting to establish objectives and create a plan of action.

So, many companies don't have clear objectives while trying to optimize their fleet. What can you do to help them?

Exactly, many companies install Logifleet devices, and they are not sure what to do with the data they get. Even though Logifleet works hard to explain to their customers what kind of information they need to fulfill their goals, many fleet managers don't know what kind of goals they should set in the first place. What I can do to help them is to create clear objectives and an actionable plan that will help fleet managers achieve them. Logifleet is an excellent tool with a wide range of capabilities, but it's hard to know how to use it to its full potential without a clear objective. That's why many companies use only 10-20% of all those capabilities, and by working with Bobilité, they can learn how to make the right decisions with the data they already have.

In the end, it's pretty straightforward – if you're already investing money and you have the tools and the data you can use the make good business decisions, it's a shame not to take advantage of it.

Can you give us an example of a company that didn't use the Logifleet software properly, and how could you help them get on the right track?

Usually, the problems start when, for example, the manager sees the total bill of Logifleet's services, including the subscription for each vehicle, and doesn’t understand what are they paying for. That can be a lot of money, so they will try to justify the purchase by using the tool to monitor and control their employees instead of understanding all of the added value it brings to the company. They will get upset every time they see an employee using a vehicle for personal trips or if they're taking some additional time to complete the business trip. That results in employees being afraid of the tool and having negative feelings towards it, which is a really bad thing.

When my previous company introduced Logifleet, the employees were happy with the solution. They were satisfied because they no longer had to keep track of every single personal trip. The software was doing it for them, and it was fair for everyone, especially since it was never used for detailed or invasive tracking of employee trips.

Yeah, I can see all of that happening. And if you were to point out three main reasons companies are contacting you for, what would those be?

I would say one of the main reasons companies are reaching out is because they would like to optimize the cost of their fleet. By that, I mean the prices of the vehicles they're purchasing, the cost of maintenance, and the fuel or electricity. The second problem they come to me with, which I honestly think should be their priority, is the time spent on the road. I say that should be the focus because it directly affects productivity and the client's satisfaction. As for the third reason, I would say it's common fleet management problems like safety, sustainability, things like that, or flexibility for their employees. They may not have a direct return on investment, but they come with an indirect return in the form of happy employees or a higher number of interested clients that prefer to work with a sustainable company.

How exactly do you help these companies solve their problems? What does your process look like?

The first step is to perform a quick analysis of the company's current state. If we're talking about a very small company, coming up with a massive project is not feasible, as they will not have the budget, and it might scare them away. So, I would say my process starts with a couple of days of diagnostic work that mainly consists of me trying to analyze the company's background, what kind of business they do, maybe getting two or three months' worth of data. Based on that, I can point out ways to improve their business, such as improving the reliability of their meeting time with their clients and reducing costs, or point out they can save money by turning 30% of their fleet into electric vehicles.

It's important to note that the conclusions from that short analysis are not final. They give us a general direction and point us towards the areas we should focus on.

That's great! Do you use any other fleet management tools in your business, apart from Logifleet?

Honestly, not really. There is plenty of data that comes from Logifleet. I would say the only data companies don't get access to from Logifleet is, for example, employee commuting data. If employees are sharing a ride to work or using public transportation, that data would be missing from the reports. However, the focus should really be on the business fleet, and there is more than enough data about it in Logifleet's reports. Combined with my experience, it's usually easy to point out business opportunities for fleet companies.

We've already mentioned Logifleet's data a few times. What is it exactly that you're first looking into when you get access to it? In your opinion, what is the most important piece of information in it?

Now that's a tricky question to answer. It will depend on those three main reasons the companies are contacting me, which we discussed earlier. If the company is worried about their productivity or efficiency, we will look into the data showing if the trips were finished on time, etc. If they want to optimize their road time, then I would look into their total time on the road. If they are trying to reduce costs, we will look into information about mileage. More often than not, I would cross-check different information from the software to see the bigger picture before formulating a strategy.

Awesome! I want to expand a little bit on that GPS data that Logifleet provides. What are some ways users can benefit from it?

That's another thing that connects back to the company's objectives. Very often, fleet managers are aware of the issues in their company, but they are too busy dealing with everyday problems, such as cars in maintenance, sick drivers, and so on. They don't have the time (and sometimes they lack the analytics or engineering background) to develop creative solutions to their issues. Sometimes, all it takes is someone from the outside, who will come, gather all that GPS data, and turn it into an actionable plan.

What industries do you work with the most?

Any company with a fleet that wants to improve its sustainability and efficiency. For example, the transportation companies don't need me to introduce mobility management procedures, since mobility is their primary business. But they do ask for my assistance when it comes to their global mobility strategy. I would say I work the most with companies in industries such as construction or after-sale repairs, where mobility is significant but not their primary business. These companies want to reduce costs and road time and at the same time increase the number of hours that workers are spending with their end clients.

We spoke about sustainability a lot, but let's take another moment to discuss the CO2 emissions. How can optimizing your fleet reduce CO2 emissions?

Well, CO2 emissions and vehicle mileage are closely connected. If a vehicle is on the road, it will produce emissions. Therefore, if we can find ways to reduce the amount of time cars spend on the road, we will also reduce emissions. Sometimes all that fleet managers have to do is divide the area better between different vehicles or create new routes with fewer traffic jams to optimize their road time.

What about electric vehicles? How did their emergence influence fleet management companies?

I would say that, for the time being, many companies purchase electric vehicles just to appear greener in the eyes of the public. They will buy an electric car or two, put it in the lobby, and call themselves a green or sustainable company. These vehicles come with a very high investment cost compared to the regular ones. The only way you can get the return on that investment and be a green company at the same time is if your electric vehicles are making a lot of mileage. They are not worth the investment for every company, and it really depends on each company and their needs. That said, my suggestion is that if you do end up buying electric vehicles, they should be the ones that are used the most, but never to the limit, so you don't run out of battery autonomy. Getting the best usage of the electric vehicles in our business definitely doesn't mean putting a green sticker on it and parking it in the lobby.

Can you share with us some industry trends and predictions? How do you see the fleet management industry in, let's say, the next five years?

Well, one thing I already see changing is that many vehicle manufacturers are starting to add tools for fleet management directly into the vehicles. Starting with GPS trackers and so on, cars will be able to produce their data without external software. The issue I see with that is that their solutions are not open. That means if half of my fleet is Toyota and half is Volkswagen, I can't have all the data in the same software. The same works for heavy machinery; soon, they will all come with their own telematics systems and software. What I see happening in the future is software like Logifleet will connect with the original platform from the manufacturer and sort through all technical data from the entire fleet in their software.

Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share with our readers?

I would just like to say that I think anyone managing a fleet can benefit from using Logifleet. The software provides a lot of valuable information that can help fleet managers improve the efficiency and sustainability of their business. Of course, like everything else, if you end up getting software and not using it properly, you will spend a lot of money on nothing. On the other side, if you use the data you get from Logifleet properly, the cost is negligible compared to the opportunities you can get with it. I encourage all fleet managers to take a look at Logifleet and see how it can benefit their business. I would also like to thank you for speaking with me today!

Thank you for your time, Robert!

I hope you found this interview helpful. If you have any questions or want to learn more about how Logifleet can help your business, visit our website or contact me directly. I would be happy to answer any of your questions, and I wish you all the best in optimizing your fleet. Until next time!

Raphaël Greppin

Raphaël Greppin

Founder and director of LogiFleet SA since 2002, I take care of the company acquisition and projects management.

Related Articles

Introducing Worker Connect Team Mode

Introducing Worker Connect Team Mode

by Raphaël Greppin
9 metrics every fleet manager should be tracking to optimize efficiency

9 metrics every fleet manager should be tracking to optimize efficiency

by Raphaël Greppin

Subscribe to our Blog