3 key themes from the IPWEA Australasian Fleet Conference

By intouch * posted 29-05-2017 12:52


The IPWEA Australasian Fleet Conference held 23 – 25 May in Brisbane covered a lot of ground. From the effect on society of autonomous vehicles to diesel emission control systems and everything in between.

Notwithstanding the range of information on offer, it is clear that there are a number of themes that will be the focus of fleet practitioners now and into the future.

Theme 1 – A systematic approach

First up is the requirement for systematic processes to manage and meet compliance requirements. A Moot Court run by Mike Wood of Latus drove home the consequences of not having processes and systems to meet chain of responsibility requirements. The subsequent panel session 'What the Fleet Manager Needs to Do to Meet Compliance Obligations' drove home the point with discussion and examples about; defining business processes, understanding obligations, identifying the gaps, implementing improvements and monitoring performance. But it’s not just about Chain of Responsibility. The same approach is equally applicable in WHS, environmental management and so on.

The idea of being systematic came up in a range of other areas as well – and not just related to management processes. Keith Nicholson of Clean Lube demonstrated the need for systematic processes, including on-going review, to ensure the integrity of oil supplies as a key measure to reduce maintenance and operating costs.

Theme 2 – Collaboration

Fleet Management is not a discipline that can be conducted in isolation.

It never has been, but today’s complex business environment makes collaboration even more critical.
International speaker and fleet expert Tim Fitzgerald of DC Water and Sewerage spoke of how he considers his role as one of a business enabler. Tim reinforced the need to bring people to the table and make information transparent so the performance becomes a shared responsibility.

Mark Mills of Sutherland Shire Council spoke of his journey to improve fleet efficiency. Again, the keystone was the buy-in, support and collaboration of various parts of the organisation, including senior management.

Theme 3 - Technology as an enabler

It’s not news that technological advancement is everywhere. The important message is that the technology is there to support and enable performance. Delegates at the conference heard from David Gladding of Chevin and Howard Crompton of Ausfleet about the right way to understand what you need from a Fleet Information Management System, how to specify requirements and how to implement systems to ensure the technology delivers what you need.

Stuart Johnson of Volvo Group Truck Sales discussed Optimised Service Planning using technology such as telematics to enable efficiency and effectiveness improvements through better maintenance.

A different approach to technology was provided by Aaron Marsh of Komatsu when disctruck_show4.jpgussing 'The Connected Workplace'. Aaron explained how drones, GPS and digital control can provide phenomenal efficiency gains on the construction site.

There were plenty more examples of these themes throughout the conference and reinforces that effective fleet practitioners now and into the future need to be systematic, collaborate and take advantage of new technologies to drive efficiency and effectiveness in their operations.

Check out IPWEA's Instagram to see more images from the Australasian Fleet Conference.