The M15 Mobility Forum held in Sydney on 27 July 2018 was pronounced a great success by all concerned.
Connector KK, the Japan based, global fleet consulting network, hosted the event at the Sydney offices of global advisory firm BDO, bringing together 15 key stakeholders to discuss and develop mobility options within the Australian market.
Kota Tsuda, one of the founders of Connector KK, says that the session was so successful due to the small and carefully chosen set of attendees. “We wanted this to be a small, exclusive event, made up of leaders in the industry. For us, the most important aspect was the quality of attendees as we wanted this to be about shaping the future of mobility in Australia. It’s a complex and dynamic area of the fleet industry and we were looking for a forum that would stimulate ideas. It’s not about an expert lecturing, but about a group of experts sharing ideas.”
The session ran over four hours and began with a presentation from Mace Hartley, the Executive Director of the Australian Fleet Managers Association. Hartley’s presentation set the scene by outlining the current fleet industry and the expectations that corporate Australia have of the mobility trend.
Kota Tsuda himself then broadened the conversations with a more widely focussed presentation looking at mobility trends across the world. Tsuda explains that “we have a lot of experience working with large businesses as they adopt to a shared environment across Europe. We’re starting to see that now in the APAC region and our experience in more mature markets gives us the opportunity to highlight the directions that APAC is likely to take.”
Other presenters included Vijay Rao, the Senior Director of Mobility for Frost and Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan have recently completed a study of mobility in Australia to complement their extensive global research. Burton Andrews and Kevin Frohbus from BDO canvassed some of the issues around mobility and taxation as well as the impact on accounting standards.
The sessions was wrapped up with presentations from Ron Sullivan, co-founder of OviDrive followed by Ed Stanistreet, General Manager of Toyota Fleet Management. Sullivan’s experience in developing the OviDrive software allowed him to talk broadly on the subject of technology in mobility and the impacts on the industry, both immediate and long-term. Stanistreet spoke to the very immediate changes that both OEMs and FMOs are undergoing as a result of mobility.
After the event, Shane Curran, Connector’s Strategic Partner for the APAC region, commented on the remarkable success of the event.
“I think that this event addresses a gap in the Australian mobility space and we’ve been really pleased at the response. We had 100% of invitees attend the event, 100% gave feedback that they would recommend the event to others and 100% said that they would like to attend similar events in the future. That’s an outstanding result.”
“We’ve already had queries about re-staging the forum and we’re looking into the feasibility of doing this around the time of the next M15 in November. We’re suggesting that people register for the Connector Lounge in order to stay up to date with our plans.”
Curran says that the next M15 event will be held in Melbourne on 15th of November and will address new topics around the mobility space. “It’s important that we continue to support this conversation and continue to move on to new areas,” he says, “So while we might stage a rerun of this event in Sydney, we’ll be looking at new speakers covering new topics for the Melbourne event.”
Yves Helven, Connector’s co-founder, agrees. “The M15 Forum is very much a future-focused event, but always looking to topics around fleet and mobility. We keep the event free of charge for attendees so that we always be certain that the right people are attending. Of course the down side of that is that attendance is by invitation only. We’d like to make more spaces available, but the difficulty is that we need to balance that with the need to keep the forum small enough to have a conversation rather than a lecture.”