What will be the top three technology trends in fleet industry in the next 2-3 years?
At ORIX we see some really exciting trends emerging that could fundamentally change the fleet industry and market we operate in.
Data – and how it is best used by our customers and within our own organisation. Providers that are able to aggregate the vast amount of information available, interpret, analyse and present it in a way that is easily actioned are well placed to succeed. Advancements in the telematics space are only going to increase that volume. How the industry manages that data as a valuable asset is going to be a fascinating journey.
Security -There is no doubt that this is top of mind for most CIOs and the fleet industry is no exception. We are the custodians of huge volumes of both personal and business data. This is being further amplified by telematics and IoT – think smart roads and connected cars, among other devices. With that comes real responsibility. When you consider the fact that we hold information on the location of vehicles and individuals and patterns of behaviours across both drivers and fleets, customers need to feel assured that their data is managed appropriately and won’t get into the wrong hands. It’s a responsibility we take extremely seriously at ORIX.
Digital Assistants -We anticipate a real shift in the application of digital assistants in the next few years. Whether we are talking bot, RPA or voice-activated technology, the ability for a fleet manager to understand their fleet quickly and be prompted to take action where appropriate is somewhere where we expect real value emerging. It’s a space we are beginning to look at closely.
Compared to other industries, is the fleet industry innovative?
It’s fair to say the fleet industry is not as innovative as some industries around it. However, if you take a look at the way some fleet operators are managing their customers in other regions, there is a great deal businesses in Australia can learn, particularly from organisations abroad that have developed highly automated solutions.
There are obviously some key game changers on the horizon which will accelerate innovation in this space – namely EV and AV. When we overcome the various policy and infrastructure challenges that come with these technologies, we’ll see opportunities aplenty unlocked for fleet managers. The way we optimise the cost of transporting people or goods from A to B will change dramatically.
Are the legacy IT systems used by fleet companies holding the industry back? Or are they being adapted to interface easily with new technology and IT architecture?
Legacy systems have the potential to inhibit any organisation, whether in the fleet industry or otherwise. In recent years, ORIX recognised that customers demanded a better user experience than could be offered via our traditional fleet front end. We therefore invested in addressing this with the development of our OneView portal which integrates directly with our internal back end fleet system. By adopting best-of-breed, low code integration layer, we’ve been able to quickly launch a number of customer-facing mobile, web and reporting applications that can harness the power and functionality of our main management system via a more modern intuitive interface.
What does digital transformation look like for the fleet industry?
While the fleet industry might not be as innovative as others, we are already seeing the beginnings of a shake-up in the industry and transformation gathering pace. But as with all things, there’s not silver bullet, and there are various initiatives underway – whether it’s the changing role of the manufacturer and their shift toward managing assets over their lifecycle, or customers looking for lower cost fleet solutions (which don’t require a long term commitment to assets).
Like many industries, digital capabilities are driving the shift. It’s a huge topic to cover off, but right now, we believe that as the value chain slowly shifts, the ability to automate, consolidate and deliver a personalised experience to drivers and fleet managers will be key to our future success. We have a large program of work underway focusing on that improved customer experience and optimising internal operations which we hope will deliver on that.
When will AI remove the boring and repetitive tasks from fleet management? i.e. registration, fuel, tolls, fines, maintenance control etc.
AI isn’t necessarily the catalyst for this change; indeed the capability to automate some of those tasks is already there with RPA and more traditional application automation. Organisations, including ORIX, are already leveraging those technologies and seeing measurable efficiencies.
The real change will come when governments and road operators start thinking about how they charge for things like tolls, rego and fines. Yes, AI will expand the capabilities of existing automation, but the question is whether fleet management will need to continue performing these tasks at all. It’s not too difficult to imagine a world where a connected vehicle can communicate directly with agencies entirely, eliminating the need for a fleet operator to undertake them. We’re seeing those business models in other industries so I think its only matter of time before we start seeing it in fleet.
What are the top three technology improvements being demanded by ORIX customers?
Data and reporting. Increasingly our customers are demanding more reporting, dashboard-type experiences offering real time insights into their fleets. It’s a real shift from the traditional end-of-month reporting mindset. We have already invested in delivering this in the form of our MOOV portal for small businesses, and it’s something we’re continuing to invest in this year.
Less paper! Despite the great innovations we’ve seen in recent years, the fleet industry remains fairly paper-intensive. Initiatives like online quote acceptance for customers have been key for us delivering an improved customer experience as well as streamlining our own internal operations.
Getting the right information and tools to all parts of the business in the right format. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the needs of drivers, supervisors, fleet managers, category specialists and C suite execs are all very different. The ability to offer a tailored experience to those users is something we are seeing more and more in recent times.