Big Data is already cutting firms’ total cost of mobility

With the right help, businesses can use mobility thinking to revolutionise the cost of corporate leasing and travel.

The next decade is predicted to be one of the most technologically disruptive in the history of transport. Alongside self-driving vehicles and advances in low-emission drivetrains, two trends will profoundly affect business travel: mobility and connectivity.

By mobility, I mean fluidly managing business travel to optimise cost, travel time, and productivity. Future approaches to getting employees from A to B will be more collaborative, cost-transparent and cost-efficient than traditional travel arrangements.

Mobility is the response to both the increase in data available and changes in attitudes towards driving.  For instance, the number of young people holding a UK driving licence has fallen by 40 per cent since 1992.  This is due to a combination of higher motoring costs (especially insurance); "delayed adulthood" (starting careers and families later); megacities and demographics (the biggest falls in licence-holding are in expanding metropolitan areas with viable public transport).

Thus, it is perfectly feasible that two-thirds of the young people entering the workforce over the next few years will not hold a driving licence.  Companies will need to seek alternatives to “the company car”. Many see self-driving vehicles as the key to eventually squaring the circle.  However, the emphasis is on "eventually" because fully autonomous vehicles may not arrive until the youngest millennials reach their forties.

Big data is instrumental in the transition from vehicle ownership to "drivership" – and ultimately to "ridership" when –  or if – cars and trucks achieve full autonomy.

The good news is, dataflows from vehicles, devices and payment platforms – even from roads themselves – are rising exponentially. Some high-end cars already contain six times as many lines of computer code as do the flight systems of a Boeing Dreamliner. Yet despite the wealth of data being captured and transmitted, connectivity is still in its infancy – the flows are still largely uncoordinated, the dots are not joined up.

To address this issue, companies are turning to specialists like TMC to simplify and harmonise multiple streams of business travel data into clear, concise fleet and mobility dashboards. By bringing together data from each supplier involved in the corporate travel ecosystem – leasing companies, fuel card and telematics providers, hotels, parking, trains, subsistence and expenses systems – and overlaying it with employee data such as whether individuals are home or office based, TMC provides companies with a single view of costs and a 360-degree view of each employee’s business travel patterns.

Employers use these insights to shape their business travel and company car policies.  TMC can also make recommendations on how to optimise mobility at both company and individual level, based on employee travel patterns.  Recommendations include who should or shouldn’t be eligible for a company car; who could be in an electric vehicle based on travel patterns; who could be car sharing, and where it could be more cost-effective to give someone a transportation allowance rather than a conventional car or cash allowance.

Consolidated mobility data is opening new routes to cost reductions and it is time for businesses to embrace it. Using big data to optimise your mobility strategy will help deliver the so-called "triple bottom line" of more productive services, strategic cost reduction and reduced CO2 emissions. And the good news is, it can be done today.


To find out more please visit www.themilesconsultancy.com

by Paul Hollick, Managing Director of TMC