CHEVIN: Support, implementation and training key to fleet software users
Support, training and implementation are becoming more and more important to fleet software users after a decade in which the focus has been placed more on new technology, says Chevin Fleet Solutions.
David Gladding, Sales Director, said that both software providers and customers had concentrated in recent years on the huge gains that were available through using online technology but that the emphasis was shifting.
He explained: “As in any other technology sector, the 21st century in fleet software has been all about learning how to maximise the advantages available from web-based technology.
“However, while still ongoing, that process is beginning to slow a little and we are seeing a definite switch in emphasis back towards some of the basics – good support, training and implementation.
“You could say that in recent years, fleet software has been more about product and the focus is now turning towards the people that use it.”
Gladding points out this trend was being seen by Chevin when the company was bidding for new business and also through its conversations with long-time users.
He added: “What both new and existing users are now trying to do more and more is get the best out of the software. Increasingly, we are being challenged to help them solve more and more complex fleet management issues.
“We have been investing in these areas in order to meet the changing needs of the market.”
Chevin is a leading, global provider of advanced, dedicated fleet management software solutions. Its software is used in more than 120 countries worldwide to manage more than 800,000 vehicles with offices in the UK, US, Australia and Belgium.
It provides solutions to the public, utility and corporate sectors as well as government and NGO operations of every size.
Will Public Procurement Budgets Increase in 2021?
Procurement is more than just a private enterprise. COVID-19 reminded us that sourcing materials is an essential part of the government’s role. Throughout 2022, tiny departments sourced massive amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and emergency vaccines and testing kits. Even non-procurement professionals were pulled into the fray, as frantic timelines demanded nothing less.
According to Celeste Frye, co-founder and CEO of Public Works Partners, the crisis brought procurement to the attention of skilled employees who had never considered it. As non-procurement personnel stepped up to help their coworkers, many found that they’d stumbled upon a critical and rewarding job. “Existing public employees have seen the essential nature of the work”, Frye said. “[They’ve] gained some critical skills and possibly [grown] interested in pursuing procurement as a longer-term career”.
Small, Local Suppliers Take Charge
Frye, whose firm helps organisations engage stakeholders and develop long-term procurement strategies, thinks it well worth the effort to open one’s mind to new opportunities. Cooperative contracts, for instance, can help public departments and municipalities save money, time, and effort. By joining together with other towns or cities in the region, public procurement teams aggregate their purchasing power and can drive better deals.
These cooperative contracts have the added benefit of advancing equity. Smaller suppliers that struggle to compete with established firms for government contracts can act as subcontractors, helping big suppliers fulfil bits of the project. Once they get their foot in the door, small, local, and disadvantaged suppliers can then leverage that government relationship to take on additional projects.
Especially as governments start to pay attention to procurement resilience, public procurement departments must expand their requests for proposals (RFPs) to take into account innovative solutions and diverse suppliers. According to Frye, Public Works Partners—a certified female-owned firm—has benefitted from local and state requirements that specify diversity.
Post-Pandemic Funding Swells Procurement Budgets
And the pandemic won’t be the end of it. City governments need to build sustainable energy infrastructure such as solar panels, charging stations, and recycling plants, ensure that masks and medicines are never in short supply, and source new technologies to keep up with cloud and cybersecurity concerns.
Public procurement budgets will likely increase to match demand. As Peter Ware, Partner and Head of Government at Browne Jacobson, explained, “in a non-pandemic world, the [U.K.] government spends on average around £290 billion on outsourced services, goods, and works...anywhere between 10% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Post-pandemic, city procurement will only increase as national governments provide local divisions with emergency funding.
And in truth, government employees might jump at the opportunity. Frye noted that public procurement could give immediate feedback on new programmes: “[Procurement] is where new laws and policies ‘hit the road’ and are implemented”, she said. “Professionals in these fields get the satisfaction of creating real change and seeing quantifiable outcomes of their work”.