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New mobility companies want digitalised approach to fleet SMR

One common feature across all of these businesses is a real accent on keeping downtime to a minimum. These are businesses built on high asset utilisation and especially on processes that transparently allow customers to see when vehicles are available.
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Marc Lees

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19 June 2023

NEW mobility companies want an approach to fleet service, maintenance and repair (SMR) that matches their own digital infrastructures, epyx is reporting.

These organisations were built on fast, accurate and efficient digital processes that benefited both themselves and their customers, said Marc Lees, business development director, and were looking for similar methods from SMR suppliers.

He added: “A wave of companies are entering the mobility market offering products such as car subscription services and car clubs. By and large, these are technology businesses that have created a high quality digital infrastructure but don’t have core SMR capabilities.

“They see traditional SMR provision as relatively dated and instead want processes to help them handle the issue in a manner that is a cultural match with their general approach. We are starting to form relationships and have conversations about how we can help.”

It was a mistake to think of all these new mobility entrants as one single type of company, Marc said, as their operating models and subsequent SMR needs often varied widely.

“To some extent, these businesses resemble car hire fleets but their requirements are quite often more complex. Car clubs, for example, have an hourly rental model and widespread geographical distribution while with subscription services, there is the question of whether servicing should take place during or in-between long-term hires.

“There are also differences when it comes to their SMR preferences. Some are committed to franchise-dealer only models while others are much more open to the idea of independents.

“One common feature across all of these businesses is a real accent on keeping downtime to a minimum. These are businesses built on high asset utilisation and especially on processes that transparently allow customers to see when vehicles are available.

“All of this requires an innovative approach to SMR and we are having some interesting conversations around new ways of using technology such as our 1link Service Network platform. Currently, some of these businesses are using relatively ad hoc processes that are not a good fit for their needs but much more appropriate solutions are available.”

Lees said that epyx had been watching the mobility market closely and was confident that it would continue on a path of expansion that had been apparent before the pandemic.

“In general terms, the growth of mobility has been interrupted by COVID-19 but it remains a strong concept that offers businesses useful solutions for specific applications. We believe that these services will find a high level of success over the coming years even if acceptance proves to be more gradual than might have been thought a few years ago.”

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Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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