ARI Hosts 2019 Fleet Forum

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Annual event attracts fleet professionals from the Greater Toronto Area.

ARI’s annual Fleet Forum, which took place at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario, attracted more that 200 fleet professional. The focus of this year’s Forum was revenue, value and technology.

Following opening remarks by ARI’s President, Bob White, and Geoff Seely, VP and GM of ARI Canada, Michael Stallone took the stage with an update on ARI’s Customer Experience project.

As the Director of Customer Technology Delivery and Enterprise Architecture, Stallone is responsible for making complex technologies easy to use for ARI’s fleet customers. He announced that the company’s CX Initiative will be in place within the next 6-12 months.

Stallone explained that his goal is to make B2B apps as user-friendly as some of the consumer apps we’ve all grown accustomed to from tech giants like Apple. ARI spent a year planning and discussing their new tech offerings in order to determine what customers need and want to simplify fleet management and save time. The technologies leverage AI (Artificial Intelligence), making apps easier to use.

Phase one of the CX Initiative is all about omni channels, Stallone explained. “We want to build an Amazon-like experience where the customer is constantly updated about the status of their order,” he said. “We find many requests from customers have to do with status—Where is my fuel card? Where is my new vehicle? The goal is to keep customers up-to-date with all the details.”

Stallone announced that a brand new driver mobile app will be easier to use. The driver be one or two clicks away from all the points of access he or she may need.

Planning for the future

ARI’s Director of Client Relations, Romy Bria, offered valuable advice to fleet professionals as they plan for the future. He stressed the importance of ordering new vehicles sooner rather than later. Since order-to-delivery times are longer, and vehicles are in shorter supply, plan early and get your orders in as soon as possible, he stressed. September orders are no longer the norm.

Bria also offered advice about remarketing. “We’ve seen a strong market,” he said, “but we expect it to flatten.” That said, truck and SUV values will remain strong, he added.

His advice is to think about remarketing values when you’re speccing your vehicles. In other words, buy with future values in mind. Don’t under-spec your vehicles, because that will impact future sales values.

Next, Bria looked at telematics. Adoption by fleets is on the rise, with 50% adoption expected by 2022. He added that 5G will change everything by speeding up the transfer of data.

He then updated the audience on changes to legislation with respect to driving while under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, and explained that fleets need to update their policies to deal with these issues.

Panel discussion

The morning program concluded with a panel discussion about politics – both here in Canada, and the U.S. Peter Nogalo, Field Marketing Manager for ARI moderated a panel, which included well-known and highly-respected Canadian journalists Paul Well from MacLean’s, Althia Raj from HuffPost Canada, and Andrew Coyne  from the National Post.

ARI’s guests enjoyed the annual Fleet Expo, with over 15 new vehicles on display from most of the major manufacturers.

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