Holman prepares customers for the future of fleet management… and beyond.
Holman kicked off their 2023 Canadian Fleet Forum series in Toronto on May 9th at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ontario. Many fleet professionals from the Greater Toronto Area, and beyond, came out to learn about the evolution of the electric vehicle market, take a closer look at new technologies and fleet apps, get an update on the state of the industry, hear a captivating talk by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, and of course, enjoy a round of golf.
The day began with Romy Bria, VP of Client Relations welcoming Holman’s guests and setting the tone for the day. Bria announced that this was the first in a series of Fleet Forum events for 2023. Later this year (in September), Holman will host similar events in both Calgary and Vancouver.
Next, Bob White, President of Holman Fleet and Mobility introduced the Holman team to all in the audience and spoke about the state of our industry and the economy in general.
White explained that the industry is facing challenges and headwinds, including a possible recession, ongoing inflation pressures, and rising interest rates, just to name a few.
Although the supply chain is not back to normal, White said things are getting better. “The supply chain is improving,” he said, “but we still have two or three years of backlog, which is why we’re seeing longer lead times. This will be the norm for the next 18-24 months.” In the meantime, fleets will continue to have to hold on to their vehicles longer than anticipated, which makes maintenance more important than ever.
White addressed the evolution of the work environment. “Although online conferencing was a great tool,” he said, “there are benefits to working together in an office environment.”
Many organizations are experimenting with hybrid work structures this year. White added that the Holman team is getting back to the office as well, although employees will have some flexibility with their Mondays and Fridays.
Canada’s national treasure, Chris Hadfield, captivated everyone’s attention and imagination with his keynote address. He spoke about the history of space travel and how he fell in love with the idea of becoming an astronaut as a nine-year-old boy.
He discussed the milestones he achieved in his younger years that took him from dreaming about being an astronaut to actually going into space. He also discussed the future of space travel and how innovations in technology are changing the way we will travel to the moon and beyond in the next few years.
EVs, PHEVs and hybrids
Jeremy Dewey, Manager of EV Operations at Holman talked about some of the new products and technologies Holman is bringing to market in order to help fleet professionals better manage their electrified assets.
Dewey introduced three new Holman products: Home Charging, Driver Reimbursement, and Depot Management—all designed to collect and manage data related to electrified vehicles. This new data will be available on Holman’s Insight app.
Dewey then invited Brian Cowan, Manager of the Fleet Management Centre at the Ministry of Transportation to the platform, along with Holman’s own Peter Nogalo for a panel discussion.
Cowan explained that the Ministry started looking at the idea of greening its fleet back in 2006 and that they moved ahead with their plans, taking small steps along the way.
By implementing a variety of strategies, including investing in EVs and hybrids, Cowan said the Ministry managed to reduce its overall fuel consumption by 70%.
When adding a new vehicle to the fleet, Cowan said that he asks himself a series of simple questions: Can a BEV do the job? If not, how about a PHEV or hybrid? If not, then an ICE vehicle may be the only option.
Driver behaviour & AI
Michael Stallone, VP of IT at Holman concluded the morning session with a look at innovation and technology. He spoke about the impact driver behaviour has on fleet costs. “It’s a variable cost that impacts your bottom line,” he said, “but it’s a cost you can manage.”
Stallone looked at a number of areas of concern including crash costs, driver safety and liability costs. He explained that Holman has the tools to help fleets manage all these variables and monitor driver behaviour.
Telematics is the key to managing driver behaviour, he said, as he introduced the Holman Driver Safety Scorecard, which can be employed to get a complete picture of driver behaviour within a fleet.
He then explained how Holman customers can take advantage of a number of new products including Driver Training Modules, a Driver Training Mobile App, and a Telematics-based Trip Log.
He added that the Holman Fleet Manager Mobile App is almost ready, and should go live this summer. It includes data analysis, mobile feedback, usage analytics, news and transaction data.
Also in the pipeline is the Holman Public Charger App, which will help drivers find charging stations, as well as keep track of expenses and charging data. Finally, Stallone said that Holman is harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and that they’re working on ways to use this innovative technology to improve the customer experience.