Mercury Associates has released a new ebook that addresses three challenges currently facing the fleet industry that are combining to create a “perfect storm.” The ebook addresses these forces — the automotive technology “whirlwind,” the information technology “tsunami,” and the human resources “fog” — and how fleet managers can prepare for the future and combat these challenges.

“Fleet management is likely to be more tumultuous in the next decade than it has been in the last five,” explained Paul Lauria, president of Mercury Associates, in a press release. “Taking shelter will require fleet owners to rethink and update traditional approaches to fleet management. Even in industries that have not traditionally paid much attention to the soundness or cost effectiveness of their fleet management practices, these changes are going to require organizations to devote considerable time and attention to these practices.”

The automotive technology challenges mentioned in the ebook refer to the increasing complexity, variety, and costs of technology associated with alternative fuels, electrification, autonomous vehicles, and now, under the Trump administration, potential changes in vehicle emissions and other regulations.

The information technology challenges refer to the increasing capabilities, complexity, and potential applications of IT solutions — such as telematics, mobile apps, and the big data phenomenon — that many organizations are struggling to make sense of and avoid capsizing.

The human resources challenges highlighted in the ebook pertain to workforce management challenges and include a shortage of new talent entering the fleet maintenance profession, and a loss of institutional knowledge in fleet asset management due to retirement of baby boom generation professionals.

“We recognize that the current economic boom times many organizations have been enjoying won’t last forever, and that now is the time to implement sound fleet management business processes and leverage new technologies. Management’s appetite for strategic improvements largely disappears once a downturn comes and everyone’s focus turns to surviving the next fiscal year — or quarter! Those who have made such investments are in position to weather forthcoming economic storms more easily,” Lauria added.

The ebook is available as a free download.

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