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FLEET MANAGEMENT AND TRANSPORT


Clive Buhagiar, head of public sector at Alphabet, believes local authorities can reduce fleet costs and offer staff an attractive perk by reconsidering their approach to the traditional pool car.


A


lphabet has just launched a new concept in employee car-sharing, called AlphaCity.


This fresh alternative to traditional pool cars has already taken off in continental Europe and has proven to reduce fleet costs, while achieving high satisfaction rates among staff.


The scheme provides public sector organisations with on-demand, technology- driven, business and personal mobility, fully managed by Alphabet. Featuring attractive vehicles such as the British-built Mini Coupe, AlphaCity enables public sector employers to set up an internal version of the car sharing scheme for private use, which is adopted


on alternatives to costly rental or unloved pool cars.


Our experience in the UK so far indicates that fleets with just a handful of cars can save several hundred pounds per year by adopting AlphaCity. Organisations with 50 pool cars could easily see annual savings of £3,000. Fleet departments can also cross charge the cars to other parts of the organisation, thus creating a valuable self-funding mechanism. However, financial savings is only half the story.


Of course, the spectre of the grey fleet – and the constant administrative struggle to ensure staff


The cars are aspirational. The experience of using AlphaCity is fun and high-tech. And the membership aspect fosters a feeling of shared responsibility that mitigates against colleagues returning cars late, dirty or without fuel. AlphaCity isn’t just a new way of delivering mobility, it helps employers drive desired behaviours.


Employees sign up to the scheme and receive a membership card and welcome pack. They can then enjoy easy self-booking via the online booking platform and mobile website and their membership card provides keyless access to cars during the period they have booked the


enthusiastically by staff and drastically reduces the need for pool cars, hire cars, taxis and private vehicles for business travel.


While AlphaCity is not a solution for every organisation, it can significantly reduce transport costs and increase staff satisfaction levels, for those fitting the right profile. We spend a lot of time with HR managers, financial departments and fleet managers to undertake careful analysis of existing pool car use, the size of pool car, use of rental vehicles, the roles of car users and the level of management resource needed to run the existing car fleet; all this work provides us a real picture of vehicle use and enables us to make tangible recommendations


54 | public sector executive Jul/Aug 12


using their own cars for business are properly insured, licensed to drive and have maintained their vehicles to a safe standard – is a real issue. Organisations that have adopted AlphaCity have reported that monitoring of the grey fleet is made much easier through this new solution.


Organisations can offset the cost of the monthly AlphaCity lease by allowing employees to pay the company to use the cars privately when they’re not needed by the business, which is seen as a perk by staff. AlphaCity is a major step forward in flexibility, freedom and cost- effectiveness – especially in contrast to existing methods for providing non-company-car- eligible employees with mobility.


car. Innovative keyless start / stop technology is a standard feature in all AlphaCity cars. The solution enables Alphabet to provide detailed reporting on vehicle usage and itemised invoices for customers, broken down by cost centre if requested. The system can also take credit card bookings for private use, the proceeds of which are offset against the company’s monthly rental.


Clive Buhagiar FOR MORE INFORMATION


T: 0870 50 50 100 E: alphabet@alphabet.co.uk W: www.alphabet.co.uk


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