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SPOTLIGHT: Mark Binks, group managing director, Bynx

Mark Binks, group managing director, Bynx

Having spent the last three decades working at Bynx, Mark Binks is perhaps uniquely placed to tell us what’s in the pipeline from the fleet management software company and provides GBFE with unique insight.

Prior to working at Bynx, Binks worked in various companies but always in the industry of information technology. Bynx itself hasn’t always catered for fleets, but following a change in direction in the mid-nineties it found fresh focus in the sector. Surprisingly, Binks comments, “If I’d known then what I know now we probably wouldn’t have done it.”

Binks’ car history began with a Renault 17 Coupé, which he recalls made him think he was the coolest kid on the block, especially thanks to the car’s ‘go faster’ stripe that “qualified me to be the local ‘Hutch’ (of Starsky and Hutch fame)”. His fond memories of that car haven’t faded, as he now drives a Jaguar XK and on sunny days his now classic 1983 Porsche 911. While driving either car, Capital Radio is the selected station of choice for his family, although matching his taste in Porsche, Binks’ iPod is laden with 70’s and 80’s hits.

However, his ideal garage would consist of both a classic and a modern car, with a keen eye on a Jaguar XK 150 that he says “would deliver that classic British design and driving experience”. As for the modern, he says he’d “sit tight for a few months until a choice of electric supercars become available and then it would be down to the prettiest curves”. Coupled with his choice in the latest technology, the one thing he says he couldn’t live without is his Garmin smartwatch, which he’s convinced is going to tell him when he’s about to extinguish!

What is Bynx’s focus for 2019?

Bynx prides itself on making sure that its product offering is relevant for the current market place, hence some of our clients have been with us for more than 20 years. The current sea-change in the mobility market is driving us to deliver more sophisticated multi-platform products which support the revolution taking place in our chosen market place.

How much have you found the fleet sector is changing?

I’ve not experienced any upheaval as significant as the current market changes occurring in the mobility space. The last few years have been about the change from ‘ownership’ to ‘usage’ models for mobility and one of the next big changes we will see is the arrival of the 5G networks and the impact this will have on the connected and autonomous car.

What’s keeping today’s fleet manager awake at night?

One of the biggest concerns for the fleet manager, along with costs and utilisation, is the compliance issue. Are the vehicles I’m sending out with our employees fit for purpose? The need for predictive information regarding non-compliance has never been greater.

How do you see that continuing to change over the next 5-10 years?

Over the next few years the hunger for data will just get greater, fortunately, the technology is going to be able to deliver. We have all experienced the impact that ‘the cloud’ has had on our lives over the last 5 years, 5G networks and AI are going to deliver a further change for good which will help the fleet manager sleep at night.

What sort of challenges and opportunities could this present?

The opportunities will be immense, especially for those organisations that embrace the technology and can interpret the vast data lakes into meaningful and proactive information. To start on this journey the fleet operators must move into a cloud environment because with the advent of 5G networks, latency issues will become a thing of the past and AI is going to revolutionise the way applications interact with the work force.

What would you like to see change in that time to help the sector move forwards?

Blockchain is another technology which I believe would be beneficial to the sector in terms of managing the vehicle asset and could do away with many of the system interfaces that we have today. A single source of the truth for each asset would add a lot of credibility to the sector. However, I am fearful that the cooperation required to achieve this is out of reach.

What’s in the pipeline from Bynx in 2019?

Our pipeline is about our journey, as I’ve mentioned, we have a lot of clients who have been on a journey with us over the last 20 years and we continue to evolve and plot the roadmap for the near and distant future. Technology will continue to evolve and our mission is to embrace the technology for the benefit of our customers and prospects. Our challenge is to select those technologies which will deliver the greatest positive impact for our clients and not just use technology for technologies sake.