The Great British Fleet Event catches up with Tony Greenidge, IAM RoadSmart’s business development director to learn more about his story and where the charity is headed.
“We make better drivers and riders”, claims IAM RoadSmart – a charity formed more than 60 years ago, in 1956, dedicated to improving driver and rider skills through coaching and education in order to improve road safety.
Greenidge’s background spans more than 30 years in B2B sales and sales leadership. After reading an article about Arval, he got in touch expressing an interest in working at the company in business development and a few months later, his journey in fleet had begun.
However, Greenidge’s personal car history hasn’t exactly included the most obvious fleet vehicles, he says, “My first car brings back some painful (physical and financial) memories. I bought a Talbot Alpine from the company I worked for and proudly drove home on the Friday afternoon. On Monday I walked into work having written it off over the weekend!”
Unlike our other SPOTLIGHTs, Greenidge says he’d choose a restored version of a classic 1976 Toyota Celica – a car he once owned and adored. Nonetheless, today Tony can be seen driving his BMW 640d Gran Coupé while listening to LBC, TalkSport or his music collection on Spotify.
What is your company’s focus for 2019?
Our focus for 2019 is growth and having completed a comprehensive market review we have just launched a new and heavily subsidised e-learning product. Like all things automotive, the pace of change in the provision of driver risk management services is rapid and we see a major shift from reactive training, delivered in response to a negative event i.e. a collision, to bite-size driver education programmes that help drivers make better choices with regards their driving behaviour. We believe that by creating a learning environment that mirrors increasingly popular social media platforms we can help drivers to better understand the consequences of their actions.
Have you noticed a change in the fleet sector, and by how much?
Legislation, technology and personal taxation have always been influencing factors for businesses. What we are seeing now is a situation where these core elements are more disjointed than ever before causing mass confusion and uncertainty for fleets.
We have responded by trying to get the message across that drivers are by far the most influential element on fleet costs yet proportionally very little is spent trying to improve behaviour or performance. Given the shift towards whole life costs, and the fact that a comprehensive and robust driver risk management programme can cost as little as £5 per month, I think fleets are missing a trick by not looking at the total cost of poor driving.
What’s keeping today’s fleet manager awake at night?
I think there are many who would like to go all in and embrace the new fuels and technology options available but being an early adopter can bring with it the operational and financial risk of unintended consequences.
How do you see that continuing to change over the next 5-10 years?
Given the challenges around future mobility, I think businesses will be well advised to invest in or develop expertise that can help optimise the opportunities that technology will undoubtedly provide. One of the disappointing things I have seen during my years in fleet is the demise of the traditional fleet manager, I hope that in future we see the rise of the mobility manager. I expect that this will be someone who can add value not just to the business in terms of cost and operational efficiency, but also employee wellbeing – another issue that is currently grabbing a lot of headlines.