ARI hosted a multiple-day conference earlier this month highlighting the innovative technology trends that are transforming the fleet industry and which will be game-changing influences in the coming years.

More than 100 senior leaders and executives with fleet and procurement responsibilities from across North America joined ARI leadership and individuals from the tech and consulting communities to participate in a substantive discussion about employing technology to maximize fleet operations. Held at the Margaritaville Beach Resort in Hollywood Beach, Fla. from Nov. 2 to 4, the event also featured a keynote discussion from notable political commentators Karl Rove and Gov. Howard Dean, who discussed the U.S. election and what the results may mean for businesses and the nation.

"We were eager to create an opportunity where leaders within the industry could come together to learn about and discuss how technology is transforming both how we do business now and how we will in the years to come," said ARI's president Chris Conroy. "Technology, innovation and Big Data is fundamentally changing our industry and how we think about fleet management. Smart companies are not just embracing how new technologies can help them right now, but also looking to understand what it means for them five or ten years from now."

The event included a presentation titled "Execution vs. Talk: Big Data in Action," from Patrick Maroney, vice president of global innovation for SAP, that detailed how Big Data is driving business results in today's world and how it will help businesses more accurately predict future trends and serve as the foundation for critical business decisions. In his role with SAP, Maroney helps customers understand the impact of business trends on their processes and how technology can lead to improvements and cost savings.

The event also featured Inga Maurer, a partner with McKinsey & Company, discussing the disruptive trends that are transforming the automotive industry, which include diverse mobility, autonomous driving, electrification and connectivity. She emphasized that industries in the automotive segment will need to shift to a continuous process of anticipating new market trends while also exploring alternatives and complements to the traditional business model.

A case study featuring an ARI client who experienced a 50% reduction in collisions and a savings of $1 million after working with ARI on a comprehensive safety solution was also highlighted. The fleet, a nationwide provider of security and safety services, implemented a two-pronged approach to tackle their driver safety challenge: they proactively implemented mandatory training for their drivers and used data from their telematics program to identify and correct poor driving behavior before an accident could ever occur.

Tony Candeloro, vice president of product development and client information systems for ARI, offered an overview into ARI's approach to the continually evolving marketplace in his presentation "Fleet Technology Roadmap: ARI's Vision for the Future." Candeloro emphasized the importance of moving beyond simple data integration, so the data can have a genuine impact on your business and your budget.

"We now have the capacity to go beyond simply describing what is happening with a fleet — although that is important to know and we still start there," said Candeloro. "That isn't where we end, however. We also look to understand why something is happening, predict what will happen next and, most importantly, what should a fleet do about it. We're looking to do more than just inform; we're looking to be predictive and prescriptive. We want to move data from being merely interesting to being impactful."

Candeloro highlighted how the newest improvements to ARI's award-winning web-based fleet management portal. ARI insights, as well as new tools like the mobile driver app and ARI VehicleDowntimeView, are empowering fleets to make faster, smarter decisions based on real-time data, not intuition or guessing.

Charlie Guthro, ARI's vice president for North American fleet management, presented on the ARI Fleet Health Card, which captures data from a fleet in real-time to measure spend, utilization/reliability, preventive maintenance and fuel economy to track a vehicle's relative and comparative performance.

Designed to help users quickly focus on the right data and the areas of their fleet that need attention at that moment, the tool allows fleet managers drill into the root cause of problems to discover what is driving increased spend in specific areas and allows them to balance that against reliability and downtime, fuel efficiency, preventive maintenance and inspection compliance. Having this kind of insight with regard to the specific cause of problems allows our customers to take immediate and meaningful action quickly, which in turn provides the best benefits.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet