For most car buyers, choosing a vehicle is an involved and challenging process. That process becomes even more complicated for firms purchasing fleets of vehicles. To remove (at least some of) the complexity, Ford has released a new tool to help buyers build a better fleet.
Called Ford Fleet Purchase Planner, the software tool offers guidance in choosing Ford vehicle while providing an overview of cost and informing buyers how their choices will help reduce their company’s carbon footprint.
“The one-size-fits-all approach is outdated,” said John Ginder, manager of systems analytics and environmental sciences, Ford research and advanced engineering. “Given what can now be done with analytics, customers shouldn’t settle for buying one vehicle for an entire fleet based on factors such as projected use or miles per gallon.”
Using the patent-pending tool, customers build a fleet of Ford vehicles. The planner then calculates the fleet’s environmental impact and cost, factoring in environmental concerns, individual driving habits of employees, and terrain traveled. The application, which is only available to companies maintaining fleet vehicles, allows users to change the lineup of the vehicle until the mix meets their goals.
“This level of individualized customer service is exactly why we continue to invest in analytics and big data,” said Ginder.
According to Ford, development of the new tool was prompted by Ford’s recently-expanded hybrid and EV vehicle lineup, which today includes the C-Max, Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi. The release of the Ford Fleet Purchase Planner underlines Ford’s commitment to data and analytics, and was among three finalists for the 2014 Innovative Applications in Analytics Award by INFORMS, the largest association for professionals in analytics. A year earlier, Ford also won the 2013 INFORMS Prize, which acknowledges a company’s overall achievement in analytics.