Technological progress has significantly altered our lives, specifically by increasing carbon dioxide emissions from various corporations. Therefore, in recent times, there has been a growing emergence of revolutionary services and products capable of mitigating the adverse consequences for the climate and humanity. Carpooling is one such corporate mobility service. By reducing the number of vehicles on the road, it is possible to diminish the emission of a substantial amount of carbon dioxide. With the increasing demand for car sharing services, there arose a need to monitor the usage of vehicles. Hence, car sharing software came into existence.
Its advantages include the swift and straightforward ability to reserve a vehicle, make payments, and utilise it for the required duration. Furthermore, the car sharing provider always keeps track of the vehicles in their fleet and schedules maintenance when needed for each of them. With the advent of software solutions for carpooling, vehicle sharing transforms into a coordinated and monitored system, wherein every participant in the process reaps benefits. In this article, you will learn more about the advantages of car sharing services for businesses, why companies should employ car sharing software, and what the future holds for shared vehicle usage.
What is car sharing?
Car sharing is a short-term car rental service that is considered a progressive offering. Rental cars are scattered throughout the city with keys in the ignition lock. The user simply needs to download the application, pinpoint the car’s location on the map, and make the payment. This is an excellent opportunity to get to your desired destination if you do not have your own car. Additionally, car sharing vehicles are often used for business and corporate trips.
Car sharing positively impacts the environment for several reasons:
- The fewer cars there are, the fewer emissions there are. This is the primary and fundamental ideology of car sharing companies. Imagine if 20 people who went to work today each had their own car. How much carbon dioxide would be released into nature along with the exhaust fumes? Now, let us imagine that 10 of them took the bus due to the lack of their own car, 5 used car sharing vehicles, and another 5 purchased bicycles.
- With a reduction in the number of cars on the road, the number of refuelling stops decreases. Fuel significantly pollutes the environment. The less it is used, the greater the likelihood of preserving ecosystems in their pristine state.
- Thanks to the car sharing services, people use cars more rationally, selecting a model that suits their specific needs. For instance, for a regular city trip, a user can choose an electric car, thereby reducing emissions. If they had their own petrol-powered car, they would unlikely switch to a different option.
Aside from the environmental advantages, car sharing is a cost-effective option for company employees to use vehicles. The vehicle fleets of many well-known companies consist of cars rented through the car sharing system. Thanks to this, there is no need for employees to pay for taxis or save up for their own cars; instead, they can access cars from the company’s fleet when necessary for business trips or assignments. Depending on who provides the car sharing service and under what conditions, the following types of car sharing arrangements are distinguished:
- Free-floating — the use of cars with minute-by-minute payment. A contract is made with the company providing the service.
- Peer-to-peer — an agreement between two private individuals, where the car owner lends it for short-term use to another person.
- Fractional — joint ownership of a car by a group of private individuals or a company, with each person in the group having equal rights.
The Importance of Corporate Mobility
Corporate mobility, thanks to car sharing services, brings immense benefits to businesses worldwide. It is a strategy that allows employees of a single company to have full access to any vehicle at any time. In doing so, companies do not need to purchase and maintain a fleet of vehicles. The company provides employees with access to a car only when they truly need to go on a business trip or attend a meeting. This process is regulated by specialised car sharing software. With its assistance, employees can always reserve the necessary vehicle for work-related travel dates.
Corporate mobility also has environmental advantages due to its reduced impact. It is not just about reducing the number of cars on the road. Corporate car sharing can exclusively use electric cars or hybrid vehicles. Reducing the harmful impact on the environment is an important step towards sustainable business practices. Companies that utilise corporate car sharing services demonstrate their readiness to embrace new technologies. To some extent, this can attract new talented professionals, enhancing trust in the company.
The traditional use of car sharing, such as maintaining a large company fleet, is an expensive and inefficient option. In such cases, companies need not only to acquire several vehicles but also to constantly check their condition, provide maintenance, refuelling, cleaning, and dry cleaning. With corporate usage, all these tasks are managed by the company offering vehicles for short-term rentals. Therefore, corporate mobility allows companies to save, delegate some tasks, and reduce their negative impact on the environment.
Benefits of Corporate Car Sharing Software
To proficiently manage corporate car sharing and optimise operations, corporate car sharing software has been developed. It combines numerous features without which it would be impossible to track vehicle usage and condition. Let us consider the advantages of corporate car sharing software:
— Firstly, it allows a company to efficiently manage its employees’ needs. This means that thanks to the program, it is possible to see which car is needed by whom, for how long, and additional features such as GPS navigation or a spacious boot.
— Booking a car and selecting the desired date is convenient in the program. Moreover, the system shows whether a car is available on a particular day. With this service, it becomes much easier to reserve a vehicle with the necessary characteristics for a planned trip.
— Using the software, individual access can be configured for each employee. For instance, an administrator can edit the characteristics or the number of available cars, while company employees can only book cars. This feature helps prevent unauthorised use of the program and ensures the security of the process.
— Integration with GPS allows tracking employees’ trips to prevent the use of cars for personal purposes. The GPS system displays the entire route of the vehicle for the entire booking duration.
— Corporate software enables obtaining a detailed report on the efficiency of transport usage. This provides the business owner with a comprehensive understanding of the situation and the effectiveness of implementing mobility in their business.
— Corporate software can integrate with other programs, such as the corporate database. Thanks to this feature, company employees do not need to input their data again; the system retrieves it from the company’s profile.
The effectiveness and benefits of car sharing software can be assessed in practice. Among real examples, companies that have improved their efficiency through corporate car sharing software, one can highlight the case of the American company Zipcar. The company provides self-service car sharing services. Founded in 2000, by 2010, the company’s fleet already had 8,000 cars. Besides, Zipcar offers a corporate application through which companies can reduce the costs of maintaining and servicing their own fleet.
Key Considerations for Implementing Corporate Car Sharing Software
The choice of car sharing software that your company selects defines the success of using the service. Before giving preference to the first available program from the internet, pay attention to the set of features. car sharing software should have reservation, payment, vehicle tracking, as well as reporting functionality. Clarify what data encryption methods the company uses, as this affects the level of protection of employees’ and business’s personal data. The same applies to secure online payment.
When choosing car sharing software, you should also ensure the provider’s good reputation and the availability of professional technical support that operates round the clock and can address any issues that may arise during operation. Evaluate the cost of the program. It should fit within your company’s budget and align with your business model.
An equally important feature will be the ability to integrate the system into your existing program, which your company uses for work and communication. Integration can be a complex process. However, with the right approach, it can be made simpler and safer.
- After selecting several software options, analyse them and highlight the functions that will be most important for your company. Determine the budget and integration timelines.
- When choosing the final version of car sharing software, make sure that it supports integration with your system. Ask the program developer for an API key through which the integration process will occur.
- Before finally integrating the system into your company’s existing program, test the demo version. Testing can help identify and address potential issues before you connect all the data to the program.
- During the full integration of the software, do it step by step, connecting individual modules or departments of the company. A gradual transition will help reduce the risks of a system-wide failure.
- After integration, it is necessary to train employees. The sooner this is done, the faster the system will be beneficial. Employee training can be done through instructional videos, conferences, or individually acquainting each person with the new program.
- Once the system is integrated, and employees start using the program extensively, monitor the software’s performance. This will help prevent major errors at their inception and save the system from failure.
- Remember, backup is an integral part of integration. Create a copy before implementing the program, and then make copies weekly or even daily. This will ensure the protection of the company’s data in case of failures.
The Future of Corporate Mobility and Car Sharing Software
The potential for expansion and growth of car sharing software in the corporate sector is very substantial. This is especially true considering the increasing inclination of companies towards corporate mobility. Firstly, companies are interested in reducing costs. Corporate car sharing presents an excellent opportunity to avoid overpaying for vehicles, as is the case with maintaining a proprietary fleet, and eliminates the responsibility for technical maintenance and refuelling of cars. Secondly, the efficiency of employee car usage is improved by reducing waiting times. If a specific vehicle were needed by one employee for a business trip but was already in use by another employee, it would require rescheduling the meeting or seeking alternative transportation. Thanks to the software, employees can see which car is booked for a particular date and can plan their trip with a different vehicle.
Car sharing systems are constantly evolving, offering new ways to provide corporate mobility solutions to companies. For instance, businesses are increasingly focusing on environmental sustainability by utilising electric vehicles. This leads to a demand for an application where the fleet consists of hybrid or electric cars. Many companies wish to implement the software exclusively for those employees who are directly involved in business meetings. The software can even integrate with public transportation, providing individuals with more transportation options.
Corporate mobility is a trend followed by contemporary companies. Their task is to provide employees with the opportunity to access transportation for business trips, and for company owners, it is an excellent opportunity to reduce expenses that could have arisen with the existence of their own fleet of vehicles. To ensure effective corporate mobility, the proper implementation of corporate car sharing software is necessary.