Athlon Mobility Consultancy: Make the move from a car to a mobility policy

As the corporate mobility space continues to grow, Athlon Mobility Consultancy is well placed to provide tactical and strategic advice to some of Europe's biggest companies. Vice-president Alexander Prinssen talks to FDE about how the group has responded to recent market trends, with the support of its sophisticated web-based mobility management system Momas.

What have been the developments at Athlon Mobility Consultancy since we last spoke at the end of 2012?
Alexander Prinssen: In the last six months, we have taken big steps in expanding our mobility consultancy into Belgium and France.
We have taken our products, services and solutions - such as the mobility scan and audit, and fleet review - based on our original presence in the Netherlands, and translated them into the French and Belgian markets respectively. However, that is not say that it's been a case of copy and paste; we are also aware that each region is different.

Sometimes, it is claimed that there is a disparity between the mobility policy of organisations and the mobility profiles of their employees. How do you go about resolving this issue?
Actually, I would say that while many companies may have a car or fleet policy, they often don't have mobility policies. So, as a mobility consultancy, we help and advise companies who have the intention to move from a car to a mobility policy. To successfully achieve this, we take into account the different mobility profiles of their employees, based on criteria such as age and marital status. Stage of life of the relevant employee often drives his or her mobility needs. Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is that some prefer to get from A to B by public transport, rather than in a car.
Today, there are a lot of initiatives on the market to help employees make their mobility choices, but these can sometimes be so diverse that they bring about a lack of consistency and correlation.
Athlon Mobility Consultancy, instead, has created a platform to really help and advise the employee in going from A to B by identifying the solution and service and moving away from a car policy to a mobility policy. It's really predicated on flexibility.

Could you tell us about some of your key product offerings such as Momas, and how you can help reduce total cost of mobility and improve overall efficiency for your customers?
Momas [Athlon's flagship web application tool] is able to manage the mobility services, solutions and issues within
a company.
This primarily revolves around the management and administration of the mobility contract between the employer and employee. That could concern everything from a company car to the allocation of a bicycle, or even supporting public transport costs.
So, through being able to administrate all these facets, Momas takes this data to make calculations in supporting HR, or, to be more specific, compensation and benefits. It can be fully integrated within the payroll system.
Over the system, you also have the possibility of making use of a workflow engine. That gives you the possibility of automating the different processes that are linked, of course, to mobility management, whether it concerns finance or operations departments.
And then, finally, you have all the information on the employee and their cost concerns - not only the contribution costs, but also the real costs that come from the invoices from the different mobility suppliers. From this inside information, you can then construct reports. This is what is Momas can do. It essentially gives you a real view of the total cost of mobility, based not on assumptions, but on the real costs coming from the different mobility suppliers and applications within a company. Furthermore, Momas allows you to view other objectives, including reducing your carbon footprint.

And how important would you say transparency is in all of this?
It's key. The problem with many companies is that they are working with assumptions based on benchmarks, both externally and internally.
If you use Momas and you integrate Momas with HR and finance applications as well as operations, you are playing with real data.
So, where compensations and benefits are concerned, many of our customers now choose to work only with Momas, and not with their own HR applications.

How do you see the field of corporate mobility evolving in the coming years and how will Athlon tailor its offering accordingly?
I think, first of all, you have to make a distinction between corporate mobility and the area of car leasing. I think other mobility suppliers are also aware of this and will become more and more dedicated to bringing new mobility solutions, services and products to the market.
The main objective for us at Athlon Mobility Consultancy is to create systems and applications that can facilitate, in one way or another, these new, favourable environments for mobility service and mobility solutions.
We are also currently seeing the rise of electric vehicles, which carry with them their own set of initiatives. You need to appreciate that many of today's vehicles are just as likely to be designed by a blue chip in Silicon Valley as they are by a traditional car manufacturer.
There is a lot of work to do at the front end, pertaining to the central question: how can we help employees in making the right choice? We say that the solution for the employees of today won't be the same in five or ten years. It will be different. Now we are working on an employee-to-employer basis, but within the next decade, it might be the other way round. The mobility solutions offered to the market also have to be more generic and flexible, able to change at any given time. I think that we will see some really surprising solutions emerge, not only from us, but also from other mobility suppliers in the future.

Will this see you infiltrate new markets, in addition to where you are already present?
While we have mainly focused on the Netherlands and Belgium, that doesn't mean that we haven't identified the opportunity to implement Momas on a larger basis. We have the possibility to expand and start up in the likes of Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. As a result of over a decade's experience in implementing Momas in such a central way, we are confident that we can now support an array of mobility management and fleet management issues on a pan-European level.