Ford introduces buying tool to help fleets with vehicle purchases and address environmental concerns

Eco-conscious vehicle options have never been greater, leaving consumers wondering where to find the best value. The question becomes more complicated when the buyer is a corporation looking to revamp its company fleet of vehicles.

“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.”

Researchers and data analysts at Ford Motor Company have developed a new tool to help buyers build a better fleet. The Ford Fleet Purchase Planner offers guidance in choosing from Ford’s vehicle lineup, while helping to manage cost and informing buyers how their choices will aid in reducing 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“The one-size-fits-all approach is outdated,” said John Ginder, manager of systems analytics and environmental sciences, Ford research and advanced engineering.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 planner, customers build a fleet of Ford vehicles. Factoring in environmental concerns, individual driving habits of employees and terrain traveled, the planner then calculates the fleet’s environmental impact and cost. Buyers are able to change the lineup 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.

Already, the patent-pending tool has helped KONE, a leader in elevator and escalator manufacturing, commit to replacing its fleet of 160 Ford Fusion cars with the new Fusion Hybrid by 2018. The move is expected to result in a reduction in KONE’s carbon emissions by 850 metric tons a year while saving the company money.

“We are proud to continue to do our part to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help provide our employees with a safe, reliable vehicle to travel to site locations,” said Adam Judd, KONE sourcing director, Americas.

In recent years, Ford has expanded its hybrid and EV vehicle offerings to include the C-Max, Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi. With all of the options available from Ford, the company recognized the potential for confusion, which prompted development of the new tool.

The Ford Fleet Purchase Planner is the result of Ford’s commitment to data and analytics. The unique tool was among three finalists for the 2014 Innovative Applications in Analytics Award by INFORMS, the largest association for professionals in analytics. A year prior, Ford won the 2013 INFORMS Prize, which acknowledges a company’s overall achievement in analytics.

The Ford Fleet Purchase Planner is available only to companies maintaining fleet vehicles.

 

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