The Ford Motor Company has developed a new tool — the Ford Fleet Purchase Planner™ — designed to help businesses purchase a better fleet, keeping in mind cost and environmental concerns. “The tool 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,” Ford said in a release.
A finalist for the 2014 Innovative Applications in Analytics Award by INFORMS, the largest association for professionals in analytics, the planner is available only to companies maintaining fleet vehicles.
“The one-size-fits-all approach is outdated,” said John Ginder, manager of Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.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.”
“This level of individualized customer service is exactly why we continue to invest in analytics and big data,” said Ginder.
Ford has expanded its hybrid and EV offerings to include the C-Max, Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi, as well as the C-Max Solar Energi concept, revealed in January. The company “recognized the potential for confusion, which prompted development of the new tool,” it said in a release.
KONE, an elevator and escalator manufacturing company, says it has used the tool and committed to replacing its fleet of 160 Ford Fusion cars with the new Fusion Hybrid by 2018. The change is expected to result in monetary savings for KONE and a reduction of its carbon emissions by 850 metric tons a year.
“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.
Ford has said that it considers analytics and big data the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity. Earlier this year, it announced a partnership with GE to gather data on driving patterns and energy use to better install and expand its employee EV charging stations. The Ford Fleet Purchase Planner joins the company's efforts to expand its use of big data as more and better technologies, methodologies and datasets emerge.