What is the quickest and most comfortable way for our employees to go from point A to point B? That is the question which progressive companies are asking today. 'Today, employee mobility goes much further than just providing employees with a car and a fuel card,' says Koen Cnapelinckx of KBC Autolease. 'With the Olympus Mobility app, we offer our customers a simple, multi-modal solution.'
A lot of the trips made by car or lease car could be faster and
cheaper if made by bicycle, public transport or shared transport. But
in practice, it is often difficult to combine various modes of
transport seamlessly. The Olympus platform and the accompanying app
provide a solution. 'All mobility solutions are available with just a
few clicks,' says Koen Van De Putte, CEO of Olympus Mobility, a
spin-off of the Belgian NMBS railway company, with breakdown
assistance provider VAB, car-share service Cambio and car-pool service
Taxistop as shareholders.
'Besides the traditional train, tram and bus networks, alternatives such as car- and bike-sharing schemes have emerged in recent years, but they continue to be separate networks. Thanks to computerisation and digitisation, all these mobility networks can now be brought into an integrated, dynamic system. We know when and where the car will be stuck in traffic and what alternatives are available at that time and at that location on another network. In addition, we integrate the mobility budget, employer budget and personal budget in one single, user-friendly app.'
We integrate the employee's mobility budget, employer budget and personal budget into one single, user-friendly app."
'Happy on the road'
'KBC Autolease supplies 5,500 companies with cars. The end users receive a car and their employer decides which extra services they can make use of: maintenance and repair, breakdown assistance, insurance, fuel card, winter tyres, etc. That is our core business,' says Koen Cnapelinckx, Business Architect at KBC Autolease. 'But in recent years, the lease car has come under pressure. If we want to continue to play an important role in society, we need to look beyond the car. So, we are focusing on greening our car fleet with specific services for electric cars, and we are also explicitly focusing on bicycle leasing and multi-mobility.'
'We try to steer our customers' employees to the best option for their travel. Diesel cars are still possible, but not always the most suitable option. The car remains important, but perhaps not in all circumstances. Olympus can then serve as a solution. With the Olympus platform, we offer our customers a management portal which enables them to configure all their employees individually. The employer can choose from a wide range of mobility solutions and how these are made available to the employees. Solutions include train tickets, tickets for De Lijn and sharing schemes such as Cambio, Bluebike or Velo in Antwerp. The monthly or annual budget is also clearly displayed via the portal. In addition, the end user can easily travel thanks to the user-friendly Olympus app.
Initially, KBC Autolease rolled out the app to its own sales staff. 'These are people who, by definition, are focused on cars. All 45 of them received a transportation subscription and a budget of 100 euros per month. Simply by providing such an app, half of them already used it at least once a week for their business travel. Then we started marketing Olympus.
We look forward to legislative initiatives that will make it even easier to implement Olympus in more companies."
Integration with flex tools
According to Cnapelinckx, the roll-out of Olympus has been slower
than expected. 'There’s lots to consider. Companies should dare to
make the shift. It's also rather complex from a tax point of view.'
This last is confirmed by Van De Putte. 'Taxation is one of the main
obstacles, but the mobility budget that has entered into force
partially overrides it. Moreover, consultants and social secretariats
are seeking ways to implement multi-modal solutions as efficiently as
possible in their flex tools.
There is naturally a price associated with the use of Olympus, but according to Cnapelinckx, this should not be an obstacle. 'It's the other way around,' says Van De Putte. 'You realise cost savings, especially in the case of long-distance travel. It's more expensive to go by car from Kortrijk to, say, Antwerp, than by public transport. Not only do you have to consider the cost of fuel, but also wear and tear, parking, etc. Moreover, you can also do something productive on the train. You'll already have covered the cost of Olympus with three to four trips a year.'
This is confirmed by Cnapelinckx, who made the calculation for KBC Autolease. 'And in the meantime, there's one less car in a traffic jam. That's a great contribution towards resolving the mobility problem. We look forward to legislative initiatives that will make it even easier to implement Olympus in more companies.'