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7Mary3

Ford Pro Leadership Team

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1 hour ago, akirby said:


You didn’t read anything I wrote.  This works without buying or adding anything to the vehicle.  Zero up front investment and it provides more information and functions than those 3rd party systems.  

Ford will probably give away some basic functions to draw customers in, but I doubt they'll be giving a full functioning system away. Most fleet customers already have systems and aren't going to bother with Ford's proprietary product.

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38 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

As Ford makes the transition to 100% electric vehicles, including commercial vehicles, those uncompetitive products will be discontinued. At that point, hopefully Ford Pro's service and software offerings will be more extensive.

Electrifying a Transit that that doesn't wander far is doable, a step van or RV that needs a range of a couple hundred miles will be much tougher. and Ford doesn't even have a tandem rear axle truck to electrify...

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15 hours ago, Bob Rosadini said:

Thx for  that info-unfortunately, I see nothing but attention to bells and whistles and a lot less attention to vehicle capability.  Bells and whistles are nice, but to the guy running a small fleet, its  capability ("get up and go"?) that is of more concern than accumulating statistics.  "Paralysis through analysis"

 

You're welcome Bob Rosadini sir. And your mention of "paralysis through analysis" is very relevant when it comes to the design and customer experience of Ford Pro services and software. A big risk for Ford is that Ford Pro services and software fail to be far superior to third party offerings when it comes to delivering "get up and go" for customers.

 

theoldwizard1 mentioned in these forums that Ford's software design and engineering capabilities could use a lot of improvement. Hopefully Jim Hackett's "Design Thinking" along with the skills of the Ford Pro leadership team will address this.

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1 hour ago, rperez817 said:

 

You're welcome Bob Rosadini sir. And your mention of "paralysis through analysis" is very relevant when it comes to the design and customer experience of Ford Pro services and software. A big risk for Ford is that Ford Pro services and software fail to be far superior to third party offerings when it comes to delivering "get up and go" for customers.

 

theoldwizard1 mentioned in these forums that Ford's software design and engineering capabilities could use a lot of improvement. Hopefully Jim Hackett's "Design Thinking" along with the skills of the Ford Pro leadership team will address this.

 

Maybe that is why Mr. Field from Apple was hired to help improve Ford's digital services. Apple certainly knows how to monetize its services big time. 

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3 hours ago, GearheadGrrrl said:

Ford will probably give away some basic functions to draw customers in, but I doubt they'll be giving a full functioning system away. Most fleet customers already have systems and aren't going to bother with Ford's proprietary product.


They are already including cell modems in new vehicles - how do you think they’re doing OTA software updates?  It’s not free it’s built into the price already.

 

And for the hundredth time this isn’t targeted at big multi brand fleets with their own systems.  

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3 hours ago, GearheadGrrrl said:

Electrifying a Transit that that doesn't wander far is doable, a step van or RV that needs a range of a couple hundred miles will be much tougher


90% of Transit owners travel less than 80 miles per day.  Ford knows a lot more about their fleet customers than you do.

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That stat sounds correct, the higher mileage van operators are probably buying diesel Sprinters. But good luck getting the cheap fleets who are used to buying a new stripped T150 for less than $25k and beating it to an early death to pay almost twice that for an electrified Transit. As for the "suits" in "glass house", they've got way more data than I do if they'd bother to use it... 

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12 hours ago, GearheadGrrrl said:

But good luck getting the cheap fleets who are used to buying a new stripped T150 for less than $25k and beating it to an early death to pay almost twice that for an electrified Transit. 

 

Ford's strategy under Jim Farley is to move away from fleet dumping (selling a large volume of vehicles to the type of "cheap fleets" you mention both in government and private industry) toward higher value products, services and software. If the Ford Pro business unit is managed properly, it could help Ford achieve that goal.

Edited by rperez817

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This is no different than somebody like Dell offering a remote monitoring service for their servers.  Large companies that buy multiple brands use ServiceNow or some other 3rd party service wouldn’t be interested but smaller companies that either already buy Dells or could buy only Dells going forward might be very interested because it requires no up front investment.  And it’s a value added service that might give Dell an advantage in future bids.  
 

In Ford’s case the vehicles will already have the hardware so this is just creating the cloud software that connects to the vehicles and provides the services. You make a few thousand on the initial sale but the services net you a few hundred every year in recurring charges which eventually results in more revenue than the vehicle sale.

 

The key is having the right features that make it desirable for these small to medium sized companies, governments, etc.

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7 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

Ford's strategy under Jim Farley is to move away from fleet dumping (selling a large volume of vehicles to the type of "cheap fleets" you mention both in government and private industry) toward higher value products, services and software. If the Ford Pro business unit is managed properly, it could help Ford achieve that goal.

 

Maybe....  Truth is (and this is coming from someone with 35+ years in fleets) is Ford is #1 in fleets because they are usually the lowest cost.  Not because their vehicles are 'better' by some competitive metric, it's because Ford typically gives the best fleet incentives.  So it seems Farley is thinking that Ford Pro will somehow add value to Ford's commercial products and that in turn will improve the margins on those vehicles.  I think what we are really seeing here is Ford is not content with the slim margins on their commercial products and is looking for a way to make them more profitable.  Ford Pro may help a bit, but I think Ford will eventually have to take a harder look at their commercial product lineup and determine in what commercial markets they can best compete profitably.   

Edited by 7Mary3

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17 minutes ago, 7Mary3 said:

I think what we are really seeing here is Ford is not content with the slim margins on their commercial products and is looking for a way to make them more profitable.  Ford Pro may help a bit, but I think Ford will eventually have to take a harder look at their commercial product lineup and determine in what commercial markets they can best compete in profitably.   

 

Well said 7Mary3 sir. That's exactly it. Great point about Ford Pro being something that may help Ford's profitability, but not sufficient by itself. You are correct that Ford needs to take a harder look at its commercial vehicles product lineup and fleet sales approach more generally so that Ford can implement a sales quality > sales quantity strategy similar to what it's trying to do nowadays for retail light vehicle sales.

 

 

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Well guys if Farley is trying to move away from "fleet dumping", I would think the larger the fleet, the more likely it is those fleets that will be staffed to capitalize on the information provided by the new Ford "telematics".  All the information in the world is  useless unless someone is taking the time to read it-and act on it.   As I said before, unfortunately often "paralysis through analysis" then sets in but hey.."that is what staff guys do". 7m3-you must see that.

 

The smaller fleets-they are usually struggling to run their business and the nuts and bolts of their business usually comes first vs. any analysis of their fleet operation -fleet is a necessary evil to the primary business..  They often are lucky if they are keeping the most fundamental fleet stats, like maintenance cost per mile, fuel mpg,  engine idle time etc.

And I get the feeling -in particular after reading some of the posts on this  thread- it is exactly the smaller fleets that are Ford's target.

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10 hours ago, Bob Rosadini said:

.

And I get the feeling -in particular after reading some of the posts on this  thread- it is exactly the smaller fleets that are Ford's target.


What gave you that idea? 🤣😂🤣

 

Seriously though I think fleet dumping was in the rental car business not commercial.

 

Im looking at this from the IT side and I see a lot of use cases that may be slightly different than what you guys do on your big fleets.

And don’t forget this same technology would be used to manage autonomous fleets if that ever happens (think pizza delivery).

 

Where are all my vehicles (map)?  Who is closest to this address?  Very useful for emergency services, plumbers, etc.

 

Proactive maintenance notifications (battery, tire pressure, fuel level, CELs, etc)

 

Automatic accident notification

 

Driver behavior alerts (speeding, etc)


With RFID you could track contents (tools, etc)

 

I see these as tools used by existing staff not something you’d need to add staff to support.

 

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3 hours ago, akirby said:


What gave you that idea? 🤣😂🤣

 

Seriously though I think fleet dumping was in the rental car business not commercial.

 

Im looking at this from the IT side and I see a lot of use cases that may be slightly different than what you guys do on your big fleets.

And don’t forget this same technology would be used to manage autonomous fleets if that ever happens (think pizza delivery).

 

Where are all my vehicles (map)?  Who is closest to this address?  Very useful for emergency services, plumbers, etc.

 

Proactive maintenance notifications (battery, tire pressure, fuel level, CELs, etc)

 

Automatic accident notification

 

Driver behavior alerts (speeding, etc)


With RFID you could track contents (tools, etc)

 

I see these as tools used by existing staff not something you’d need to add staff to support.

 

AK.....What gave you that idea? 🤣😂🤣

Hah-and  you thought I was just some old guy who didn't read all the posts.😎

And you are 100% correct  -the big fleets have the staff- I once was one of those guys.  Perhaps I wasn't clear-IMO the smaller fleets-the target??- are more focused on their core business....."You had 2 hours left after your last scheduled stop- and you punched out 4 hours later....WTF ..what were you doing"?.  Plus all those good features you mentioned are all currently available at minimal cost but most small fleets will NOT be making vehicle purchasing decisions based on those  features.  Or should I  say, those features will be important to some, but secondary to the vehicle's mechanical features and cost.

 

Seems like Ford is  building a big organization with the thought that the software will make the sale as opposed to the specs and/or quality and  capability of the vehicle.

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32 minutes ago, Bob Rosadini said:

Seems like Ford is  building a big organization with the thought that the software will make the sale as opposed to the specs and/or quality and  capability of the vehicle.

 

That's certainly a possibility Bob Rosadini sir. Ford Pro, being a services and software business unit, will require less capital investment compared to designing, manufacturing, and marketing new commercial vehicles or refreshing existing vehicles. If those services and software help make the sale, profit margins should increase for Ford's fleet business.

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54 minutes ago, Bob Rosadini said:

Seems like Ford is  building a big organization with the thought that the software will make the sale as opposed to the specs and/or quality and  capability of the vehicle.


I think that’s only a small part of the plan.  I think the bigger plan is to sell additional stuff to existing Ford buyers that generate recurring revenue month after month.  Not offering it is leaving cash on the table.

 

Remember when they gave away cell phones to lock you into a 2 yr contract because the monthly contract generated more revenue than the phone itself?   Similar idea.  The vehicle hardware and software already exists and is included, so this is just some software sitting on top running in the cloud generating a nice monthly revenue stream and maybe generating a few additional sales.

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All of this is going to come at a cost, no matter big fleet or small. Speaking from those I know with small fleets, an extra $39.99, $29.99 per month per vehicle is a no go. According to friends in organizations with large fleets, they have been doing it already and would only look at other options if those options had more functions they wanted or offered a significantly lower cost (and worked on a mixed model fleet).

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2 hours ago, lfeg said:

All of this is going to come at a cost, no matter big fleet or small. Speaking from those I know with small fleets, an extra $39.99, $29.99 per month per vehicle is a no go. According to friends in organizations with large fleets, they have been doing it already and would only look at other options if those options had more functions they wanted or offered a significantly lower cost (and worked on a mixed model fleet).


Thats really the key - how much are people willing to pay?  I could see it being as low as $20/vehicle.  Once Ford builds the software the cost to add a vehicle is very very minimal.  Maybe even offer a free 6 month trial.

 

Given the potential for recurring revenue and the large number of Ford commercial sales it’s at least worth testing the water.  And don’t forget this same platform can manage autonomous vehicles.

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38 minutes ago, akirby said:

Given the potential for recurring revenue and the large number of Ford commercial sales it’s at least worth testing the water.  And don’t forget this same platform can manage autonomous vehicles.

 

Yes sir. Also, Ford Pro services and software offerings can be targeted to fleets that have non-Ford vehicles too. With the proper strategy in place, Ford Pro can help Ford transition from being an automaker to a mobility solutions provider.

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2 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

Yes sir. Also, Ford Pro services and software offerings can be targeted to fleets that have non-Ford vehicles too. With the proper strategy in place, Ford Pro can help Ford transition from being an automaker to a mobility solutions provider.

 

But that's the real potential issue, can Ford Pro be used on non-Ford vehicles?  If it can't, many fleets will look at Ford Pro as a gimmick to force a fleet into only buying Fords.  Which it probably is.....

 

I really hope Farley doesn't think that Ford Pro will somehow help Ford retain fleet customers in the event Ford starts dropping low volume commercial vehicles.  Which I see him doing......

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16 minutes ago, 7Mary3 said:

But that's the real potential issue, can Ford Pro be used on non-Ford vehicles?  If it can't, many fleets will look at Ford Pro as a gimmick to force a fleet into only buying Fords.  Which it probably is.....

 

Good points 7Mary3 sir, these are indeed some of the big challenges ahead for the Ford Pro team. Based on the descriptions in the press release, the non-vehicle components of the Ford Pro business should theoretically support fleets that have non-Ford vehicles, similar to how Ford's Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center brand for the most part is advertised "for all makes and models".

  • Ford Pro Charging: Hardware and software solutions for public, depot and overnight home charging of electric vehicles so they’re ready to work again the next day.
  • Ford Pro Intelligence: Digital services, with distinct features integrated in vehicles that enable customers to better manage and maintain their fleets.
  • Ford Pro Service Elite: Expanding Ford’s strong network of commercial vehicle centers by adding 120 dedicated large-bay service hubs across the United States with extended hours and rapid turnaround, plus introducing 1,200 mobile service vehicles by 2025.
  • Ford Pro FinSimple: Bundled financing for vehicles, services and electric vehicle charging

But you are right, if Ford Pro is interpreted by customers as a gimmick pushing them to buy Ford vehicles, it could backfire. Ford has to be very careful with marketing for Ford Pro services and software.

 

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