How Fleets Can Manage Workflows for the New Mobility Era

The pen and paper method won’t work in an autonomous future

Wally Ghnaim with his fleet in San Francisco.

Wally Ghnaim was always into cars. Born and raised in the Bay Area, he built his first car from the wheels up as a teenager. A tinkerer by nature, he went on to build nine show cars and would often hear from friends and colleagues about an experience familiar to many vehicle owners — that particular feeling of leaving a mechanic with the sense that they had been ripped off.

Ghnaim saw a niche in the market that he was determined to fill. So, at 23, he started Mobile Auto Concepts, a mobile repair service that found him traveling to people’s homes to service and maintain their vehicles. That personal touch, a novel concept in a relatively staid industry, proved successful, and Ghnaim was able to branch out, hiring technicians and expanding into fleet management, all while keeping his ethical approach and mobile, customer-focused business plan.

Now, 28 years later, Mobile Auto Concepts employs 47 people, has plans to go national, and services exclusively fleets — doing everything from preventive maintenance, to emergency roadside repair to washing and detailing. Ghnaim even developed a proprietary eco-friendly washing system that extracts, filters and reuses ground water. Combined with a brand of spray-bottle products that eliminate the need for soap and water, he has one of the greenest and most efficient wash services in the nation, which he deploys as a vendor using fleet management software, such as the STRATIM Platform.

An example of task flow configuration inside the STRATIM Platform.

Ghnaim says the reason he prefers a software platform as opposed to the old ‘pen and paper’ way of doing things, is that it allows him to scale his business by mandating workflow processes down to the step for all of his service technicians. Put another way, every vehicle that Ghnaim’s team touches is washed using the same dozen or steps, with the same tools, every time, and tracked in the STRATIM system.

Likewise, other vendors can streamline and tweak their service requests within the software to more efficiently manage their workforce and stay competitive. Armed with just a smartphone, techs will know exactly what needs to be done and in what order, from taking and uploading photos of the vehicle to entering the VIN to confirming that an oil change has been completed. Then those analytics can be leveraged by fleet owners to better understand their vehicles. For mobility operators, this translates to more timely fulfillment of services, better pricing transparency and the ability to communicate with vendors exactly how they would like certain tasks to be done.

Ghnaim was, in many ways, ahead of his time in how he standardized a new way of automotive service. Now others are catching on.

In the new mobility era, as fleets expand with autonomous technology, streamlining workflows down to their most elemental steps will be one of the keys to creating and maintaining a scalable business, where uptime translates to the bottom line. That’s the lifeblood of fleet management, and STRATIM has built our software to serve fleet owners and vendors alike for the future.