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  • Writer's pictureThierry Devresse

FLEET interviews Thierry Devresse, MMBB's CEO.

“Mobility budget is new tax framework for environmentally responsible companies”

Helping companies take the path of the new mobility is the mission of MMBB, a company founded at the beginning of this year by Thierry Devresse. To help them implement the mobility budget, the former Strategic Alliances and Projects Director at Athlon worked on a management tool that can be adapted to the needs of the vast majority of companies. We met the man him for a fascinating chat.

Thierry, your career in the mobility sector is atypical, to say the least....

That's right. Just over three years ago, I was recruited by Athlon Belgium. At the time, I was asked to support the company's transition, as a leasing company that would like to be a leader in mobility management. They were looking for someone who was able to take a fresh look at how they could make this transition. Initially, I am not a mobility specialist, but have spent most of my professional life on compliance and IT projects. I am responsible for the conceptualization, organization and digitalization of the new services that will be offered to Athlon's customers. In the meantime, Athlon has been acquired. As is often the case, one day's priorities are no longer the same as the next day's... At the beginning of the year, I therefore started my own project: MMBB, which stands for My Mobility Budget Butler.

The mobility budget is a boon for mobility in Belgium. My goal is to make it available to as many companies as possible, big or small.

When I think of the word butler, I think of someone who takes care of the comfort of whomever he employs. Can we describe the role of MMBB in this way?

Indeed, that is the setup. The mobility budget is a boon to mobility in Belgium. My goal is to make it available to as many companies as possible, large or small. However, this mobility budget invites companies to opt for mobility à la carte, on demand, a mobility where travel no longer depends on a single mode of transport, namely the car. This type of mobility corresponds better to the current challenges, to the user's wishes, but is difficult to implement, especially for SMEs. In terms of management, it represents a much greater workload than that of a fleet of cars. SMEs have neither the resources nor the manpower to do it themselves ...

Should we see this as the main obstacle to the breakthrough of mobility budget by our companies?

No, there are many obstacles. There is of course a problem of resources and time, but there is also a lack of knowledge of the subject and resistance to change. The company car enjoys an advantageous tax regime and is comfortable to use. Too often the employer does not offer an alternative to four wheels. When the beneficiary's budget increases, he orders a better equipped car when he could also have chosen an electric bicycle or a pass for public transport. Today, the mobility budget offers an even more favorable tax framework than that of the company car. It allows many choices within a very flexible framework.

Isn't the obstacle also of an economic nature?

Indeed it is. But this is a false debate! By definition, the mobility budget is budget neutral for the employer and the time spent managing it is financed by the mobility budget itself. Guaranteeing this financial neutrality is also one of MMBB's obligations to its customers.

So that brings us back to the beginning. The problem is a lack of time and expertise....

The problem is the lack of operational solutions. There is no lack of mobility solutions, but they must be made available to the user. This requires management tools, experience, a new mobility policy and the procedures to apply it. Here lies the problem, since the fleet manager is not equipped to manage this new framework.

And that's where you come in?

Yes. To enable companies to implement and use the mobility budget without spending more and also to acquire these skills themselves. I compare our services to a cab, but for free. All you have to do is order, say where you want to go and you will arrive at your destination without hassle and without having to know the best route yourself.

What specific tools are available to your customers?

SMEs do not have the resources to conduct an evaluation of all the players/service providers on the market. Especially when it comes to "new mobility". To evaluate them, they would almost have to launch a tender, but for that they still need to understand what they are buying. By choosing our standard solution for SMEs, the customer benefits from a platform and a set of procedures that already exist among players in the market.

SMEs do not have the resources to conduct an evaluation of all players/service providers in the market. Especially when it comes to "new mobility".

So MMBB is purely aimed at SMEs?

Not only. MMBB has developed a management solution that can be used by both SMEs and large companies. I have more than 20 years of experience as a director of SMEs and I know that when it comes to mobility, they need help in terms of advice and management. They do not have the economies of scale of large companies. The latter often have more resources, but need advice for management as the subject evolves. In practical terms, we offer all our clients a management portal where each user-beneficiary of a mobility budget can enter their questions and requests. All actions are audited because behind each one is a procedure that guarantees the quality of the treatment. Each request corresponds to a ticket, a ticket that the customer pays only if he is satisfied, this is part of our quality charter.

What are the next steps for MMBB?

Leasing companies are developing mobility solutions in addition to the car, but no outsourcing program for its management. We are therefore offering a service that does not exist in Belgium. It is up to us to make it known!

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