Sword Apak’s “incubator approach” to sustainable mobility solutions wins recognition

Powell james

As the global motor industry moves inexorably towards the provision of mobility solutions for its customers, it is important that all areas of the industry are not seen as championing this shift in consumer behaviour simply as a marketing tool, but are actively committed to it.

This is the view of industry wholesale software provider Sword Apak, which has recently won recognition for its approach to mobility solutions for its growing team at the Travelwest Business Awards 2016.

James Powell, executive vice president, Sword Apak (pictured above) said: “Across all of the world-wide markets in which we operate in we are seeing a shift in the way people travel. The car remains a key tool, but increasingly it is just one ‘platform’ that needs to integrate with a host of other options.

“The accelerating move towards mobility solutions is evident from the way in which manufacturers are getting on-board with a change that extends beyond car usage, rather than ownership, as seen in the move towards PCP finance.

“At Sword Apak, we are proud to be at the leading edge of change and a commitment to supporting the move towards sustainable mobility initiatives is central to our future thinking. The perfect development incubator has been our own team.”

The commitment to explore sustainable mobility initiatives coincided with Sword Apak’s decision to invest in a larger, innovative office space at the end of 2015 to cater for a growing team that had doubled to over 200 over the last two years. The company wanted to explore the practicalities and implications of sustainable travel, reduce its environmental footprint and support the health and well-being of its team members.

In keeping with the business’ culture the wider team were invited to identify opportunities to develop practical mobility solutions.

“As a digital company at the leading edge of software development,” Powell added, “it quickly became clear that lateral, imaginative thinking was a commodity Sword Apak has in abundance!”

An active car sharing programme has been established, offering priority car parking spaces to those who join the scheme. Having proved the concept, the business is now working to develop relationships with nearby businesses to widen the scale of the facility.

Alongside this, the business has become part of the Cycle to Work Scheme, guided by the UK government’s Green Transport Plan. Sword Apak also provides secure new bike storage facilities, CCTV and improved lighting in walkway areas to provide additional safety along with guidance to team members on safe cycling.

Powell added: “We are aware of future thinking possibilities and how these could fundamentally disrupt the automotive landscape, but it is important that we see the process as a journey. Our experience with our team, which has a high Generation X headcount, is that the process will develop organically.

“Small steps today are helping us to pave the way ahead and are providing us with a real-world simulation that we are using to help us shape the industry software that will be needed to support wider mobility solutions in the future,”

It is clearly having a positive impact; Sword Apak has been recognised at the recent Travelwest Business Awards as the Best Newcomer of the Year for the way it has offered encouragement and support to its team in developing its sustainable travel mobility and healthy living initiatives.