September 4, 2004
For the past several years, political subdivisions have been experiencing a shortfall in general tax revenues. For fleet operations this has meant an ongoing shortage of vehicle replacement money, which has caused fleet and equipment inventory to steadily age and maintenance resources to be stretched thin.
Posted @ Saturday, September 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
August 7, 2004
One of the key factors contributing to longer order-to-delivery (OTD) times in the 2004-MY has been the nationwide rail car shortage. The shortage affected not only the auto industry, but also all other industries that rely on rail transportation, such as the agricultural, mining, chemi-cal, and timber industries. One reason for the shortage was that the railroads were caught off-guard by the unexpected demand for their services as the national economy began to improve. In fact, freight volume t
Posted @ Saturday, August 7, 2004 3:02 PM | »
August 4, 2004
Two issues on the minds of many fleet managers are the unbelievably long order-to-delivery (OTD) times for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and the sharp increase in the cost of steel, which has increased upfitting costs across the board.
Posted @ Wednesday, August 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
July 22, 2004
Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is mandatory for all publicly traded corporations. Under the new federal law, corporations must eliminate all conflicts of interest, establish processes to ensure honest corporate disclosure, and govern with greater accountability. Furthermore, the legislation mandates accuracy of a company’s financial reports, requiring finance departments to better understand the true picture of a company‘s inventory and assets, such as with fleet.
Posted @ Thursday, July 22, 2004 3:02 PM | »
July 9, 2004
The summer months are a busy time in the fleet industry. There are many fleet meetings and new-model introductions, which provides me with an opportunity to talk “fleet” with a wide variety of fleet managers. Two issues on the minds of many fleet managers are the unbelievably long order-to-delivery (OTD) times for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and the encroachment of other corporate functions into traditional fleet management responsibili-ties.
Posted @ Friday, July 9, 2004 3:02 PM | »
July 4, 2004
Corporate procurement departments are becoming the engines of change in fleet management at Fortune 500 companies. The emergence of strategic sourcing in the 1990s is rapidly altering corporate purchasing and increasingly forcing change in fleet purchasing and the supplier selection process.
Posted @ Sunday, July 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
June 27, 2004
1. Loss of Competitive Assistance Program (CAP) Monies from Factories
Oftentimes, manufacturer fleet incentive programs, such as competitive assistance programs (CAP), are structured based on reaching tiered volume purchasing levels. A re-imbursement program, in which some employees are re-quired to use their own vehicles, would decrease a com-pany’s fleet volume and its eligibility for additional CAP monies.
Posted @ Sunday, June 27, 2004 3:02 PM | »
June 21, 2004
The aggressive fleet incentives that manufacturers are currently offering commercial fleets present the opportunity to give serious consideration to substituting a compact SUV on a selector in lieu of a traditional intermediate-size fleet sedan, so long as it is capable of fulfilling the fleet application. When you compare lifecycle costs during a 36-month service life, a compact SUV actually has a lower monthly total cost. Interestingly, they are also less expensive at a shorter 24-month cycle.
Posted @ Monday, June 21, 2004 3:02 PM | »
June 15, 2004
The issue of driver reimbursement is a perennial issue confronting our industry. Whenever there is a new corporate management or when corporate sales are flat or when new cost-cutting initiatives are instituted, someone invariably asks whether it would make better business sense to reimburse employees for the use of thier personal vehicles rather than providing company vehicles.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 15, 2004 3:02 PM | »
June 4, 2004
The breathtaking escalation in gasoline and diesel prices has given the fleet industry a reality check as to how quickly fuel can dramatically increase vehicle-operating expenses. In the first five months of 2004, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increased almost 30 percent, which represents, on an annualized basis, an average increase of almost $600 per vehicle, based on driving 2,000 miles a month.
Posted @ Friday, June 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
Posted @ Saturday, May 29, 2004 3:02 PM | »
May 26, 2004
The legislative definition of “workplace” is expanding to include company or publicly owned fleet vehicles. The catalyst behind this change is legislation mandating smoke-free workplaces. (See Market Trends, December 2003 issue.)
The latest legislation to do so is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is expected to enact (after our press time) a new public health law (H4256), which goes into effect July 5. The new state health law bans in Massachusetts all smoking in public buildings and
Posted @ Wednesday, May 26, 2004 3:02 PM | »
May 22, 2004
An increasing number of fleets, especially those operating trucks and vans, are investigating the feasibility of downsizing to lower-GVW vehicles as a cost-cutting measure to decrease acquisition costs. For example, some fleets are studying a switch to a less expensive compact pickup instead of acquiring a full-size pickup or downsizing to a half-ton van from a three-quarter-ton van.
Posted @ Saturday, May 22, 2004 3:02 PM | »
May 17, 2004
This issue’s cover story recognizes the 2004 Fleet Manager of the Year. During my tenure in fleet, I have had the privilege of meeting 19 of the 20 fleet managers who have won this award. Although each managed different types and sizes of fleets, there were common traits found among these award-winning fleet managers. Likewise, over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting many other unsung pros of fleet management in whom these same traits were also evident. Here’s what they had in common
Posted @ Monday, May 17, 2004 3:02 PM | »
May 14, 2004
Although gas prices have hit a record high, you can take actions to maximize the fuel efficiency of your fleet. Here are 15 suggestions for drivers to follow to maximize fuel economy, most of which won’t cost you a cent.
Posted @ Friday, May 14, 2004 3:02 PM | »
May 4, 2004
Accounting standards vary widely from country to country, making comparison of company accounts difficult. In recent years, the need to adopt international accounting standards has been gaining ground. For multinational companies, compliance with a single set of accounting standards would be a major improvement to the current multiplicity of national standards and would promise significant cost savings among other benefits.
Efforts to develop global standards were started in 1973 by the Intern
Posted @ Tuesday, May 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
April 4, 2004
The emergence of strategic sourcing in the 1990s is rapidly changing corporate purchasing and increasingly forcing change in fleet purchasing and the supplier selection process. Strategic sourcing initiatives re-examine the way a corporation conducts its business and are tasked to identify opportunities to consolidate purchasing volume to obtain reduced pricing from key supplier partners. The migration of large corporations to strategic sourcing is becoming a powerful change agent at large fleet
Posted @ Sunday, April 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
March 12, 2004
There is a renewed emphasis on maximizing remarketing dollars following the dramatic declines in resale values that have been occurring over the past three years. Although purchasing and negotiating skills are crucial, the skill that continues to set apart exceptional fleet managers is their remarketing expertise. One remarketing channel receiving increased attention is internal remarketing or the sale of company vehicles to employees.
The key ingredient to a successful employee sales program
Posted @ Friday, March 12, 2004 3:02 PM | »
March 4, 2004
The 12-volt battery, along with the automotive electrical system it supports, will more than triple its voltage to 42 volts in the next four years. The three forces driving a new, higher voltage standard for automotive electrical systems are:
1. The increased power demands from convenience/comfort features and new electronic/telematic devices.
2. Mandated emission standards.
3. Mandated fuel economy standards.
Vehicle electrical demand has doubled in the past 20 years and the current
Posted @ Thursday, March 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
February 4, 2004
Event data recorders (EDRs) are electronic “black boxes” that collect and store information about the operation of a vehicle. A variety of data can be recorded such as vehicle speed, steering wheel angle, accelerator pedal position, and the degree of pressure applied to the brakes immediately prior to an accident. Nationwide, black box sensors have been built into millions of vehicles currently in operation.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
January 15, 2004
A key factor exerting upward pressure on public sector fleet operating costs is the long-standing trend to operate vehicles for ever-longer service lives. All around the country, public sector fleets are being forced by budgetary constraints to defer or reduce capital expenditures to acquire replacement vehicles. This is especially the case for fleets that depend on appropriations from their agencies' general funds rather than fleet replacement funds. As a result, these fleets are running vehicl
Posted @ Thursday, January 15, 2004 3:02 PM | »
January 4, 2004
A growing trend is for auto designers to work with tire manufacturers in developing tires specific to particular model vehicles. This has proliferated the number of tire sizes available since no other tire in the tire manufacturer’s product line meets this vehicle-specific performance and handling specification.
Posted @ Sunday, January 4, 2004 3:02 PM | »
December 4, 2003
Health concerns about exposure to secondhand smoke have caused many states to enact clean indoor air laws that restrict or prohibit smoking in the workplace. Currently, 24 states have such restrictions. In addition, many cities and counties have enacted similar ordinaces that restrict or prohibit smoking in the workplace. The question is what constitutes a "workplace."
Posted @ Thursday, December 4, 2003 3:02 PM | »
November 13, 2003
Although resale prices for used fleet vehicles in the wholesale market have stabilized in recent months, the majority of vehicles whose depreciation has been amortized at two percent per month continue to lose money at resale.
Posted @ Thursday, November 13, 2003 3:02 PM | »
November 4, 2003
Throughout corporate America, fleet managers are under constant and ever-greater pressure to reduce expenses, make their fleet operations more efficient, and maximize driver productivity at the lowest possible cost. However, managers of well-run fleets will tell you that is getting harder and harder to significantly reduce costs without fundamentally altering the composition of their fleet.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 4, 2003 3:02 PM | »