October 16, 2013
If you asked fleet managers what the industry average is for personal use of company vehicles, most would say it is approximately 15-18 percent. But, is it? Most of us will agree that some drivers fudge their personal-use mileage, but no one knows by how much. There is a growing suspicion that personal-use mileage is far greater — perhaps substantially greater — than what the industry accepts as conventional wisdom.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:00 AM | »
October 7, 2013
The best way to motivate employees to embrace sustainability initiatives is to link them to either the company’s bottom line or to the driver’s own personal benefits. The danger to corporate green edicts that don’t make this connection is that they sometimes backfire into driver disinterest.
Posted @ Monday, October 7, 2013 12:00 AM | »
September 24, 2013
All OEMs have been proactive in providing order-to-delivery (OTD) status updates on fleet vehicles in transit. In addition, fleet management companies have launched a multitude of enhancements to their abilities to track OTD for ordered fleet units. However, there is still much more that can be done.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 24, 2013 12:00 AM | »
September 4, 2013
The FMCSA has proposed eliminating the requirement that pre- and post-trip driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) be filed with the FMCSA when no defects are identified. There are concerns voiced by some fleet managers about the unintended consequences of this proposal, especially from a safety and operational perspective.
Posted @ Wednesday, September 4, 2013 12:00 AM | »
August 23, 2013
The larger the vehicle, the greater the emissions. The more vehicles there are in a fleet, the greater the cumulative emissions. In every fleet operation, you will find employees driving larger-than-needed vehicles to fulfill the fleet application.
Posted @ Friday, August 23, 2013 12:00 AM | »
August 2, 2013
The “Industrial Internet,” a term coined by GE, refers to the integration of a variety of complex pieces of machinery, such as vehicle fleets, with networked sensors and software. Other companies, such as Cisco, similarly believe this convergence of machine connectivity remotely generating actionable data via the Internet will change the way we work, ushering in a new era of innovation in fleet management.
Posted @ Friday, August 2, 2013 12:00 AM | »
July 30, 2013
Fleet managers have to deal with other department managers who may not be team players or who have egos the size of a Class 8 truck. As a result, there are the inevitable fleet-related interdepartmental conflicts, typically driven by the challenge of balancing HR/driver requirements versus finance/accounting department requirements, which are often at odds with one another. Some criticize this involvement of “non-fleet” managers, rather than seeking ways to partner with them.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 12:00 AM | »
July 23, 2013
Fleet management metrics are not a new phenomenon, but has gained increased emphasis in recent years. Senior management and sourcing groups are demanding the use of metrics to measure the performance of the fleet and its suppliers. In addition, tight budgets and high expectations by management make metrics a crucial element to maintaining a cost-efficient fleet.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:00 AM | »
July 9, 2013
Commercial fleets began a widespread migration to four-cylinder engines and downsizing to a smaller class segment of vehicles in 2005. As a result, fuel costs and depreciation, the two largest fleet expenses, have been lowered by smaller displacement engines and vehicle segment downsizing. This has caused the breakeven point of a company-provided vehicle to shift downward, both in terms of minimum monthly miles and total costs, incrasing the competitiveness against reimbursement.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:00 AM | »
July 1, 2013
Despite a few negative trends, the 2013 calendar-year, on the whole, promises to be a good one for the commercial fleet management industry. Here what I foresee for the balance of the calendar-year.
Posted @ Monday, July 1, 2013 12:00 AM | »
June 21, 2013
Bobit Business Media, in partnership with the publisher of Fleet Europe magazine, Nexus Communication, is launching the all-new Global Fleet Management Conference to be held Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2013 in Phoenix. The idea of a global fleet conference has resonated with fleet managers of the world’s largest multinational organizations. We have assembled some of the brightest minds in fleet management in both North America and Europe to help develop the agenda for this all-new conference.
Posted @ Friday, June 21, 2013 12:00 AM | »
June 17, 2013
A growing number of fleets contend that Compliance, Safety & Accountability (CSA) program is in need of substantial improvement. Currently, a fleet’s score in the CSA safety monitoring system is based on all fleet-involved crashes, including those that the company’s driver did not cause and could not reasonably have prevented. This scoring criteria is contrary to accepted industry standards and, in the long run, will undermine the validity of the CSA program in the eyes of covered fleets.
Posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 12:00 AM | »
June 11, 2013
What is your primary responsibility? Is it managing the vehicle or managing the driver? Where do you think you will have the greatest opportunity to control costs and increase productivity?
Posted @ Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:00 AM | »
June 3, 2013
In Europe, they are asking the question: What is the next evolution of fleet management? A growing number of European fleet professionals believe the concept of “mobility management” will transform the concept of fleet management. They foresee an industry-wide move away from traditional fleet management to mobility management. But, what exactly does this mean?
Posted @ Monday, June 3, 2013 12:00 AM | »
May 7, 2013
When you electronically buy an airline ticket, you do so through an electronic hub, such as Egencia. When realtors electronically list homes for sale, they use a multiple listing service for all other realtors to simultaneously see the property listing. Many see comparable change occurring for the remarketing of vehicles in the wholesale market. The consensus among remarketers is not “if” this will occur, but “when.” And, just as important, most see it happening sooner, rather than later
Posted @ Tuesday, May 7, 2013 12:00 AM | »
April 29, 2013
Significant dates in the history of fleet management, which ushered the start of profound change in the industry, include: Oct. 16, 1973 - The first OPEC oil embargo, which completely altered the types of vehicles driven by fleets and August 12, 1981 - IBM’s launch of its first desktop computer, which expanded computerization beyond the IT department to the desktop of every fleet manager. In future years, a new milestone date will be recognized - June 29, 2007.
Posted @ Monday, April 29, 2013 12:00 AM | »
April 5, 2013
Sustainability initiatives will continue to play an important, albeit complex, role in corporate fleets of today and tomorrow. There are a number of excellent alternative-fuel solutions currently available in the market and there are a growing number of fleets that have successfully implemented these solutions. But what can fleets do, whose spirit is green, but whose fiscal reality and operating requirements present road blocks to implementing corporate sustainabililty goals?
Posted @ Friday, April 5, 2013 12:00 AM | »
March 27, 2013
During the course of a year, I talk with hundreds of fleet managers and one common complaint is that they are often the last to know when significant corporate decisions are made that impact fleet operations. In these instances, fleet managers are not afforded the same consideration given to their counterparts managing the company’s core businesses. Why does this occur and what can you do about it?
Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 12:00 AM | »
March 18, 2013
There is ongoing upward pressure on operating costs for medium-duty truck fleets. Factors impacting operating costs are volatile diesel prices, replacement tire costs, and longer service lives, which are increasing maintenance expenses due to component failures, escalating parts prices, and higher labor rates. Here are 10 strategies fleets are employing to mitigate these cost increases.
Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 12:00 AM | »
March 4, 2013
While technology has transformed fleet management to a science, it has also created the risk that, ultimately, technology may “dumb down” fleet managers. In the past, fleet managers would personally perform the calculations and engage in the “cerebral sweat” to accomplish almost all fleet functions. Nowadays (and increasingly so in the future), sophisticated fleet management systems perform these calculations and analyses with the fleet manager only seeing the end result, not the prrocess.
Posted @ Monday, March 4, 2013 12:00 AM | »
February 28, 2013
The average replacement tire cost per month rose 15 percent, and, on a cost-per-mile basis, rose 10 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. There are a variety of factors influencing tire costs, such as commodity prices and increased global demand; however, the industry-wide retail trend to larger diameter OE tire sizes is a key factor in driving up replacement tire prices in the past decade.
Posted @ Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:00 AM | »
February 13, 2013
Vehicle quality continues to improve and extended powertrain warranties have covered some expensive repairs, which occur at higher mileage. Although quality has increased, vehicles are becoming more complex, especially with the proliferation of new onboard technologies. In this context, what follows are the top 15 maintenance trends for passenger cars that are facing commercial fleet managers in 2013 and beyond.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:00 AM | »
January 17, 2013
How much of a fleet’s annual budgeted dollars are wasted? Is it 5 percent, 10 percent, or even more? In my mind, eliminating waste is the proverbial low-hanging fruit. Before implementing new fleet initiatives requiring new dollars, let’s make our No. 1 priority to stop the waste of existing dollars. Let's examine the fleet-related areas that are rife with waste and discuss the protocols you need to minimize it.
Posted @ Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:00 AM | »
January 9, 2013
Why do some fleet managers last longer in their positions than others? Longevity is important, because if you want to be a great fleet manager, you need “time in the saddle.” I’ve discovered that longevity is the secret to being exceptionally good at fleet management. So, back to my opening rhetorical question: What is the secret to longevity in fleet? Based on my conversations and observations over the years, there are four key factors.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 9, 2013 12:00 AM | »
January 3, 2013
The No.1 reason corporate sustainability programs are not “sustainable” is due to driver non-compliance. To make sustainability programs work, you need to turn drivers into stakeholders in the program. The overwhelming majority of drivers want to do the right thing; but most do not see sustainability as part of their job responsibilities. How do you create a corporate culture that encourages compliance with corporate sustainability policy?
Posted @ Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:00 AM | »