Market Trends

Mike Antich

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OEMs Improve Quality Hold Process, But More Needs to be Done to Avoid Backlogs

September 17, 2014

The good news is the management of quality holds by OEMs has improved tremendously in the 2014-MY. However, much more still needs to be done. As has been the case for the past several model-years, lengthening OEM quality holds continue to adversely impact fleet order-to-delivery (OTD) times by incurring added costs due to missed residual timing, repair costs to older vehicles still in service, and rental expenses

Tags: Order to Delivery, Quality Holds, Delivery Delays, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:24 AM | » Comments(0)

My Remembrances of Ed Bobit

Automotive Fleet Editor Mike Antich accepts an editorial award from Ed Bobit in the late 1980s.

June 30, 2014

One of the highest compliments to someone in the auto industry is to say they have gasoline running through their veins. In Ed Bobit's case, he had "fleet" running through his veins.

Tags: Automotive Fleet, Ed Bobit, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, June 30, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(51)

June 29, 2007: A Seminal Day in the History of Fleet

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.

Tags: Fleet History, Mike Antich, mobile devices, Antich, iPhone, mobile fleet applications

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, April 29, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Why is the Fleet Manager the Last to Know?

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?

Tags: Mike Antich, Antich, corporate communication, fleet manager position, fleet communication

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, March 27, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(8)

10 Strategies to Curb Medium-Duty Truck Operating Costs

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.

Tags: Operating Costs, Medium-Duty Trucks, Tires, Mike Antich, Disc Brakes, Market Trends, Rightsizing, engine governors, LED Lighting

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, March 18, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

There's Nothing New Under the Sun

May 31, 2012

Since every aspect of fleet management revolves around money, reducing fleet costs is a constant, never-ending struggle for all fleet managers. The pressure to save money year-over-year is persistent for all companies, but extremely difficult to achieve, especially in an environment of rising costs. Many fleet managers are given fleet cost-reduction goals, based on a specific percentage, and it is up to them to figure out how to achieve it. The problem is many fleet costs are beyond our control.

Tags: Mike Antich, cost containment, Fleet Costs

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

What’s the ‘Tipping Point’ for Fuel Prices?

It’s Higher Than We Think

May 14, 2012

During the past decade, we’ve witnessed a steady escalation of fuel prices with forecasters extrapolating these trend lines to predict even higher future prices. What is the “tipping point” for the price of fuel before it starts to have a significant negative impact on senior management’s desire to operate a company-provided fleet?

Tags: Fuel Economy, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, May 14, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Great Executives Empower Their Fleet Managers

May 3, 2012

Exceptional leadership by senior management means inspiring and motivating fleet managers to become great fleet managers. These executives delegate responsibility (and authority) to their fleet managers and empower them to accomplish self-determined tasks needed to achieve corporate goals. They recognize the fleet manager is the subject-matter expert and are open to the new ideas they present.

Tags: Fleet Executive of the Year, Mike Antich, Monsanto, Maggie Cole

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Green Fleet Initiatives Gain Momentum Despite Cost Constraints

April 10, 2012

Most fleets want to be environmentally friendly, but are often hamstrung by fiscal constraints when procuring greener vehicles. But, as many fleets have shown, where there is a will, there is a way to meet fleet sustainability goals, despite fiscal austerity. Since most companies replace approximately one third of their fleet vehicles each year, they can tailor selectors to favor more fuel-efficient vehicles, so long as they are able to fulfill the fleet application.

Tags: Sustainability, Fuel Economy, Mike Antich, GHG emissions

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Will Fuel Overtake Depreciation to Become the No.1 Fleet Expense?

March 20, 2012

The recent breathtaking increase in gasoline and diesel prices gives us a reality check as to how quickly fuel can dramatically increase fleet operating expenses. With fuel prices at a near all-time high and ongoing strong resale values decreasing depreciation costs, will fuel costs overtake depreciation as the No. 1 fleet expense in 2012, as it almost did in 2006?

Tags: Depreciation, Mike Antich, Gasoline Prices, fuel cost, Market Trends

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Total Fleet Cost is Proportional to Fleet Size

February 27, 2012

Every fleet manager is feeling the pressure to reduce costs. The best place to have maximum impact is to reduce overall fleet size and/or modify vehicle composition. A fleet's total cost is directly proportional to the total number of vehicles in operation, which drives all fixed and operating costs, such as fuel, replacement tire expenses, depreciation, accident repair costs, etc. If you can reduce overall fleet size, all other cost categories will decrease correspondingly.

Tags: Valero, Mike Antich, Market Trends, Rightsizing, Total Cost of Ownership

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(4)

Regulatory Activism Adding Administrative Burden to Truck Fleet Managers

January 19, 2012

Between 2001 and 2010, there were a record 38,000 new regulations published in the Federal Register. One sobering caveat is that these regulations do not include the even larger number of regulations introduced by state, county, and municipal governments, along with local regulatory agencies. Invariably, this multitude of regulations has impacted fleet management.

Tags: Regulations, Mike Antich, Market Trends, Federal Register, FDA

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Reduced Idling = Reduced Emissions

January 17, 2012

Until the advent of telematics devices, idling was not perceived to be a major problem for fleets. But once engine data was captured by fleets on a large-scale basis, it quickly became apparent that idling represented a significant and widespread problem. The amount of unnecessary idling varies by fleet, but some fleets have recorded idling as much as 35 percent of the time. Here's what you can do about it.

Tags: Idling, Mike Antich, Sears, Genuine Parts, California Air Resources Board

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Global Fleet Management:<br> There are More Similarities than You Think

January 9, 2012

Many of the challenges facing U.S. fleet managers are identical to the challenges facing your counterparts managing fleets elsewhere in the world. Many of these fleet trends extend beyond the U.S. and are offshoots of much larger global trends. Oftentimes, best practices in fleet management emerge from outside the U.S., which is good reason for you to familiarize yourself with what's occurring in other global fleet markets.

Tags: Sustainability, Downsizing, Mike Antich, global fleet, Market Trends, Rightsizing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, January 9, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Rising Tire Prices Take a Bite Out of Fleet Budgets

January 4, 2012

Tire industry experts foresee another round of tire price increases during calendar-year 2012. In the past, national account tire manufacturers have done their best to shield the fleet industry from price increases by holding prices for a 12-month period. Nowadays, there is concern that national account vendors will no longer be able to continue to absorb these cost increases.

Tags: Tire Costs, Schwan's Home Service, Mike Antich, Sentry Insurance, Modern Tire Dealer Magazine, Retreads

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, January 4, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

The Forecast Is for Higher Tire Prices in 2012

December 22, 2011

The multiple price increases for replacement tires occurring year-to-date for calendar-year 2011 point to more increases on the horizon. Most tire industry experts foresee tire price hikes continuing for the balance of this calendar-year, with expectations of another round of pricing increases in calendar-year 2012. There are a variety of factors that will influence future tire price.

Tags: Tire Costs, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Impact of Future CAFE Standards on Resale Values

December 5, 2011

The cost to design and build vehicles to meet the higher 2017-2021 fuelefficiency standards will average an additional $2,000 to $6,000 per vehicle. Proponents of the higher CAFE standards argue the higher acquisition costs will be offset by much greater fuel savings. However, is there a diminishing return on cost savings as fuel efficiency increases? Kelley Blue Book thinks so.

Tags: Remarketing, Residual Values, CAFE, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, December 5, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Overloading is the No. 1 Danger Facing Your Fleet

November 29, 2011

Overloading is an ongoing industry problem. Besides violating numerous state and federal regulations, when a vehicle is overloaded its emergency handling capability is reduced, operating expenses increase, and service lives decrease. Statistics show that overloaded and improperly loaded trucks are among the leading causes of truck accidents and the number one cause of unscheduled maintenance.

Tags: Mike Antich, Market Trends, overloading, payload capacity

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Budget Cutbacks Impacting Turnaround Times on Fleet-Related DMV Services

November 10, 2011

Decreases in property and sales tax revenues have created budgetary shortfalls for most state governments. Many Department of Motor Vehicles offices have closed branch locations, reduced workforce through layoffs, implemented hiring freezes, shortened hours of operation, eliminated overtime, and instituted work furloughs for remaining employees. In some states, this has increased turnaround times for fleet-related DMV services. Some see this as being an ongoing issue for the years to come.

Tags: Vehicle Registration, DMV, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, November 10, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Higher Operating Costs Forecast for CY-2012

October 24, 2011

Fleet operating costs are forecast to trend higher in calendar-year 2012. Replacement tire prices are expected to increase 6-10 percent due to higher raw material costs and higher commodity prices. In addition, higher commodity prices will put upward pressure on component costs. Similarly, inflation will put upward pressure on labor rates in high-cost markets. The one bright spot is that fuel prices are forecast to remain at 2011 levels due to the ongoing sluggish economy.

Tags: Operating Costs, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, October 24, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Right-Sizing Is an Easy Way to Green Your Fleet

October 13, 2011

There’s a direct correlation between vehicle weight, fuel economy, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Ultimately, the fleet application dictates vehicle size. But when it is possible to do so, right-sizing vehicles reduces fuel consumption, which, in turn, reduces GHG emissions. Right-sizing is a complex strategy that goes far beyond simply downsizing to a smaller class of vehicle.

Tags: green fleet, Mike Antich, Rightsizing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Double Digit Odometer Fraud Between 2007 - 2010

June 28, 2011

“Clocking” is the illegal process of rolling back an odometer to a mileage lower than the actual miles driven. This crime is most prevalent with late-model vehicles, which have accumulated high mileage in a relatively short period of time, such as typically occurs with fleet vehicles. If you think odometer tampering is a thing of the past, you should think again. From 2007 to 2010, there has been a double-digit increase in odometer tampering.

Tags: odometer fraud, Mike Antich, clocking

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, June 28, 2011 9:07 AM | » Comments(1)

The Best Green Fleet Strategy is to Reduce Fuel Consumption

June 15, 2011

If you want to green your fleet by reducing emissions, you need to decrease fuel consumption. Up to 30 percent of a vehicle's fuel efficiency is impacted by driver behavior. The way an employee drives make a big difference in the volume of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions emitted by a company vehicle. Every unnecessary gallon of diesel burned creates 22.1 lbs. of CO2. The quickest way to reduce fuel consumption is to modify employee driving behavior.

Tags: Sustainability, Driver Behavior, Fuel Efficiency, Mike Antich, Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, June 15, 2011 9:49 AM | » Comments(0)

A New Emerging Fleet Issue – ‘Burnout’

May 9, 2011

My takeaway from last April’s NAFA I&E Conference was the extent to which fleet managers are being stretched to their limits. The catalyst has been the recent economic downturn, which decimated what little staff may have been at the disposal of many fleet managers. Time constraints have caused a fleet manager’s daily activity to be a "juggling act," which has devolved into “crisis management” of putting out an endless stream of "fires."

Tags: Fleet Management, role of the fleet manager, burnout, Antich, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, May 9, 2011 10:10 AM | » Comments(8)

The Uncontrollable Component of Fleet OTD

April 26, 2011

Fleet vehicles are vulnerable to order-to-delivery (OTD) delays because most fleet orders are concentrated among a handful of models. There are four components to the OTD cycle: ordering, scheduling, production, and delivery.The weak link is the delivery component. For the past 10 years, the nationwide rail car shortage has been a factor in fleet delivery delays. This promises to continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. Here's why.

Tags: order to delivery times, Antich, Mike Antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, April 26, 2011 3:14 PM | » Comments(1)

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