Cost savings is a top concern for fleet managers and executive management, with almost half of fleets naming it as their main focus for 2010
, according to a survey conducted by GE Capital Fleet Services. In contrast, cost savings was a priority for 36 percent of respondents in the 2009 survey.

Driver safety was the second greatest focus of the 75 fleet managers polled at the annual NAFA Institute & Expo in Detroit.

Specifically, 36 percent found meeting the company's goals for cost savings to be the highest priority, up from 28 percent in 2009, while 21 percent were most concerned about driver safety, up from 12 percent a year ago.

"As we emerge from the downturn, companies continue to be strategic about their fleets while remaining attentive to costs and working to improve overall fleet efficiency," said Clarence Nunn, CEO of GE Capital Fleet Services. "With today's advanced fleet management tools and services such as telematics and data analytics, fleet managers are able to help their company reach financial and operational goals."

In order to reach cost and operational efficiency goals, fleet managers are turning to fleet management analytics. When asked in which areas analytics helped their companies the most, respondents were split. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed said operational efficiency of the fleet had improved through the use of analytics, while 32 percent indicated that analytics helped their company with cost savings. Improvements with purchasing decisions and compliance were also on the list.

According to the respondents, the most important metrics for managing their fleets were real-time asset data such as miles driven and fuel consumption. Twenty-one percent of fleet managers said workforce productivity metrics, such as jobs per day, travel time and deliveries per day, allow them to most efficiently manage their fleets.

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