FleetManagementWeekly AmeriFleet
February 10, 2015


Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Get Smart, Cut Costs, Reduce CO2 — and Shine as an Industry

When we met Ben Carter, who guides Intel’s fleet (Carter Inside?), we were eager to get his perspective on an industry that he had joined less than six months prior. First of all, check out our video clip where he talks about his experience at NAFA’s 2014 International Fleet Academy (co-located with I&E in 2015). And if you really want to feel even better about our industry, read the article, “Intel’s Ben Carter: Sharing ‘Best Known’ Methods’ in Fleet Management” in this issue. We echo his sentiments after decades in fleet.

We talked with some folks at Local Motion last week and became interested in their unique sharing technology for fleet vehicles. Check out their recently-published white paper in the article: ‘Optimizing Fleet Operations with Motor Pools.’ We got hooked with this statement: ‘Building and expanding your agency’s motor pool can be the key to maximizing usage, cutting costs, and reducing carbon footprint on a massive scale.’ All laudable efforts indeed.

Janice Sutton
Executive Editor

INDEX: Find All of the Fleet News and Information You Need on Newly Redesigned FleetManagementWeekly.com

Browse these categories:

Association News — Find out what’s going on at associations of importance to the fleet community.
Fleet Trends & Issues – Check out articles about current fleet issues and trends
Fleet Safety – Read news about various aspects of fleet safety, including interviews of fleet safety leaders
Fleet Videos – Watch video clips of fleet newsmakers
Interviews – Read Fleet Management Weekly’s interviews with industry leaders.
Telematics — Learn about the latest in fleet telematics news

Read monthly columns: Fleet Marketing, Fleet Asset Management, The Mobile Employee, On Accident Management, The Fleet Customer Experience, and Fleet Safety.


VIDEO: Fleet Telematics - A Score for Safety

This innovative new clearinghouse facilitates the transfer of data from an insured fleet using telematics to an insurance company — with the benefit that fleets can learn how insurance companies will perceive their information before they agree to share it.

VIDEO: Saving Some Money
  New Opportunities to Minimize Operational Costs

With all the data coming from vehicles today, fleets have a variety of great opportunities to minimize operational costs across the board.

Click here to watch video
VIDEO: NAFA's International Fleet Academy
  Sharing Best Known Methods, Globally

Intel’s fleet manager explains that he went to NAFA’s International Fleet Academy in order to learn, from his peers, the best ways and methods to build global fleet strategy.

Click here to read more

The Fleet Spot

Ryan Showers Ryan Showers Named Director of Sales and Marketing at AmeriFleet

Ryan Showers has been named AmeriFleet’s new Director of Sales and Marketing. He joined the company in 2013 as Director of Sales for the East Coast.

When speaking about his plans for the coming year, Showers said, “We have some exciting opportunities to expand our presence in areas that will allow for continued growth in 2015. We will also be focusing on our brand image, introducing an updated website and trade dress.” He continued, “It has been a great experience working with AmeriFleet and I’m excited to continue in my new role within the organization.”


Tom Bessinger Element Taps Tom Bessinger to Lead Central Region Sales

Tom Bessinger has been named vice president of Sales Central Region at Element Fleet Management, bringing with him more than 18 years of sales leadership and coaching experience. Tom’s most recent position was the director of client relations for Runzheimer International, a provider of business vehicle reimbursement programs, where he oversaw account management for five years.


Suresh Rajapakse Element Appoints Suresh Rajapakse to VP of Sales West Region

Suresh Rajapakse has been named vice president of Sales West Region at Element Fleet Management. He brings more than a decade of sales and account management experience to the company. Most recently, he held the position of vice president of sales and account management for Innovation Group, where his team was responsible for managing over $30M in annual revenue.


Fuel tax NAFA Strongly Urges Congress to Raise Federal Fuels User Fee

Automotive fleets are major users of the American highway system. Fleet autos, trucks, and vans depend on the system to carry out the mission of their company or agency, and that system requires funding to keep it viable for now and in the future. Yet maintaining funding for the Highway Trust Fund has been a perennial struggle on Capitol Hill.

On the morning of February 9, 2015, NAFA Fleet Management Association submitted an urgent request to each Congressional office in Washington D.C. strongly urging representatives to raise the federal fuels user fee.

The drivers of fleet vehicles — whether a sales representative in a company auto, a technician in a utility service vehicle, or a refuse truck crew — daily face the combined challenges of congestion, poor road conditions, closed bridges, and other obstacles that have a direct impact on their efficiency and their employers’ bottom lines. Congestion reduces productivity as vehicles idle in traffic, delaying deliveries or missing appointments. Crumbling infrastructure damages fleet vehicles, resulting in vehicles having to be taken out of service for needed repairs.

“Although the cost of fuel is the single largest component of operating costs, many fleets are willing to pay more in order to resolve the nation’s infrastructure crisis, provided the funds are used to ease congestion and improve safety,” said NAFA Chief Executive Officer Phillip E. Russo, CAE.


The Mobile Worker

By Matthew Betz, Vice President Business Development, Fleet at Motus, LLC

“Time is Money” – Benjamin Franklin

“Productivity – The amount of output delivered per hour of work in the economy – is often viewed as the engine of progress in modern capitalist economies. Output is everything. Time is money. The quest for increased productivity occupies reams of academic literature and haunts the waking hours of CEOs and Finance Ministers.” – Tim Jackson

It’s not often that you can improve on a Benjamin Franklin quote, but for purposes of our conversation today, I really think Tim Jackson’s quote is much more useful. The question you may be asking yourself, as a fleet professional, is “Why should I be thinking about driver productivity? After all, isn’t that the job of sales management, or operations management, or an efficiency consultant?” My answer is simple – If the quest for increased productivity is what haunts your CEO, doesn’t it benefit you to find opportunities to help the Modern Mobile Worker increase efficiency and productivity?


Observations from the Fleet Industry

Ben Carter, Sales Operations Manager at Intel, has been managing the company’s fleet for less than a year. We caught up with him several months ago at NAFA’s International Fleet Academy and asked him to give us his observations on the fleet industry.

He said, “The biggest observation that I have seen from the fleet industry is the wealth of knowledge and the willingness of people in the industry to share it.

“From my perspective, it feels like the people involved in fleet are in a unique role, regardless of what company or industry they are in. In a lot of companies, the fleet business isn’t driving revenue, so the major focus of the company isn’t necessarily on the fleet management. So you have smaller group of people all doing something unique within their company, and these same people know what it can be like to be on an island managing a powerful business without a lot of inside help.”


Managing Government Motor Pools

Building and expanding your agency’s motor pool can be the key to maximizing usage, cutting costs, and reducing carbon footprint on a massive scale.

Northern California-based Local Motion has published an informative white paper to guide government agencies with a step-by-step plan to set up, expand, and effectively manage their motor pools to reduce expenses, decrease waste, and even generate a surplus to reinvest in their fleets.

When departments transfer control of their vehicles to a central motor pool, they only pay for the hours of transportation their employees actually use. What’s more, shared vehicles increase overall efficiency because they can take more trips, get more mileage, and serve more drivers per day than assigned vehicles.
Click here to download the free white paper.

Fleet Trends & Issues

GE Capital: 2015 Truck Transportation Industry Trends

Entering 2015, carriers were benefitting from a near Goldilocks supply/demand environment with profit tailwinds highlighted by strengthening freight trends, pricing leverage due to tight capacity and declining diesel prices.

GE economists remain optimistic that the domestic economy will continue to improve gradually, with expectations that real U.S. GDP growth will accelerate from 2.2 percent in 2014 to 2.8 percent in 2015.

However, the trucking environment is not entirely absent of challenges.


Are We Becoming a Lease-Focused Car Culture?

In their latest Perspective report covering the US automotive market, NADA Used Car Guide analysts have determined the amount of used vehicles for sale are going to increase this year, and new vehicle leases will likely reach a record high.

“Consumers should know that the amount of new vehicle lease contracts signed and the used vehicle market are intrinsically linked,” said Jonathan Banks, executive analyst for NADA Used Car Guide.


NHTSA Needs More Cash to Enforce Auto Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to expand its abilities to ensure a 60 million recall year doesn’t happen again and it basically needs one thing above all else to make it happen: cash.

Avoiding a replay of a year that included events like General Motors’ recall of 2.6 million small cars due to a defective ignition switch that ultimately led to the deaths of at least 51 people and Takata’s faulty airbags that explode sending shrapnel into the cabins of vehicle, resulting in the recall of more than 10 million vehicles in the U.S. and five deaths requires manpower, the agency explains, and manpower costs money.


Women Want Midlife Crisis Cars, Too

It’s a rite of passage. Some folks change careers. Others draw up a bucket list. But for millions of Americans, there’s the midlife crisis car. But if that brings to mind a guy wearing gold chains and driving a flashy red sports car, think again.

According to a new survey, a full one in four American adults say they will at least consider buying a car to handle the inevitable midlife crisis. Notably, that includes both men and women, according to CarMax, the big automotive dealership chain that conducted the survey of 1,005 U.S. adults.

The study also found that the type of car they’d like to buy doesn’t necessarily fit the classic image often portrayed in movies and television shows.


Be Careful on the Ice

Anyone who has had to face driving on snowy roads this winter knows what can happen when you hit a patch of black ice, especially when you’re going into a corner or trying to stop.

Ford Motor Co. claims to be launching a new version of electronic stability control that not only intervenes once a car begins to spin, but which “can predict a spin before it even begins.“


Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, ITA Fleet Communications

I was planning to tackle the topic of marketing fads this month. Like the phrase “I HEART (city, thing or animal of your choice), repeated “ad nauseum” until the novelty wears off, fads fade away.

Annie Zelm of Kuno Kreative beat me to the punch; however, and I’d like to share some of her caveats, which are important considerations for your company’s own marketing strategy:


Diesel in America?

Looking to increase his fuel economy, Roderick Smith of Woonsocket, R.I., who works in information technology, bought a new Volkswagen Golf at the beginning of the year. Unlike most Americans, Mr. Smith opted for a model equipped with a diesel, rather than a gasoline, engine.

“It’s the quietest car I’ve ever owned,” he said.

“Quiet” and “diesel” are two words not usually seen together. When American consumers think of diesel-engine vehicles — if they think about them at all — other words most likely come to mind, like “noisy,” “smoky” and “slow.”


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