FleetManagementWeekly AmeriFleet
June 9, 2015


Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Lofty Goals

We always look forward to interviewing Wayne Smolda, founder and CEO of The CEI Group, Inc., and had the opportunity to sit down with him in Orlando and talk about his views on the current state of the industry, as well as how CEI is positioning itself in the fleet market to reach its aggressive objective of doubling in size in five years. Supporting this aim, Wayne says, “We believe our job is to help clients have safer fleets, protect their drivers and drive down the cost of both the fleet budget as well as the insurance budget.”

CEI has been making some very smart strategic decisions that give us every reason to believe that the company can reach their lofty goals. Read our interview with him to hear more from this respected industry leader.

Enjoy this issue. And make sure you check in with FleetManagementWeekly.com for daily updates.

Janice Sutton
Executive Editor

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

All posts from the newsletter can be found on our newly redesigned web site, 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, Think Global Plan Local, The Fleet CX Toolbox, and Fleet Safety.


VIDEO: Fleets are Happy with Plug-In Vehicles

This industry expert says that fleets are quite happy with plug-in vehicles – both from the perspectives of cost and performance.

VIDEO: Fleet Payment Systems
  The Evolution of Payment Systems

This fleet payment systems expert is seeing three major trends: more companies becoming global, an acceleration of technology, and an evolution in payment systems.

VIDEO: A Card You Can Use Almost Anywhere
  A Powerful Fleet Card Solution

Shell’s Fleet Navigator card aims to be a total solution, providing controls and reporting – and it can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

The Fleet Spot

blaine-amy AFLA Webinar: Alternative Fuels & Fuel Technologies

Amy Blaine’s informative and engaging presentation on Alternative Fuels & Fuel Technologies was such a hit at AFLA’s Mid-Year Forum that they’ve decided to bring it back as part of the AFLA Webinar Series.

This don’t-miss webinar is on Wednesday, June 24th at 12pm PT / 2pm CT / 3pm ET and you can sign up here.

bd-logo Wheels Earns Top Supplier Award from BD

Wheels, Inc. was recently presented with the 2014 Partnership Supplier of the Year award by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company).

In business together since 2003, BD and Wheels worked together to deliver best-in-class depreciation, continuous fuel economy improvement and a 95% driver satisfaction rate for the BD fleet last year.

“Wheels has been an excellent partner for BD for more than a decade,” said Chris Shanahan, BD’s VP of Global Procurement. “This past year really stood out in terms of strong collaboration that helped BD achieve strong financial performance and 95% customer satisfaction.”


vilalella-chris CEI Names Chris Villella Director of Account Management for Special Markets

The CEI Group, Inc. has promoted Chris Villella to director of account management for special markets.

Mr. Villella joined CEI in 1990, as a subrogation specialist before advancing to subrogation supervisor and eventually subrogation manager. He assumed the role of senior manager in loss recovery and insurance services in 2005, and has most recently served as senior manager of corporate accounts.


donlen Donlen Presented with “Innovation Award” at 2015 Ericsson Supplier Event

Donlen recently received the 2015 Ericsson “Innovation Award.” This supplier award, in the category of Innovation, is targeted to recognize a supplier that embraces innovative thinking and actively challenges the status quo. The award acknowledges a commitment to process improvement and continued investments in the latest innovation and technologies that result in time and cost-saving solutions.

Brad Bohnen Head of Fleet Management, Ericsson said “Donlen Corporation partnered with Ericsson to develop a customized GPS/telematics fleet offering for the Ericsson Region North America fleet of vehicles. This customized program allowed Ericsson to reduce operating costs and increase the safety of our fleet operators. In addition, after listening to Ericsson’s desired service requirements, Donlen developed a new Consultative Service offering, which provided Ericsson with the necessary administrative back-office support to effectively manage the day-to-day operational aspects of the program. This consultative approach resulted in more efficient operations, reduced costs and lower accident rates.”


The State of the Fleet Industry

In this interview, we talk with Wayne Smolda, founder and CEO of The CEI Group, Inc., on a number of topics. We wanted to get his unique perspective on the state of the fleet industry as well as how CEI is positioned to meet the fleet driver safety and accident and risk management needs of its clients.

“We want to help to significantly reduce the cost of fleet operations as well an organization’s insurance expenses,” Smolda said. “When you have fewer accidents you can drive down fleet costs, but you can also substantially drive down, at an even higher rate, the insurance costs that employers actually spend as a result of insuring the driver and paying for third party claims, worker compensation benefits and medical care.”


The Mobile Employee

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

“Many baseball fans look upon an umpire as a sort of necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odor that follows an automobile” – Christy Matthewson
“What we have here, is a failure to communicate.” – ‘Captain’ in Cool Hand Luke

To hear many fleet managers talk, our drivers are a necessary evil to the luxury of our industry, like the odor that follows a fleet of automobiles. To illustrate, let me share two quotes:
“I hate drivers. You can’t trust them” – A nationally respected fleet manager
“If it wasn’t for all of the drivers and all of the cars, this wouldn’t be a bad job” – Fleet executive

While these are not my own thoughts or words, I have heard similar phrases throughout my long fleet career. Yet, without drivers and vehicles, there would be no fleet management industry. So, to try to understand this perplexing disconnect, I would like to point out a couple of key facts.


On Accident Management

By Greg Neuman, Senior Manager, CEI Quality Control

With its introduction of the (nearly) all-aluminum 2015 F-150 pickup truck – one of the most popular fleet vehicles in America – Ford Motor Company may well be pointing to the preferred automotive material of the future. Why? Because aluminum is lighter than steel and auto makers are scrambling to shed vehicle weight to reach the daunting federal fuel efficiency standard of 54.5 MPG by 2025, which is less than 10 years away.

Meeting that challenge with aluminum, though, creates another challenge: it’s estimated that as few as 10% of America’s approximately 34,000 collision repair shops are qualified to do aluminum repairs. What’s more, the cost to add that capability is large — $50,000 to $100,000 according to some industry observers – and not every shop is going to choose or be able to make that kind of investment.

READ MORE to learn how critical the proper collision repair facility is to your fleet vehicle’s warranty and post-repair safety.

Fleet Trends & Issues

New Apps Could Keep Drivers in Touch – And Out of Harm’s Way

“There’s an app for that,” or so said the salesman offering a customer his first smartphone. With the Apple Store alone listing something north of 1 million apps, that’s pretty close to true for anything you might want, and Google not far behind for its Android system.

Manufacturers are now racing to integrate smartphone apps into the very core of their in-car entertainment systems with the likes of Ford’s Sync 3, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. In turn, software writers are looking for ways to come up with more creative apps to appeal to motorists.

A growing number of options are out there, including the wildly popular Waze, which can help drivers shift their routes to avoid traffic jams. But several others are under development that could allow you to modify your route for other reasons – including the ability to stay in touch, and to avoid bad drivers.


Clean Fuel Vehicle Tour Highlights Local Fleets in Georgia

Gas prices may not be in the stratosphere at the moment, but Georgia cities and private fleets are still switching to clean fuels. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Roadshow is set to open June 15th in Gainesville with an 8-city tour led by Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols.

The series brings together a vehicle showcase and discussion panels on the practical impact of converting fleets to clean, alternative fuels like propane, E85-ethanol, natural gas, electric (EV) and compressed natural gas (CNG). Questions on financing, safety, maintenance and fuel considerations of clean vehicle conversions will be answered by government fleet managers and private sector fleets, along with vehicle manufacturers and utilities who will highlight their success transitioning fleets, based on need and use.


Florida Eco-Dairy Selects Ryder for Natural Gas Fleet Vehicles

Ryder System, Inc. has signed a natural gas vehicle (NGV) lease contract with M&B Products, a state-of-the-art eco-friendly dairy farm in Florida. M&B has signed a full service lease agreement with Ryder for three compressed natural gas (CNG) heavy duty vehicles.

The new CNG trucks will be maintained by Ryder at its Tampa, Fla. service facility, which is already engineered to meet the unique maintenance compliance requirements for natural gas.


Teen Drivers Injure And Kill Others More Than Themselves, New Report Finds

That motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for drivers aged 15-19 is known, but new research to determine the impact teen drivers have on others has found that they put everyone at risk. The majority of those killed and injured in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the driver.

Those are among the findings of new report released on Wednesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research and education organization.

“Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group, and this data confirm that the impact of their crashes extend well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel,” Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of the AAA Foundation, said in a statement.


Stopping Drunk Driving

A technological breakthrough that could virtually eliminate the drunken driving that kills 10,000 Americans each year was announced Thursday by federal officials, who said it could begin appearing in cars in five years.

The new equipment won’t require a driver to blow into a tube, like the interlock devices some states require after drunken-driving convictions. Instead, either a passive set of breath sensors or touch-sensitive contact points on a starter button or gear shift would immediately register the level of alcohol in the bloodstream.

Drivers who registered above the legal limit wouldn’t be able to start the car.

“The message today is not ‘Can we do this?’ but ‘How soon can we do this?’ ” said Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “It is a huge step forward.”


Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Founder, ITA Fleet Communications

News about imminent sales or mergers within the fleet industry is once again making headlines. And, conversation, speculation, concern, and anticipation rule! However, these changes ought to spur others in the industry to review their corporate strategic plans. After all, the best defense to market changes is a strong offense.

“What ifs” that were ruled out before might now come into play and require revisiting even a recent strategic planning process. With every change in status of a competitor or strategic partner, especially a company involved in your supply chain, there are new threats and new opportunities. Presumed strengths and weaknesses change, too. Consequently, your strategy, too, may need adjustment.


NHTSA Will Review Procedures

More than a year after federal regulators said they would review their procedures amid a widening General Motors ignition switch recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admitted to past mistakes and pledged new action.

NHTSA will increase investigations, make more contact with plaintiffs’ lawyers and question assumptionsmade by its own personnel and automakers.

The changes come after internal reports that acknowledge that NHTSA’s regulators did not demand more information from GM even after it asked about air bag non-deployments and got incomplete answers or legal justifications as to why GM would not or did not have to respond.


Fleet Management Resources
Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.
GPS Insight
GPS Insight offers GPS tracking solutions to meet your organization's unique requirements and challenges.
PARS' mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.
Driven fleet professionals. Driving results.
LeasePlan is the world's leading high-touch service provider for vehicle leasing and fleet management.
The CEI Group Inc.
North America's largest accident management and fleet driver safety company.
Customizing global fleet management to achieve your goals.
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.
Verizon Networkfleet
Verizon Networkfleet offers GPS fleet management solutions to help small to medium-sized businesses, enterprises, and government agencies better manage vehicles and assets. For a demo visit www.networkfleet.com/demo.