FleetManagementWeekly AmeriFleet
September 22, 2015


Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Hitting the Notes in Nashville

Enjoying record-breaking attendance, the 2015 AFLA Annual Conference started and ended on high notes in Nashville last week with engaging speakers, exciting awards, and outstanding opportunities to network.

Fleet Management Weekly interviewed a number of industry leaders at the conference and we lead off this week’s videos with Kristi Webb, newly-appointed President and CEO of Element Fleet Management.

In the column How Does Your Fleet Stack Up? LeasePlan experts give us excellent tips on benchmarking; and in The CX of Website Terminology columnist Wendy Eichenbaum offers first-rate advice on how to help your customers navigate your website.

Enjoy this issue, and be sure to check in at FleetManagementWeekly.com for daily updates.

Janice Sutton
Executive Editor


VIDEO: “Focusing on Service, Not Size"

In the wake of the biggest consolidation in the industry, Element Fleet’s new CEO clarifies that big isn’t a strategy – but that big doesn’t need to be a bad thing either.

VIDEO: Expert Guidance
  From Reimbursement to Managed Fleet

Merchants Fleet Management helped a client move from reimbursement to having a managed fleet for the first time – which, of course, included helping to determine the best vehicles and the most appropriate cycle times.

VIDEO: The One-Second Advantage
  Driving in the Rain

Smart tips for driving in the rain from Driving Dynamics — a one-second advantage can make a world of difference.

The Fleet Spot

wheeler-gail Wheels Wins Another American Business Award for Recall Communications Program

Wheels’ Recall Communications service provides an enhanced notification system that makes it easy for the company’s clients and their drivers to keep tabs on an ever-growing list of auto manufacturer recalls.

“There were more vehicles recalled in 2014 than any other year in history,” said Gail Wheeler, Wheels’ assistant vice president of marketing. “It’s become quite clear that vehicle recalls will continue to have a bigger effect than ever before on motorists all over the globe.’


jones-jeff-usbank Jeff Jones Named President of U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems

Jeffrey W. Jones has been named president of U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems, succeeding Kurt Adams, who left the bank earlier this month. A 32-year U.S. Bank veteran, Jones has been head of its Global Treasury Management group since 2001.

U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems helps organizations reduce payment costs and enhance efficiency through the use of travel, purchasing, fleet and aviation charge cards as well as virtual accounts and other payment products. With 1,000 employees in North America and Europe, the business processed $53.6 billion in payments volume in 2014. It is the second-largest issuer of corporate travel cards and third-largest issuer of purchasing cards in the United States. Its Freight Payment business was a pioneer in its industry and continues to be one of the largest in the world.


betz-matt SambaSafety Names Matthew Betz VP of Fleet Channels

SambaSafety® today announced that Matthew Betz has joined the company as the Vice President of Fleet Channels. In this role, Betz is responsible for business development and partnerships between SambaSafety and fleet management companies throughout the United States.

“The addition of Matt to the SambaSafety team greatly enhances our ability to deliver industry leading driver risk management services to our fleet management partners,” said Chris McKay, president of SambaSafety.


ARI Logo ARI Makes Key Appointments in Europe

ARI Names Majk Strika Managing Director, European Operations and Henning Schick Director of European Sales

Strika and Schick have been instrumental to ARI’s European expansion and both will continue to lead the company as it introduces innovative new fleet management technologies and services to the market.


Think Global. Plan Local.

By Paul Fortin, LeasePlan USA, and Saskia Harreman, LeasePlan International

Benchmarking your fleet can give you a comprehensive view of your current practices by stacking up your performance data, financial results and other metrics against comparison data to identify areas of improvement or to validate existing practices.

Through benchmarking, fleet managers evaluate various aspects of their company car offering and fleet processes in relation to best practice companies, usually within a peer group defined for the purpose of comparison. This allows organizations to establish plans on how to make improvements or adapt specific best practices, usually with the aim of increasing some aspect of performance.

An efficient fleet strategy based on benchmarking will help develop a fleet that is fit for its purpose, and serve as guidance on how it should be managed.


The Fleet CX Toolkit

A Rose By Any Other Name Is Overlooked

By Wendy Eichenbaum

William Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And while Juliet was wooed by Romeo’s logic, your customers will not be when they visit your website. They are looking for a rose, and if you call the rose a daisy or tulip, they’ll never find the rose. And they’ll leave in frustration.

Choosing the correct words is one part of the site’s taxonomy. Taxonomy comes from the Greek word taxis, which means arrangement or order. Taxonomy is a very common term in science, where scientists find, describe, classify, and name organisms. And taxonomy is just as critical on your website for your customer experience. You need to use the organization and terminology that your audience will understand or they will not be able to find what they are looking for.

So how do you determine what words to use and how to organize them on your website?


Big Fuel Efficiency Gains


As part of a global, company-wide initiative, DHL Express has replaced approximately 75 percent of its 3,100-vehicle U.S. fleet with new, more fuel-efficient vehicles in 2014 and 2015, and over half of the vehicles it’s adding in 2015 run on alternative fuels, the parcel delivery company announced.

The company has expanded its propane autogas vehicles in Detroit, Chicago, and Elizabeth, N.J., and introduced new battery-electric vehicles in New York and San Francisco. Additionally, DHL will be testing new gasoline hybrid-electric vehicles in several locations.


Fleet Trends & Issues

How Carmakers can Compete for the Connected Consumer

McKinsey & Co

Connectivity and automation are more and more a part of today’s cars, from vehicles that offer dashboard interfaces for accessing email to those that parallel park all on their own. And as customers’ expectations for these features grow—along with their willingness to pay—so will the value pool that’s being created.

The big question? Exactly which players along the automotive value chain will reap the rewards.


Baltimore to Test Electric Car Fleet, Add Charging Stations


Baltimore is testing electric cars in an effort that could jump-start battery-powered vehicles in its fleets while it works to double the number of charging stations in the city.

The city is leasing four electric vehicles for three years under a $52,500 state grant. The cars will be passed among city agencies for testing — measuring financial benefits such as lower refueling costs and determining if recharge times as long as six hours affect workflow.


Pedestrian Safety: How Drivers and Walkers Can Save Lives


Drivers and walkers are responsible for pedestrian safety on the streets. Drinking and distraction, for example, are risky behaviors for both groups.

Jonathan Adkins used to catch up on personal phone calls as he walked home from his job in Washington, D.C., where he is executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), an organization representing state highway safety agencies.


ARI’s Charlie Guthro to Host Learning Workshop During the ICUEE Expo

ARI will conduct a learning workshop at the upcoming International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, Kentucky. Scheduled for Tuesday, September 29 at 8:00 am in room C201 of the Kentucky Expo Center and hosted by ARI’s Vice President of North American Fleet Management Charlie Guthro, the session will focus on maintenance best practices for utility fleets to help drive down operating costs and maximize vehicle uptime.

“Many fleet managers struggle to implement new initiatives that drive meaningful change but a comprehensive, well-executed maintenance program can save a utility fleet tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars annually,” said Guthro. “My goal for this workshop is to look at the challenges that utility fleets typically face and discuss the best practices industry leaders use to tackle these issues head-on.”


Big Problems for VW

The Detroit Bureau

Caught cheating, German maker facing lawsuits, stock price plunge, possible criminal investigation and billions in fines.

Accused of cheating on emissions standards, Volkswagen and its upscale Audi brand have been ordered to recall nearly 500,000 diesel cars sold in the U.S. – but that is likely to be only the start of the problems facing the German maker.

Within hours of the announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency, several high-profile law firms had already weighed in, threatening potentially costly class action lawsuits. That’s on top of multi-billion dollar fines Volkswagen could be subject to.


The Sustainable Fleet

By Brian Matuszewski, Sustainable Strategies Manager, ARI

Fleets considered “world-class” often share one characteristic in common: a firm commitment to driving smarter and cleaner.

Smarter suggesting safer, more efficient and more cost-effective; while cleaner, suggesting a reduced impact on the environment. In other words, world-class fleets and sustainable fleets are two of the same.

That being said, no two world-class fleets look alike and the reasons that make them world-class are oftentimes unique and different.


Here Comes the Future

The Detroit Bureau

In the 1973 film, “Sleeper,” Woody Allen is revived after being frozen following a botched operation. To escape the inept police state trying to terminate him, he steals a car that looks like a bubble, with frosted windows and no steering wheel. He simply tells it where to go.

The comedy was supposed to take place 200 years from now but, at least when it comes to the car, it could just as well happen in little more than a decade from now.


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.