April 25, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

NAFA: Fleet Managers as Change Agents

In his introductory breakfast address to attendees at this week’s 2018 NAFA I&E, President Bryan Flansburg urged fleet managers to take charge of the emerging trend from fleet to mobility management, which involves every mode of travel employees use, from bicycles and public transportation to fleet vehicles, taxis, ride-hailing, ride-sharing, trains and planes.

He said fleet managers need to become their organization’s “change agent,” so they can lead the revolution instead of being led by it. To help them assume a leadership role, Flansburg announced that NAFA is creating a new educational program on mobility management.

Honoring change agents in both corporate and public fleets, Ted Roberts and I were delighted to join others on Tuesday night in presenting awards at NAFA’s FLEXY Award Dinner. It was a stellar evening and we congratulate the nominees and the winners of these prestigious awards.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

Thought Leadership

Customer Driven — Engage your organization to create customer loyalty, trust, and superior service

Fleet Asset Management – Best practices for work truck management

Fleet Marketing – Guiding principles for fleet providers to improve marketing and increase sales

Fleet Spectator A 360 view of the fleet industry

Globally Speaking — Perspectives on the multinational fleet

In the Public Interest — Successfully managing the government fleet

On Fleet Driver Management Solutions to improve your fleet’s accident rate and cut costs on collision repairs

Safety & Risk — Impactful driver safety and risk management tools and techniques

The Fleet CX Toolbox – Solid steps to implementing and improving fleet customer experience

Think, Execute, Win!Leadership tips from NBA Star and motivational speaker Walter Bond

VIDEO: Ford’s Transit Connect Appeals to Fleets Large and Small

From individual entrepreneurs to large corporations, from mom and pop businesses to large fleets, the Ford Transit Connect offers something for everyone.

VIDEO: Upfitting and Safety

 How Upfitters Can Focus on Safety

Ranger Design knows how to properly design and upfit vehicles with a focus on safety.

VIDEO: What Workhorse Offers

 The World’s First Electric Pickup Truck

Workhorse debuted the world’s first electric pickup truck at this year’s Work Truck Show. It’s designed primarily for fleets.

The Fleet Spot

2018 FLEXY Award Winners!

Congratulations to the FLEXY winners announced during the special opening night awards ceremony on April 24 at NAFA’s annual Institute & Expo in Anaheim, California!

Outstanding Achievements in Public Service Fleet Management
• Robert Gordon, Director of Fleet Management, DeKalb County Fleet Management
Outstanding Achievements in Corporate Fleet Management
• Adam Orth, CAFM, Fleet Services Manager, General Mills Inc.
Excellence in Public Fleet Sustainability Accomplishment
• Rick Medina, Fleet, Fuel, and Equipment Services, Mission Support and Test Services LLC
Excellence in Corporate Sustainability Accomplishment
• Safelite AutoGlass
Excellence in Public Fleet Safety
• Charles Grab, UCONN Transportation and Fleet Services
Excellence in Corporate Safety
• Joe Suarez, Director, Florida Power & Light Company
Excellence in Fleet Leadership
• Steven Schoen, Director, Mobility Services Americas, Siemens
Regular Member of the Year
• Gary Lentsch, CAFM, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Eugene, Oregon
Associate Member of the Year
• Marianne Stewart, CAFM, Auto Driveaway

Bob White Named President of ARI, Executive Appointments Announced

Company veterans tapped to lead the fleet and automotive services group’s plans for growth

ARI® and its parent company Holman Enterprises announced a series of executive appointments today designed to strengthen the company’s position as an integrated provider of B2B automotive and fleet related services. Company veteran Bob White has been named as President of ARI. He will be supported by a newly named team of ARI executive vice presidents.

Over a near 30 year career at ARI, White has held a number of progressive leadership positions including Vice President of Operations, and most recently Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He will now be responsible for all ARI operations globally, including the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, and Mexico.


Element Experts Anticipate Fleet Costs to Rise in 2018 – Gas, Tires and Interest Rates Were Factors in 2017 Total Cost of Ownership Increase

Higher fuel prices and tire costs contributed to a marked increase in the total cost of car and truck fleets in 2017, according to the third annual Element Fleet Management (TSX: EFN) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Index.

The Element TCO Index is a study that looks at major cost categories affecting businesses with car and truck fleets. It’s designed to help fleet, mobility and business managers understand how the changing economy impacts annual fleet ownership costs. The Index is published annually each spring, providing metrics from the previous year.


LeasePlan USA and Lyft Partner to Offer First-Ever Integration of Fleet and Ride Hailing

LeasePlan USA and Lyft, the fastest-growing ride hailing company in the United States, will provide companies with visibility and control of total transportation costs

On its journey to offer any car, anytime, anywhere, LeasePlan USA teams up with Lyft, the fastest-growing ride hailing company in the United States, to further shape What’s next in the future of mobility.

Through this partnership, LeasePlan will be able to provide its customers with more than vehicle leasing and fleet management services. With the Lyft integration, managing travel and fleet spend will be more streamlined for companies and their employees.


Fleet Spectator

It’s a brave new world there, folks. Conversational systems are yet another step forward in making the fleet world braver and newer

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Imagine you’re a fleet manager with a diminished support staff, and today you’ve received dozens of phone calls from drivers asking to replace a lost fuel card, fielded dozens more from drivers who want to know when their new car or newly upfitted truck will be delivered, and called a few dozen more who have yet to renew their vehicle registration. Meanwhile, there are few hundred drivers coming up to their next due date for routine vehicle maintenance and you know a bunch are going to forget to make their appointment.

Finding this hard to imagine? Not likely – all too easy instead, right? Two-way communication with drivers is one of the most important aspects of fleet management, and person-to-person telephone communications can be an unwieldy and ultimately ineffective solution, especially when they involve transactions that can only be turned over to be completed by a third party, your fleet management company. Might there be a more efficient way?

ARI thinks there is, and it’s pioneering the adaption of “conversational systems” – interactions between humans and computers that rely on common, natural language – to improve the efficiency of fleet communications.



The Mobile Workforce

Depreciation, new vehicle prices and residual value all affect industries with mobile workforces – here’s what you need to know in the year ahead.

By Ken Robinson

We live in a world where businesses can’t control everything that affects them. Stock markets, government regulations, labor laws and myriad of other outside forces that dictate the way a company runs and how it evolves.

Costs and spending trends are no different. A multitude of economic factors goes into how people spend their money, which in turn influences how businesses behave.

For businesses that have mobile workforces and vehicle programs – whether a flat allowance, company car, or reimbursement program – as part of their operations, this means that every fluctuation of fuel costs, driving trends and vehicular habits ultimately impacts them.

Ken Robinson, market research analyst at Motus, discusses a number of rising trends that will influence businesses with mobile workforces in the coming year, including increasing depreciation, rising new vehicle prices and declining residual values.



In the Public Interest

By Jason S. Hicks, CAFM

It’s a Sunday afternoon and the snow starts falling. Then the wind starts howling, and then the power goes out. It’s a blizzard that’s going to paralyze your region for days.

As fleet managers, we know that someday we may be required to operate and manage our fleet during a blizzard, hurricane, earthquake or any of a number of different kinds of disasters. And while you may well have developed a plan to keep your fleet running, it’s important to ask yourself: just how well-prepared are you? Have you fully thought through all that could go wrong to disrupt your fleet and how you would address each kind of challenge so you can help your government organization deliver the emergency services your citizenry will depend upon?

To answer those questions, you need to know what a sound and complete emergency plan looks like and needs to cover.

Guiding Principles

NAFA’s Emergency Operations Manual (2012) does a good job of outlining three major guiding principles that a fleet manager should consider in preparing to respond to an emergency:

  • Survivability – Does your plan actually work and can it operate in a disaster? Do you test your plan regularly, and make changes from lessons learned? Does your plan protect your supply chain?


Fleet Trends & Issues

Follow the Leader—Mom, Dad You’re It.

By Art Liggio, President and CEO, Driving Dynamics

Picture this scene: you, a seasoned fleet driver; are driving through the city, traveling at the posted speed-limit. You find yourself passing through busy controlled intersections—all of a sudden your cell phone rings, what is your next move?

Same scenario, but this time imagine your newly-licensed teenage son or daughter behind the wheel, driving through the city, traveling at the posted speed-limit, moving through busy controlled intersections—all of a sudden the cell phone rings, what will be your teenager’s response?

Like all parents, you hope that your teen will make the decision not to answer the call or respond to the text message. What assurances do you have that the correct decision will be made? The first step in helping your child become a safe and responsible driver is to acknowledge that you play the most important role in their success behind the wheel.


How APIs Can Help Fleets Track These Common Business Risks

By Bernie Kavanagh, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Large Fleet, WEX, Inc.

By getting machines to recognize patterns on their own, machine learning has powered massive data transformations across industries, making computing processes more efficient and affordable and making it possible for cars to drive themselves and for internet search functions to become increasingly sophisticated.

In the fleet industry, it’s already helped companies cut down on unnecessary fuel spend and to adopt technologies such as video-based driver safety systems. And thanks to new advances in Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), machine learning is now providing an entirely new level of data protection and security for B2B and cross-border payments.

These types of payments are historically complex and scattered through multiple parties. They require the movement of data along with funds and have been more complicated to track for mishaps and more vulnerable to fraudulent and unethical spending. In the past, to predict future spendings, companies had to manually track data-focused spending trends and habits. Today’s APIs allow fleet companies to monitor for suspicious behavior and fraudulent activity while also providing their employees with several options for payment.

READ MORE to learn how APIs can help fleets tackle these risks.

No ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ With Car Subscription Services


Instead of buying or leasing a car, subscription services offer simple and flexible ways to drive a vehicle, for one monthly fee, with options to exchange it according to tasks, or even moods.

Manufacturers such as Cadillac, Ford, Volvo and Porsche offer subscriptions to their cars, while companies such as Fair, Flexdrive, Clutch and Carma allow members to drive a variety of makes and models.

“This seems to be what people have been asking for all along — a negotiation-free way of driving a car,” says Matt Jones, a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. “And there’s no fear of buyer’s remorse — if you don’t like the car, jettison it and get something else.”

Read the article at USA TODAY.


Cold Weather Can Dramatically Chill The Chevy Bolt’s EV Range

The Washington Post

According to General Motors, the Bolt can travel nearly 240 miles on a single charge, but that number can easily be reduced 100 miles or more depending on road conditions, individual driving style and most importantly – cold weather.

EV range drops in low temperatures, especially when combined with abundant heater use, fast driving, quick trips multiple times a day and conventional braking (instead of regenerative).

“For any electric vehicle, range will always depend on several factors like weather, driving conditions, temperature preferences in the car and overall driver habits,” Joe LaMuraglia, a Chevrolet spokesman, said.

Read the article at The Washington Post.

Customer Driven

By Laura Jozwiak, Senior Vice President of Sales and Client Relations, Wheels, Inc.

Now what do we do?

We started having these Customer Driven conversations 18 months ago, sharing many topics over that time ranging from the importance of practice to going beyond expectations to building loyalty and authenticity. I have enjoyed hearing and being part of the conversations that these topics have spawned. It is inspiring to know that these ideas have expanded beyond this column.

That said, while we may have read and talked about these topics, taking action is what makes a difference. And now seems like a good time to discuss how to integrate this information into your specific world; what works for one person or organization may not work for others.

This is where it is helpful to have someone with whom you can bounce ideas around to determine how to best incorporate them into your situation. Think about a good role model or mentor within your organization who knows you well and can help direct what ideas would work best for your personality, your role, and company culture.



Delivering Value

The 13th annual Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America™ awards were announced today with Ford Motor Company, Nissan North America, and Toyota Motor Corporation showing strong fleet industry value with the three manufacturers winning nearly half of the 2018 Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards.

Ford earned seven Vincentric awards, led by the Taurus, which won for the eighth time, and the F-150 which took top honors for the sixth time.

Nissan had six winning vehicles, with the NV 200 delivering the win for the fifth year in a row in the Small Commercial Van segment and the Infiniti brand earning three awards in luxury segments.

Toyota’s strong fleet lineup was evident as they earned five Vincentric awards, led by the mid-size Camry and the Tacoma pickup which won for a record-setting 12th time.

BMW, Chevrolet, Subaru, and Mercedes-Benz also performed well, each taking home three Vincentric fleet awards, while Hyundai and Audi each had two award winning vehicles.



Globally Speaking

International Fleet World

By John Challen

What will be the impact of autonomous vehicles? George de Boer, leader of connected car initiatives at TomTom Telematics, does some crystal ball gazing.

Management systems have become essential tools for fleet managers and operators in recent years, helping to monitor and control company vehicles and employees when behind the wheel. But with so many systems in the marketplace – and with many of them offering the same or similar benefits – it can be confusing to know which is the right one to choose for a business.

TomTom Telematics is just one of the many service providers in the fleet management sphere, but it is fully focused on the evolution of the products it currently has, as well as preparing for new user models and forms of transportation. “We are using our 16 years of experience in commercial vehicles to get data from vehicles into one platform and making it understandable and valuable for fleet managers,” explains George de Boer, currently in charge of business development for connected cars, but a veteran of the TomTom business.

“The role of the fleet manager is different for cars to commercial vehicles as the former is more about monitoring where the fleet is, how much it is costing the company and the promotion of safer driving. In passenger cars there isn’t the need to know exactly where vehicles are and when they will be at their destination – not at the moment, anyway.”


Fleet Management Resources
AFLA – Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association
Providing the advanced forum for corporate fleet professionals to network with industry leaders.
The CEI Group Inc.
CEI is North America’s largest provider of fully integrated fleet accident management, driver safety and risk management services.
NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.
Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.
Since 1965, Donlen has been the fleet management industry’s leading provider of comprehensive, integrated financing and asset management solutions — and that spirit of innovation continues today.
PARS' mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.
Driven fleet professionals. Driving results.
Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.
Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 79 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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How telematics is rapidly changing the fleet management landscape.
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