December 4, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

‘At Everything We Do, We Do the Best We Can’

When Jim Christiano founded PARS 20 years ago, he brought to his new company a business philosophy consistent with his own core values. Those guiding principles have been key to the company’s growth and success.

As the fleet industry has changed over the years, PARS has also changed, responding to ever more complex and demanding challenges.

FMW is delighted to feature a chronicle of PARS’ evolution and congratulate Jim Christiano and his leadership team.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

Thought Leadership

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

Disruptive Leadership — Master the principles of disruptive leadership

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

Managing the Reimbursed Fleet — Expert strategies to manage mobile employees

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

Talent Management — Smart guidelines to help you manage the talent in your workplace


VIDEO: Large, Complicated Vehicle Moves Done Successfully

With the right people and the right technology, large, complicated vehicle moves can be done successfully.

VIDEO: Women in Fleet Management

 Lessons from Water Skiing – as Applied to Fleet

This fleet professional was once a pro water skier – and she learned a lot by having to get herself back up over and over again.

VIDEO: Fleet Management Companies

 The Wheels Difference

This video from Wheels nicely lays out the company’s relentless focus on customer success.

The Fleet Spot

Dock411 Recognized Among Most Innovative and Disruptive Companies in Freight

Dock411, a freight technology provider focused on helping shippers increase capacity, was awarded 12th place on the Freight.Tech 100 list which recognizes the most innovative and disruptive companies in freight.

Mark LeGrand, Dock411 Vice President of Sales, said, “After having literally thousands of conversations with individuals at organizations that are challenged with the lack of facility information, Dock411 developed a robust tool that reduces driver downtime, reduces preventable accidents on site and increases revenue.

“It is no coincidence that the solution Dock411 has developed has met the end users’ expectations by listening to their needs. However, it is very humbling to be recognized as a Freight.Tech 25 winner with so many other iconic technology companies.”


NAFA Webinar: How to Preserve Fleet Value and Control Fleet Costs

When: Wednesday, December 19. 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM EST

Instructor: Jim Rice, Vice President, Mid-Market Sales, Lytx

You have a gold mine sitting in your parking lot: your fleet. In this webinar, you’ll learn strategies to help you protect that rolling investment so you can improve cash flow. Join us to hear about tools that you can use immediately to preserve fleet value-including tips on preventive maintenance, vehicle acquisition, and safety.


Wheels Inc. Collaborates with Toyota to Offer Expanded Vehicle Connectivity

Wheels, Inc. recently announced a collaboration with Toyota Connected North America that will enable its customer companies to unlock a range of information from their Toyota vehicles that offers valuable insights on driving behavior and better positions them to improve the safety of their fleets.

“As the world becomes more connected, Wheels is committed to leading the way in helping fleets take advantage of the opportunities this presents,” said Ahsan Rahim, chief operating officer of Wheels Inc.


The Special Challenges of Law Enforcement Fleet Safety

By Robert Martinez, Deputy Commissioner, New York City Police Department

When we think of the safety of law enforcement officers, we usually think of the dangers they face from armed criminals.

But when they drive a department vehicle, they also face the same kinds of dangers as every other fleet driver, with one difference: to do their jobs properly, they are forced into high-risk behaviors, like high-speed chases and interactions with drivers on the shoulders of roadways with fast traffic, often at night.


PARS at 20

“At everything we do, we do the best we can”

By Mark Boada, Executive

Back in 1998, when Jim Christiano retired from a long career at General Motors, he created a new company to serve the needs of automotive fleets looking to relocate their vehicles. He called it, simply enough, PARS – short for Professional Automobile Relocation Service – and set up shop in Gainesville, Virginia, some 35 miles west of Washington, D.C. As Jim puts it, the idea was simple: to move vehicles from Point A to B.

However, as the company grew, so did the market. Customer demands changed, and, in response, the company and its menu of services moved from simple to the broad and very complicated. The problem – if you can call it that, because it was also key to the company’s growth – was Jim’s basic business philosophy. It comes down to two basic principles.



Fleet Asset Management

By Chad Christensen, Strategic Consultant, Element Fleet Management

Upfitting is an integral part of ensuring service fleet drivers can accomplish their jobs, but it is one of the most challenging aspects of fleet management.

To help optimize the upfitting process, the Element strategic consulting team put together a guide for avoiding common upfitting mistakes.

Mistake #1: Selecting an upfitter based solely on price or location
Choosing the least expensive or nearest upfitter isn’t always the best option. When selecting a truck upfitter, think beyond cost and location. Upfitters can vary in workmanship and use different quality materials.



Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

In a recent INC. magazine article by Garrett Moonco, founder and CEO of CoSchedule, he referenced research his team conducted among 1,500 or so marketing professionals about what makes them successful.

His conclusion was that there are four consistent traits that characterize successful marketers:

1. Marketing strategy documentation
The study found that marketers who document their marketing strategy are 538 percent more likely to report success than those who don’t. Given that the marketing strategy is the guide for decision-making, prioritization, and the proper mix of ingredients, top marketers have a clear sense of where they are going and how they need to get there. They have a better chance for success.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Kelley Blook Book’s 2018 Best Resale Value Awards


If you want to get the most car for your money, you have to do more than research your way to a fair price and secure good financing rates. Simply choosing a vehicle that has better resale value than the others on your shopping list is one of the easiest ways to save money when buying a new car.

“Our Best Resale Value Awards are based on what we consider the best research and analysis process in the industry. Our resale value projections take into account current vehicle data, sales data, market conditions for each vehicle, competition within vehicle segments, expectations of the future economy and the combined experience of Kelley Blue Book’s team of market and pricing analysts. This is hard-earned data that can save you thousands of dollars, and it’s yours for free.”

Read the article at KBB.

Drunk Driver Slept While Tesla Appeared to Drive Hwy 101 on Auto-Pilot

San Francisco Chronicle

When a pair of California Highway Patrol officers pulled alongside a car cruising down Highway 101 in Redwood City before dawn Friday, they reported a shocking sight: a man fast asleep behind the wheel.

The car was a Tesla, the man was a Los Altos planning commissioner, and the ensuing freeway stop turned into a complex, seven-minute operation in which the officers had to communicate with the vehicle’s autopilot system because the driver was unresponsive, according to the CHP.

The arrest of 45-year-old Alexander Samek on suspicion of drunken driving reignited questions about the uses, and potential abuses, of self-driving technology.

Read the article at San Francisco Chronicle.

Trump Says General Motors Should Pay Back Bankruptcy Aid


After General Motors announced the closing of five North American assembly and powertrain plants, Trump said GM should pay back the billions it cost taxpayers to rescue the company out of bankruptcy “if GM doesn’t want to keep their jobs in the United States.”

On Tuesday, he said he might yank all electric-car subsidies, including the $7500 federal tax credit which goes to consumers, not to General Motors and said he is “very disappointed” with GM CEO Mary Barra. The company also announced plans to fire 15 percent of its salaried employees across the world, which could see thousands more jobless in the United States.

Read the article at MSN.

Trump Tariffs On European and Asian Cars Will Significantly Cost US Jobs


The Trump administration has turned a deaf ear to arguments from the auto industry regarding the taxing of every automobile coming into the U.S. from any country other than Canada and Mexico. Higher auto tariffs will harm American families and workers, costing tens of thousands of jobs.

The European Union has made enormous investments in stateside plants building most of the vehicles sold in the U.S. in those plants. Mercedes builds vehicles in Alabama. BMW‘s biggest plant in the world is in South Carolina. Volkswagen has a plant in Tennessee with growing volumes of vehicles built there. Asian companies also have enormous manufacturing footprints in the U.S.

Read the article at Forbes.

More Than Telematics

By Ed Dubens, CEO & Founder, eDriving

Telematics technology is largely credited with changing fleet management.

In fact, a quick search of telematics online suggests that it is a vital part of fleet management, that monitoring drivers is increasingly accepted, and that telematics provides fleet managers with the information they need, when they want it and how they want to digest it.

Yet, as technology adoption becomes more and more commonplace for fleets and having personally witnessed some of the world’s largest fleets successfully reduce the number of collisions, injuries and license violations, as well as their total cost of ownership (TCO), I have an insight to share with fleet managers: telematics alone is not enough!



Distracted Driving

The Washington Post

Researchers at the Risk Institute at Ohio State University found that distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death, compared with other crashes, particularly if those distraction-related crashes involve rear-end collisions or occur in work zones or on interstate highways.

The risk and severity of distraction-related crashes seem to diminish with roundabouts – perhaps because those roadway configurations force drivers to pay attention. The analysis found that in-vehicle distractions accounted for 48 percent of the crashes.

Read the article at The Washington Post.


Leading a Fulfilling Life

Fast Company

For over 75 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations: 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).

Due to the length of the research period, this has required multiple generations of researchers.

The conclusion? According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one thing surpasses all the rest in terms of importance: “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

Read the article at Fast Company.

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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