April 7, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Thinking About Tomorrow

These last few months have been brutal for many of us as we struggle with the effects of the current crisis. Nevertheless, we remain optimistic that this, too, shall pass and we plan ahead for brighter days.

Ed Pierce reinforces that view in ‘Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow’ — offering insight into the challenges and opportunities marketers face in the midst of the pandemic.

Many of you know Ruth Alfson, CAFM, former president of NAFA and new fleet manager for the City of Cincinnati. Ruth is no stranger to dealing with crises, and with just two months into the job, she is well prepared to help the city cope with COVID-19.

How do you engage, focus and inspire your people when they are in lockdown? Storyteller Doug Keeley has an answer to that question in his free webinar this Thursday, April 9th.

Drive Safety, Keep Well!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Mentor by eDriving(SM) Sees Great Results with Service Fleets

Service fleets are seeing some great results with Mentor from eDriving – particularly beneficial are the “first notice of loss” feature and the DVIR feature.

VIDEO: AFLA Throughout the Year

 AFLA Offers Benefits Throughout the Year

AFLA is a lot more than an annual conference – it offers a variety of resources and networking connections throughout the year.

VIDEO: Mobile Maintenance from RepairSmith

 Mobile Vehicle Maintenance and Repair for Fleets

RepairSmith, backed by Daimler, offers on-site fleet service with ASE-certified mechanics delivering diagnostics, repair, maintenance, tire service, and state-regulated inspections (including BIT) direct to fleets.

The Fleet Spot

AFLA Corporate Fleet Conference — Registration is Open!

AFLA is going NextGen — October 4-7, Tucson Arizona — JW Marriott Starr Pass

AFLA is excited to announce that registration is now open for the AFLA 2020 Corporate Fleet Conference. The theme this year is NextGen and the conference task force is busy planning a session that will include education around fleet technology and what is coming down the pike, along with a hands-on component that will allow attendees to experience some of the technology that is currently available. Join AFLA for the 2020 event showcasing the best and brightest minds in corporate fleet management.

True to AFLA tradition, baked in is a lot of valuable networking time and opportunities to meet new corporate fleet professionals while visiting your friends in fleet.

New Driver Safety Smartphone Telematics Service Now Offered by Driving Dynamics

Driving Dynamics Inc.

Driving Dynamics Inc. announced the launch of DrivActiv iSight™, the latest product under the company’s DrivActiv™ digital safety and risk services brand.

It is a cost-effective, fleet risk and safety telematics service focused on real-time driving awareness and improvement.

This application, produced in conjunction with its development partner, DriveSmart, is a time-tested technology platform downloaded by more than 250,000 users. Using smartphone technology, it tracks and analyzes behaviors behind the wheel and enables fleet operators to identify trends, promote desired habits and skills, and monitor progress. To maximize objective self-assessment, drivers have access to personalized trip metrics and feedback.

Read the entire press release at Driving Dynamics Inc.

Scott Conlon Reduce TCO, Improve Efficiency Through Fleet Standardization

By Scott Conlon, Managing Director, Mercury Associates

Ask any fleet manager about fleet standardization and they will tell you that it can reduce the complexity of managing a fleet operation in many different areas.

The discussion will likely focus on improved technician proficiency, reduced on-hand parts inventories, and simplified purchasing—and having personally managed a transit bus garage, I know firsthand that these are all important benefits.

What is equally important, though, is how much these benefits affect total cost of ownership (TCO), and what other efficiencies are gained.


Webinar: Stories Rule!

How great leaders use stories in tough, virtual times — Thursday, April 9, 2020 — 12:00 PM EDT

How do you engage, focus and inspire your people when they are in lockdown? One way is to use business stories. Stories cut through the clutter, make an impact, and stick.

In this free webinar Doug Keeley, one of North America’s leading communicators, will share basic practices and tips on how to use and tell stories as a leader, several story patterns, and many examples of stories at work.

Keeley says, “Give me 45 minutes + Q&A of your Coronavirus day to learn how stories can be a leader’s best friend in these crazy times – and once we’re through this.”

Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

Yes, the headline is borrowed from Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, but its direct and anthemic direction should be “A Call to Action” for every B2B business even as the pandemic brings everything around us to a grinding halt.

Like any marketing professional, I believe that focused communications that serves customers’ needs is always welcome —good times or bad. Knowing your customer, prospects, competition, and their environmental conditions can help you frame that messaging.

During COVID-19, that message must bring reassurance and speak about preparing for tomorrow. It must be delivered in innovative ways, too, virtual events, video conferencing, podcasts, webinars, interactive content, recorded video, live streaming and other forms of online engagement.



In the Public Interest

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Only two months after being named fleet manager for the City of Cincinnati in January, Ruth Alfson, CAFM was faced with managing the fleet’s 2,500 vehicles and 1,000 additional units of small equipment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A nearly 30-year veteran of the industry and president of NAFA Fleet Management Association from 2015 to 2017, Ms. Alfson had seen her share of crises, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to three hurricanes while she was fleet manager for Seminole County, Florida.

Fleet Management Weekly called to interview Ms. Alfson last Tuesday, March 31, as the city’s mayor announced furloughs of 1,700 city employees, more than 20 percent of its workforce, in anticipation of a major shortfall in revenues caused by the virus. At the time, the illness hadn’t hit Ohio or the city with the fury it had already hit in other areas, but, as she explained, the city was trying to prepare for the worst by applying lessons learned from New York.



Remarketing the Right Way

Get an offer in hours, paid in a day, and move on to more important things

By Gary Mott, President, FLD, Inc.

As a pioneer – and fleet-industry leader – for more than 40 years, there’s one thing our team here at FLD has learned, and that is vehicle remarketing is an inherently risky process. One fraught with pitfalls that can confound even the most experienced fleet professional.

Without a competent remarketing process or partner, fleets can lose big money, squander valuable resources, and face mountains of aggravation. In fact, the traditional remarketing process can wreak havoc on a vehicle’s total cost of ownership as fleets wait weeks – and sometimes even months – to get paid after an off-lease vehicle is finally sold.

That’s a lot of risk – and most of the time it’s placed squarely on the backs of sellers.

With so many remarketing providers claiming to be experts, who can fleets count on to simplify the process, handle the details, and ensure maximum return on investment?


Fleet Trends & Issues

How Big Tech Survives Recessions and Always Comes Out Stronger

Fast Company

Tech is already at the forefront of helping us deal with various disruptions from the COVID-19 threat, as people use video conferencing and online collaborative tools to work from home.

Although the tech industry is not immune to a recession, it is in a much better place to weather the crisis than the travel industry, for example. In some ways, tech is being used a substitute for travel that’s no longer possible during the public health emergency. We’ll see the need for more technology, not less, to help us get through this challenging time in our history.

Invest more in R&D even during a recession, knowing that the market will eventually rebound and new and innovative technologies will drive future demand.

Read the article at Fast Company.

How To Get Your People Engaged And Aligned During The Coronavirus Outbreak


As the coronavirus presents new challenges for organizations, most leaders are dealing with too many unknowns as they make rapid, high-quality decisions.

Your workforce is tuned in to what’s happening on the front lines and has the data, information and knowledge to inform smart decisions. Unite them with your leadership team. Have them work together with you to get a handle on where the biggest challenges and opportunities lie, to ideate on what could be done, and then to agree on what will be done.

Keep them focused, aligned and energized to work on the right tasks. They likely can’t work on the same things in the same way that they had been a few days or weeks ago. They need new clarity on what to work on and what the expectations are in terms of timelines and deliverables.

Read the article at Forbes.

How to Handle a Job Search During a Pandemic

The Balance Careers

If you’ve lost your job due to COVID-19 or were in the middle of a job hunt when the coronavirus hit, don’t panic—and don’t give up job searching.

Even though it can be challenging, there are ways you can successfully look for work during a pandemic. Some industries are cutting back, but others are hiring.

Search Indeed for “urgently hiring” and your location to view immediate openings. That will give you a sense of what jobs are in demand in your location.

Read the article for tips at The Balance Careers.

Zoom CEO Apologizes For Having ‘Fallen Short’ On Privacy And Security


The founder and CEO of Zoom, Eric Yuan has apologized to the video conferencing app’s millions of users after coming under fire for a host of privacy issues at a time when it has emerged as a vital social and professional lifeline for many.

“We recognize that we have fallen short of the community’s — and our own — privacy and security expectations,” Eric Yuan said. “For that, I am deeply sorry.” Zoom crossed 200 million daily meeting participants in the month of March.

New features will not be added for the next 90 days and instead will focus solely on addressing privacy issues, Yuan said. The company will also release a transparency report, similar to the ones periodically shared by tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, which details requests for data or content from government authorities.

Read the article at CNN.

A Permanent Effect?

The Detroit Bureau

As bad an impact as the coronavirus pandemic has had on the auto industry already, things are likely only to grow worse in April and possibly, beyond.

Virtually nothing connected to the industry will escape unscathed, including automakers, parts suppliers, dealers, investors, and pretty much anyone else linked to the car business. AutoNation, the largest automotive retail chain in the U.S., shuttering showrooms across the U.S. and laying off at least 7,000 employees.

The auto industry was expected to go through some dramatic changes over the coming decade, including the debut of autonomous vehicles, as well as the shift from personal ownership to ride-sharing. EV programs will be pushed out and altered by the virus. Spending on autonomous vehicle development could also take a hit.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.


Global Telematics

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

One of the central components of the so-called “mobility revolution” is the booming application of telematics, the wireless digital connection of automobiles. Canada-based Geotab is a world leader in the field, and in this exclusive interview with Fleet Management Weekly, Edward Kulperger, the company’s senior vice president for Europe, provides an inside look into the company, discussing its size, growth rate, fleet focus and agenda for the transition to electric vehicles.

Geotab’s message to the global fleet market right now?

A couple of things. First, that we’re the largest telematics company in the world now. We have a little over 2 million connected vehicles. We’ve been investing heavily into electric vehicles and big data for many years, and we feel that we are well-positioned as a telematics data platform to take advantage of the next wave of investment into connecting your vehicles.

We have 40 billion data points coming into our system every day, so we are one of the largest Cloud organizations on the planet. As industry leaders have said, mobility – understanding and more efficiently managing the movement of goods and vehicles – is going to be the next megatrend, and we think we’re well ahead of the curve there. We’re entirely fleet-focused, and our investment into Big Data, EV technology, and enabling fleets to go and operate electric.



Coronavirus and Driver Safety

eDriving COVID-19 Resource Center

Around the world many people who work in health care, delivery, service, emergency response, government, and many other industries are continuing to leave their homes to ensure that essential supplies and services continue to reach those in need during this difficult time.

To help keep those who drive for work safe, eDriving has shared the following Driver Safety Tips, published as part of its dedicated COVID-19 Resource Center. Visit the Resource Center for Workplace Safety Guidance, Fleet Manager Guides and information on eDriving’s upcoming COVID-19 safety-related webinar and eLearning module.


Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

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.

WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions give you powerful tools to reduce spending — for any business, any fleet, any size.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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