August 18, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

‘Budget: A Mathematical Confirmation of Your Suspicions’

The above quote, attributed to one A.A. Latimer, may be spot on for our virus-laden times. It’s likely that whatever you had budgeted for 2020 may now be rendered irrelevant or impossible. Ed Smith, president of Agile Fleet, tells us that 80 percent of fleet managers expect budget reductions next year. Smith offers us some sound solutions in Reducing Costs Due to COVID-19? Here are Some Ideas on Where to Cut.

In a helpful e-brief, Verizon Connect gives us some recommendations on strengthening our businesses to emerge stronger after this virus is defeated: Preparing for the post-COVID-19 Fleet – How to turn your downtown to uptime. This caught our eye immediately: “Get laser-focused on cost control.”

If you don’t know David Dunn, manager of Orlando’s fleet and facilities management division, we are delighted to introduce you to him. FMW interviewed Dunn for this article: Orlando’s Fleet: On the Cutting Edge of Sustainability. He has saved the city millions of dollars and made dramatic reductions in Orlando’s carbon footprint. How he did it is impressive!

Drive Safety and Stay Well!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Meeting the Challenges of the Pandemic

Palm Beach County has been working hard to meet the many challenges of the pandemic.

VIDEO: Virtual I&E

 NAFA 2020 Virtual Institute Expo Preview

Join the fleet and mobility community attending NAFA’s 2020 Virtual Institute & Expo (I&E), taking Place September 14-17, 2020. This immersive four-day learning experience designed to help you navigate your top challenges with innovative solutions, including process automation, mobility, connectivity and other emerging technologies, during this unprecedented market disruption.

Learn more about the event and to register by visiting

Interview with YOU Here?

 Request for Zoom Video Interviews

We’re ramping up FMW’s video interviews via Zoom given the times, and are looking to speak with a variety industry experts (and we know that many of you are reading!).

Please feel free to suggest yourself, or someone you know. Any and all timely industry topics will be considered, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more:

The Fleet Spot

Drive Growth and Innovation at AFLA NextGen 2020 Virtual Corporate Fleet Conference

Unleash Innovation. Revolutionize how you think and work. Embrace change and challenge the status quo to drive real transformation.

AFLA NextGen 2020 Virtual Corporate Fleet Conference. October 5-7, 2020!

The fate of Kodak and Blockbuster are evidence that no matter how popular or beloved your brand, its survival depends on your ability to innovate. From CEO and TED-talk veteran Lisa Bodell, you’ll learn how to survive by strategically challenging the status quo and building change from the middle out. Objectively analyze your entire business to identify external threats as well as internal weaknesses—and solve for them. By killing your own company, you’ll teach teams how to better pivot, deal with wildcards, and proactively embrace change.

Learn More — Register TODAY

NAFA Webinar: Vehicle Utilization Success Story: How Seattle’s Sound Transit Saved $Millions & Right-Sized the Fleet

Wednesday, August 19 — 12:00-1:00 pm Eastern — (Sponsored by Agile)

Seattle’s Sound Transit reduced their fleet by 115 vehicles saving millions of dollars in cost avoidance while right-sizing their fleet.

In this webinar, hear their story directly from the manager of their non-revenue fleet, and learn how they manage vehicles in 6 different geographical locations from a single office, automated manual processes, boosted utilization rates, and track usage automatically.

Click here to learn more and register!

Motivating Government Fleet Employees Without Using Money

The NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner’s approach

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Editor’s Note: In this time of looming cuts in government budgets, prompted by the COVID-19 recession, public sector fleet managers may be wondering how to keep their technicians, administrators and managers motivated without meaningful pay increases and opportunities for overtime.

Nine years ago, Robert Martinez, then a manager within the New York Police Department’s fleet, presented a paper on that subject to fellow students at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s program for senior executives in state and local government.

Today, Martinez, who holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and mechanical engineering from the City University of New York and a master’s degree in executive management from New York University, is the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for support services, which includes responsibility for the department’s entire 10,000-vehicle fleet and more. In these edited excerpts from his 2011 paper, Martinez presents the management principles he continues to stand by and to which he credits much of the success of his 900-member organization.


Insight. Skills. Trends. NAFA’s 2020 Virtual Institute & Expo.

Attending NAFA 2020 Virtual Institute & Expo goes far beyond your typical online education by offering a comprehensive experience including conference sessions, the industry’s largest Expo, and extensive networking opportunities. It’s a must-attend event and you can get $100 off by Joining NAFA and attending Virtual I&E now AND $200 off I&E 2021 registration. Register to attend and join NAFA now for only $499, then save again later.

NAFA Virtual I&E is filled with fleet and mobility solutions and best practices you need to stay ahead. Join fleet professionals and industry leaders for THE digital fleet event of the year.


Smart Ways to Cut Costs

By Ed Smith, President, Agile Fleet

Did you know that 80% of fleet managers expect budget reductions next year?

Fleets hit hard financially by the COVID-19 crisis may now be required to make changes that will reduce costs, increase social distancing and sanitation, and improve efficiency. The good news is that it may not be as difficult as you may think. Things like right-sizing, eliminating underused vehicles from the fleet, and sharing vehicles in a self-service motor pool (that can be operated remotely!) can all significantly reduce costs.

Did you know that the carrying cost of one passenger vehicle is between $3,500-$8,000 annually? If you can eliminate just 5 underused vehicles out of your fleet for example, you can save between $17,000 and $40,000 a year.

One of the best ways to reduce costs and (improve social distancing) is by implementing a shared vehicle fleet with a self-service motor pool system. Sharing vehicles, rather than allowing people to use assigned vehicles, not only reduces costs but offers many benefits to your employees.



Turning Downtime to Uptime

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic emerged, fleet-based businesses have faced a number of logistical, operational and monetary challenges. If your business is presently slow, that won’t always be the case.

Before things get busy again, owners and managers may want to consider making the most of this downtime to help build a strong foundation for the future.  Now is the ideal time for fleet owners to constructively take stock of existing processes and establish new procedures to help strengthen their business to emerge stronger in the post-COVID-19 world:

  • Get laser-focused on cost control through engine diagnostics, service records tracking, monitoring fuel usage and wear and tear.
  • Make the most of analytics and reporting these days to monitor critical business aspects. Capitalize on the available time to do trend analysis, API integration or review critical reports.
  • Improve customer experience by closely monitoring customer feedback with the help of technology. Use this time to reach out and act upon specific concerns.

In this free ebrief, you will find out ways to help transform today’s current downtime into your future uptime. Click to Download.


In the Public Interest

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

If the city of Orlando, Florida, meets its goal of relying on nothing but renewable energy by 2050, David Dunn will have had a lot to do with it.

Since 2006, Dunn has worked for the city, first in its facilities management department and since 2011 with the added responsibility for fleet operations as manager of Orlando’s fleet and facilities management division. As such, he’s been in a unique position to leverage the assets of the division to make dramatic reductions in the city’s carbon footprint and saving the city millions of dollars in what it spends on electricity and fuel.

Its mandate is for every one of the city’s fleet of some 2,600 on road cars, trucks and buses, and 1,400 other vehicles to be powered by alternative fuels by 2030. It may seem like a tall order, but the fleet is nearly there, and Dunn speaks with the assurance of someone who’s been the executive in charge of a fleet that’s won a place in the 100 Best Fleets in North America every year since 2012.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Teens Are The Riskiest Drivers, But They Drive The Least Safe Vehicles


More than a quarter of teen drivers killed in crashes during 2013-17 were driving micro, mini or small cars, and nearly two-thirds were driving 6-15-year-old vehicles, indicating almost no change compared with 2008-12.

Previous research has shown that teens drive less than older drivers, but they crash about 4 times as often, relative to the number of miles they drive. Teens were also less likely to be driving vehicles equipped with standard side airbags and electronic stability control (ESC) and more likely to be driving models on which those features aren’t even options.

“It’s understandable that parents don’t want to shell out big bucks for their teen’s first car, and they probably don’t realize how much safer a newer, larger vehicle is,” says IIHS Research Scientist Rebecca Weast, lead author of the paper. “Small vehicles don’t protect as well in a crash, and older vehicles are less likely to be equipped with essential safety equipment.”

Read the article at IIHS.

Uber And Lyft Could Shut Down In California This Week. It May Not Help Their Cause

CNN Business

Uber and Lyft have said they may suspend their operations in California as soon as this week while simultaneously pushing for a referendum in November to exempt them from the law, known as AB-5.

The threats from the companies to halt their businesses came after a California court ordered them to reclassify their drivers as employees instead of independent contractors in 10 days.

Both companies are grappling with sharp revenue declines from the pandemic and have histories of steep losses. Now they risk losing access to a state whose economy is larger than most countries – or else overhauling their business models.

Read the article at CNN Business.

Interest In Electric Pickups Is Growing, With Rivian’s R1T At The Top

Detroit Free Press

According to a July survey of Tweets, interest in electric pickups is growing, and the early leaders — very early, since none of the vehicles in question exists yet — are Rivian’s R1T and the Tesla Cybertruck.

The F-150, of course, has been the bestselling vehicle in the U.S. for decades. An electric version should be available in 2022. The Chevy Silverado, America’s  No. 2 seller with an EV model promised by 2025, also failed to make the list.

“We’ll see a flurry of EV pickup trucks rolled out over the next few years,” Cox Automotive senior analyst Michelle Krebs said. “We have no indication of who will buy them. Will traditional pickup buyers suddenly convert to EVs? Or will these EV pickups attract buyers who normally wouldn’t consider a truck? We don’t know yet.”

Read the article at Detroit Free Press.

Kia Blind Spot Monitoring And Crash Avoidance Wins 2020 Autoblog Technology Of The Year Award


Autoblog’s editorial staff judged the combination of blind spot monitoring and active blind spot crash avoidance on the 2020 Kia Telluride as the best in the industry.

Kia’s system starts with a traditional blind spot warning light in the side mirror. When equipped with the available head-up display, there’s a second warning light beamed onto the windshield in your line of sight adjacent to other information. This lets you know if there’s a car in your blind spot without even turning around to look.

If all this fails, the blind spot collision avoidance system will attempt to prevent a crash for you. When an approaching vehicle is detected next to or too close behind your vehicle, the system can apply the brakes to the opposite side of the car, dragging it back over into your lane before a collision occurs. It notifies the driver in the dash when this activates.

Read the article at Autoblog.

Resistance to EVs


The resistance to EVs you see online, isn’t usually about the price – it seems to be driven by a fundamental dislike for change, and the lack of EV options for different vehicular needs.

EVs aren’t all about taking all your fossil fuel cars and making them electric. There’s also a significant shift in the way we transport ourselves which has been further accentuated by the Covid pandemic. There are also issues with automotive industry workers and their powerful unions being worried about losing their jobs.

A further reluctance comes from the dealerships. because car sales margins are traditionally low, and they make their money selling aftermarket service packages – which are almost not needed with EVs, particularly when they are fully connected, allowing remote management and diagnostics.

Read the article at Forbes.


Customer Driven

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

Well, here we are.

It’s five months into the COVID-19 pandemic. And for many of us, we’re working from home and learning new technologies—and using fun backgrounds—to improve our virtual meetings skills. We’re all balancing supporting our customers while adjusting to new routines, such as preparing to balance more remote learning for our kids.

During any period of crisis and stress, our programmed response is flight or fight. I also think of it as “freeze in place” or “move forward.” For this conversation, I would like to talk about moving forward, while keeping the customer driven mindset you’ve cultivated at the forefront.

Let’s go back in time to set the stage a bit.



Leadership Now


The COVID-19 crisis has prompted countless companies to shut their office doors and rethink whether staff need to be in those offices as much as before the pandemic, or even at all.

If remote working is going to work, leaders have to communicate more and be extra vigilant about removing as much ambiguity as they can from their exchanges with staff, particularly in email, in which the recipients don’t have the benefit of hearing the sender’s tone.

The opportunities for people to worry about hidden meaning have gone up exponentially, because many of us no longer see our managers every day, and because we are all living in a time of great uncertainty. Because of this, leaders need to make sure that their communications are as free of ambiguity as possible, so that all employees who are working remotely can focus on the work itself, rather than worrying about what the boss is thinking.

Read the article at strategy+business.

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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