Market Trends

Forecast Is for Fuel Prices to Remain Low for the Foreseeable Future -- Maybe Longer

Conventional wisdom in the fleet market is often wrong. If we roll back the calendar, the conventional wisdom about fuel prices was that there would be ebbs and flows in price per gallon rates, but the overall price trajectory would trend upward. The flaw with conventional wisdom is that it only works when no new variables are inserted into future projections. A case in point is the shale oil revolution, which now has experts predicting oil prices will remain flat for the foreseeable future. READ MORE

Snapshot of Fleet Manager Concerns and "Pain Points"

Summer is a busy time in fleet. There’s an abundance of next-model-year OEM fleet meetings, new-model intros, and industry conferences, which offer ample opportunities to “talk fleet” with the movers and shakers of our industry. If you want to know what's happening in the fleet market, you need to talk with fleet managers -- lots of them. READ MORE

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The Origin and History of Global Fleet Management

Up until the late 1990s, no corporation had a global, or even regional, fleet management reporting structure, with the possible exception of Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies. At the start of the 21st Century, managers with global fleet responsibilities began to proliferate. READ MORE

The stability of fuel pricing over the past 36 months, along with ongoing improvements in vehicle fuel economy, have been the key factors keeping fleet operating costs relatively flat. Since fuel spend makes up, on average, approximately 60% of a fleet’s total operating costs, the trajectory of the price per gallon of fuel has a huge impact on overall operating costs. Chart courtesy of Gasbuddy.

Fleet Operating Costs Remain Stable for Fourth Consecutive Year

The stability of fuel pricing over the past 36 months, along with ongoing improvements in vehicle fuel economy, have been the key factors keeping fleet operating costs relatively flat. READ MORE

Institutionalizing Cost-Control Strategies

Senior management exerts intense pressure on fleet managers to control and/or reduce vehicle acquisition and operating expenses. To accomplish this, a fleet managers can pursue three different cost-control strategies — cost savings, cost deferral, or cost avoidance. In order to implement a successful cost-control strategy you need to institutionalize the mechanisms to curb money-wasting behaviors. READ MORE

Lessons Learned From Great Fleet Managers

There is a difference between a well-managed fleet and a best-in-class fleet. A “best-in-class fleet” is one that represents the top-tier performance level in its specific industry segment. READ MORE

Exceptions Are the Fatal Flaw to Fleet Policy

Any time you make an exception to fleet policy in resolving a driver-related problem, you may potentially create a new problem that will come back to haunt you in the future. READ MORE

Decrease Incidents of Unscheduled Truck Maintenance Caused by Overloading

When a truck is overloaded, its operating performance will be strained, accelerating wear-and-tear on brakes and other wear components, such as tire, which have higher failure rates because they run hotter due to the increased load. Another issue is axle overloading, which causes premature wear-and-tear on tires and suspension components. READ MORE

Real-World Advice on How to Excel on a Fleet Sourcing Team

To be successful on a sourcing team, you need to be open-minded about exploring all available service channels and partners. However, open-minded doesn’t mean being open-headed. You must listen and entertain new ideas, but also temper such a practice and attitude with pragmatism and knowledge. READ MORE

Tech Advances Will Put Downward Pressure on Overall Fleet Size

In the long run, technology will exert inexorable downward pressure on overall fleet size and will eliminate altogether the need for some fleet vehicles. Despite this, fleet management will survive, albeit in a smaller capacity, and, most likely, in a completely different form than what we know today. READ MORE

Avoid Repeating Past Inefficiencies: Build the Truck to Match Today’s Application

I asked one fleet manager how he spec’ed replacement trucks for his fleet application. He related that many years earlier an OEM rep spec’ed out his trucks and he has been using the same formula ever since. While this may work in some cases, specifications should be defined by today’s fleet application to ensure the replacement truck is designed to accommodate current operational requirements rather than trying to make your operation conform to trucks spec’ed for yesteryear’s requirements. READ MORE

Conduct an Efficiency Audit to Eliminate Waste in Your Fleet Budget

Reducing fleet costs is a constant, never-ending struggle for all fleet managers, especially since every aspect of fleet management revolves around money. In lieu of requesting additional budget dollars, one course of action is to stop the waste of existing dollars.It is estimated that, on average, 5-10% of a fleet’s annual budgeted dollars are wasted. READ MORE

Antich

Blog: Model-Year Versus Calendar-Year Terminology

One challenge to global fleet management is adjusting to different fleet terminology for different regions. One example is the difference between the use of “model-year” and “calendar-year” in describing the year of a fleet vehicle. READ MORE

Payload Requirements Are the Foundation to Properly Spec’ing a Truck

Properly identifying payload parameters is the foremost consideration to properly spec’ing a truck. To illustrate this fact, the weight of the payload will determine the engine, transmission, size of tire, frame, and just about everything else. READ MORE

Big Data and Advanced Analytics will Further Intertwine Procurement and Fleet

Looking ahead, how will procurement and fleet evolve in the future? My prediction is there will be market forces (both internal and external), along with technological enhancements, that will facilitate a much closer collaboration between the two disciplines using a combination of in-house and outsourced expertise. READ MORE

Five Technology Trends that will Disrupt Global Fleet Management

In many ways, innovations in consumer technology are outpacing innovations in corporate technology. With this in mind, it is important to watch how technology is evolving outside of fleet and how it can be incorporated into day-to-day fleet management. READ MORE

Top 10 Traits to Be a Great Global Fleet Manager

A great global fleet manager is a strategic thinker and visionary who has the ability to develop and communicate this vision. There isn’t a single trait that epitomizes a great global fleet manager; rather, it is a multitude of traits interacting with one another. READ MORE

Fleet to be Impacted by Broader Procurement Trends

Just as with fleet management, there are many disruptive changes anticipated in the broader discipline of corporate procurement, much of it technologically driven. Many of these changes will directly impact fleet sourcing decisions. READ MORE

Employees Using Company Vehicles to Moonlight as Uber Drivers

A growing number of employees have been caught using their company vehicles as a tool to generate supplemental personal income for themselves.The fastest-growing trend in unauthorized usage of company vehicles is working as an Uber or Lyft driver. But using company vehicles to moonlight goes far beyond Uber and Lyft. READ MORE

Drivers Aren’t Users, They’re Customers

Some fleet managers have an adversarial relationship with drivers. These internal customers aren’t your nemesis. In order to develop a service mindset, you need to view work from the customers’ perspectives. Define your functions with the customer in mind. The fleet manager is responsible for creating a fleet culture that values all internal customers, even difficult ones. READ MORE

It is Critical to Get Out of Your Office to Assess Vehicle Usage Issues

Many view fleet management as being a desk job, but it is more than that. When trouble-shooting fleet problems, such as increased costs for a particular user group, it is important to identify the root cause, which often requires on-site visual inspection of fleet assets and how they are being utilized. READ MORE

Why the Fleet Manager Should be the Gatekeeper to Procurement

The strategic procurement process typically involves a multifunctional sourcing team. This cross-functional team often designates a “gatekeeper” responsible for controlling the flow of information to the group. When selecting a fleet supplier, I strongly believe the fleet manager needs to be the gatekeeper. Here are the arguments supporting this assertion. READ MORE

Cost Control is Constrained Without Driver Buy-in

The fundamental requirements of your business necessitates minimum fleet equipment specifications that, as a result, pre-define the expense parameters from both a fixed and operating cost perspective. If you acquire vehicle assets that best fulfill your fleet application, then any supplemental cost reduction will only be based on incremental refinements The best way to achieve additional cost reduction is by modifying driver behavior. READ MORE

How Fleets Inadvertently Violate Privacy Laws

There are more than 3,000 federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting unauthorized dissemination or access to employee personally identifiable information (PII). However, employee privacy is sometimes inadvertently compromised by fleets. The reason this occurs is because the PII that was electronically captured by the out-of-service fleet vehicle is not deleted. READ MORE

How to Become a Best-in-Class Multinational Fleet

Change is percolating in the management of multinational fleets, which is being driven by global market dynamics, evolving procurement trends, and technology platform upgrades that are facilitating cross-border management of individual country fleets. Developing the subject-matter expertise of managing a fleet from a global perspective is going to become a core competency for fleet managers at multinational corporations. READ MORE

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Author Bio

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Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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