Market Trends

Upward Pressure on Fleet Costs Threatens to Increase TCO

Recently, I conducted a survey of several hundred fleet managers to identify emerging industry trends. One recurrent theme expressed by fleet managers was the concern that fleet costs are starting to experience upward pricing pressures. Here's what they told me. READ MORE

How to Minimize Unauthorized Use of Corporate Assets

A growing number of employees are using their company vehicles as a tool to generate supplemental personal income for themselves. Unscrupulous service technicians are known to use company vans to moonlight for their personal business. Fleet managers must be vigilant about the unauthorized use of corporate assets and aggressively implement preventive measures. READ MORE

Why Competent Fleet Managers Are Terminated

Over the years, I have known many competent fleet managers. But, like salmons swimming upstream, not every promising fleet manager survives the challenges and rigors of day-to-day fleet management. It is understandable when fleet managers are fired for making expensive mistakes or when caught engaging in ethical transgressions, but, sadly, many more are terminated for circumstances that are entirely avoidable. READ MORE

Forces Threaten to Change Fleet From a Career to a Stepping Stone

Although fleet management is a relatively new career segment, changes are percolating that threaten to transform it from a career path to a corporate stepping stone. The confluence of three fleet megatrends will be the catalyst fueling this transition. READ MORE

Optimized Truck TCO Starts with the Right Specs

Vehicle specifications should be defined by the fleet application and mission requirements. A truism in truck fleet management is to design a truck that will accommodate your operational requirements rather than trying to make your operation conform to the truck. Here's how you do it. READ MORE

Top Trends, Challenges, & Opportunities in South American Fleet Market

The South American fleet market has tremendous potential that will grow in tandem with the forecast of the region’s retail automotive market growing significantly by 2025, becoming one of the top three growth markets globally for light-vehicle sales. READ MORE

IBM Watson Will Revolutionize Health Care: Can It Be Integrated into Fleet Processes?

At a fundamental level, the fleet management industry is an aggregator of data upon which it executes actions designed to optimize vehicle asset lifecycle – from acquisition to disposal – and to fine-tune operational efficiencies to maximize employee productivity. A cognitive computing platform, such as IBM Watson, would thrive in this type of data-rich environment. READ MORE

Discrimination Against Vocational Vehicles

Can a branded vocational vehicle be ticketed for being parked in an employee driver’s home driveway? Or, can it be subject to a fine if legally parked overnight on the side of a street? Before you say no, think again. These discriminatory practices occur regularly when vocational vehicles are parked in residential areas governed by a homeowner association (HOA). In fact, the type of restrictions implemented against vocational or branded vehicles can run the gamut and are at the whim of the HOA. READ MORE

Next-Gen Employees Attach Less Importance to Face-to-Face Meetings

The value of face-to-face meetings is beginning to be questioned by younger generation employees who have only known a world interconnected by the internet, social media, and FaceTime. In particular, they question the cost-effectiveness of traveling by car from point A to point B, its negative impact on corporate sustainability goals, the inefficient use of time lost behind the wheel of a vehicle, and more. READ MORE

Don't Underutilize the Expertise of Your Suppliers

For many managers responsible for vehicle operations, fleet management is often one of several job responsibilities. These managers acknowledge that it is difficult to stay on top of changes in vehicle design, powertrains, onboard safety technology, telematics capabilities, and regulatory changes that impact fleet operations. Despite this recognition, a common mistake made by many of these managers is underutilizing the subject-matter expertise of current and/or prospective suppliers. READ MORE

The Future of Fleet Is Managing the Connected Vehicle Ecosystem

In the next decade, the term "fleet management" will soon become inadequate to fully define the scope of our industry and it will be viewed as an anachronistic label. Today's vehicle connectivity megatrend will be the catalyst of an expanded fleet business model focused on managing a new connected vehicle ecosystem. This fleet ecosystem will encompass not only the vehicle, but also the mobile workers and, more importantly, the work they performed and the tools they use. READ MORE

Fleet Will Need to Reinvent Itself as a New Vision of Fleet Management Emerges

Over the past several decades, the purchasing managers of yesteryear reinvented themselves into procurement professionals whose function is now viewed as a strategic asset that provides a competitive advantage to a corporation. Can fleet management, likewise, elevate its perceived value to a corporation, especially in the eyes of its senior management? I say yes, and the timing is right to do so. READ MORE

Deciphering the DNA of Award-Winning Fleet Professionals

During my tenure in fleet, I have had the privilege of meeting all 32 fleet manager who won the AF Fleet Manager of the Year Award and the 12 executives who won the FF Fleet Executive of the Year Award. Although each managed different types and sizes of fleets, there were common traits found among these award-winning fleet professionals.Based on my observations, here’s what they had in common: READ MORE

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Fuel Card Fraud Is on the Increase

Since 2016, there has been an ongoing uptick in fuel card fraud. In light of this, it is important for companies to develop a fraud prevention strategy addressing misuse, slippage, and outright fraud. READ MORE

Growth of Crossovers & Compact SUVs in Fleet Is a Global Phenomenon

Crossover utility vehicles and compact SUVs represent the fastest growing segments in the global automotive industry in every region of the world, impacting both retail and fleet sales READ MORE

Successful Fleet Managers Excel as Servant Leaders

Internal users are too often treated by some fleet managers as a captive audience that can be dictated to and shown little respect; however, it is important to remember the reason your fleet department exists is to support user departments. You are the business partner of these departments that rely upon you to provide superb customer service to help them fulfill their daily tasks. READ MORE

U.S. Fleet Upfitting Industry Experiencing Uptick in Consolidation

The fleet industry in the United States is no stranger to acquisitions and mergers as we have witnessed with the decades long consolidation occurring among fleet leasing and management companies, automotive OEMs and their suppliers, and daily rental companies. The same holds true for the upfitting industry, which, in the first eight months of 2017, witnessed an uptick in acquisitions. READ MORE

How to Control Rogue Spending in Fleet

Procurement studies reveal that 20% or more of total corporate spend is for purchases that could have been acquired at a lower cost. READ MORE

Spec’ing Today’s Trucks to Meet Tomorrow’s Needs

When you spec truck assets today, many of these vehicles will be in service for 10 to 15 years or longer. While these assets are adequate for today’s business, will this still be true 10 to 15 years from now? This is an important question because some fleet managers tend to focus on today’s needs and neglect the long-term considerations as to how job requirements may evolve in the future. READ MORE

Human Nature Prone to Take Advantage of Docile Autonomous Vehicles

The co-existence between autonomous and human-controlled vehicles (along with others who use public roads) will bring new issues into play, primarily because self-driving vehicles will be built to be inherently law-abiding and risk averse. As we approach this new era, the question is how seamlessly will autonomous and human-controlled vehicles co-exist? One thing is certain, as we trail blaze new ground, so too will we trail blaze new problems. READ MORE

What Fleet Managers Can Learn From a Navy SEAL

If you think being a fleet manager is stressful, try being a Navy SEAL. Former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill, best known for claiming to have shot Osama bin Laden, recently wrote a new book entitled, “The Operator.” READ MORE

Growing Truck Penetration in Light-Duty Fleets Increases Risk of DOT Violations

Many light-duty fleets do not realize DOT regulations are triggered not only by GVW, but also by gross combination vehicle weight (GCVW) – the combined weight of the vehicle and the trailer. It doesn’t matter if you have a one-truck or a 500-truck fleet, you must be compliant with DOT rules. When the GCVW is 10,001 pounds or more, a vehicle is covered under DOT regs and must display a DOT number or it will be subject to a fine if pulled over by the police. READ MORE

Lighting Innovations to Revolutionize Work Truck Productivity & Safety

We are in the midst of a lighting revolution in the automotive industry that started with the proliferation of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). More dramatic lighting innovations are fast emerging, such as laser diodes, organic LEDs, and dynamic bending light headlamps. Historically, new automotive technologies have always first manifested themselves in luxury brands, then migrated downward to lower trim level models and non-retail customers such as the vocational work truck market. READ MORE

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


Author Bio

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Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

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

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