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The Disconnect Between Fleet Managers & Procurement Managers

The Disconnect Between Fleet Managers & Procurement Managers

Most in procurement take the position that fleet’s primary responsibility is to buy assets and services, which annually can range from millions to tens of millions of dollars in expenditures. This amount of corporate spend requires it be managed by someone with superb negotiation skills and proven procurement acumen.

July 16, 2018

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.

June 18, 2017

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.

May 22, 2017

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.

April 8, 2017

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.

February 15, 2017

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.

February 6, 2017

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.

January 9, 2017

The Growing Penetration of Crossovers into the Commercial Fleet Market

Crossover utility vehicles (CUV), or simply known as crossovers, represent one of the fastest growing segments in the retail auto industry. Likewise, commercial fleet sales are also reflecting an increased acquisition of crossover vehicles. Today, as a percentage, fleet registrations of crossover models are beginning to mirror the market share found on the retail side of the business.

August 15, 2016

Fleet’s Scope of Responsibilities Grows Increasingly Fuzzy

At one time, the scope of the fleet department’s responsibilities was crystal clear. However, over time these demarcation lines have shifted and departmental boundaries separating them have become fuzzy. Now, collaboration with sourcing, legal, HR, finance, sales, service, and environmental, health & safety (EHS) is needed, often requiring approvals or buy-in from individual departments. There is only one strategy fleet managers can adopt in this new world of fleet management and here it is.

July 8, 2015

Are You a ‘Fireman’ or a Manager? Hint: One is a Dead-End Job

How would you characterize your job? Are you more of a “fireman,” spending your days putting out one fire after another? Or, do you devote the time to truly manage your fleet? Most of us will say we do both, but putting out fires consumes a tremendous amount of time and decreases the time invested in managing the fleet from a strategic level. At the most fundamental level, we have to ask ourselves: Are we tactical or strategic managers?

August 11, 2014

10 Universal Mega Trends Impacting Global Fleets

There are dramatic differences between regional fleet markets around the globe. Yet, despite these differences, there are also many similarities. Many of the challenges facing fleet managers are identical to the challenges facing their counterparts elsewhere in the world. Oftentimes, fleet best practices in addressing these challenges emerge from outside your local market, which is good reason to be familiar with what’s occurring elsewhere in the world. Here are the top 10 universal mega trends.

March 25, 2014

How Fleet can Minimize Interdepartmental Friction

Fleet managers have to deal with other department managers who may not be team players or who have egos the size of a Class 8 truck. As a result, there are the inevitable fleet-related interdepartmental conflicts, typically driven by the challenge of balancing HR/driver requirements versus finance/accounting department requirements, which are often at odds with one another. Some criticize this involvement of “non-fleet” managers, rather than seeking ways to partner with them.

July 30, 2013

The Impact of CAFE on Fleet Procurement

I foresee fleet procurement patterns changing due to impending federal-mandated corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards in 2016 and 2025. Government CAFE mandates for higher fuel economy, coupled with higher fuel prices, will change the vehicle portfolio mix offered by many OEMs, which in turn will ultimately change the asset composition of tomorrow’s fleets.

May 31, 2011

Are Fleet Managers Still Having Fun?

Any long-time fleet manager knows change is the norm in the fleet management profession. However, in the past 12 months, fleet managers have had to deal with unprecedented challenges. In the wake of tumultuous events buffeting the auto industry and ongoing market uncertainty, do fleet managers still think their jobs are fun? Here are their confidential responses.

July 31, 2009