MERCURY | Fleet Management Consulting, Simplified ™
 

Articles & Presentations

In our ongoing effort to provide information to fleet and travel management professionals on how they can optimize their practices, Mercury Associates is pleased to make a number of our recent publications and presentations available online.

All of our articles and presentations are in an Adobe PDF file format. To view these articles you must have the Adobe Viewer 5.0 application or later, which can be found at www.adobe.com


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Vehicle Replacement Backlogs:You’re Out of the Recession – Now What?

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: Many organizations deferred capital investments through the recent global economic recession resulting in a substantial backlog of fleet assets that are due or past due for replacement. Now that the recession has passed fleet managers must develop strategies to renew their aging fleet. This presentation by Mercury's President, Paul Lauria, introduces several concepts and methods for reducing your fleet replacement backlog.

Date: 07/2016

File Size: 3,129 KB

Download: Reduce your vehicle replacement backlog

 

Recent Vehicle Cybersecurity Attacks and Vulnerability Research and State- of-the-Art Mitigations

Subject: Technology

Synopsis: As more technologies are being built directly into modern vehicles, drivers and organizations need to understand the risks and vulnerabilities of their fleets. This presentation provides a cybersecurity primer, analyzation of trends, reviews of known cyber attacks, and finally, conclusions and recommendations for how your fleet can remain safe. The report was produced by the Department of Transportation’s National Transportations System Center under contract for the Department of Homeland Security.

Date: 01/2016

File Size: 4,054 KB

Download: FleetRightsizing for Utility Fleets

 

Fleet Rightsizing for Utility Fleets

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: In an era of ever-tightening fleet budgets, rightsizing has become the go-to strategy for squeezing greater cost-efficiencies out of vehicle fleets, without diminishing service to customers. But achieving the proper balance between vehicle inventory and service levels is often easier said than done because it's never a one-time job. As the needs of the business change, so do vehicle requirements. This presentation will show fleet managers how to determine the optimal size for their fleets at any given time – and how to get there.

Date: 10/2015

File Size: 310 KB

Download: FleetRightsizing for Utility Fleets

 

Determining and Managing the Costs of Your Fleet

Subject: Cost Control

Synopsis: Understanding the costs of your fleet is essential for managing and ensuring their reasonableness. No organization can effectively manage costs that it cannot see. This presentation will help you determine the reasonableness of your fleet costs in an objective, systematic fashion, as well as help you figure out whether or not and how they can be reduced if they are found to be not reasonable.

Date: 03/2014

File Size: 190 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

 

Are You Ready for an Effective Vehicle Replacement Program?

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: This presentation will examine why the effective replacement of vehicles and equipment is important, why organizations often do a poor job of replacing vehicles, the elements of an effective fleet replacement program, how to determine optimal vehicle replacement cycles, and the role of replacement cycles in the fleet replacement process.

Date: 03/2014

File Size: 601 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

 

 

Conventional Fuel Management Strategies that Work

Subject: Fuel Management

Synopsis: Fuel is one of the largest expenses associated with owning and operating a fleet, typically, second only to asset acquisition and depreciation. In the last decade, the average retail price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline has increased more than 126 percent, with average prices fluctuating as much as 39 percent from one year to the next. During this same period of time, the average retail price of a gallon of diesel fuel increased more than 160 percent, with the average price annually fluctuating as much as 33 percent. Why the price increase and variability? Global energy demand, instability and war in petroleum-producing countries, international sanctions, changes in domestic energy policies and regulations, a global economic recession, and natural and man-made disasters have all contributed to the increased, unpredictable cost of fueling a fleet. Here are some strategies to mitigate the effects of fuel price fluctuations and increases without impacting service levels.

Date: 11/2013

File Size: 3,543 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

 

Things You Should Know Before Using Contractors for Drivers

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Working with independent contractors is a regular part of business for many companies, and there are a number of cost and practical benefits to using contractors. But, using independent contractors is not without its legal risks.

Date: 10/2013

File Size: 186 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

 

Are Take-Home Vehicle Programs for Police Officers Worthwhile?

Subject: Fleet Management, Cost Control

Synopsis: While the benefits of allowing police officers to use assigned vehicles for commuting between home and work may seem obvious to many in the law enforcement community, some elected officials and members of the general public view take-home programs as little more than a taxpayer-funded “perk” for a select group of public servants. Surprisingly, little formal research on the costs and benefits of vehicle take-home programs has been conducted. This session presents the results of such research: formal benefit-cost studies of police vehicle take-home programs that Mercury Associates, Inc. conducted for two prominent US cities. Their findings will surprise you.

Date: 08/2013

File Size: 259 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

Fleet Utilization Management and Rightsizing

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Cost Control

Synopsis: This presentation examines some common questions regarding fleet rightsizing, such as "Why is proper fleet size and composition important?" and "What are the obligations of fleet managers in managing fleet size and composition?" It also examines the relationship between fleet size, composition, replacement, and capital financing practices.

Date: 05/2013

File Size: 2,416 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

 

Establishing an Effective Fleet Replacement Program

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: Establishing an effective replacement program requires understanding both the economic benefits and fiscal impacts of timely vehicle replacement. This presentation examines the effectiveness of a fleet replacement program, by looking at the necessity of the development of empirically validated vehicle replacement cycles, the development of a multi-year replacement plan, the development of a case for modernization, and the need to explore alternative capital financing methods.

Date: 03/2013

File Size: 691 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

 

Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: This presentation examines the various avenues government fleets should consider when making purchasing decisions. It takes a look at the use of RFPs, multiple year bids, government contracts, GSA, state contracts, and formal co-ops. 

Date: 10/2012

File Size: 201 KB

Download: Fleet Purchasing Strategies for Government Fleets

 

Fleet Metrics

Subject: Fleet Management, Technology

Synopsis: The ability to provide a succint portrait of the fleet is often necessary for presenting results to upper management. Fleet metrics allow you to provide information on fleet size, cost, fuel usage, utilization, maintenance costs, types of vehicles, etc. Capturing this data will allow you to benchmark your progress against similar fleets or the past performances of your own fleet.

Date: 6/2012

File Size: 922 KB

Download: Fleet Metrics

 

Vehicle Allocation Methodology

Subject: Asset Lifecycle

Synopsis: Vehicle Allocation Methodology allows fleet managers to examine each vehicle in their fleet by GSA type, within the context of the organization's fleet, and using survey and inventory data. Rightsizing instructions should be provided based on utilization and criticality, and a functional VAM will also be able to identify the potential of alternative fuels.

Date: 6/2012

File Size: 1,495 KB

Download: How to Reduce Fleet Costs

 

Developing Budgets and Charge-Back Rates For Improved Performance and Competitivenes

Subject: Cost Control

Synopsis: Developing charge-back rates to allocate the cost of operating and maintenance costs (e.g., mechanic labor, maintenance and repair parts, commercial parts and service, fleet replacement, insurance, and fuel) associated with vehicles and equipment used to support specific activities, programs, and/or projects can provide operational transparency through budget and drive organizations to more conservative in its use of fleet assets and increase its performance in the process. Learn more about the role of charge-back rates and how they are developed.

Date: 6/2012

File Size: 1,632 KB

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How to Reduce Fleet Costs

Subject: Cost Control

Synopsis: This presentation will examine ways to reduce fleet costs, especially by examining fleet rightsizing, alternative fuels, lease vs. buy, and the creation of a fleet management plan. It examines the statistics of fuel usage and lifecycle costs, as well as the optimized replacement cycle and the downfalls of ignoring depreciation.

Date: 6/2012

File Size: 1,126 KB

Download: How to Reduce Fleet Costs

 

Bridging the Gap Between HQ and the Field

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Differences in expectations exist between field managers and their headquarters. Learn how to bridge the gap for both the field and headquarter level, and find common errors and how to remedy them, such as commonly missing fleet expenditures, the difference between fleet management and fleet administration, and what steps can be taken to align goals and objectives.

Date: 6/2012

File Size: 2,232 KB

Download: Bridging the Gap Between HQ and the Field

 

Fleet Sustainability: Developing Budgets and Charge-Back Rates For Improved Performance and Competitivenes

Subject: Cost Control

Synopsis: Developing charge-back rates to allocate the cost of operating and maintenance costs (e.g., mechanic labor, maintenance and repair parts, commercial parts and service, fleet replacement, insurance, and fuel) associated with vehicles and equipment used to support specific activities, programs, and/or projects can provide operational transparency through budget and drive organizations to more conservative in its use of fleet assets and increase its performance in the process. Learn more about the role of charge-back rates and how they are developed.

Date: 6/26/12

File Size: 1,632 KB

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Liability Risk for Government Fleet Organizations

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: This presentation will define negligence and risk for fleet managers and, in particular, police fleet managers. It will discuss whether fleet managers could be liable under civil or criminal law while performing within their approved scope of responsibilities, as well as address whether “sovereign immunity” applies to the fleet manager.

Date: 5/2012

File Size: 576 KB

Download: Liability Risk for Government Fleet Organizations


Fleet Sustainability: It’s Not Just About Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Technology

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: Although the Great Recession wrecked a lot of fleet replacement programs, alternative financing methods may offer a cost-effective path to fleet renewal and increased sustainability. Learn more about achieving fleet sustainability by leveraging a comprehensive fleet replacement program.

Date: 4/2012

File Size: 2,552 KB

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Liability Risk for Government Organizations Under Current Law

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Most people no longer bat an eye when hearing about multimillion dollar damage awards to punish companies for an employee's negligent acts. However, what are the liability concerns for a public sector fleet manager?

Date: 6/2011

File Size: 2,552 KB

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Improving Federal Fleet Management

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Although efforts to better manage the federal fleet have been under way for some time, there has been a significant increase in effort and resources committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum consumption and increased administration of the federal fleet in response to President Obama signing of EO 13514 (i.e., Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance) in 2009. Learn more about what federal agencies are doing, or need to do, in order to become compliant with the EO 13514 and stay ahead of the curve of the ever increasing pressure to reduce costs, increase transparency, and shrink its carbon footprint.

Date: 9/2010

File Size: 498 KB

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Getting the Most from Your Fleet System

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: Fleet management systems are powerful tools that can make managing a fleet much easier than in the past, but they do require some set-up and ongoing care. To get the most from a fleet system, continue implementing system features, invest in training, reengineer processes to leverage system features, and benchmark performance — even after the initial implementation. Keep investing in a fleet system and it will furnish information to streamline operations and capture greater cost efficiencies. Learn more about some of the techniques you can use to leverage the investment in your fleet system and take your operation to the next level.

Date: 7/2010

File Size: 2,753 KB

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Making the Case for an Effective Fleet Replacement Program

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: Making the case for an effective fleet management program can be the difference between operating and managing an expensive, unreliable fleet versus a productive, cost effective / predictable inventory. Learn how to build a persuasive case for an effective fleet replacement program utilizing business metrics and quantitative replacement modeling techniques.

Date: 6/2010

File Size: 318 KB

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Leasing: Not Just for Private Sector Fleets

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Cost Control, Fleet Management, Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: Current economic conditions require government fleet managers to seek alternatives to financing their fleets with ad-hoc, cash appropriations. Leasing is a practical financing solution, which in the past, was primarily utilized by the private sector. However, with the downturn in the economy many government entities are looking at leasing as a way to stretch their dollar. This article discusses how leasing can serve as a practical financial mechanism for the public sector to meet their fleet replacement funding needs.

Date: 5/2010

File Size: 1,546 KB

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The Recession Need Not Cripple Fleet Replacement Programs

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Cost Control, Fleet Management, Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: In countless organizations around the country, the “Great Recession” has sidetracked — if not wreaked havoc on — fleet replacement plans and funding levels. Rather that simply defer replacement purchases to meet short-term budget goals, fleet managers should use today's fiscal challenges to appraise their organization's approach to fleet replacement. This article discusses how fleet managers can maintain their vehicle and equipment lifecycle and replacement targets, even in tough economic times.

Date: 4/2010

File Size: 1,288 KB

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11 Approaches to Right-Sizing your Fleet

Subject: Fleet Management, Cost Control

Synopsis: Traditional methods of determining the most cost-effective fleet size can be inefficient and inaccurate. Several alternative methods can be used to right-size your fleet without degrading the delivery of products, services, and transportation of employees and customers. The following article discuss 11 approaches for right-sizing your fleet with proven results.

Date: 12/2009

File Size: 635 KB

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Calculating Mechanic Staffing Requirements

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Many organizations do not have a methodology to determine how many mechanics are required to maintain their fleet. Rather, fleet managers have reported staffing levels at their shop have been the same for years and none can recall how the staff size was originally determined. As a consequence, fleet managers have difficulty defending themselves against a new administration who suggest shop staffing is bloated and should be downsized. This article articulates the requirements for defining and developing mechanic staffing requirements.

Date: 11/2009

File Size: 787 KB

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Fleet Cost Reduction Strategies

Subject: Cost Control

Synopsis: There are numerous opportunities in nearly every fleet operation, both owned and leased, to reduce expenses and implement cost control and containment measures without sacrificing customer service levels, operational reliability, and operator confidence. This presentation touches on several areas in which many organizations can refine the fleet management practices, polices, and procedures in order to achieve a sustainable, cost-affordable vehicle and equipment fleet.

Date: 6/2009

File Size: 503 KB

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Strategic Fleet Management

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Strategic fleet management planning is critical for implementing change and its effects, guiding and achieving sustainable improvement, attaining stature and influence, promoting autonomy and self sufficiency, and providing opportunities for growth and professional advancement. However, it is a resource lacking in many vehicle and equipment operations. This presentation guides users through key elements, such as fleet replacement planning, for establishing an effective business plan.

Date: 9/2008

File Size: 9,480 KB

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RMFMA - Business Plans and Service Level Agreements

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Developing a fleet management business plan is essential for managing the effects of change, guiding and achieve improvement, attaining stature and influence, promoting autonomy and self sufficiency, and providing opportunities for growth and professional advancement. A service level agreement (SLA) can also assist with achieving the goals of a business plan by establishing schedules, costs, responsibilities, and accountabilities of a fleet operation to its customers. This presentation (i.e., File 1) illustrates some of the key reasons and elements for establishing a business plan and SLA. Also included in a separate file is a sample SLA (i.e., File 2).

Date: 9/2008

File Size: File 1: 253 KB

/ File 2: 65 KB

Download: File 1: / File 2:


Rent-Lease-Buy Decision Making - A Presentation CONNEXPO-CONN/AGG 2008

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: The timely replacement of vehicles is a challenge that most organizations face. By implementing fleet replacement best practices, such as projecting vehicle and equipment replacement requires over multiple years, one can plan funding requirements several years ahead of time and increase the likelihood of receiving sufficient funds. This presentation illustrates several best practices that can assist managers with fleet replacement activities.

Date: 3/2008

File Size: 408 KB

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Fleet Management Master Class - Australia 2007

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Public and private-sector organizations of many types and sizes operate fleets of vehicles and motorized equipment to fulfill their missions. Whether to meet the mobility needs of employees or customers; facilitate the delivery of goods and materials; underpin law enforcement or national defense missions; or support manufacturing, construction, utility, public works, or other services, fleet management is a vital but often underappreciated and oversimplified area of endeavor for many enterprises. Nonetheless, much of what passes for management training in the fleet industry consists of thinly disguised sales pitches for goods or services offered by industry suppliers.

In recognition of the need for independent, unbiased information and technical guidance on global trends and best practices in fleet management, Fleet Software & Services Pty Ltd has arranged for Washington, DC-based Mercury Associates, Inc. to join with it this October in conducting two-day seminars on fleet management best practices in Melbourne and Sydney. Mercury Associates, Inc. (www.mercury-assoc.com) is the world's largest independent fleet management consulting and training firm. Members of its professional staff have conducted numerous training programs for fleet management professionals in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia over the last 20 years.

This presentation is in support of these best practices master seminars in Australia covering a broad array of fleet management practices, strategies, and techniques of interest to both newcomers to, and seasoned veterans of, the fleet industry.

Date: 10/2007

File Size: 8,980 KB

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Converting Information into Dollars

Subject: Information Systems, Technology, Cost Control

Synopsis: Converting information into savings requires that an organization capture the total cost of ownership (TCO) for its fleet operation using fully burden rates for internal labor, parts management, commercial services, and fuel services. These rates are then loaded into a fleet information system that calculates the cost of products and services on a per unit basis, which can then be analyzed for opportunities to control costs without impacting service levels. This presentation illustrates the steps required to begin implementing information measures and benchmarks that can be utilized to covert information into dollars.

Date: 10/2007

File Size: 1,002 KB

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2007 Fleet Replacement Best Practices

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: The timely replacement of vehicles is a challenge that most organizations face. By implementing fleet replacement best practices, such as projecting vehicle and equipment replacement requires over multiple years, one can plan funding requirements several years ahead of time and increase the likelihood of receiving sufficient funds. This presentation illustrates several best practices that can assist managers with fleet replacement activities.

Date: 10/2007

File Size: 160 KB

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Acquiring and Using a Fleet Management Information System to Manage Your Fleet

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: Selecting and acquiring a fleet management information system is a process that requires a lengthy process of evaluation, due diligence of the software company and its products, development of a functional matrix and RFP, and hosting scripted demonstrations. It is also a process that can confuse and overwhelm most fleet managers. However, when these steps are followed properly an organization can procure a state-of-the-art fleet system that best fits their operation; but selecting and purchasing a system is only beginning. Once a fleet information system is installed, a new set of challenges related to its use become the focus. This presentation discusses these issues and the benefits of selecting and using a modern fleet solution.

Date: 4/2007

File Size: 5,398 KB

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Fleet Vehicles and Equipment - Rent Lease Buy Decision Making

Subject: Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: The decision to rent, lease, or purchase vehicles and equipment with cash is a complex matter that can often overwhelm many a managers; but understanding the details of these purchasing mechanisms can mean the difference between a young and old fleet. This presentation takes an in-depth look at the key differences between procuring assets with rental agreements, lease contracts, and cash.

Date: 3/2007

File Size: 369 KB

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Now that you have a fleet management system, what should you do with it?

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: Many fleet operations have implemented sophisticated vehicle management software with limited success getting beyond using it as a work order and parts management system. This presentation explores several areas in which organizations can continue to leverage their fleet software to increase its value.

Date: 3/2007

File Size: 1,726 KB

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Developing a Strategic Business Plan for you Fleet Management Organization

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Developing a strategic fleet management business plan is essential for managing the effects of change, guiding and achieve improvement, attaining stature and influence, promoting autonomy and self sufficiency, and providing opportunities for growth and professional advancement. However, it is a resource lacking in many vehicle and equipment operations. This presentation guides users through key elements for establishing an effective business plan.

Date: 3/2007

File Size: 180 KB

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Fire Apparatus - Replace Versus Refurbish

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Fleet Replacement, Speciality and Heavy Equipment

Synopsis: Replacing specialty vehicles and equipment, like fire apparatus, in a timely manner can be a fiscal challenge for any fleet manager. Many operations refurbish such assets, because they perceive this to be more cost effective. This article explores the argument about refurbishing versus replacing expensive fire equipment.

Date: 1/2007

File Size: 230 KB

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Team with Operations to Justify Tracking Technology

Subject: Preventive MaintenanceTechnology

Synopsis: Fleet managers have struggled for years to get the information they need and to determine how to use the information effectively. Odometer readings, for example, are important for preventive maintenance management and vehicle utilization monitoring. But getting accurate and timely updates can be frustrating, because drivers often input incorrect numbers when they refuel. Vehicle tracking technologies, such as GPS and perimeter tag logging, have the ability to capture the information (e.g. current odometer reading) needed by fleet managers to quantitatively make decisions, but the cost is typically prohibitive. However, as fleet manager can leverage the political support of his / her customer base in order to make the investment possible. This article discusses how a fleet manager can justify the cost of tracking technology by creating the right partnerships.

Date: 11/2006

File Size: 43 KB

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Are Hybrid-Electric Vehicles a Good Buy for Fleet?

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Cost Control, Fleet Management, Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: Low bid is the mantra of most public procurement managers — and rightly so. However, “low bid” may not mean what you think it means. The question is: are you skilled enough to structure a bid specification and analyze the responses so that they consider lifecycle costs rather than just net acquisition cost? When consider hybrids and other specialized type of equipment the use of lifecycle cost analysis (LCA) is imperative when deciding to if it is worth the investment. This article explains the use of LCA for selecting vehicles during the procurement process.

Date: 10/2006

File Size: 527 KB

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Trends in Fleet Management - 2006 - For Professional Fleet Managers

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: There are several topics that fleet management professional are being confronted with in 2006, such as vehicle replacement planning, cost reduction and control, managing take-home vehicles and assignment, and purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles. This presentation discusses these major trends and techniques for managing them effectively.

Date: 9/2006

File Size: 595 KB

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Mitigating Fuel Costs

Subject: Cost Control, Fuel Management

Synopsis: Implementing fuel management techniques, policies and procedures in an effort to mitigate the financial impact of rising fuel costs is critical. This article discusses some of the proven methods for achieving lower costs through greater fuel efficiency.

Date: 5/2006

File Size: 41 KB

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Alternative Remarketing Channels for Government Fleets

Subject: Asset Lifecycle

Synopsis: Fleets are exploring non-traditional remarketing channels, such as online auctions, as they try to squeeze higher residual values while operating under the strains of reduced budget dollars and declining internal resources. This article discusses the alternative approaches to fleet remarketing.

Date: 12/2005

File Size: 835 KB

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Implementing a New Fleet Management Information System - To Do and Not To Do

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: The implementation of any enterprise management information system is a complex task that requires planning, experience and sufficient resources in order to successfully avoid project issues. This presentation address some of the key points on avoiding pitfalls that can hamper an effective implementation.

Date: 9/2005

File Size: 73 KB

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Negligent Entrustment Issues Using Fleet Vehicle Transport Services

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: A review of negligence concerns pertaining to casual and professional transport drivers depicts insurance and liability issues.

Date: 8/2005

File Size: 23 KB

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The Road Ahead - Emerging Vehicle Technologies

Subject: Technology

Synopsis: Which emerging fleet and vehicle technologies should fleet managers be tracking on their radar screen? As GPS and AVL technologies begin to mature (and come down in cost) and new vehicle solutions begin to emerge, which ones add enough value to implement.

Date: 8/2005

File Size: 504 KB

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IT For Fleet Managers - Gathering Reliable Data - Part 5

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: There is little point on implementing and operating a state-of-the-art fleet information system atop a finely tuned servers and network hardware if the information it generates and the decisions based on that information are flawed. This article discusses the proven techniques for gathering reliable data to mine for management information.

Date: 8/2005

File Size: 34 KB

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Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later - The Truth About Vehicle lifecycle Management

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Cost Control, Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: Funding for vehicle replacement purchases is a frequent target of budget cutters when a company is under pressure to reduce costs or increase profits. These short term decisions can have a significant long term financial impact.

Date: 7/2005

File Size: 43 KB

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Are We There Yet - A Look at Remote Vehicle Tracking and Location Solutions

Subject: Cost Control, Technology

Synopsis: The marketplace abounds with GPS-based remote vehicle tracking and monitoring systems. Do the benefits to your fleet operation of such a system justify the cost?

Date: 5/2005

File Size: 95 KB

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IT For Fleet Managers - Creating Codes to Measure Productivity - Part 4

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: Getting the most decision making power out of an information system is predicated on establishing a coding system that works. This article provides an in-depth discovery of why data codification provides referential integrity and is an essential part of creating reliable management reports.

Date: 4/2005

File Size: 1,623 KB

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Fuel for Thought

Subject: Cost Control, Fuel Management

Synopsis: One of the easiest ways to cope with soaring fuel costs is to simply drive less. This can be done without negatively affecting customer contacts or service levels, although options do vary depending on the type of business you're in and the ways in which you use vehicles to support your business. The key is to plan vehicle use to the fullest extent possible so as to avoid making multiple trips when a single one will do, and to avoid traveling during periods of peak traffic congestion when off-peak trips will suffice.

Date: 4/2005

File Size: 95 KB

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Ten Ways Fleet Managers Can Be Leaders

Subject: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Beyond the supervising operational details, successful fleet managers play a variety of roles to energize, motivate, guide, and work within their organization. This article presents ten methods for vehicle and equipment managers to become influential leaders within their own environment.

Date: 2/2005

File Size: 280 KB

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How to Specify and Maintain Snow and Ice Management Equipment

Subject: Preventive Maintenance, Specialty and Heavy Equipment

Synopsis: Supporting a successful snow and ice removal operation requires well managed and maintained specialized equipment. By implementing standardization, aggressive maintenance and asset cleaning policies an operation can achieve optimal vehicle availability during seasonal demand and lower operating costs.

Date: 12/2004

File Size: 421 KB

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IT For Fleet Managers - Protecting a Fleet's Priceless Data - Part 3

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: Measures to protect the data in your fleet information system against viruses and other malicious attacks, equipment failure, and natural and un-natural disasters are some of the most important activities for ensuring data integrity. This article discusses several methods that can be implemented in a multi-layered strategy to mitigate your risk for down time or even worse, permanent data loss.

Date: 12/2004

File Size: 242 KB

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IT For Fleet Managers - Where Does Your Data Live and How Does It Travel? - Part 2

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: Understanding the resources required by a fleet management information system, such as database platform, hard disk storage, and network architecture are critical details that are core elements for having a reliable and responsive platform. This article discusses the technical differences between the platform options and architecture available in modern fleet systems.

Date: 10/2004

File Size: 354 KB

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Fleet Maintenance Facility Programming and Planning - An Operation Approach to Facilities Development

Subject: Fleet Facilities

Synopsis: Are you considering new or remodeled facilities? Decisions regarding facilities are crucial, some of the most important ones you will be making. They can maximize productivity, service delivery, cost effectiveness, and when applicable, profit margins. Professional Facilities Programmers know these major facilities decisions are directly related to your ability to deliver products and/or services.

Date: 9/2004

File Size: 74 KB

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How Fleet Managers Can Survive Managed Competition

Subject: Outsourcing

Synopsis: Surviving managed competition requires that fleet management organizations become proficient at a wide range of business management disciplines that not traditionally been a focus of vehicle and equipment managers. This article discusses at length the tactics managers can implement to survive managed competition.

Date: 8/2004

File Size: 89 KB

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Cost Understanding and Awareness - Key Steps in Having a Cost Competitive Fleet Management Program

Subject: Cost Control, Outsourcing

Synopsis: Fleet managers are under constant pressure to lower costs, especially in a tough economic climate - like the past few years. The need or desire to control costs also increases the interest in outsourcing. This article discusses the key steps for having a cost-competitive fleet management program.

Date: 8/2004

File Size: 2,036 KB

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IT for Fleet Managers - System Data Architecture - Part 1

Subject: Information Systems, Technology

Synopsis: Understanding how the data elements in a fleet information system relate to your vehicle and equipment management operation can make using the software easier and more productive. This articles discusses the system data architecture best practices for fleet management information systems.

Date: 8/2004

File Size: 271 KB

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Cost Understanding and Awareness: Key Steps In Having a Cost-Competitive Fleet Management Program

Categories: Cost Control, Fleet Management

Synopsis: Fleet managers are under increasing pressure to lower costs these days. In the difficult economic climate of the past few years this pressure has had more to do with the need to balance the city or county budget than with political agendas or ideologies. However, bad economic times also are bound to increase decision makers' interest in the issue of outsourcing. This double whammy of fiscal imperatives and political scrutiny has caused more than a few fleet managers to go prematurely gray in recent years. This article explores some of the aspects of understanding the costs associated with managing a cost effective fleet.

Date: 8/2004

File Size: 45 KB

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Accurate Mileage: The Lifeblood of Good Fleet Management

Subject: Fleet Management, Information Systems, Preventive Maintenance, Technology

Synopsis: Nearly every function of fleet vehicle management requires a decision dependent upon accurate odometer reporting. Moreover, major fleet tasks, including vehicle replacement planning, proper vehicle maintenance and repair intervals, and efficiently analyzing data all require accurate mileage. This article discusses proven techniques for capturing accurate meter readings in order to operate an efficient maintenance operation and make reliable management decisions.

Date: 6/2004

File Size: 47 KB

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How to Cost-Effectively Support Street Maintenance Operations

Subject: Fleet Management, Preventive Maintenance, Specialty and Heavy Equipment

Synopsis: To be successful, fleet management must develop a productive relationship with the operating departments, vehicle and equipment drivers, and service and parts vendors. Fleet is the pivotal player in these relationships as it manages vehicles and equipment from cradle to grave, especially for key, specialty operations, like street maintenance.

Date: 4/2004

File Size: 249 KB

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Ten Ways to Improve the Cost Effectiveness of an Emergency Response Fleet

Subject: Cost Control, Fleet Management, Preventive Maintenance, Specialty and Heavy Equipment

Synopsis: Fleet operations, even emergency vehicle fleets, are under constant pressure to contain costs of maintenance and operation of equipment. However, there are several proven techniques to increase cost-effectiveness without sacrificing asset reliability and availability. This article highlights ten methods for achieving these often polarized goals.

Date: 2/2004

File Size: 160 KB

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Vehicle and Equipment Specification Writing and Getting What you Need Legitimately

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: The process of developing specifications for the purchase of vehicles and equipment is a complex task. Many fleet managers and purchasing agents have come to the conclusion that restrictive and narrowly defined RFP specifications is the only mechanism for procuring the correct assets for their operations. Moreover, some specifications are so limiting in their scope that many vendors forego bidding on an opportunity, because they believe the RFP is wired for another vendor or brand of equipment. Performance-based specifications, however, can be used to achieve a fair, competitive bidding process and protect you and your fleet customers from getting the best value due to a low-bid procurement environment. This article discusses how you can implement performance-based specifications for vehicle and equipment procurements.

Date: 2/2004

File Size: 153 KB

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Customer Billing: A Key Component of an Effective Cost Charge-Back System

Categories: Cost Control, Fleet Management

Synopsis: Many fleet operations utilize a charge-back system to recognize the total cost of ownership for each individual vehicle and the fleet as a whole. Most organizations focus primarily on the development and maintenance of charge-back rates due to their complexity, need for updating, and their use a competitive price comparison. Whereas the customer billing process is the least area of focus, because it is almost always involves an accounting agency. However, customer billing adds significant value to a fleet operation beyond the simple transfer of funds from one account to another. This article takes a comprehensive look at the value that customer billing brings to a fleet operation and its parent organization.

Date: 2/2004

File Size: 185 KB

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Strategic Approaches to Tight Fleet Budgets

Subject: Cost Control

Synopsis: Fleet management operations have a more difficult time justifying their budget during a tight economy, but the correct strategy can get you the funds that you need. By being a knowledgeable and politically savvy fleet manager you can weather financially tough times that for many vehicle and equipment management operations would mean cutting staff and services just to survive. This document discusses the methods for navigating fiscally rough waters as a professional fleet manager.

Date: 11/2003

File Size: 959 KB

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The Trigger Points of Fleet Privatization Initiatives

Subject: Outsourcing

Synopsis: The trigger points of privatization are often prompted by the need to cut costs, poor customer service, staff vacancies, or hiring freezes. To respond successfully to the challenges, you must know the actual cost of your fleet operation before these triggers occur.

Date: 10/2003

File Size: 127 KB

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How to Develop Performance-Based Vehicle and Equipment Specifications

Subject: Asset Lifecycle, Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: The process of developing specifications for the purchase of vehicles and equipment is a complex task. Many fleet managers and purchasing agents have come to the conclusion that restrictive and narrowly defined RFP specifications is the only mechanism for procuring the correct assets for their operations. Moreover, some specifications are so limiting in their scope that many vendors forego bidding on an opportunity, because they believe the RFP is wired for another vendor or brand of equipment. Performance-based specifications, however, can be used to achieve a fair, competitive bidding process and protect you and your fleet customers from getting the best value due to a low-bid procurement environment. This article discusses how you can implement performance-based specifications for vehicle and equipment procurements.

Date: 10/2003

File Size: 107 KB

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Effective Strategies for Increasing Fleet Utilization

Categories: Fleet Management

Synopsis: During a strong economy many organizations increase the size of their fleet. Moreover, many operations also experience dramatic changes in the composition of their fleet during financially healthy times, such as purchasing more sport utility vehicles (SUV) instead of sedans. For many entities these relaxed practices and business decisions have a negative impact when funds dry up during tough economic times. This article discuss the tough choices that need to be made in order to gain control of an unruly fleet operation.

Date: 8/2003

File Size: 265 KB

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Fleet Management in the Electronic Age

Categories: Technology

Synopsis: Technology has enabled many fleet management organizations to make objective and quantitative decisions based on information. Moreover, various emerging technologies will extend the amount of data available to fleet managers and other decision makers. This article discusses several promising solutions that are expected to make a significant impact on how fleets are operated and managed.

Date: 6/2003

File Size: 42 KB

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Should You Allow Personal Use of Your Company Vehicle?

Categories: Asset Lifecycle, Fleet Management

Synopsis: Allowing your employees and non-employees to operate company vehicles is one of the most significant decisions affecting many areas of your company, including fleet operations, human relations, and risk management. A policy to allow or prohibit personal use should be thoroughly researched before a decision is made.

Date: 6/2003

File Size: 68 KB

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Benchmarking in an Era of Heightened Accountability and Budget Constraints

Categories: Cost Control, Fleet Management

Synopsis: Benchmarking allows fleet management organizations to measure their performance against industry best practices. The process of benchmarking requires specific steps in order to be successful. This article discusses the process for effective fleet management benchmarking and how these measures can be utilized to remain competitive during times of lean budgets and increased performance accountability.

Date: 6/2003

File Size: 146 KB

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Thirteen Proven Ways to Cut Fleet Costs

Categories: Cost Control

Synopsis: In lean economic times organizations look to reduce their fleet operating and ownership costs. Here are 13 proven methods for reducing costs without sacrificing service quality.

Date: 6/2003

File Size: 105 KB

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Understanding Your Fleet Costs

Categories: Cost Control

Synopsis: Understanding the true cost for owning and operating a fleet enables a manager to control its associated direct and indirect expenses. Most people understand direct expenses, like fuel and maintenance. However, there are other less obvious costs that also impact the total cost of ownership of a fleet. This article discusses the meaning of both indirect costs and their impact.

Date: 2/2003

File Size: 52 KB

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What Management Should Know About Fleet Operator/Driver Policy and Procedure Manuals, Handbooks, and Guidebooks

Categories: Fleet Management

Synopsis: Development steps taken before your fleet manager actually writes the fleet policies, procedures, and rules document could be the difference between a successfully implemented and enforced fleet driver program and a legal nightmare waiting to occur.

Date: 12/2002

File Size: 66 KB

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Fleet Management Functions That Should Never Outsourced

Categories: Fleet Management, Outsourcing

Synopsis: The outsourcing of fleet services is a fairly common activity for commercial organizations and occasionally seen in government entities. However, there are several management functions that should never be outsourced to a third-party, such as business planning and budgeting, establishing policies, and supplier management. This document describes these and other functions that should be the responsibility of an internal resource in order to have an effective outsourced fleet operation.

Date: 9/2002

File Size: 252 KB

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When Vehicle and Equipment Replacement Budgets Shrink: Think Outside the Box

Categories: Asset Lifecycle, Cost Control, Fleet Replacement

Synopsis: As funding for fleet replacement diminishes in a tough economy many organizations begin considering alternative methods, such as lease-purchase financing, to purchase new vehicles and equipment. This articles discusses the funding options that are available to government and commercial organization and how each funding approach works.

Date: 8/2002

File Size: 127 KB

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Six Ways a Fleet Can Succeed in a Managed Competition

Categories: Fleet Management, Outsourcing

Synopsis: Managed competition or the outsourcing of fleet services is a common issue for many organizations. However, there are ways a fleet management operation that is internal to an organization can compete with commercial operations to retain the business of their existing customers. This article presents six proven methods that an in-house fleet operation can implement to succeed in a managed competition.

Date: 11/2001

File Size: 94 KB

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Digital Divide: Does Your Fleet Management Organization have a Plan for Staying on the Right Side?

Categories: Technology

Synopsis: Does your fleet management organization have a plan to implement the right fleet information technology? Utilization of a business plan to map out current and future technologies that provide the greatest value is critical to achieving cost-effective use of emerging solutions. This article discusses important considerations when developing a plan for your fleet operation's technical needs.

Date: 7/2001

File Size: 68 KB

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Is It Time to Audit Your Fleet Department?

Categories: Fleet Management

Synopsis: How to audit a fleet operation is a difficult question for many organizations. The wide scope of activities and responsibilities within the fleet function require an ever-increasing knowledge and understanding of the profession. This article discusses important considerations when considering your fleet's functionality.

Date: 9/1999

File Size: 1,361 KB

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One Company Puts Consistency Back Into Its Fleet Management

Categories: Fleet Management

Synopsis: A ten-page written company vehicle agreement helped TRW Information Systems and Services develop its fleet program and significantly improve the communication flow of fleet policies and procedures to its drivers.

Date: 10/1996

File Size: 6,737 KB

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