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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Articles - Fleet Cost Control



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


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

 

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: 5/2013

File Size: 2,416 KB

Download: How to Reduce Fleet Costs

 

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

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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MERCURY | Fleet Management Consulting, Simplified ™