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 Management



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

 

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

Subject: Fleet Management, Cost Control

Synopsis: This presentation uses FedEx as a case study to determine the feasibility and usability of alternative fuel vehicles in a fleet environment, taking into consideration the use of the vehicles to determine the feasibility of moving away from petroleum based delivery trucks. 

Date: 10/2012

File Size: 2,549 KB

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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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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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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:


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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MERCURY | Fleet Management Consulting, Simplified ™