Automotive Fleet

OCT 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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SPECIAL FLEET KNOWLEDGE SERIES SPONSORED BY NAFA PEELING THE Onion UNDERSTANDING FLEET BEST PRACTICES It can be a daunting process to establish a feet's best practice benchmarks, but there are resources available to make the process manageable and, most of all, successful. BY LT. COL. (RET.) KATHERINE VIGNEAU, CAFM P eel an onion. Do you start with cutting it in half or with removing the outer layer? Just as there are many ways to peel an onion, there are variations in how organizations acquire, operate, and remarket their feet vehicles. To ensure competitiveness, most organizations are interested in exploring the most efective and efcient ways of operating. One way to achieve this is through the identifcation of best practices — techniques or methodologies that, through experience and research, have proven to reliably lead to a desired, optimal result. Establishing what is a best feet practice can be a challenge for organizations. Many turn to the NAFA Fleet Management Association whose Certifed Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) and Certifed Automotive Fleet Specialist (CAFS) programs are the industry standards. Tese certifcation programs provide procedures, processes, and best practices to follow in a vast array of feet subject areas. In certain subjects, NAFA's professional designations ofer specifc benchmarks that feets can use to gauge their performance relative to other feets. In addition, the opportunity to network 62 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I OCTOBER 2013 with other feet managers provides a venue to share information and identify potential best practices. Exchanging information and experiences is an integral aspect of the NAFA community, evident by the Association's online membership networking database and e-communities available at Defning Fleet Best Practices What are these best practices or the most important things in determining efcient and efective feet operations? Te top 10 things that come to mind are: ➊ Tere is a formal approval process for vehicle acquisition and a selector list to guide purchases. Measures are taken to ensure the feet is rightsized. ➋ Te organization defnes vehicle lifecycles by vehicle class. ➌ Te organization values safety and has a low crash frequency rate (CFR). ➍ Te organization has a reasonable interpretation of "preventable crashes" and tracks this information. ➎ Te organization calculates its technician and facility requirements by using vehicle equivalency units (VEUs). ➏ Tere is a feet information management System (FIMS) in place tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). ➐ Te organization tracks costs and allocates those costs to the appropriate customers. ➑ Te organization has a policy framework that includes thorough policy guidance and drivers' agreements. ➒ Te organization selects and exploits appropriate remarketing strategies. ➓ Te organization uses lifecycle cost analysis (LCA) methodology to calculate the right time to remarket the asset. Integrating these and other best practices into a feet operation is a daunting challenge. Organizations need to take the generic statements and customize them for their specifc needs, ofen by creating measurable standards or benchmarks. For example, one best practice is to have a management emphasis on safety with a low CFR. According to NETS 2011 industry benchmark for crash frequency, the CFR standard is 7.38 crashes per million miles (CPMM). In response, an organization may want to pursue a more aggressive standard and seek to keep its crash rate under 5 CPMM — the NETS' standard gives an industry-accepted starting point.

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