Automotive Fleet

JAN 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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forgetting the benefts of a voice-to-voice connection. While your days are busy, make time as ofen as possible to pick up the phone to ask that quick question, rather than email. Build the connections that you will be working with and depending on for the rest of your career. 3 Get Out of the Office MBWA is an acronym that was popular in the 1980s, and stands for "management by walking around." Tis theory means a manager should be open and close to his or her staf and ready to communicate. Tis type of comfortable relationship with direct reports is good, as it helps management be more aware of what's going on. Fleet managers should take time to walk around their feet operations, and learn from the "boots on the ground." Te feet's staf, and others directly involved with the use and maintenance of a company's feet, are a great resource for a new feet manager. "It's important to make site visits and communicate with the feld to determine the diference between what the driver wants and what the business needs," said Janek of GE Energy. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and let Industry publications, such as Automotive Fleet magazine, provides helpful information for new and experienced feet managers. 44 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I JANUARY 2014 PHOTO: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/SHIRONOSOV FLEET MANAGEMENT Communication is key to success in feet management. It's easy to become dependent on e-mail, but its more important than ever to pick up the phone or drop by someone's offce in person. these employees know you are open for communication from them, as well. Keep your ears and eyes open for feedback that could help you better manage your feet. 4 Never Stop Learning One of the "secrets" that tenured feet managers have for their lifelong careers is the desire and motivation to never stop learning. "Fleet management is an ever-evolving trade where people, process, and technology constantly change. Tese changes require managers to stay abreast of the latest trends and techniques. Continuous education is the key to staying ahead of the competition," Saltzgiver noted. And, the feet industry has a multitude of options for someone interested in growing in this career path, including: ● Industry magazines, including Bobit Business Media's suite of options: Automotive Fleet, Business Fleet, Green Fleet, Government Fleet, HDT, Fleet Financials, and Work Truck magazines. ● Certifcation programs, including the Certifed Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM), Certifed Automotive Fleet Specialist (CAFS), and Certifed Automotive Remarketer (CAR). ● A number of industry events and conferences, including the Green Fleet Conference & Expo, Fleet Safety Conference, Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR), and Government Fleet Conference & Expo (GFX). Janek of GE Energy recommended researching the Certifed Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) certifcation ofered by NAFA. "Research the CAFM and CAFS courses, join an organization such as NAFA, and utilize the resources ofered there," said Janeck. "Talk to other feet professionals and fnd out what it's all about. It's a challenging, but rewarding career path." 5 Join the Club Tere are a number of professional organizations dedicated to the feet management profession. Some associations that are well worth the research include: ● Te Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) ( ● Te International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) (www. ● Te NAFA Fleet Management Association (   Saltzgiver provided one fnal piece of advice: "Find someone you can trust to help guide you in your feet career. A good mentor can save you time and frustration from the many pitfalls by leveraging their years of experience to help you learn the business much quicker. Invest in a formal education. Fleet management touches many disciplines ranging from people skills to accounting and complex analysis. Finally, don't ignore opportunities to engage with colleagues to network on a regular basis by joining professional feet organizations, this collective information is invaluable and helps you understand your problem has been faced and solved by others." AF

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