Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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SOLICITING FLEET MANAGER AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I FEBRUARY 2014 54 Fleet managers and f eet management companies are working together to improve collaboration. F or all the benef ts and value-add services outsourced f eet manage- ment companies (FMCs) provide, a common critique of the client/ vendor relationship centers on the gap in understanding that can sometimes lie between what f eets need to succeed and what FMCs can of er to serve those needs. While, in some cases, this is understand- able given the nature of the business and inherent dif erences in perspective FMCs and f eet managers can have, it's also frus- trating — and never desirable. T ankfully, the path to establishing valuable collabo- ration, which leads to newer, better f eet management solutions can be navigated with relative ease. By soliciting the feedback and input of f eet managers, FMCs can broker an ad- vanced degree of understanding with f eets. T e result is a migration from the afore- mentioned client/vendor relationship to a true partnership between equals, which yields increased collaboration and ef ciency. Such is the goal of GE Capital Fleet Ser- vice's Client Advisory Board (CAB). Made up of 15 f eet managers from companies op- erating f eets of all sizes across many dif er- ent industries, GE's CAB meets six times per year to host a collaborative discussion and series of presentations among f eet manag- ers, OEMs, GE Capital Fleet Services' res- ident experts, and other industry profes- sionals. T e meetings are more than just an opportunity to network — they result in the formation of real-world solutions. Creating Real-World Results At a CAB meeting in San Antonio in 2012, participants collaborated to build a "wish list" of desired maintenance-related f eet products and services. T e brainstorming identif ed the need for f eet managers to pull real-time reports of open warranty recalls across their entire f eet — a service that wasn't yet of ered in the industry. Following the meeting, GE Capital Fleet Services fast- tracked the idea and formed a f rst-of-its- kind partnership with CARFAX for the real-time reporting of vehicle safety recalls. T is agreement was formed as a re- sult of the f eet managers' insight and the FMC's know-how, and it's just one exam- ple of how the two parties can collaborate to foster improved operational ef ciency and cost savings. Providing a forum through which cus- tomers can share best practices should also be a priority for FMCs. At a recent CAB event in Scottsdale, Ariz., Ken Foster, director of North American Fleet Operations at Tyco, explained a f eet consolidation initiative that resulted in increased fuel and operational ef ciency across the company's f eet. A large part of this focus relied on a customized interior redesign of the f eet's Ford Escape models; this was especially relevant as just the day before, Ford's General Manager for Commercial & Government Operations, John Ruppert, led a discussion on how f eets could maximize order-to-delivery programs. Collaborative initiatives, such as GE's CAB serve as opportunities for thought leaders in the industry to collectively work with industry experts for the purpose of improving the customer's overall experi- ence. Giving customers a seat at the table is incredibly important. While FMCs are uniquely positioned to manage many as- pects of f eet management — from strate- gic planning to f nancing to remarketing — f eets should never feel as though they have to outsource innovation. AF (Front row, l-r) Justin White, Danaher; Bret Watson, Sprint; Carol Mansmann, Amgen; Mari- lyn Mansell, Amgen; Paula Morisey, Xerox; Charlie Szymanski, PPG; John Hatchett, Amedisys; Ken Foster, Tyco; (Second row, l-r) Barb Mundahl, GE; Ken Johnson, GE; John Dmochowsky, Mondelez; Mark Smith, GE; Shelly Lofgren, Honeywell; Sheryl Grossman, GE Healthcare; Lou- ise Davis-Lopez, Johnson & Johnson; and (Top row, l-r) Ed Faulstick, GE; Brad Hoffelt, GE; Mark Hayes, GE; Aditya Narain, GE; and Jon Parker, GE. Not pictured: Dean Dunton, NCR; Jeff Hurrell, HP; Jonathan Kamanns, Ingersoll Rand; and Abe Stephenson, DISH. PHOTO: GE CAPITAL FLEET SOLUTIONS FEEDBACK TO IMPLEMENT FLEET SOLUTIONS A F 0 1 1 4 f e e d b a c k . i n d d 5 4 AF0114feedback.indd 54 1 / 2 3 / 1 4 9 : 4 3 A M 1/23/14 9:43 AM

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