While the light-duty market for compressed natural gas vehicles has almost evaporated, new near zero emissions technology and drastic reductions in infrastructure costs have reinvigorated the market for medium- and heavy-duty applications — even for smaller fleets.
A fleet cost reduction program goes straight to the corporate bottom line. If a company operates at a 10% annual net profit margin, reducing annual fleet expenses by $100,000 is the equivalent of generating $1 million in sales. Although fleet managers manage hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of dollars in corporate assets, only half are incentivized to achieve targeted performance goals. I advocate incentivization should be a universal best practice extended to all fleet managers.
I believe volume penetration of fleets by autonomous vehicles will take much longer to occur than what is predicted in today’s optimistic forecasts. Conceptually, autonomous vehicles are technologically feasible, but, as they say, the devil is in the details. One thing is certain, as we trail blaze new ground, so too will we trail blaze new problems.
Corporate mobility management to evolve into multi-level responsibilities for asset lifecycle management, administration of multi-modal mobility services, and deployment of productivity and safety tools to support a mobile workforce in the field.
The key objective of end-user discussions is to match the truck with the fleet application. Once you have completed your discussions, make sure the completed upfit specs have been reviewed and approved by all parties prior to order placement. It is critical to have a documented sign-off to avoid misunderstandings that result in after-the-fact upfitting modifications.
Recently, I conducted a survey of several hundred fleet managers to identify emerging industry trends. One recurrent theme expressed by fleet managers was the concern that fleet costs are starting to experience upward pricing pressures. Here's what they told me.
Over the years, I have known many competent fleet managers. But, like salmons swimming upstream, not every promising fleet manager survives the challenges and rigors of day-to-day fleet management. It is understandable when fleet managers are fired for making expensive mistakes or when caught engaging in ethical transgressions, but, sadly, many more are terminated for circumstances that are entirely avoidable.