The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Successful Fleet Managers Will Evolve Into Fleet Advocates

June 2002, by Mike Antich - Also by this author

Jim Anselmi of Lorillard, Josie Sharp of Aventis, and Bob Brown of Xerox have one trait in common - they are fleet advocates at their companies. The three of them were recently honored as finalists for the 2002 Professional Fleet Manager Award by Automotive Fleet, along with Wheels Inc. and the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association, which are co-sponsors of this prestigious industry award. This year's winner was Jim Anselmi.

Not only did this year's award honor professionalism in fleet management, it also provided an insight of the traits that will be required of tomorrow's fleet manager, said Jim Frank, president of Wheels Inc., a fleet management company headquartered in Des Plaines, IL.

"The fleet management industry is changing," said Frank. "Changes in the industry are changing the traits that will be required in the future to be a successful fleet management professional."

The successful fleet professional of tomorrow will evolve into a fleet advocate, predicts Frank. To grasp the concept of a fleet advocate, Frank says it is necessary to understand how the fleet management profession has evolved.

The original "fleet person" was a fleet administrator, who spent as much as 70 percent of his or her work hours manually processing new-vehicle orders, changing driver records, and handling routine phone calls from drivers in the field inquiring about vehicle order status or reporting maintenance problems.

"The majority of these jobs have vanished as a result of automation and the balance of them as a result of outsourcing," said Frank. "Since then, the fleet administrator has evolved into the fleet manager, who develops fleet policy, institutes safety programs, creates selectors based on lifecycle cost analyses, and, increasingly, manages vendors to whom their company has outsourced administrative fleet functions."

A powerful change agent, especially at larger fleets, is the increasing migration to strategic sourcing. These decisions are made by purchasing committees consisting of managers who are connected to fleet in a peripheral way such as sales, human resources, and finance. To work effectively in this environment, the fleet manager needs to be the fleet advocate.

There are several traits necessary to become a fleet advocate. First, a manager needs to hone his or her communication skills. Second, a manager needs to be courageous. "If you are advocating something, not everyone will agree with you. You need the courage of your convictions to stand on a position." The third and most important trait is the ability to develop a broader perspective beyond fleet. "You can't restrict yourself to just understanding fleet management," said Frank. "You need to truly understand your company's business and to step back and ask yourself, 'Why do we have a fleet?' And once you answer this, you need to ask if you are implementing the programs necessary to meet those corporate needs. "To gain this broader perspective, it is necessary for managers to expand their business knowledge through NAFA seminars, university courses, or by simply reading general business publications.

"It was these traits that were exemplified by Jim Anselmi when he won the 2002 Fleet Manager Award, and what made Josie Sharp and Bob Brown finalists for the award," concludes Frank.

 

 

 

Twitter Facebook Google+

Comments

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
 
 

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

FleetFAQ

Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Sponsored by

In the United States, the specific terminology, “Full Service Lease,” is typically used in heavy-duty truck leasing where lessor responsibilities often include garaging, washing, the provision of replacement trucks for use when the leased truck is out of service because of maintenance requirements, and occasionally, even fuel.

Read more

Blog

Market Trends

Mike Antich
Growth of Crossovers & Compact SUVs in Fleet Is a Global Phenomenon

By Mike Antich
Crossover utility vehicles and compact SUVs represent the fastest growing segments in the global automotive industry in every region of the world, impacting both retail and fleet sales

Successful Fleet Managers Excel as Servant Leaders

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
2018 Toyota Camry XSE V-6

By Paul Clinton
The 2018 Camry has been lowered, widened, and lengthened. A trio of new powertrains also improve fuel economy for America's top-selling sedan.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

By Paul Clinton

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
New Faces in Safe Places

By Sherb Brown
Conferences like AFLA can provide a space for new faces in the industry to meet and network with experienced peers and suppliers, without being crowded by salespeople.

Fleet Is a Full-Time Job

By Sherb Brown

View All

Data Points

Dylan Brown
What Are the Most Valuable Services Offered by FMCs?

By Dylan Brown
What do fleet managers value in their relationships with fleet management companies? The answer may surprise you.

Demand More From Your Fuel Card Provider

By Dylan Brown

View All

In Memoriam: Coach's Insights

Ed Bobit
Thinking of the Newbies of the Future

By Ed Bobit
A lot has changed in the past 10-15 years, so we can only imagine this momentum will continue into the next decade-plus. How will this change impact the fleet manager of tomorrow?

Managing a Car vs. Work Truck Fleet

By Ed Bobit

View All

STORE

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher