The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Who’s Not Bitterly Angry at OPEC?

June 2006, by Ed Bobit - Also by this author

People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.
Will Rogers

There is something about a roused woman...especially if she adds to all her other strong passions the fierce impulses of recklessness and despair...which few men like to provoke."

When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. So we were often angry at each other. Charles De Gaulle

What we can do to help our company cope with the spiraling cost of fuel, especially by asserting ourselves and getting smarter.

You bet I'm upset. It just cost me more than $45 to fill the tank on my sport sedan, it fell like I'd just been held up by a guy with a gun to my head. And that's a visual.

Just over 30 years ago, we recall that oil was $4 a barrel, compared to the $70+ today. Don't you just wish our income went up commensurately? Even my Southern California home value didn't keep up with that dramatic rise.

Now, I've been an avowed advocate of the "fleet manager" for a half-century and still going strong. We have seen a change in the vast majority of the managers who look after the commercial fleets under "total fleet management." When you are completely outsourced, the demographic profile changes markedly.

It is precisely this group that I'd like to address this month, since these fleet managers don't always wield as large a "stick" as those who handle public sector fleets, or company-owned (and not outsourced).

This group has emerged without the years of experience and without formal fleet training; they rarely can obtain approval to travel to some venue where knowledge can be gained. They are still in a vital role. They are an influence with an internal committee on vehicle purchases.

Unfortunately, their voice often gets buried when they try to focus on lifecycle costs and long-term residual ultimate savings. The CFO and purchasing, HR, and sales directors are short-term oriented and love the upfront cash plan while facing tough internal budget cuts.

So, where this type of fleet manager may have their buying influence diluted, they can still develop important efficiencies in remarketing. Today, and fortunately, a number of attractive and relatively new processes available can make you a hero.

The hot button today for this group of fleet managers (who deserve more respect and recognition than they get) is their affinity with their drivers and corporate management. Therein lies the galactic potential fuel savings dollars (and professional rewards).

Since you are the key conduit exulting company policies and personnel requirements for promoting safety, while limiting exposure for liabilities, you are in a great position to shine now on fuel costs.

I urge you to review your fuel policies. Our industry study last year revealed that 13 percent of companies still don't have a "program." You should make certain that your policies and gas card arrangements are "strategic programs," rather than outdated paper goals.

We've heard so much about how depreciation is our single greatest cost to operate a fleet. Well, now get real. With gas at $3.25/gallon, it is now a cost equal to depreciation.

Be ready and intelligent on downsizing the vehicles: being familiar with hybrids, ethanol, idling costs, tire pressures, and everything connected to fuel economy. It's especially appropriate and timely for you to know all about what four-cylinder engines can do.

Make your mark; fuel costs aren't going down.

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

Union Leasing serves a broad range of small- to mid-size fleets in commercial, industrial and rental car industries.

Read more

Blog

Market Trends

Mike Antich
Institutionalizing Cost-Control Strategies

By Mike Antich
Senior management exerts intense pressure on fleet managers to control and/or reduce vehicle acquisition and operating expenses. To accomplish this, a fleet managers can pursue three different cost-control strategies — cost savings, cost deferral, or cost avoidance. In order to implement a successful cost-control strategy you need to institutionalize the mechanisms to curb money-wasting behaviors.

Lessons Learned from Great Fleet Managers

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

By Paul Clinton
BMW is hosting six Ultimate Driving Experience events around the U.S. this summer and fall that puts drivers behind the wheel of the 2017 540i, the first of five planned 5 Series models in the lineup's seventh generation.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

By Amy Winter-Hercher

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Who’s Up Next?

By Sherb Brown
Are you taking the time to keep an eye out for the person who is going to fill your chair when you decide to move on?

Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize

By Sherb Brown

View All

Data Points

Dylan Brown
Does Telematics Branding Translate to Adoption?

By Dylan Brown
We asked over 750 fleet professionals questions about the prevalence of each provider in the market and their brand recognition.

How Fleet Size Dictates Telematics Needs

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