Merchants Fleet Management’s Dan Hannan and Tracy DuRocher (center) pose with some of the 2016 Fleet Visionary Awards winners, including (l-r) Nikith Rajendran, Dave Mansfield, Amy McAdams, Jane Manca (on behalf of Nick Richardson), Jeff Moody (behind Manca), and Sharjeel Wattoo. Photo: Jim Park
If there’s one quality the most unites fleet professionals — no matter their position in the company hierarchy — is that they are willing to take a stand and make a difference.
While their motivation is often simply a job well done, many fleet profesionals contribute for years before they are recognized by their peers in the fleet industry.
With the launch of the Fleet Visionary Awards, which was presented at the 2016 Fleet Technology Expo in Schaumburg, Ill., in October, fleet professionals at the beginning of their fleet careers are being recognized for the new viewpoints and contributions they’re bringing to the table.
To be eligible, the 20 honorees had to have 10 years or fewer experience working in a fleet position at any level at the time of their nomination. The award celebrates new voices in fleet management, in particular, individuals who have brought a new perspective to running a commercial fleet, resulting in a fleet that is more operationally efficient, cost effective, safer, or any combination of these.
As the following profiles of the 20 honorees — including the Fleet Visionary of the Year — show, there are many exciting new voices in today’s fleet industry who will undoubtedly be the leaders of tomorrow.
2016 Fleet Visionary Honorees
Fleet Manager, ACRT, 6 years in fleet
Dave Adams has brought a whole new perspective and vision to managing the ACRT fleet that has proven to be more operationally efficient, cost effective, and safer by introducing new ideas, planning efficiencies and utilizing newer technologies. He has been able to fully embrace all the unique requirements of the fleet, and has implemented new concepts and processes that have provided significant operational savings to the administration of the fleet as well as reduced the overall cost of the fleet to the organization. He has also championed and implemented newer technologies that have made the vehicles safer to operate.
Fleet Services Manager, AmeriPride Services/Canadian Linen and Uniform Service, 5 years in fleet
After successfully completely tasks in other areas for the company, Banny Allison was asked to support the company’s fleet program in March 2011. In five years has taken a fleet of about 1,800 vehicles that was over budget on both fuel and maintenance, , to a cost-effective operation, implementing a company mandate to reduce CO2 emissions, making the AmeriPride fleet one of the Top 50 Green Fleets in the Country according to Automotive Fleet’s sister publication, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine. Another key aspect of Allison’s fleet contribution is a “safety first” perspective. This includes everything from increased safety-related features and components on all vehicles to better telematics, DQ file, and preventive maintenance service accuracy checks. Allison also streamlined the fleet’s IFTA reporting and revised the company’s fleet policies.
Fleet Manager, Tuff Shed, 5 years in fleet
Cindy Douglas’ use and application of fleet technology and optimization of Tuff Shed’s fleet have allowed her to make updates and changes to the fleet all while producing overall savings for the organization. Simultaneously, she works very closely with all of the fleet’s vendors and partners to ensure that decisions are made to benefit all parties. Douglas has an unending drive to ensure that things are done well and correctly and never settles for “good enough.”
VP Support Services, Willbros Group, Inc., 2 years in fleet
Robert Douglass’ ability to translate data from a wide range of sources into actionable objectives has enabled him to impact organizations positively with measurable, deliverable results. Douglass has implemented many test groups within his organization to try new technologies and processes. The smaller test groups allow him to make changes and improvements quickly, trialing them before launching the new program/process to the entire organization.
Director of Fleet Operations, Safelite AutoGlass, 9 years in fleet
Erin Gilchrist has been instrumental in leading the company’s vision of a long-term innovation and sustainability strategy with the company’s fleet of more than 8,500 vehicles. In 2015, Gilchrist and her team were able to drive programs and processes that reduced the fleet cost per mobile customer served by $1.5 million in overall operating cost. She introduced telematics to Safelite in 2013, which saved the company $3.2 million in 2015 alone (for a total of $7.1 million to date).
Fleet/Operations Manager, Haynes Mechanical Systems, 5 years in fleet
When Monica Gregerson came on board as fleet/operations manager, Haynes was in the middle of swapping out GPS devices on 60 current vehicles and adding 30 additional devices to new vehicles. Not only has she handled the technical side of this transition as far as getting the devices installed and registered, but also has worked to optimize fleet efficiency over the past year, utilizing the GPS system to its fullest in order to ensure the fleet is being as efficient as possible.
Associate Director, North American Fleet Administration, Merck 9 years in fleet
Among his many achievements since joining Merck, Scott Lauer successfully managed the integration of the Schering-Plough and Merck fleets. He documented savings of $7.5 million in 2009, $14.3 million in 2010, $3 million in 2011, and $9 million in 2012/2013 related to a rigorous application of the TCO model and accelerated vehicle replacements, which took advantage of resale gains. He implemented a comprehensive safety program, resulting in a significant reduction in accidents and zero driver fatalities.
Manager Vendor Management, CDK Global, 2 years in fleet
Without any prior fleet knowledge, Dave Mansfield was given leadership of managing the CDK fleet after the spinoff from ADP. Mansfield has proven to be a quick study, and was determined to run a productive fleet, maintain driver satisfaction, and achieve cost savings — all while learning the intricacies of the fleet industry. Mansfield quickly partnered with his account team to evaluate fleet operations and brainstorm ideas for cost savings and process improvements while maintaining driver productivity.
Amy McAdams, CAFM
Project and Client Services Manager, ABM, 6 years in fleet
When Amy McAdams, CAFM, started at ABM, she inherited a decentralized fleet with no consistent policy, selector, or compliance. Instead of maintaining the fleet as it was, McAdams challenged the status quo and developed a vision to transform the fleet to best-in-class. She quickly got to work by spearheading many important initiatives focused on standardization and compliance all specific to vehicle application.
Syed Asad Ali Naqvi
Sr. Executive Facilities and Equipment South, Warid Telecom, 2 years in fleet
Syed Asad Ali Naqvi lives his professional life by the motto: “Say naught the struggle naught availeth.” Naqvi has played an important role in revamping the processes of the Warid Telecom South Fleet, which consists of about 52 vehicles serving different departments of the organization. When he took over the position of the South Fleet, Naqvi identified grey areas, and implement appropriate staff trainings. Among his initiatives was the implementation of feedback and fuel monitoring systems to improve quality, manual vehicle allocation was shifted to automated systems, and new 3S vendors were introduced, which have resulted in a cost effective and quick repair/maintenance of vehicles.
Director Fleet Operations, Solar City, 3 years in fleet
Nikith Rajendran was appointed as the fleet manager of a rapidly growing startup in early 2013 having no prior fleet experience. The organization had a very aggressive growth target and fleet was a very critical component of the organization. Solar City’s fleet has grown from 1,100 vehicles to over 4,500 since 2013. Rajendran initiated a vehicle optimization project with the goal of analyzing vehicle payloads and redesigning the vehicle’s interior layouts. He also implemented a comprehensive fleet safety program.
Director Global Fleet Operations, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, 1 year in fleet
Less than a year ago, Nick Richardson began his journey to transform various aspects of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)’s Global Fleet Program, consisting of 25,000 company vehicles. With a goal of improved operational performance, Richardson developed strong partnerships with key business managers, support leaders, and suppliers. By leveraging these partnerships, Richardson’s team has driven significant policy changes, contributing to an 11% cost savings opportunity.
Senior Manager EHS & Fleet, R.J. Reynolds, 4 years in fleet
Dave Rush has spent more than 35 years working at R.J. Reynolds, serving as the company’s fleet manager for four years. Wanting to ensure his fleet was operating as efficiently as possible, while achieving driver satisfaction, he connected with colleagues in several regions. He negotiated a deal that ultimately replaced R.J. Reynolds’ fleet with newer vehicles, complete with higher standard options. He then shortcycled the fleet’s vehicles with its previous OEM with ones from its new one, replacing over 2,000 vehicles with a credit of $2.2 million in lease adjustments. Maintenance savings alone were over $1.8 million for the year, and R.J. Reynolds’ total fleet cost was down 37.6% in CY-2015 compared to CY-2014.
Fleet & Administration Manager, DISH, 9 years in fleet
In 2014, Abe Stephenson achieved the lowest cost per mile and lowest cost per job, to date, exceeding 2014 corporate cost per mile goals by $1.3 million. He worked extensively with all levels of field employees and executives to develop upfitting packages for new Euro vans and 4x4 service capsule prototypes, which resulted in considerable impacts to productivity, comfort, safety, and ergonomics for fleet technicians and warehouse staff and significant reductions in fuel usage and emissions. He reduced average accident repair downtime by three days while also reducing average accident repair cost.
Sr. Mgr., Sales Operations & CRM, Smith & Nephew, 2 years in fleet
When Healthpoint was acquired by Smith & Nephew, Robb Wagner had a challenge. Healthpoint utilized a leasing program and Smith & Nephew operated a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) reimbursement program managed by a third party. Faced with combining the two programs, Wagner was able to see the benefits of both, and wanted to retain the positive attributes of each program. By presenting the facts and evidence, he was able to prove the best course of action for driver satisfaction, total cost management and fleet integration and control. As a result, he helped the company save money while offering the drivers a choice to help keep them happy and productive.
Fleet Manager, Strike, 9 years in fleet
As the fleet manager at Strike, Mike Ward has never allowed for the “status quo.” Ward is always looking for new ways to drive cost out of his fleet and takes a multi-pronged approach to achieve this. To ensure that his fleet is optimized Ward; maximizes upfit configurations, requires fit of vehicles to the jobs they are performing, and keeps a close eye towards the safety of his employees and their vehicles. He utilizes technology to monitor his fleet and ensures that changes are having a positive effect and keeps open communications with the field to ensure the numbers are telling the entire story.
Sharjeel Anwer Wattoo
Senior Professional Fleet Management & Organizational Support Services, Oman Telecommunication Company, 10 years in fleet
Sharjeel Anwer Wattoo has played a key role in the complete revamp of the Omantel fleet that includes overall restructuring of 500-plus old/obsolete and rental vehicles, replacing them with new vehicles, which feature advanced safety features and are in line with Wattoo’s own initiative for a green fleet. Among the initiatives he instituted are fleet policymaking; asset write-off; and obsolete policy drafting; implementation of ISO standard processes, a fleet management system, and state-of-the-art vehicle tracking system; in addition to the complete revamp of fleet where he added 500-plus new vehicles for Omantel.
Manager Global Security, Global Fleet and Corporate Facilities, AGCO Corp.,10 years in fleet
Ralf Wessel has standardized operations across AGCO’s global fleet of 2,100 vehicles in 24 countries. The primary function of the fleet throughout the world is supporting sales and service functions. In light of his background in law enforcement, he has developed an extensive and rigorous safety program that is designed to keep drivers safe and limit exposure to the company. The fleet policy is updated annually. The employees must take and pass an interactive test in order to be allowed to drive.
Mgr. Fleet and Travel Operations, Sanofi, 10 years in fleet
Brian Wielgosz helps Sanofi drivers be safe and keeps fleet costs down by focusing on data and mobility. A new pilot feature “Contact Us” allows drivers to have access to immediate contact numbers based on the category of help they need directly from their mobile phone. In 2015, he successfully reduced Sanofi’s total fleet spend by more than 25% from 2014. Other successes under Wielgosz’s leadership include: fuel savings driven by a 28% reduction in cost per gallon and a 3% improvement in fuel economy, an 18% decrease in maintenance cost per mile, and increased depreciation expense due to execution of the accelerated replacement strategy.
2016 Fleet Visionary of the Year
Fleet Analyst, Centuri Construction Group, 3 years in fleet
In his three years in the fleet industry with Centuri Construction Group, 2016 Fleet Visionary of the Year Jeff Moody has used his prior background in safety to become instrumental in the creation of complex scoring metrics that have resulted in simple reporting that is clear and concise, driving continuous improvement of on-road driver behaviors, including increasing seat belt usage to 98%, decreasing hard braking and hard acceleration events per 1,000 miles traveled by 79% and 80% respectively, and decreasing speeding over 80 mph violations per 1,000 miles by 83%. Moody has also been instrumental in the creation of various analytical tools that have had a significant impact on purchasing decisions, identifying trends within the fleet, and total cost of ownership.
Moody’s background in safety has informed his role in Centuri’s fleet. Among his accomplishments in the area of safety he spent a year as a safety auditor for Centuri’s Phoenix-area operation. While working there he was mainly responsible for safety and quality checks of everything that happens on a jobsite, from set up to the processes involved with putting gas pipeline in the ground. Presaging the contributions he has made in his role with Centuri’s fleet, he developed tools that made job/audit tracking easier for auditors and safety managers, including deficiency tracking by foreman/supervisor and computerized auditor schedule for better record keeping. He was also responsible for leading training in a variety of safety related fields, including driver safety training.