The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

ADT Forms Strategic Fleet Partnerships

Through working with ADT, GE Capital Fleet Services performed significant benchmarking and discussed where it was focused as a business and the capabilities it has as a company.

February 2012, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

At a Glance

Through a strategic partnership with its fleet management company, ADT was able to:

  • Save more than $6 million per year in     operating costs.
  • Reduce preventable accidents by 20 percent.
  • Increase driver productivity.

 


Every day, ADT’s 7,000-plus technicians respond to thousands of customer calls and conduct in-person visits to homes and businesses. Faced with volatile fuel prices and aging service vans, the security services provider was looking to replace its fleet. It turned to GE Capital Fleet Services, its fleet management company (FMC) of more than 10 years, to help determine ways to reduce costs and CO2 emissions, and provide technicians with vehicles that would enable them to effectively service its 6 million customers.

ADT’s fleet consists of approximately 7,000 vehicles throughout the U.S. and Canada, with roughly 85 percent being light-duty trucks and 15 percent full-size vans. The company also has about 200 sedans in its patrol fleet.

In 2008, ADT collaborated with its FMC to create a multi-year transformational plan to change the composition of ADT’s overall fleet profile to include vehicle mix and size, carbon footprint impact, overall vehicle tracking and management, and an increased focus on driver safety.

“This event really changed the relationship between ADT and GE Capital Fleet Services from a transactional relationship to a more collaborative, strategic relationship based on a multi-year horizon,” commented David Wade, group director for supply chain for ADT North America.

Wade has worked for ADT for the past 17 years, holding positions in sales, sales management, national account management, general management, and program management. He took over supply chain and fleet in 2008. In 2011, the company consolidated its fleet with SimplexGrinnell and hired a full-time fleet leader.

Re-‘Connect’ with Fleet Needs

Starting in 2008, when Wade became involved in fleet, ADT challenged its suppliers to focus more on strategy and solution delivery, as opposed to the daily activities of keeping the business running, or as Wade characterized it, a “just keeping the lights on” mentality.

In late 2008/early 2009, ADT and its FMC partner held a series of joint meetings and came up with a multi-year transformational plan that focused on changing the security service provider’s fleet profile.

During this process, GE Capital Fleet Services looked at what was happening in the macroeconomic and automotive fleet environment, and translated how those factors would impact a fleet.

“Through working with ADT, we did some significant benchmarking and talked about where it was focused as a business and the capabilities it has as a company,” said Mark Smith, strategic consulting leader for GE Capital Fleet Services. “We looked at historical, financial, and fleet performance information, and used all of those items in conjunction with one another to identify areas of opportunity to make material changes to the way things had been done.”

At the beginning of the process, ADT operated about 98 percent of its fleet as full-size vans. “We never endeavored to change this because that product had been institutionalized at ADT for 50 to 60 years,” Wade said.

That’s where the partnership with GE came in. Today, ADT operates approximately 4,100 Ford Transit Connects. One benefit of the new, smaller vehicles is the increased ease of working in urban areas.

“Driver feedback was paramount in hitting change management head on,” Wade said. “What we heard and continue to hear from drivers is that they feel more comfortable and confident in a smaller van in highly congested areas. The vehicles are less of a nuisance, easier to parallel park, and easier to enter into parking garages. Overall visibility has been significant as well, compared to the full-size vans used previously.”

The company was looking to not only reduce fuel costs, but reduce its carbon footprint and overall environmental impact as well.

“We also wanted to focus on vehicle tracking and management to increase driver safety,” Wade said. “So, I would say the meetings in 2008 really led to the great benefits we’ve been seeing and continue to see.”

These benefits include savings of more than $6 million per year in operating costs as a result of the deployment of new, more fuel-efficient vehicles; expected reduction of carbon emissions by 40 percent (or 20,000 metric tons); and a 20-percent reduction in preventable accidents.

You can watch a video of ADT drivers discussing the new vans here:

Managing Driver Information

In addition to rightsizing its fleet vehicles, ADT also took on a telematics solution. This portion of the transformational plan has resulted in increased driver productivity and the ability to further limit after-hours or unauthorized vehicle use.

Some of the challenges ADT faced instituting its telematics program were simply justifying the deployment of the new technology on a fleet of 7,000 vehicles, creating an overarching strategy around workforce assimilation and management, and controlling and managing the new information that the technology makes available.

To overcome its challenges, the company “took a collaborative approach with all key stakeholders in the company, and conducted a series of planning meetings on how to best adopt and implement the technology, knowing there was a significant ‘change management challenge’ facing this deployment,” Wade noted. “We had more than 50 leaders across HR, finance, operations, operational excellence, customer experience, fleet, and strategic consulting that were instrumental in laying out the roadmap for this technology.”

According to Smith, one of the critical elements to the success of these types of partnerships is “the strong working relationship where you become a combined team, with representatives from both companies that have different functions. It can’t be the traditional supplier/vendor relationship, because these initiatives take a tremendous amount of involvement.”

Fleet Goes ‘Prime Time’

With a humorous yet informational vibe, ADT and GE Capital Fleet Services partnered to create history: fleet and a fleet management company featured on national prime time television.

In a brief, 30-second commercial that ran on major network and cable channels, President John Koch of ADT walked viewers through a day with ADT drivers, explaining what the company does and how it worked with GE to install telematics and rightsize its fleet to Ford Transit Connects.

“This ad is about more than just fleet management. It’s about GE’s commitment to building and supporting the growth of our customers by going farther and doing more than what the relationship requires,” said Mark Smith, strategic consulting services leader for GE Capital Fleet Services.

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Comments

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  1. 1. Tom [ February 06, 2012 @ 07:19AM ]

    Thanks ADT for supporting a non american built product. Maybe we can find a forign company to provide our security products....

  2. 2. Mark Cashman [ March 01, 2012 @ 11:46AM ]

    I know the newer model vehicles have the backing up safety feature which sounds inside the vehicle to alert driver should someone or something be in the back of vehicle . Can the prior models be retrofitted with this feature?

  3. 3. Tech [ March 03, 2012 @ 06:37AM ]

    Ford Transit.... Terrible

    This is probably a great vehicle for certain industries.... but not for ADT installation.

    First off the vehicle is just too small. It does little to provide for driver comfort, and can not contain the ammount of parts and equiment that the average technician is required to carry. The vehicles are being contantly overloaded, you cannot carry an extension ladder on one, and with all of the paperwork that is required to be completed by the technicians, how did we design a van without a place to file paperwork?

    Not to mention, this vehicle is not even american made. It's imported from Turkey.

    Terrible Fail ADT, bring back the full size vans.

  4. 4. withheld [ March 05, 2012 @ 11:00AM ]

    ADT Commercial is already set up for failure. and now with John Kennings resignation what does the future hold. Lay-offs for no reason other than to make the numbers look good to sell. George Oliver got his way when John left. ADT = EPIC FAILURE

  5. 5. 14yr field tech [ March 07, 2012 @ 05:47AM ]

    I'm not sure why we got upgraded, but I love the new vans with cloth seats and power windows. My last four service vans all had vinyl seats and manual windows. The new seats are much more comfortable after a long day in hot locations. It’s like getting an upgraded office. Whoever decided to spend a little more to make the hard working techs a little more comfortable, THANK YOU!

  6. 6. 7 Year ADT tech [ January 01, 2014 @ 10:37AM ]

    I completely dislike the ford transit connects, especially for techs like myself that live 2 hours away from the local office and consequently have to carry double or triple the parts to keep from having to put work orders in parts pending. I have had 4 full size fans and 1 transit connect. I did not have near the trouble from the full size vans compared to the connect. The van is so poorly made to carry the weight that we carry. I know I blew at least 3 or 4 tires...(all rear tires).Must have gone through 4-6 sets of tires.The air conditioning quit. Had a windshield wiper arm break during a severe storm.Could not even see to pull of the road safely.Transmission went out.You can ONLY get the tires from the Ford dealerships.No power for climbing hills.Cruise control would fluctuate sometimes 10 mph before it would kick in on hill climbs then speed go downhill.Transmission quit on it.No room in the back.No aisle space.Needless to say when the transmission went out at 102,000, ADT scrapped the van. I was fortunate enough to get back in the full size van I traded in to get the transit due to the office kept it during the transition of leaving Tyco.I now have 210,000 + miles on the full size van and still going. I am going to really hate to trade in this van for yet another Ford transit connect.I don't know if the "fuel conservation" savings is worth all the maintenance that went into the transit connect.Seems like a wash to me.

  7. 7. 7 Year ADT tech [ January 01, 2014 @ 10:38AM ]

    I completely dislike the ford transit connects, especially for techs like myself that live 2 hours away from the local office and consequently have to carry double or triple the parts to keep from having to put work orders in parts pending. I have had 4 full size fans and 1 transit connect. I did not have near the trouble from the full size vans compared to the connect. The van is so poorly made to carry the weight that we carry. I know I blew at least 3 or 4 tires...(all rear tires).Must have gone through 4-6 sets of tires.The air conditioning quit. Had a windshield wiper arm break during a severe storm.Could not even see to pull of the road safely.Transmission went out.You can ONLY get the tires from the Ford dealerships.No power for climbing hills.Cruise control would fluctuate sometimes 10 mph before it would kick in on hill climbs then speed go downhill.Transmission quit on it.No room in the back.No aisle space.Needless to say when the transmission went out at 102,000, ADT scrapped the van. I was fortunate enough to get back in the full size van I traded in to get the transit due to the office kept it during the transition of leaving Tyco.I now have 210,000 + miles on the full size van and still going. I am going to really hate to trade in this van for yet another Ford transit connect.I don't know if the "fuel conservation" savings is worth all the maintenance that went into the transit connect.Seems like a wash to me.

  8. 8. 7 Year ADT tech [ January 01, 2014 @ 10:38AM ]

    I completely dislike the ford transit connects, especially for techs like myself that live 2 hours away from the local office and consequently have to carry double or triple the parts to keep from having to put work orders in parts pending. I have had 4 full size fans and 1 transit connect. I did not have near the trouble from the full size vans compared to the connect. The van is so poorly made to carry the weight that we carry. I know I blew at least 3 or 4 tires...(all rear tires).Must have gone through 4-6 sets of tires.The air conditioning quit. Had a windshield wiper arm break during a severe storm.Could not even see to pull of the road safely.Transmission went out.You can ONLY get the tires from the Ford dealerships.No power for climbing hills.Cruise control would fluctuate sometimes 10 mph before it would kick in on hill climbs then speed go downhill.Transmission quit on it.No room in the back.No aisle space.Needless to say when the transmission went out at 102,000, ADT scrapped the van. I was fortunate enough to get back in the full size van I traded in to get the transit due to the office kept it during the transition of leaving Tyco.I now have 210,000 + miles on the full size van and still going. I am going to really hate to trade in this van for yet another Ford transit connect.I don't know if the "fuel conservation" savings is worth all the maintenance that went into the transit connect.Seems like a wash to me.

  9. 9. 7 Year ADT Tech [ January 01, 2014 @ 10:40AM ]

    Didn't mean to post 3 times. Sorry

 

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