The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

City of Oxnard Embraces Technology to Streamline Operations

The City’s Fleet Services Division recently implemented a state-of-the-art technology system, resulting in significant productivity gains for all technicians.

November 2009, by Cheryl Knight - Also by this author

The City of Oxnard became a “paperless shop” in 2005.

The City of Oxnard, Calif., prides itself on being a "business-friendly" community. Since its incorporation in 1903, the City has gone from cattle grazing to intensive farming to servicing the defense industry, and finally to diversified industrial, housing, and commercial development.

Today, the City houses more than 200,000 residents, two U.S. Navy bases, and the only deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The city's Mediterranean-style weather, beautiful beaches, and year-round temperate climate add to its broad appeal.

Not only business-friendly, the City also promotes technological advancement in its educational institutions, police and fire departments, and water resources division, among others. This technology focus might best be observed in the City of Oxnard's Fleet Services Division, rated No. 3 in the 100 Best Fleets in North America listing for 2008 and No. 10 in 2009.

"We're honored to be in a company of fleets that are that good," said Daniel Berlenbach, fleet services manager. "We scored high because we took some chances to do advances across the board, and we addressed many areas to do well."

While reassessing its operations, Fleet Services focused on strategic planning and reviewed the entire spectrum of customer services. Division management also assessed how to better serve customers and make employees happier.

"These key areas result in increased productivity. That was a big part of us getting this recognition," Berlenbach said. "We set a standard of excellence, not just a standard of satisfaction."

Assuring customers they receive value services for their money means validation for taxpayers and employees alike.

Big-Picture View Important
Implementing changes across the board made Berlenbach's job much easier. His day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Spec'ing new vehicles.
  • Working with procurement.
  • Overseeing maintenance and fuel operations.
  • Updating policy.
  • Managing personnel.
  • Budgeting.

"We service about 40 different organizations in the City, so it's important I understand the big picture of our operation," he said. "Updating our policies and ensuring our fleet operates as efficiently as possible is critical."

Fleet Services, which manages 900 vehicles or pieces of equipment and 42 technicians, is responsible for acquisition, disposal, fueling, maintenance, and repair of the city's $34 million vehicle and equipment fleet.

A 34-year fleet industry veteran, Berlenbach was a fleet manager in the Air Force before joining the City of Oxnard in 2004.

Also critical to Fleet Services operations is mentoring, which Berlenbach considers a high priority, along with streamlining policies and procedures through technology.

The city's Fleet Services Division also emphasizes environmental friendliness wherever possible and has been recognized twice by the California EPA as a certified "Green Shop."

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