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As we finish the fourth and final day of the 2020 NAFA Virtual Institute & Expo (I&E), the conference is rounding out what has been an eventful several days of educational content.

The second day, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, of the Virtual I&E kicked off the Winner’s Circle Panel, which featured NAFA’s Fleet Excellence Awards (FLEXY) winners and NAFA Members tying for first place on the 100 Best Fleets list will discuss their award-winning fleet strategies. 

The panel was moderated by Ray Brisby, CAFM retired fleet manager at Calgary Fire Department and Tom Johnson, author at 100 Best Fleets, and featured an appearance by Laura Jozwiak, CAFM, senior VP, sales & client relations at Wheels, Inc. Wheels is a sponsor of the FLEXY Awards. 

Following this was a Women in Fleet Management (WIFM) panel titled “Virtual Networking and Conferencing: Tips, Tricks & Discussions” that was dedicated to conversations on how to make the most of your virtual networking and conference experiences. This session was also sponsored by WIFM.

Following this were several concurrent panels, one of which was titled “Critical Policy Areas That Matter. Are You Prepared?” This panel helped review high-risk policy areas impacting fleet; how to develop practical guidelines and procedures; and discussed case studies demonstrating methods on how to obtain executive buy-in. Another current session looked at “Integrating New Players in your Traditional Fleet Strategy,” and discussed new technology and the operations of new fleet start-ups; addressed how organizations can benefit and utilize the skills of these new players; and looked at how fleets can succeed and thrive alongside these new players. 

A panel titled “Top Shop: Best in Class Shop and Technician Benchmarking Strategies,” analyzed how fleet managers can benchmark key aspects of shop operations and how this information can be applied to improvement efforts.

Later sessions on Tuesday included “Combining Coaching and Technology to Create an Effective Safety Culture,” which educated attendees on how safety coaching uses data to nurture a strong safety culture; identified the difference between coaching and training methods; and observed the steps to conduct effective driver safety coaching to remove communication barriers and impact behavioral changes.

An alt-fuel concurrent session, “Develop a Managed Charging Strategy for EV Success,” identified the intricacies of local utility rates to optimize your charging strategy, and how EVs can assist in meeting sustainability goals and lower costs. There was also a professional development panel, “Lead Your Fleet Through Change with Effective Communication,” which educated communication skills aimed to assist fleets in achieving effective change management.

The second day was rounded out by a U.S. Legislative Update from Pat O’Connor, the long-time legislative counsel for NAFA. 

Virtual I&E Day Three

The third day, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, of the Virtual I&E kicked off with a panel titled “Fleet Response to COVID-19 Pandemic,” which featured fleet managers from the corporate, government, utility, university and law enforcement sectors as they discussed what worked well and what failed them in their fleet response to the coronavirus.

Following concurrent sessions included “Advanced Automation: Lifecycle Analysis Applied,” which focused on the lessons learned for automating life cycle cost analysis: including data collection, structuring models, impact of older equipment and more, and also a “Lightning Round on the Evolving Fleet Regulatory Environment” panel which featured several industry perspectives on several regulations such as tariffs, data privacy, CAFE standards, COVID-19 concerns and more.

Later concurrent panels included “Enhance Security and Transparency in a Connected Strategy,” which previewed fleets of the future in which vehicles, telematics and payments will be fully integrated. Another forward looking concurrent session was “Musings on Mobility,” which featured debate on some of the hottest topics in mobility. 

Another current session was a fleet case study titled “Unclaimed, Unturned and Underutilized: One Fleet's Story of Maintenance Operations Improvement.”

Both days featured law enforcement showcases from FCA and General Motors that featured police fleet representatives as they addressed vehicle repair and maintenance solutions, new products, and the future of law enforcement fleets. There was also a law enforcement fleet rightsizing panel hosted on Wednesday afternoon.

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