This year, 14 nationally recognized fleet managers vied for the honor of being named the 1990 Professional Fleet Manager of the Year. Emerging as this year's winner was Tim Hoffmann, 3M's manager of employee transportation and travel services, following a vote by a panel of industry judges and Automotive Fleet magazine.

Hoffmann received the Professional Fleet Manager trophy during an award ceremony at the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association's annual convention held last April in Houston, TX. In addition a $2,000 scholarship will be given in Hoffmann's name to an accredited university business school of his choice. The sixth recipient of the award. Hoffmann will have his name inscribed on a perpetual trophy displayed at the magazine's headquarters in Redondo Beach, CA.

In accepting the award, Hoffmann credited his co-workers in the Employee Transportation and Travel Services Department for the success of his organization stating: "There may be only one name on this award, but it took an entire team of professionals to reach the level of success we enjoy at 3M."

3M's Tim Hoffmann is the winner of the annual Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award.

3M's Tim Hoffmann is the winner of the annual Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award.

Hoffmann attained his present position 10 years after being hired as a mechanic at 3M. Currently he manages 3M's worldwide fleet from the corporation's St. Paul, MN, headquarters.

As Employee Transportation and Travel Services (ETTS) manager, Hoffmann's responsibilities include policy development, administration, vehicle procurement, marketing, and operations. Among his accomplishments, Hoffmann has implemented a number of successful programs at 3M, including the company's safe driving program, a corporate fleet management system for information storage/retrieval, procedures, streamlining, cost-culling in vehicle procurement and marketing, and the negotiating of contracts with a car-rental company and airline. Among his extracurricular activities, Hoffmann has been a member of the National Association of Fleet Administrators since 1978 and has served as treasurer, vice chairman, and chairman of the North Central Chapter. In addition, Hoffmann was one of the original members selected by the Ford Division for its Fleet Advisory Board.

Diversified Responsibilities

ETTS is responsible for all aspects of 3M's corporate transportation and travel requirements. In total, ETTS, either through direct management or program management, was responsible for the control of approximately $216 million in 1989. As ETTS manager, Hoffmann supervises a staff of 55 employees in six transportation-related departments and an administrative group. These include:

  • Employee Transportation and Travel Services Administration
  • Automotive Services
  • Corporate Meeting Management
  • Employee Transit
  • Fleet Administration
  • Passenger Services
  • Travel Management Services


ETTS Administration

This administrative group encompasses a variety of support services for employee transportation and travel services, as well as other 3M departments and divisions. Responsibilities include system development and maintenance, communications and training services, and coordination of miscellaneous programs.

3M Fleet Administration manages one of the largest corporate fleets in the country with more than 5,700 vehicles. It is comprised of four functions: fleet operations, fleet procurement, used vehicle marketing, and automotive services.

Fleet Operations

The Fleet Operations Department is responsible for the development and administration of 3M's vehicle operating policies and the negotiation of national account agreements. According to Hoffmann, the 1989 annual operating cost of 3M's fleet was more than $32 million. The department has developed numerous cost saving programs and employs a staff of professionals, including a team of repair analysis who review, negotiate, and authorize vehicle repairs.

3M's worldwide headquarters is situated on 435 acres in St. Paul, MN.

3M's worldwide headquarters is situated on 435 acres in St. Paul, MN.

The heart of Fleet Operations is the "Corporate Fleet Management System" - an on-line computer system designed to track vehicles from date of purchase to date of disposal.

This state-of-the-art system is kept current with detailed repair and expense information, and also assists with vehicle forecasting and distribution of costs to operating divisions.

Fleet Procurement

The annual negotiation of equipment and accessory packages with vehicle manufacturers is handled by Fleet Procurement. This department processes all requisitions for new vehicles and is responsible for providing license plate renewals and title transfer service at 3M Center. Vehicle selection is based on overall function, operating cost, purchase price, driver convenience and comfort, and resale value, says Hoffmann.

Each year the Fleet Procurement Department reviews the vehicle needs of the company; and, in 1989, Fleet Administration negotiated the purchase of more than 2,500 units.

Used Vehicle Marketing

The disposal of 3M vehicles through private party sales to 3M employees and other prospective buyers is handled by the Used Vehicle Marketing Department. Last year, 3M's used vehicle sales totaled more than 2,500 units, returning $11 million to 3M, says Hoffmann.

In 1989, Fleet Administration assumed responsibility for all of 3M's used-vehicle sales. Private party sales to 3M employees and other buyers represents 48 percent of this total with the remainder being sold to auctions and wholesalers.

Sale prices are determined on the basis of condition reports and vehicles are offered for sale at a "wholesale" price.

Another vehicle marketing program is the Employee Vehicle Purchase Program which entitles 3M employees to purchase most U.S. makes and models from designated Twin Cities-based dealerships at $50 over manufacturer's invoice price.

Automotive Services

Of 3M's total fleet, approximately 600 vehicles are located in the Twin Cities area and are maintained by Automotive Services Department.

Automotive Services provides 3M employees and fleet operators with a full range of vehicle maintenance programs with nearly an equal split between employee and fleet sales totaling $784,000 in 1989. Each service technician in Automotive Services is certified by the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Employee Transit

The Employee Transit Department, also under Hoffmann's supervision, provides business-related and personal commuting transportation to 3M employees with passenger services, ridesharing, and administration of rental car services.

The Passenger Services section is responsible for providing transportation for 3M employees and guests between 3M Center and 21 buildings in the Twin Cities area. The Passenger Services fleet travels more than 190,000 miles per year and transports more than 1,000 employees daily. In addition, this department arranges bus and limousine charters and an airport limousine service between 3M Center and Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

3M's ridesharing program is called the Commute-a-Van Program. Currently over 100 vans are in operation. Collected fares cover vehicle and operational costs. The Commute-a-Van Program saves an estimated three million gallons of gasoline annually, says Hoffmann.

During the last five years, 3M has donated 64 vans - all retired from the Commute-a-Van Program - to community groups as part of the corporation's Contributions Program. Organizations seeking a van must send a letter to the company and, if they meet 3M's criteria, the vehicles are donated on a first come, first serve basis.

Employee Transit arranges for the availability of rental cars at 3M Center's on-site rental car facility. These vehicles are available for business use on a daily basis. In addition, Hoffmann negotiated a worldwide rental car program with Hertz Corp., which provides substantial discounts off the published rental rates to 3M travelers, both domestic and international.

Travel Management Services

Among Hoffmann's other responsibilities is Travel Management Services, whose primary function is contracting and negotiating all travel-related services purchased by 3M. This includes airline, hotel, resort, and rental car arrangements. In 1989, 3M spent over $100 million on business travel, says Hoffmann.

Hoffmann's 1992 Olympics Assignment

3M will be a worldwide Olympic sponsor for the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France, and the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain. As a result of this sponsorship, 3M operating divisions have set sales goals and winners will receive trips to the Games; attendees include 3M employees, customers, and distributors.

Hoffmann's responsibility for the 1992 Games is the hospitality function for Olympic attendees. In particular, the Employee Transportation and Travel Services Department, which Hoffmann manages, is responsible for the logistical planning and transportation of attendees to Olympic sites.

"We also arrange and negotiate the contracts for hotel accommodations, food and beverage, entertainment, and local staffing," says Hoffmann. (The Olympics is a project assignment Hoffmann was given in addition to his normal responsibilities.)

"We anticipate that nearly 3,000 participants will be included in the hospitality programs for the 1992 games in Albertville and Bareelona," says Hoffmann. 3M's guests arrive in four groups during the course of the 16-day Olympics. Each group consists of approximately 300 to 350 participants and arrive at staggered times for either four-or five-day trips.

According to Hoffmann, the logistics problems between the Winter Games and the Summer Games are completely different.

"The logistics are more complicated with the Winter Games, since they historica1ly are held in mountainous areas which pose problems for ground transportation due to weather and terrain," says Hoffmann.