These scenarios are real-life fleet situations from fleet user customers. Sometimes fleet policy does not address ways to deal with these unplanned challenges. I’ve scaled down the details to keep the blog short. Please suggest a possible solution as though it was a request from one of your fleet’s user departments.

The Situation:
You’re recovering from the worst winter storm in 30-years; repeated power outages, equipment accidents, worn and broken equipment, media embellishment of the facts, lots of civil whining, etc. Upper management and elected officials are focused on the need for a better response in the event of a similar future storm. The upcoming fiscal budget is complete, approved locked-and-loaded for January 1st the start of a new fiscal cycle. Every department head views this seasonal storm crisis as an opportunity to request additional equipment so they are better prepared to deal with any similar future crisis.
• The Police Department formally requests changing budgeted replacement sedans (6 @ $13K /ea) to six SUV’s ($27K/ea). Justification is for better response to emergencies during storms.
• The Streets Department formally requests purchasing one wheel loader mounted, self-powered 2-stage snow blower ($100K). Justification is for keeping one street artery open during storms.
• Power Utility Department formally requests changing budgeted replacement of two class-6, 2WD Aerial trucks to 4WD’s ($20K/ea. upgrade). Justification is for better response to outages during storms.
• Solid Waste Department formally requests $200K for retro-fitting 16 existing refuse trucks with snow plows “just like New York City.” Justification is to clear residential streets during major storms of >6” of snow.
After hearing the first reading on this post-budget emergency appropriation, the City Council requests that staff come back and present them a case-study defining the merits of each request. You (fleet manager) will be responsible for delivering that report to Council.
You understand that all these requests are essentially knee-jerk reactions to a freak 50-year storm, how would you respond? Would you present the report to Council exactly as you interpret each need or would you approach each department request individually and debate their true merit?

You make the call how to handle this customer request???
Remember, your goal is great customer service while keeping this customer as an ally of Fleet Management.

About the author
Steve Kibler

Steve Kibler

Fleet Manager

Born to rural Iowa, Steve was trained at an early age that nothing was free for the asking. If you wanted something you had to make it a goal and work for it. Even as a toddler, Steve immediately had a talent for taking anything apart.

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