This month, we spoke with Lee Pierce, global fleet manager for Weatherford International.
Getting into Fleet
Pierce is a no-nonsense leader, who honed her skills in fleet for the past 18 years. Her career in fleet began at Service Corporation International (SCI), a funeral services company.
“I worked for SCI in the procurement department as an assistant to the director. Vehicles are a hobby, so it was a natural move for me. Within eight months I requested to work for the fleet manager as an analyst,” Pierce recalled.
After more than a decade at SCI, with advancement opportunity created by personnel changes within fleet leadership, Pierce took over the helm.
After her tenure at SCI, Pierce worked as a consultant for three years before joining oil services company, Weatherford International. She has held the position of global fleet manager for the past three years.
At Weatherford, Pierce manages more than 10,000 assets, including light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, trailers, and forklifts for North America. She manages and is responsible for the entire lifecycle of the fleet.
Pierce is results-oriented, with bottom-line impact as her biggest motivator. To maximize results, she challenges everything, won’t take no for an answer, and makes logical data-driven decisions.
In recognition of her successes, Pierce has been nominated for Automotive Fleet’s Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award the past three years in a row.
“As so much of your focus as a fleet manager is internally within your organization, it’s a surprise to be recognized by external stakeholders. I have dedicated myself to learn and understand the strategic and tactical complexities of fleet management, and it’s satisfying to develop my craft to be able to improve strategic and operating performance. Further, it is satisfying to be recognized for my knowledge, expertise, and the results that my team has achieved, as a woman in a profession statistically dominated by men, judged on my ability and performance, not on my gender,” Pierce added.
To that extent, Pierce has experienced challenges as a woman in male-dominated industries, from fleet to the funeral industry and now oilfield services. Another success occurred when she challenged an OEM on hearse pricing.
“One of my best strengths is not taking no for an answer. We had such a large fleet that discounts and pricing didn’t reflect our high order volume. I challenged the OEM to change how the economics were determined and I saved SCI millions,” Pierce said.
The top piece of advice Pierce has for others in the industry is to “develop a thick skin, disarm with humor and sarcasm, and know your data!”
Get to Know Me
Experience is only part of our story and what someone likes to read, watch, and listen to can help paint a fuller picture of their personality. Here are some of Pierce’s favorites:
- Book: “The Green Mile because of its historical context, rich characters, and supernatural theme. I love that I find the story both sad and uplifting at the same time,” she said.
- Movie: “Too many to say! I especially enjoy Animal House, Bridesmaids, and Man on Fire,” Pierce said.
- Songs: “I love anything by Prince,” she said. “I was exposed to his music at a very impressionable time in my youth. He’s also the best live performance musician I had ever seen, I was saddened when he died so young.”
- You May Not Know: “I enjoy visiting old cemeteries. Like comparing churches to cathedrals, old cemeteries have more character. You could say artistry in burials is a ‘dying thing.’ Walking among statuary of angels and mature trees is a strangely peaceful and beautiful experience.” Pierce concluded, adding that this was a happy coincidence to her time at SCI.