VPEMA: A New Acronym to Successful Fleet Management

Photo: bhofack2

Many effective fleet ideas are “stolen” from other industries. A case in point is a management concept that was developed in the billing software industry, which can be effectively applied to the fleet management ecosystem. The methodology is called VPEMA, which is an acronym for Vision, Plan, Execution, Measurement, and Adjustment. 

Many in the fleet industry have used Six Sigma concepts for decades, such as DMAIC, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, and Control. But this concept when used in the realm of fleet management is too narrow. Experience has shown that this methodology has to widened in scope to be successful. You want to be sure to influence management’s conversations even when you are not in the room. VPEMA is simple methodology that keeps the message focused on the long-term goals of an organization.

It widens the scope beyond the immediate need and considers the full scope of work that can be applied to any fleet recommendation, product, or service. This becomes clearer by examining each component of VPEMA methodology.  

Vision: Getting a solid vision of your company (or a client company) is easier than you might think. Almost every company or government entity provides ample clues on their public web-sites. Refer to the About or Values section of the company website. Most are quite thoughtful and descriptive about the “Why” of their organizations.

If the site is full of pablum, consider asking others in the organization a simple question: “Where does your organization see itself in five years?”  Next, consider how your fleet management recommendation will help contribute to this vision.  

Plan: Think of the plan as a simple design. Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist and philosopher who lived in ancient China, wrote that planning is the art of making good decisions about the future. Business guru Peter Drucker put it well: “What new and different things do we have to do, and when?  Anchor the product or service to the vision.

Execution: After World War II, General Dwight Eisenhower credited the Higgins Boat, the Jeep, and the DC3/C47 Transport Plane as three of his “Four Tools to Victory.”  These three weren’t weapons per se, but they were critical to the successful execution of the Allied strategy in Europe and the Pacific.

Bringing this concept to the sphere of fleet management, the executional elements include Acquisition, Funding, Compliance, Operational, and Remarketing.   For a fleet plan to work, it needs to be aligned with all of these components.

Measurement: Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are usually associated with economic, productivity, and image/reputational priorities. It’s critical not to make assumptions and to listen carefully for specifics.

For example, if the entire C-Suite gets bonused using EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization,) don’t act surprised when they give you the collective stink eye if you recommend a funding product arrangement that keeps your product off the balance sheet.

Adjustment: Once put into action, very few plans, however elaborate, make it very far before requiring adjustment. Consider the feedback mechanism to ensure the needs of all stakeholders have been properly weighted. What measurements will be used to objectively gauge progress. In short, how will you know if the project is on course?  VPEMA is an effective way to stay on point, and most importantly to keep the content centered on the organization.