DES PLAINES, IL - Wheels, Inc., a leader in the automotive fleet management and services industry, today announced that it ranked 18th overall and was the top fleet management services provider honored as part of the 2011 InformationWeek 500 listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology. This is the 11th consecutive year Wheels has ranked in the top 500, and the highest overall ranking the company has earned to date. 

Wheels’ top-20 ranking this year was based on the company’s revolutionary Selection Modeler tool.  Part of FleetView, Wheels’ web-based customer interface, Selection Modeler provides a consolidated, intuitive online resource to help corporate fleet users compare and select the best vehicles for their needs based on multiple decision-driving criteria. The interface includes a robust vehicle search engine that collects and presents data from multiple sources – including auto manufacturers, safety rating agencies and ALG resale statistics. This allows companies to balance total cost, safety, and fuel economy when deciding on vehicles that best meet their “must have” selector needs. 

“The value of Selection Modeler is that it consolidates a complex list of new vehicle ordering information and specifications into an easy-to-use tool that presents that information for our clients in an actionable way,” said Steve Loos, Wheels CIO and vice president of Information Technology. “This is the only tool of its kind in the industry that offers such custom-targeted consolidated vehicle selector detail.”

For example, Selection Modeler can show a user all available four-door sedans that have a five-star safety rating, an EPA-rated overall MPG of 23, and an acquisition cost between $20,000 and $22,000.  Users can also collaborate “live” from multiple locations and share exact vehicle quotes directly with other users. 

The tool also allows users to make side-by-side comparisons virtually instantly for various total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) metrics like estimated depreciation, financing, maintenance, collision, fuel and more. This level of analysis allows users to view close matches to a selected package, as well as review monthly rate sheets for similarly-configured vehicles. Such detailed analysis is valuable for “what-if” scenario planning, enabling companies to make selector decisions based on previous experiences, as well as anticipated changes in mileage, cost of fuel, vehicle condition and other TCO factors. And because the configurator incorporates both fleet-standard and client-specific pricing (including manufacturer incentives), each user views ordering projections that are fully customized to his or her fleet. 

 “For 23 years, the InformationWeek 500 has chronicled and honored the most innovative users of business technology,” said InformationWeek Editor In Chief Rob Preston. “In this day and age, however, being innovative isn’t enough. Companies and their IT organizations need to innovate faster than ever before to stay a step or two ahead of their customers, partners, and competitors. This year’s ranking placed special emphasis on those high-octane business technology innovators.”

InformationWeek identifies and honors the nation's most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices of America’s best-known companies. The InformationWeek 500 is unique among corporate rankings in that it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders. 

This year’s honorees were revealed last night at a gala awards ceremony at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA.