Article

Nominees for the 2006 Public Sector Fleet Manager Awards

May 2006, Government Fleet - Feature

by Staff

Patrick Bartole, CAFM New Jersey City University
Patrick Bartole began his career at New Jersey City University (NJCU) as head fleet mechanic in 1994. In 2001, he was promoted to fleet supervisor. In 11 years of fleet management for NJCU, he has helped to build the fleet department from its foundation. Under his direction, University Fleet Services has maximized output without overspending by monitoring costs with state-of-the-art fleet management software, GPS reports, and fuel use tracking.

Recently, University Fleet Services has introduced NetworkCar into its vehicles to proactively schedule repairs and anticipate problems before they happen. With the help of a very small staff, Bartole encompasses every action, policy, and procedure employed by NJCU to properly administer his vehicles and control cost, all while maintaining the University’s high industry standards.

Barbara Bonansinga Central Management Services, State of Illinois
Barbara Bonansinga knows about successful fleet operations. “The current CMS business plan is to cut fleet size and cost and justify the remaining fleet and future acquisitions, educate agencies on owning assets versus paying for use, reduce the fleet’s age, mileage, and cost, promote the use of E-85 and hybrids for all fleet applications, and promote alternative forms of transportation.”

With a fleet of more than 12,000 vehicles that serves 40 state agencies and constitutional officers and 160 local governments, Bonansinga can’t afford a miscalculation. Under the governor’s request, CMS maintains a highly functional fleet while keeping costs as low as possible. Planning, organization, and involvement in all activities ensures that policies are adhered to and mistakes are reduced. “Policies provide agencies with standardized guidelines to operate their fleets in keeping with the goals and objectives of the administration. They also ensure state fleet dollars are spent in ways responsible to the taxpaying public,” says Bonansinga.

Walter J. Burnett, CAFM, City of Beverly Hills, Calif.
By maintaining productivity within the range of 75-80 percent, Walter Burnett has distinguished the maintenance operations department as an essential support for the city’s public safety and welfare. Burnett organizes maintenance operations to perform equally well in both regular and emergency operations. With a structured system set to reconfigure to emergency operations almost instantly, his fleet has been able to maintain optimum productivity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. His accomplishments include achieving 90-percent staff ASE certifications and ASE Blue Seal recognition, utilizing best environmental practices, expanding hours of service, and maximizing vehicle lifecycles.

Larry Campbell City of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Larry Campbell coordinates everyday efforts between First Vehicle Services, 54 city departments, contractors, and a number of vendors that do business with the City of Fort Wayne. With a fleet of 1,341 vehicles, Campbell has adopted the FASTER program to ensure proper operation and investigate problems. Twenty-two locations within the city are now also using the FASTER system. By customizing the system, he has been able to address the city’s exact needs.

Under Campbell’s direction, the city fleet has grown approximately 30 percent in the past 10 years, costs less to maintain by almost 15 percent, and has saved the city almost $500,000 in five years.

David Cole City of Glendale, Calif.
The City of Glendale’s Public Works Mechanical Maintenance department, run by David Cole, strives to provide the absolute highest-quality repair and customer service available. Cole delivers this top-notch service partnered with a commitment to training, on-time parts availability, and employee motivation. Striving to make customers his number one priority, Cole focuses on anticipating their needs. Because of this, customers consistently rate his service as outstanding.

Teamwork is another strong factor in Cole’s success, “Our productivity level is outstanding because we all work together as a team. We are much like a family and everyone in our operation has a say in how we do things.” In 2006, Petovend automated fuel system was installed in conjunction with FASTER to help further the success and optimal operation of Cole’s fleet.

Paul Condran City of Culver City, Calif.
Paul Condran’s division is responsible for the maintenance of the City of Culver City’s Transportation Facility. The Transportation Department’s Equipment Maintenance Division became the second transit property in the State of California to be 100-percent CNG-powered and has many vehicles operating on CNG, including refuse vehicles.

Condran’s fleet includes more than 600 city vehicles, employs 30 mechanics and technical service workers, five administrative and management staff, and covers an operational period of seven days a week, 365 days a year. Working closely with the City Budget Office overseeing the Equipment Replacement Fund, Condran strives to improve the use of resources within his fleet.

Fred DeBono, City of Cape Coral, Fla.
Fred DeBono joined the city of Cape Coral’s Fleet Division in 1993 and was promoted to fleet manager in 1999. Managing the fleet of Florida’s second-largest city and one of the fastest-growing cities in the Southeast is not a small task. The city possesses a large inventory of complex motorized equipment and supporting items with a replacement value of several million dollars. Using a strict utilization management policy, DeBono ensures that his vehicles and equipment are utilized sufficiently and economically.

DeBono also has implemented an advanced fuel management program using a wireless radio frequency system to control the volume of fuel consumed by his fleet. Along with his reputable fleet management policies, De Bono also believes in providing his staff with a well-rounded working environment that includes cross training for all employees and encourages advancement.

Gary Emerson St. Johns County, Fla., Fleet Division
The Fleet Maintenance Division of St. Johns County performs many different repairs on all county equipment, including heavy equipment and police vehicles. With an emphasis on proactive service, Emerson’s division assures county fleet assets are maintained at high levels of reliability while balancing the integrity and professionalism necessary to keep both his staff and customers happy.

In 2005, Emerson was the first fleet manager in history to be named Public Works Trendsetter of the Year and receive the Osprey Award from Sierra Club International for being the only county in the U.S. to have an onsite, operational, biodiesel production program. This saved his fleet $1 per gallon in diesel fuel costs, while complying with the ULSD mandates for 2007.

Rick Longobart City of Inglewood, Calif.
The Fleet Services Division of the City of Inglewood is responsible for a fleet serving more than 50 departments, including police, water and sewer, street division, facilities, public transportation, and motorpool. Managing this fleet is superintendent, Rick Longobart. He started his career as a fleet mechanic in 1983 for the city of El Segundo. He soon made his way into a supervisory position and began administering new policy and procedures that helped to effectively manage and control costs.

Inglewood has reduced its fleet size by 20 vehicles in the past two years, saving more than $800,000. In compliance with Southern California’s Clean Air Act, Longobart introduced the Fleet Services Division to a process of using re-refined oil, recycled antifreeze, and recapped tires in all of the city’s vehicles to help reduce waste. Alternative fuels such as biodiesel and electricity were also introduced as a way to control emissions, reduce smog, and utilize clean energy to better the environment.

John McCorkhill, CFM,CAFM, CEM City of Lynchburg, Va.
How does the City of Lynchburg’s fleet agency business plan differ from the others? “Our business plan serves as a roadmap to connect us between today and the future.” says Fleet Manager John McCorkhill.

“It details the history of our organization, where we are today, and the steps and hurdles we’ve cleared to get there.”

Given this mission statement, McCorkhill provides fleet structure, organizes finances, eliminates cost and employs a motivated and goal-oriented staff. In 2005, his fleet achieved a 95-percent overall customer service approval rating. Technology has also helped highlight vehicle replacement needs, prevent loss, cut down turnaround time, and prevent problems before they happen. His fleet also practices a PM program based on miles, hours, and time, making it easy for customers and technicians to maintain vehicle performance while controlling costs.

Allen Mitchell Snohomish County, Wash., DPW
At the Public Works Fleet Management Division of Snohomish County, Fleet Manager Allen Mitchell heads up all operations with the help of a staff of more than 47 people. Purchasing, managing, and disposing of county vehicles and equipment are just a few of the tasks that Mitchell manages on a regular basis to ensure his fleet runs smoothly.

Annually establishing budgets, goals, and objectives helps Mitchell and his team stay on track with budgets, funds, and operating costs. The projections are used to update a 10-year replacement plan and cash-flow estimates. A capital improvement program was also installed for all equipment replacement and facility improvements.

Mitchell works closely with executives in local government to ensure that county, local cities, Indian tribes, and federal agency fleet needs are met consistently. In 2005, he saved the county more than $100,000 by reallocating vehicles that had marginal use and providing county vehicles to employees rather than reimbursing costs.

Mark Neumann CPS Energy, San Antonio,Texas
Fleet Superintendent Mark Neumann knows about cutting fleet costs. “We emphasize to all in fleet operations the urgency to improve productivity and reduce operation and maintenance costs.” Neumann is standardizing the fleet by specifying more basic equipment and eliminating “comforts” to reduce initial costs. “Then we establish a recommended lifecycle and replace the equipment on regular intervals, allowing us to receive top dollar for our equipment and reduce downtime by keeping a ‘younger’ fleet.”

William Roberts University of Minnesota
The needs of the University of Minnesota fleet services division are simple: “support the institution’s academic and research programs by assisting departments with their vehicular, non-mass transit needs while incorporating both the division and university’s goals,” according to Fleet Manager William Roberts.

Last year, his fleet received two recognition awards for being one of the nation’s largest E-85 fuel users. After two serious accidents, Roberts took measures to raise safety-training requirements for his drivers. Since this program began, 2,900 employees have entered, resulting in no new accidents and a reduction in accident costs of more than $185,000. To help in utilization costs, I-POOL software was initiated to control rental pool. In the past four years, Roberts has decreased the size of his rental fleet by 23 percent to coincide with the University’s seasonal schedule demand, resulting in a decrease in fleet size without decreasing rental days, accruing, and annual savings of $105,000.

Patricia Robinson District of Columbia Dept. of Public Works
Pat Robinson is fleet manager for the Department of Public Works for the City of Washington, D.C. and organization is key to her fleet’s operational success.

“The purpose of the fleet management program is to provide maintenance, fueling, parts, and vehicular acquisitions services to the Department of Public Works and other D.C. government agencies so they can deliver timely and efficient services, “ says Robinson.

The demands of operating such a large and comprehensive fleet requires a tightly organized and skillfully mastered budget. Robinson recognizes the benefits of having the newest and most up-to-date technology in a highly competitive market.

“Several benefits can be recognized by the use of fleet technology, for instance, increased technician productivity in diagnosing and repairing vehicles, decreased vehicle downtime, increased vehicle availability, increased technician skill and dollars saved,” said Robinson.

“Our service delivery is very diversified. By consolidating our services we have harnessed a solid pool of technical expertise and a super-strong supervisory team who not only understands the importance of quality, but also realizes the importance of turn-around time. We have created a one-stop shop for all municipal equipment. Their unique ability to align fleet resources and keep the staff informed on the importance their contributions have been key to our success, and in the end we must recognize and reward our staff for their contributions.”

David Schiller Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
David Schiller manages the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fleet services department with a “cradle-to-grave” fleet operations policy that keeps customers in control of service volume and Schiller in control of who will provide the service. “The basic objective is to provide safe, reliable, productive, rolling-stock equipment at the lowest cost.

Accomplishing our business plan requires us to manage all expense areas to optimize utility and resale values while minimizing major expense areas.” Cost efficiency is one of Schiller’s number one priorities. In the past two years, his department has reduced its debt from $11 million to less than $2 million. Total fleet department savings amount to $1.6 million annually.

George Schwarz City of Harrisburg, Pa.
Operating a fleet on a city budget can be a daunting task. Plans and initiatives are based on stringent budgetary constraints to supply new city equipment and vehicles. George Schwartz knows this challenge well and works everyday to keep his fleet at optimum performance without overstretching available revenue.

The City of Harrisburg’s business plan operates under a strict code of ethics that serves, protects, and assists its citizens by providing optimum government services. Schwartz also relies heavily on teamwork and listens carefully to what his staff needs to get the job done right.

Continuous monitoring and feedback to management ensures that employees are efficient. Operations are enhanced with a participative management style and monthly staff meetings, where operations, future programs, and educational and training needs are discussed. Employee feedback is used to structure operational improvements and program enhancements.

Gary Smith City of Greensboro, N.C.
For almost 20 years, Gary Smith has worked for the City of Greensboro, N.C. Today, he acts as certified equipment manager for the city’s equipment services division. With a fleet of more than 2,000 vehicles, Smith relies on a strong business plan to ensure the efficiency of his fleet operations.

“Since it was launched in 2000, the equipment services division business plan has provided the strategic framework for our organization by working together to build a stronger, more competitive work group. It clearly defines our purpose, mission, vision, and operating philosophy within all of our major service areas. We update it frequently to reflect what is happening within our organization in an effort to provide the best customer service possible to our users and the citizens of the City of Greensboro.”

Smith’s position requires constant attention to detail by monitoring, managing, and evaluating his fleet’s service methods and procedures. Smith’s staff is encouraged to set day-to-day goals rather than feel overwhelmed by annual expectations — a policy he feels has maximized worker productivity and produced higher levels of customer satisfaction. Recently, he cut losses in his fleet’s fuel costs by updating an older fuel management program to include a simpler FOB key access system — a technology that has boosted his fleet’s manageability.

Jeff Smith Department of Mental Retardation, Columbus, Ohio
It’s not everyday that someone has the opportunity to help those in need, but Jeff Smith, motor fleet coordinator for the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, has made helping people his job. Ensuring the safety of Ohio’s mentally challenged community is something that Smith takes very seriously.

“It is our job to ensure the availability of services and supports that assist individuals in living the life they choose, to promote their health and safety, and to assist and support the families of these individuals in achieving these goals.”

Availability is Smith’s main priority. Using FleetOhio software, he has been able to customize information for each vehicle, scheduling maintenance, repair, mileage, and fuel usage, guaranteeing that his vehicles are ready at the drop of a dime. Utilization and replacement are also important. Vehicles that fall short of the minimal miles without sufficient cause are quickly disposed of, saving revenue for reimbursement. Monitoring operating costs identifies “lemons,” helping to maintain budgets and prevent financial strain. Satisfaction comes from the independence and peace of mind Smith provides department employees through excellent customer service.

Bob Stanton Polk County, Fla.
In recent years, the State of Florida has been no stranger to crisis. With an onslaught of natural disasters, the community was forced to come together. During these times, resources are critical and the city and county governments must respond quickly to community needs. Bob Stanton knows these needs all too well. His fleet covers the repair and maintenance services of all vehicles and equipment operated by Polk County. This includes the search and rescue vehicles and cleanup equipment used in the recent hurricane disasters.

In 2004, Bob Stanton’s team earned NAFA’s Larry Goill Award in recognition of their vehicle replacement program. “Our program includes a vehicle purchase contract which affords more detailed specification, technical service, and application assistance. We buy vehicles at or below state contract levels.” Since the institution of the replacement program six years ago, Stanton has saved the county in excess of $10 million.

Jan West-McIntyre City of Atlanta - Motor Transport Services
The Motor Transport Services for the City of Atlanta provides fleet maintenance services for all of the city’s vehicles and pieces of motorized equipment. Jan West-McIntyre stands at the wheel of this massive operation. “Our agency is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, fueling, and disposal of more than 5,000 pieces of motorized equipment.

Fleet services are provided throughout 13 maintenance sites and 11 fueling sites, strategically located throughout the city of Atlanta.” Maneuvering the city’s budget, maximizing utilization, scheduling preventative maintenance, cutting costs, and satisfying the needs of citizens is all in a day’s work for West-McIntyre. This year she will have saved the city more than $1 million through improved utilization alone.

Judy Workman City of Westminister, Colo.
As certified equipment manager for the City of Westminster, Colo., Judy Workman knows a fleet manager can make a difference by properly tracking utilization, replacement, and knowing the cost of operations. Her division supports the city in the acquisition, repair, and maintenance of more than 550 city and emergency vehicles and equipment 24 hours a day. Staying up-to-date on emerging technologies has helped Workman to remain competitive in both the private and governmental sectors while providing safe, reliable transportation and excellent customer service in a cost-effective manner. Click here to view nominees

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