City of Portland's CityFleet
In 2005, the City of Portland's CityFleet was unranked among the 100 Best Fleets. With unhappy customers, little trust, and a lack of belief in their own efforts, CityFleet faced an uphill battle.
Now, just a few short years later, the fleet has been named No. 1 among the 100 Best Fleets - and has a long list of accomplishments and proven progress to back up the title.
Rising from the Ashes to a New Day
In 2005, things looked dour for the fleet. But at the end of that year, the City hired John Hunt - fleet manager for the City of Fresno at the time and that year's winner of Government Fleet's Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year. With proven successes, the City of Portland hoped he could breathe new life into the fleet.
Little did they know that over the next few years, Hunt and CityFleet staff would transform as a team that would rise so swiftly through the ranks - from No. 78 in 2006; No. 9 in 2007: No. 4 in 2008 and 2009: No. 2 in 2010, and now, No. 1.
Despite such a dramatic climb, on the day of the announcement Hunt was still unsure if he'd secured the top spot - right up until the moment the winner was announced.
"Each year is a new competition with a fresh, clean slate. We were No. 2 last year, but we knew that didn't mean we couldn't be beat by another organization," he said. "Being named among the 100 Best is quite an honor because it means that an organization has made a conscious decision to improve. Portland staff made the commitment and we are very excited to be named No. 1 this year."
When Hunt was hired in 2005, the fleet had a less-than-stellar reputation and major hurdles to overcome. Fleet needed to boost operational efficiency, improve services, and find a way to save money. On top of that were greater, less tangible challenges: building trust with customers, demonstrating proven best practices, and most of all, possessing a high level of faith.
So, how did the fleet get turned around? Hunt said it started with relationships.