Guest Editorial: How to Be a Top Public Sector Fleet Manager

November 2012, Government Fleet - Department

by Steve Kibler

Each year, Government Fleet magazine conducts a competition for the Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year. Entries are judged by their peers, working fleet managers, and I have had the shared privilege of judging these entries for the last two years. In reading the submittals of these qualified leaders, I found a wealth of information that should be shared with every fleet manager. There are significant differences between agencies, but there were successful management practices in each category that showed genuine merit.

Let’s take each of the competition’s 10 categories and apply the common denominators that sum up to best practices.

1. Business Plan: A good business plan is a road map to success. It should cover where we want to go, how we will get there, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. It should include:
● Long-range financial mapping, projected expenses/savings/ROIs.
● Integrating and quantifying plan sustainability.
● Integrating agency core goals into the internal service plan.
● Defining phased performance benchmarks.
● Strategic timing to re-evaluate progress and make adjustments.

2. Technology Implementation: The best way to describe technology is implementing a system, tool, software, or modernized process improvement to save time and labor and reduce operating cost. Implementing technology without quantifying any operational savings doesn’t equal an improvement. The subcategories are:
● Setting cost-cutting goals before implementing the technology.
● ROI analysis of the technology.
● Utilizing barcoding technology.
● Working toward a paperless shop.
● Any technology proven to reduce direct labor.

3. Productivity: This may be the single most misunderstood category in the fleet industry. It should be noted that 75% total billed hours (of 2,080 hours) is very good, 78% is outstanding, and 85% may be calculated incorrectly. The subcategories are:
● Comparing your productivity to the private sector.
● Total billed hours at 75-80%.
● Compensation for ASE certifications.
● Regularly publishing productivity to upper management.
● Pay-for-performance budgeting.

4. Policies and Procedures: A well-written policies and procedures manual (P&P) will make any fleet manager’s job easier. Include:
● Designated centralized fleet control.
● Defined “cradle-to-grave” cost control management.
● Provisions to integrate changing customer needs.
● An active Fleet Review Committee or similar.
● Standardized practices that track costs of ownership for each asset.

5. PM Program: This is the single most important program in any fleet and the least understood by customers. Communication with your customer is your best tool. The subcategories are:
● Top-down management-supported PM program.
● Efforts to educate customers about the importance of PM.
● 90% or higher customer PM compliance.
● Posting PM inspection checklists that show the difference
between the local Fast Lube and your shop.
● Condition-based follow-through on laboratory fluid sampling.

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


Public Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Amin Amini from Verizon will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Recent Topics

Does anyone run a University fleet similar to ours? New Jersey City University has approximately 10,000 students, 1000 faculty & staff,...

View Topic

Hi everyone! Just wanted to remind you about fleetDOCs, our library of fleet-related documents. Users can upload any relevant fleet...

View Topic

Fleet Documents

1055 Fleet Documents (and counting) to Download!

Sponsored by

In North America, the company operates as Hyundai Motor America and sells a compacts, sedans, crossovers, and premium/performance-oriented models.

Read more



Thi Dao
Are Your Drivers Safe?

By Thi Dao
It is probable that distracted drivers will not get caught and will not learn anything until something terrible happens. We know it, and they do too, so it continues happening.

Who Tells Your Story?

By Thi Dao

Managing a Police Fleet

Paul Clinton
Police Vehicles Pushed to the Limit in California

By Paul Clinton
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department conducted its annual evaluation of 2018-model-year police vehicles from Oct. 10 to 13. Agency deputies got behind the wheel of 13 four-wheel vehicles and five motorcycles for the testing.

2018 Police Motorcycles Tested in Michigan

By Paul Clinton

Next-Gen Fleet

Facundo Tassara
Improved Communication (There's an App for That)

By Facundo Tassara
Slack brings all of your communication together in a way that you can sort. Conversations, PDFs, and documents are all be archived and searchable.

Booster Fuels: Bringing the Gas Station to You

By Facundo Tassara

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
2018 Volvo XC60

By Paul Clinton
The 2018 XC60 arrives as the mid-size sibling of the XC90 in a stylish update that includes a bevy of new safety features, infotainment tech, and a well laid-out cabin.

2018 Mercedes Benz GLS450 4MATIC

By Chris Brown

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Ready or Not, Electrification Is Coming

By Sherb Brown
We’re not where we need to be with battery technology and the whole herd seems to be betting that a magical new solution will appear in time to save us all. I sure hope they are right.

Fair and Balanced

By Sherb Brown