Nobody Asked Me, But...

Fair and Balanced

November 2, 2017

by - Also by this author

There is information flowing out there on the information superhighway. Unfortunately there is even more disinformation. Making good decisions for your fleet can be just as challenging as casting a vote for president. And just like casting those presidential votes, the decisions get more challenging and more thankless as time goes on. The difference between fleet decisions and political decisions is that there is still some hope for honest discussions when it comes to making a fleet decision.

The mainstream media may have sold out lock stock and barrel to the fringe elements but as a fleet decision maker you still have some tremendous resources that you can rely on. Resources that haven’t sold out, that don’t have a dog in the fight, and that have some real data behind them.

Fleet managers have been able to rely on Automotive Fleet for over 50 years, in print, and online. We have a wealth of information and data that is available to everyone. We don’t have a dog in the fight other than a desire to see our fleet manager friends succeed. Our editorial team never stops digging for more data, they never stop looking for ways to help you be more efficient, and they are relentless in their pursuit of the latest trends and information. We work hard to actually be fair and balanced and it shows in our work.

As good as Automotive Fleet is, perhaps the best resource available to today’s fleet manager is your fellow fleet professional. Managing 1,000 or 10,000 of anything will give you a level of insight and understanding that most people could never dream of. You don’t need JD Power to tell you if a certain truck or van has quality issues when you operate thousands of them. You don’t need Angie’s List to tell you if a certain service provider is good at what they do when you need them to do it 1,000 times a month. And you don’t need a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to tell you if that diesel engine you bought for your fleet of trucks is any good.

There are new technologies and new regulatory hurdles being thrown our direction every day. You have the opportunity to make some really good or really bad decisions, decisions that could have long-term effects on your organization.

When you are faced with those decisions, it might be a good idea to check with Automotive Fleet and see if we have any data that can help clear things up. And it might be an even better idea to reach out to some of your fellow fleet managers to see if they have any experience with the product or service you are considering. A few thousand data points from a neutral party can go a long way toward convincing those sourcing executives which way to go.

Your suppliers can be wonderful partners, they can be great sources of information and they can work diligently to see you succeed but they probably aren’t going to point out those one or two nagging issues that you might really want to know about before you make a decision. Your fellow fleet manager on the other hand will probably lead with those nagging issues and then let you decide on your own whether or not you can live with them.

There are over 250,000 fleets in the U.S. That’s a lot of potential crowdsourced wisdom at your fingertips. You might think you are the only pest control fleet in Dubuque, Iowa, or the only oil services company in Texas, or the only pharmaceutical company in the Northeast, but the chances are that whatever you do, there are a couple of people who do something very similar.

If you need some help finding those kindred spirits, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll do our best to find help for you. And if you see us being unfair or unbalanced, or if you want to be one of our thousand points of light, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you disagree, let me know.


  1. 1. Mike C [ November 30, 2017 @ 09:38AM ]

    Another great article, Sherb. I've occasionally used the presidential election analogy in a slightly different way, especially as it applies to certain services rather than products. Like the election, we can find ourselves in the situation of trying to choose the least objectionable "candidate" rather the best.

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Sherb Brown

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Sherb Brown is the vice president and group publisher for BBM's AutoGroup. Sherb has covered the auto industry for more than 12 years in various positions with Bobit Business Media.

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Larry French was fleet operations coordinator for Farmers Insurance for nearly 30 years

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