Green Fleet

Winning the 2014 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year Award

July 2014, Government Fleet - Cover Story

by Grace Suizo - Also by this author

Photo of Paul Condran by Vince Taroc.
Photo of Paul Condran by Vince Taroc.

Paul Condran, fleet services manager for the City of Culver City, Calif., has had plenty to be proud of over his near 30-year career — from national recognition for being an environmental leader to heading up a staff deemed the No. 1 Fleet in the country; and the list goes on. But, it's his latest achievement of being named 2014 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year that really takes the cake — or, as Condran likes to put it, is "the candle on the cake."

Condran, who expressed his genuine surprise when he accepted the award June 4 during a ceremony at the Government Fleet Expo and Conference in San Diego, said the experience is still kind of surreal.

"You really never expect to hear your name," he later explained. "And the fact that this is peer-driven is just so humbling."

That humility, along with a work ethic of continuous improvement and an attitude of "team over me," are just a couple reasons the victory is even sweeter for the four-time finalist. "My name may be on the trophy, but you don't get to be on stage for any of those recognitions if you don't have a great team," he said.

During his acceptance speech, Condran had a chance to turn the audience's attention to one of his fleet supervisors, Scott Newton, who had accompanied him to the event. "It was great for him to be there and to see what this award means to the team. I said, 'That's the guy that deserves the applause,' and they gave him a standing ovation. It was just great. It was really awesome."

Condran was up against 14 other qualified nominees for this year's award, which was sponsored by GM Fleet & Commercial and Lytx, formerly DriveCam. Pete Scarafiotti, director and automotive engineer for the City of Mesa, Ariz., and Roger Weaver, fleet management director for San Bernardino County, Calif., were also finalists for 2014.

A panel of judges consisting of working fleet managers reviewed each of the candidates in 10 categories: business plan, technology implementation, productivity, policies, preventive maintenance program, utilization management, replacement program, customer service, fuel management, and safety.

With 530 units in service, about 90 small pieces of equipment, and a shop open 7 days a week, being strong in all 10 categories requires solid leadership, a hardworking and loyal staff, and supportive upper management. Condran has all those bases covered.

Keeping His Eyes on the Prize

Striving for success seems to be a resounding theme for Condran and the 44-member fleet staff at Culver City. Both he and his team have worked hard to earn their well-deserved honors through continuous improvement.

Case in point — these career highlights didn't happen overnight: Condran was a finalist for Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year for four years before this year, and the city worked its way up to become the No. 1 fleet last year. On top of that, the city was also just recognized at GFX as an "Elite Fleet," an award presented to former No. 1 fleets awarded by Government Fleet magazine that continue to perform at a high level.

The policies and programs developed and implemented by Condran and staff have yielded a number of benefits. Highlights include:

Annual Fleet Business Plan

Serves as the blueprint for current and future years and has been adopted by the city.

Fleet Utilization Plan

Core of fleet management and is the conduit for acquisitions, replacements, and planning. In FY2013, fleet was able to save ­$124,715 in acquisition costs with progressive utilization.

Excellence in Service Plan

Promotes and sets expectation of professionalism, excellent customer service, and teamwork, resulting in reduced absences by 800 hours. For FY2013, the department received a commendation from the fire department chief for outstanding rates of service.

Fleet Safety Plan

Defines responsibilities, mitigates risk, requires compressed natural gas (CNG) and other safety training, collaborative with Risk Management, and has reduced injuries on duty (IODs) by 97%. The plan has even been adopted by the city. In addition, the fleet accident policy has resulted in a 91% drop in city accidents since 2011.

Employee Incentive Program

The updated program has become the city model, reducing 1,000 hours of absences and providing more than $1,700 in incentives.

Standards of Maintenance Plan

Serves as the road map for all maintenance activities and is a resource guide for all employees.

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