Elite Fleets Work on Continuous Improvement

July 2014, Government Fleet - Feature

by Thi Dao - Also by this author

The Elite Fleets are former No. 1 fleet operations in Government Fleet’s awards programs that continue to perform at a high level. Fleet managers of the Elite Fleets are often asked to judge awards, and being recognized brings additional recognition from neighboring and national agencies.
This year’s Elite Fleets are working on benchmarking, leadership transition, operational certification, and succession planning, among other projects.

City of Troy, Mich., No. 1 in 2010
Fleet Size: 400 on-road, 65 off-road
Fleet Staff: 17

Number of Facilities: 2

Operating Budget: $4 million

Insourced maintenance value: $700,000

No. of Insourced Customers: 14

Current Initiatives
Staff Training: The fleet managed to increase its training budget from 36 hours to 40+ hours per technician so they can make correct diagnostics and timely repairs and keep vehicle availability toward the 98% goal. As part of succession planning, management has identified future leaders within the fleet and is providing them additional training in public speaking, accounting, personnel management, etc.

Educate Employees About Fleet Goals: Management is working with employees to better educate them on how fleet works and how to talk about the fleet’s dashboard and its key performance indicators (KPIs). This way, any fleet employee can speak to citizens and customers about the importance of fleet and how they do their jobs.

City of Portland, Ore., No. 1 in 2011
Fleet Size: 2,450 on-road, 600 off-road
Fleet Staff: 78
Fueling Sites: 9
Number of Facilities: 7
Operating Budget: $19.6 million
Fleet Value: $115 million

Current Initiatives
CFMO Certification: The Portland fleet (CityFleet) worked to complete the rigorous Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO) certification offered by the Government Fleet Management Alliance, scoring high in 20 critical factors examined. This certifies that Portland’s fleet division is one of the most cost-effective, accountable, and efficient operations in the country.

Insourcing Work: CityFleet continues to perform fleet service work for other public agencies through ­intergovernmental agreements. Revenue from these intergovernmental agreements has increased by 153% over the same time last fiscal year, bringing outside revenue to 5.1% of the fleet’s overall operating budget. CityFleet is currently working to add one more partnership.

City of Seattle, No. 1 in 2012
Fleet Size: 3,324 on-road, 532 off-road
Fleet Staff: 128
Maintenance Facilities: 6
Operating Budget: $49 million
Number of Operators/Drivers: ~10,000
Equipment Purchases Annually: 300-500 units

Current Initiatives
Transitioning: The fleet got a new director in March 2014. Chris Wiley, CAFM, was promoted from fleet operations manager to fleet management division director following Dave Seavey’s departure. The division is currently taking a critical look at work process flows and determining how best to align staff skills with fleet needs. The fleet is also implementing key technology upgrades and developing aggressive performance targets in service level agreements with major city departments.

City of Culver City, Calif., No. 1 in 2013
Fleet Size: 550 on-road, 90 off-road
Maint. Facilities: 2
Operating Budget: $8 million
Fleet Staff: 42
Fueling Sites: 3

Current Initiatives
Benchmarking: Benchmarking helps the fleet provide good statistics as to how it is doing compared to previous years as well as to other entities. It can also be used to show customers cost, turnaround times, fuel costs, emissions reduction goals, productivity levels, and parts costs.

Continuous improvement: Fleet tries to push forward and not become complacent. Improvements can be subtle changes that make workflow, process, or job function more efficient. It works on consistently training staff and reviewing any programs or policies that are five years old or older to see if they are still relevant or necessary.

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