Operations

ARI Hosts Fleet Management Workshop in So. Cal.

November 2008, Work Truck - Feature

by Grace Lauron - Also by this author

Automotive Resources International (ARI) recently offered a fleet management workshop for government, utility, and educational services with industry peers and fleet experts as guest speakers. The event was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Bakersfield, Calif., with 35 participants from more than 20 West Coast agencies in attendance.

Conference participants included fleet professionals from West Coast agencies such as the Southern California Gas Company, Turlock Irrigation, City & County of San Francisco Water Department, and Southwest Gas.

ARI’s Jim Creighton, vice president of global strategic services, opened with results from a recent survey of the company’s fleet clients to determine the leading pressure driving fleet management initiatives. According to the survey, 60 percent identified "reducing operating costs" as the No.1 factor, and only 9 percent listed "reducing environmental impact" as a determinant.

Guest speakers for the conference included Bill Van Amburg, senior vice president, CALSTART; Clay Okabayashi, fleet account manager, government & utility, General Motors; Bob Sanseverino, national accounts manager for commercial sales, Ford Motor Company; and Dave Bryant, hybrid sales manager, Freightliner LLC, speaking on alternative fuels. A discussion on fuel management was held featuring Bob Eckert, vice president, Wright Express, and Jim Pederson, vice president sales & marketing, TelaPoint.

(L-R) Fleet Manager Roger Wilson, Kings County, sat alongside manufacturer representatives from Ford, General Motors, and Freightliner.

Participants shared fleet initiatives and greening activities with peers, as well as challenges and concerns about going green. ARI reps helped facilitate open discussions, advising fleets to align green fleet initiatives with leadership strategy.

Though "no silver bullet technology exists today," CALSTART’s Van Amburg noted biofuels are an important start and a combination of green strategies is an important key to developing an effective green fleet policy.

Additionally, the importance of DOT compliance was presented by Mark Catlin, national account executive, J.J. Keller & Associates. Catlin cited complaints as a "big piece" of compliant review. "When companies aren’t following the regulations, the impact is costly," said Catlin.

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