Government Fleet Top News

Automated Motor Pool Increases Vehicle Utilization In Mich.

December 18, 2013

A motor pool driver picks up his vehicle 15 minutes before the reserved time and inputs his ID number and password on a touch-scree. Photo courtesy of State of Michigan.
A motor pool driver picks up his vehicle 15 minutes before the reserved time and inputs his ID number and password on a touch-scree. Photo courtesy of State of Michigan.

Since launching motor pool technology on 400 of its vehicles three years ago, the State of Michigan has increased vehicle utilization to as high as 80% on most work days.

The technology also helped change driver behavior, saved in mileage reimbursements, and reduced staff time needed to manage the fleet, according to a release from Agile Access Control, Inc., creator of the FleetCommander software.

"Now we are able to analyze real-time utilization rates so we can make good decisions about more efficient use of pooled vehicles," Dave Ancell of Michigan's Department of Technology stated in the release. "With the successes we've had, our plan is to continue to expand to more sites across Michigan."

The rollout of motor pool technology was part of Michigan's comprehensive effort to slash fleet costs and change driver behavior. The state now uses FleetCommander to manage car sharing for about 400 vehicles among nearly 6,200 end-users.

Ancell said by automating the reservation, vehicle assignment, and dispatching processes, Michigan reduced the number of staff hours and associated costs necessary to manage the fleet.

By automating the management of keys, the fleet was able to reassign staff to other duties. In the early stages of pooling vehicles, approximately 30% of the permanently assigned vehicles were removed from the fleet. Savings from these reductions are now part of the State's budget. When vehicles are reduced, Agile estimates a $3,000-$5,000 savings in maintenance and depreciation costs for every vehicle cut.

More recently, Michigan was able to add needed vehicles to two motor pools using the savings achieved by significantly reducing personal vehicle use reimbursement and rental car usage. Similarly, the fleet employees were able to gather the data needed to understand that there are certain cases where permanent assignment of vehicles makes economic sense.

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