SoCal Gas officials networked with ARI’s Jim Creighton (right) at lunch.  -  Photo: Work Truck

SoCal Gas officials networked with ARI’s Jim Creighton (right) at lunch.

Photo: Work Truck

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.

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.

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.

Chris Shafer of Utilimarc and Sam Lee of the State of Utah communicated the latest in benchmarking and bottom line improvement. "Benchmarking demonstrates what value you’re bringing to the organization," said Shafer. He also emphasized the importance of networking with industry peers and sharing information. "Align yourself with those folks who have already fought the battle. They’re more than willing to share the data and help you succeed."

The presentations were followed by in-depth discussion of Web-based business intelligence systems and cutting-edge garage system solutions.

Tony Candeloro, department manager, systems and programming, and Rob Hoysgaard, business development manager, utility market, for ARI wrapped up the event with an overview of the importance of bringing value to the data collected each day and how ARI’s data integration solution can aid in the process.

"Focus on exceptions. That’s the idea," said Hoysgaard. 

Originally posted on Work Truck Online

Grace Lauron

Grace Lauron

Former Associate Editor

Grace Lauron is a former associate editor with Bobit Business Media. She later changed her name to Grace Suizo.