In June, the City of Anaheim, Calif., was designated a Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO). The certification, managed by the Government Fleet Management Alliance (GFMA), focuses on 20 critical components to make a public fleet competitive with the private sector.
Ron Lindsey, CAFS, fleet operations superintendent for the City of Anaheim, worked with Fleet and Facility Services Manager Julie Lyons to finish the certification process started by Lindsey’s predecessor, Karl Hopfer. Hopfer initially chose the program because of the guidance provided in areas within the fleet that needed improvement. Lindsey, who joined the fleet in 2012, said he was excited to continue with the certification requirements because becoming certified gives the fleet a level of credibility.
Jim Wright, associate director of the GFMA and developer of the program, provided the fleet with guidance during the process and described Anaheim as an agency that took advantage of all the available resources, such as connecting with other fleets to find out their ideas and policies.
The City of Anaheim made two significant adjustments to its fleet during the certification process.
The first was the introduction of an official motor pool. This came at Wright’s recommendation for a potential solution for underutilized vehicles. Now, vehicles are available both at the city’s main facility and city hall facility. Anaheim has seen a great amount of success with the motor pool.
The second major change was to establish several new policies including a vehicle utilization policy and multiple billing policies. Lindsey explained that introducing the new vehicle utilization policy was really the most bang for the fleet’s buck. Plus, with an annual utilization review, the city is able to examine the fleet and figure out exactly which vehicles it could do without. Lindsey takes that information and is then able to recommend which vehicles customers should part with. With this method, the city was able to reduce its fleet by about 15 vehicles in the first year, resulting in $300,000 in savings and cost-avoidance in 2012. In subsequent years, the fleet continues to evaluate its vehicle utilization and fleet size.
“The big winner is not the fleet and facility services, it’s the citizens of Anaheim,” Lindsey said.
While Lindsey really came to understand that change is slow in the public arena, he is extremely proud of the work his staff has done. “What’s really difficult is the amount of time it takes to make significant changes in the government setting. It’s not like the private sector where you make a new policy and the change is effective the next day.”
For Lindsey, the staff is the reason the fleet is as successful as it is.