If you are reading this blog chances are you have been to enough fleet manager training seminars to be familiar with the anecdotal instructions for how to eat an elephant…One bite at a time…Right?

I recently posed a similar question to myself, “how does one feed someone an elephant?” Well; It turns out the answers have some similarities but it requires a little more work. First one has to cook the elephant just right, then purée the disgusting parts in to something digestible, serve it when they are hungry, oh, yeah! It always helps to serve some ice-cream on the side, and then carefully and ever-so-gently feed it to them when they aren’t expecting it… one bite at a time.
The enormous data generated by modern fleet management software can be overwhelming even to a fleet manager so try to imagine how it would look to someone who isn’t clear on what is meant by on-road and off-road equipment. The Town of Jonesborough has recently acquired a fleet management system provided by Collective Data. The nearly effortless use of their software allows for what I would describe as “Passive Data Collection”. Since implementing the software we have been able accurately track so much important data;(information that was simply unknowable before the Collective Data Software), it can be difficult for a fleet manager to decide which bite to feed the leadership first.

My solution to the elephant conundrum: I have been inserting one unsolicited data set per month in to my monthly report. Fleet composition one month, labor disbursement by equipment type the next and then predictive maintenance vs repair the next. While this type of information is rarely understood to its fullest by anyone looking at a monthly report, it can generate some good questions and more importantly it lets everyone know we are on top of things here in our small fleet.
Special thanks to the folks at Collective Data for their product and for their unparalleled support.

About the author
Gary Lykins

Gary Lykins

Fleet Manager

Gary Lykins serves as the fleet manager, shop supervisor, and lead mechanic for the Town of Jonesborough. Although he has 20 years of experience in various roles in the automotive and equipment industry, his tenure with the Town of Jonesborough has been the most challenging and fulfilling position of his career.

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