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Be Part of the Solution, Not Part of the Problem

With the decline in tax revenues, public sector fleets are increasingly scrutinized by management, politicians, and taxpayers. At one time, there was anonymity in being a public sector fleet manager — no more. Years ago, fleet was not high on the radar screen. However, with zero-growth budgets, along with higher fuel costs, emission-reduction mandates, liability issues, and new regulations, fleet is now dead-center on the radar screen of senior management.

Fleet Management 101: Tell the Story

Fleet managers no longer solely "manage" their fleets, they must also manage expectations, communication, and the political realities of their local environment. The most difficult challenge a fleet manager faces is effectively communicating to elected officials the complex issues facing fleet operations. This is a fundamental, yet often neglected, responsibility necessary to be a successful fleet manager. Here's what you need to do.

Bright Ideas: Communication

Monthly e-mail reminders, a communications team, and providing an internal Fleet Web page are just some ways these fleets are improving communication.

It is Crucial to Over-Communicate

The best way to control fleet costs is before the money has ever been spent. Likewise, promising good customer service is not the same as delivering it. When it comes to communicating fleet policy compliance with users and fostering a customer service mindset with your staff, it is important to consistently re-communicate these goals. The secret to success is to communicate and then re-communicate on a regular basis.

Bright Ideas: Communication

Communication is a vital aspect of fleet operations. Regularly scheduled meetings and newsletters are just a few ways to keep staff in the loop.

Fleet Management is more than Managing Assets, It is Also Managing People

When people think of fleet management, they typically associate it with asset management. The reality is the majority of a fleet manager's time is often spent dealing with personnel and interdepartmental issues. How you deal with these issues influences shop morale, user department relationships, and management's opinion of your effectiveness as fleet manager. In the final analysis, successful people management equates to successful fleet management.