October 21, 2014


Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

New Content, New Website

You’ve probably noticed some of the new, original content in this e-newsletter lately, and maybe you’ve even taken a few minutes to check out our new site at FleetManagementWeekly.com?

This new, original content is geared to be an engaging and informative read, and (perhaps most importantly) help fleet managers do their jobs better. Some of what’s now on offer includes the following industry experts sharing their hard-won knowledge and know-how:

  • Ed Pierce on Fleet Marketing
  • Jeof Bean on The Fleet Customer Experience
  • Matt Betz on The Mobile Employee
  • Randy Shadley on Fleet Safety

For our readers, the new site will mean regular daily updates of the fleet news & trends you need. For our advertisers, the new site means new opportunities for advertising and content marketing. And for us, it means a website that's easy to build and populate with more engaging content. If you have any ideas on how to make the e-newsletter and/or the website better, I’d love to hear them: ted@automotivedigest.com.

Finally, Have You Reg­is­tered for NAFA's Inter­na­tional Fleet Acad­emy?

You don't want to miss this con­fer­ence if your job respon­si­bil­i­ties have expanded out­side of North America -- this event offers unparalleled global fleet education! Register today!

Ted Roberts
COO and Chief Content Officer


VIDEO: Technology for Today's Modern Mobile Workers

Today’s Modern Mobile Workers face a variety of challenges, whether they’re driving a fleet vehicle, or being reimbursed for driving their own. Luckily, there are some great technologies out there to help them out.

VIDEO: Reporting and Communicating
  Skill Sets Fleet Managers Need Today

When it comes to the skill sets that fleet managers need today, the ability to report and communicate clearly to upper management are more important than ever.

VIDEO: Better Planning = Better Results
  Teaching Fleet Clients to Plan Better

Teaching fleet clients to plan better can yield very positive results when it comes to asset management and cost management.

The Fleet Spot

nafa-logo NAFA Webinar ' Increasing Safety in Large Fleets' — Wednesday, October 22

REGISTER TODAY!  See how a program developed by an industry leader has dramatically improved safety results, and get specific ideas and examples that can be implemented in your own programs.

NAFA webinar ‘Increasing Safety in Large Fleets’ takes place this Wednesday, October 22, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern time).  To sign up,  please register TODAY – October 21 – by clicking here.

Express Energy, the sponsor for this webinar, has driven substantial safety improvements in its 1000+-vehicle-fleet. The company’s safety programs policies, procedures, training, corrective action, and employee recognition is a powerful component in ensuring the best results. The company leverages GPS fleet management software to manageand improve the program. This webinar will present their safety program, including how to roll out policies, procedures, training, and follow-up from upper management to field-level employees.

NAFA webinars are available for free for NAFA Members and NAFA Affiliates as an exclusive benefit of membership. Registration for non-members is $25.00.

To sign up,  please register TODAY – October 21 – by clicking here.

traffic-congestion Traffic Congestion Costs Americans $124 Billion a Year, Report Says

Population growth, GDP growth, decline in fuel prices, and an increase in car ownership. These are the main factors that, according to a report released today by Seattle-based INRIX and the Centre for Economics and Business Research will lead, in the next sixteen years, to a 50 percent rise in gridlock costs in the U.S. In short, this means that if, in 2013 traffic congestion cost Americans $124 billion in direct and indirect losses, this number will rise to $186 billion in 2030.

Data about delays caused by congestions were based on the INRIX index: the company — whose mission is simply 'solve traffic worldwide' (no less) — collects data from more than 180 million vehicles and devices out on the road every day, in a number of ways: from satellite navigation systems, GPS in cars and trucks, information gathered by cellular carriers, and also through a devoted smartphone application."


fitch-ratings_3 Auto Rental and Commercial Leasing Companies Keep Rolling

The auto rental and commercial truck and fleet leasing sectors continue to exhibit strong asset quality and sufficient liquidity, reducing the potential for credit and economic risks to materially impact ratings, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

Fitch recently affirmed the Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) on five publicly rated auto rental companies and commercial truck and fleet lessors, including LeasePlan Corporation N.V. (‘A-‘), Wheels, Inc. (‘A’), Avis Budget Group, Inc. (‘BB-‘), Penske Truck Leasing Co. L.P (‘BBB+’), and Ryder System, Inc. (‘A-‘).

READ MORE about the ratings.

Protect-Your-Construction-Fleet-against-Theft-with-GPS-tracking How GPS Tracking Can Protect Construction Fleets Against Theft

Equipment theft can make a huge impact to a construction fleet's bottom line, so it is important for fleet executives to look into options to protect expensive vehicles and assets. According to Construction Business Magazine, equipment theft for the construction industry is approximately $1 billion annually in the United States. Before your fleet is forced into the expense of replacing stolen equipment, it might be time to look at GPS tracking to protect your fleet and recover stolen property.


Innovative Customer Experience

The Fleet Customer Experience Revolution

By Jeofrey Bean

Apple, Intuit and Netflix are companies that have created the future of customer experience. They are also examples of companies that have dedicated or temporary customer experience and user experience labs. These labs reproduce real-world environments, product purchase and use conditions for insightful customer experience management decisions.

Creating and using customer experience labs is not just for established companies with dedicated budgets. Those who are resource constrained can set-up a make shift lab. The key is to make it like the customer environment and have unbiased processes to learn from people's interactions in the customer experience you are proposing.


Transition, Then Transform

We seldom miss a chance to talk with the bright and engaging Michele Cunningham, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development at Element Fleet Management, and enjoyed our interview with her at the recent AFLA Conference. We asked her to bring us up to date on the transition from PHH to Element Fleet Management.

Michele says, "We are taking the 'transition and then transform' approach because our customer success is the most critical factor. We are noting lots of exciting opportunities to extend products and services and take a best of the best approach in creating Element Fleet Management out of these composite companies and really bringing our customers something special."


Safety on the Road

By Alesandro Trani, AlertDriving Global Safety Writer

The first step to eliminating workplace hazards is recognizing them. For environmental health and safety (EHS) professionals, safety interventions are more straightforward in production facilities, where hazards can be managed in relative isolation. Unguarded machinery, vapors and fumes, dust, and frayed wiring are just some of the severe--and isolated--dangers companies can identify, mitigate and monitor directly with strict engineering controls.

But what if the road is an employee's workplace?
In many countries, particularly emerging markets, EHS professionals have few, if any, reasonable safeguards to protect employees on the road. People who drive for business are up to 50% more likely to be killed on the job than construction or agriculture workers. Facing such dire odds, global fleets can't wait for governments to "pave the way" for safety. How do managers contain--much less recognize--occupational risks at intersections, highways or anywhere else drivers conduct company business?


Fleet Trends & Issues

Why Cars Are Safer Than They've Ever Been

In crash testing it’s called time zero: the moment an accident begins. When we think about vehicle safety, we tend to think about what happens after time zero. Crumple zones engage. Seat belts cinch tight. Airbags erupt. And after the violence ends, ideally the passenger cell remains intact, the humans inside unharmed.

Those fractions of a second at the onset of an impact are crucial. But so are the ones that come before it. And the quest for safer cars runs in two directions--not just surviving a crash but trying to stop the clock before it ever gets to time zero.


8 Ways to Lower the Odds of Getting a Traffic Ticket

Police officers have discretion on whether they write a ticket and for what. As we know, an officer COULD decide to throw the book at you and write you up for all kinds of stuff. Or, decide to let you go with a warning.

Anything you can do to make the officer’s job easier will help nudge the officer in the direction of being lenient. Instead of reckless driving, perhaps you’ll be written for careless. Instead of 20 over, maybe 10.

READ MORE to learn how to deal with it.

Teen Driver Safety Focus: Boys & Girls Clubs Of America and The UPS Foundation

The leading cause of death among teens in the United States is motor vehicle crashes, with phones causing one in every five teen distracted driving fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To help keep teens safe on the road, The UPS Foundation teamed up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to create UPS Road Code, a national program educating teens on safe driving techniques.

READ MORE about this successful national program

Top 5 Most Expensive Moves for Car Insurance Rates

Moving is certain to affect one's car insurance premium. Consumers might find they save a bundle by relocating - or get socked with an unexpected increase.

CarInsurance.com, an independent quote-comparison website, offers a tool that answers Will my insurance go up if I move? It will help consumers budget accordingly before a move. Simply input current and new ZIP codes to see the average rate change.


Fingerprints and Heartbeats

There are apps to manage passwords, but many of us are looking past the password itself to some other means of user identification. Apple added a fingerprint system to recent iterations of the iPhone, and one new company wants to tie logins to your heartbeat.

According to Patently Apple, Ford has filed a patent application to add similar features to future automobiles. Ford envisions a vehicle equipped with sensors embedded in the steering wheel and the car seat. Those sensors would measure heart rate, temperature, and other biometric data.

READ MORE about the technology

Driving Through a Tire Blowout

While the number of tire-related crashes has dropped dramatically since 2008, when all new vehicles were required to have automatic tire pressure monitoring systems, these numbers remain high. Tire blowouts and flats result in nearly 11,000 collisions and 200 fatalities each year.

When a tire blows out, it can take about ¼ second before your easy ride suddenly becomes a struggle to avoid an auto accident. How you react can make all the difference. Staying calm and in control of your vehicle is your best defense.

READ MORE to find out how to handle a blowout

You and Your Boss

As offices across the country close out a week marked by celebrations of "Boss's Day," now is a great time to consider your relationship with your current boss-could it be improved, or maximized in some way?-or what kind of notes you might want to strike with your next one.

"The most important driver of employee engagement is the relationship they have with their immediate manager," says Piera Palazzolo, Senior Vice President of Dale Carnegie Training. She says the most successful relationships are those where bosses and employees really get to know one another.

READ MORE to get the details

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