Safety Still Fleet Managers’ Top Priority: GE Capital Fleet Services Survey

By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Edi­tor, Fleet Man­age­ment Week­ly

Dri­ver safe­ty is the top pri­or­i­ty of fleet man­agers, accord­ing to a GE Cap­i­tal Fleet Ser­vices sur­vey con­duct­ed at last month’s NAFA I&E. Thir­ty-five per­cent of fleet man­agers iden­ti­fied safe­ty as their main con­cern, ahead of cost-sav­ing goals (27%), and work­force pro­duc­tiv­i­ty (22%). Dri­ver safe­ty was also fleet man­agers’ top con­cern at the 2013 NAFA I&E.

Nev­er­the­less, 62% of those sur­veyed said that the main focus of their company’s exec­u­tive (C-suite) lead­er­ship is achiev­ing cost sav­ings. The sur­vey revealed a num­ber of tac­tics to man­age costs: 43% per­cent of respon­dents cit­ed vehi­cle pur­chas­ing as the great­est oppor­tu­ni­ty for sav­ings, fol­lowed by man­ag­ing main­te­nance expens­es (32%), and acti­vat­ing telem­at­ics and ana­lyt­ics solu­tions (22%).

“As fleet man­agers con­tin­ue to focus first and fore­most on dri­ver safe­ty, they must also con­cen­trate on find­ing ways to take more cost out of fleet oper­a­tions,” not­ed Mark Hayes, GE Cap­i­tal Fleet Ser­vices chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer. “Increas­ing­ly, fleets are uti­liz­ing tech­nol­o­gy tools that address the dual chal­lenges of cost and safe­ty. These include, he said, telem­at­ics solu­tions that alert dri­vers to poten­tial acci­dents, intel­li­gent col­li­sion alert sys­tems and data ana­lyt­ics that helps pre­dict and man­age main­te­nance costs.”

Added Doug Peters, ana­lyt­ics leader at GE Cap­i­tal Fleet Ser­vices, “More fleet man­agers are increas­ing­ly ana­lyz­ing data to make cost sav­ings, safe­ty, and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty deci­sions based on fleet per­for­mance and oper­a­tions.” The com­pa­ny has recent­ly launched myFleetOffice2, an advanced fleet man­age­ment and ana­lyt­ics plat­form that allows deci­sion mak­ers access deep­er and more insight­ful data and ana­lyt­ics.

Addi­tion­al find­ings from the sur­vey includ­ed:

  • Enhanc­ing Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty: The two biggest areas of focus for enhanc­ing fleet pro­duc­tiv­i­ty were defin­ing a com­pre­hen­sive vehi­cle replacement/cycling plan (30%) and spec­i­fy­ing the appro­pri­ate vehi­cle for the job (27%).
  • Ana­lyt­ics is Improv­ing Effi­cien­cy and Sav­ing Costs: 46% of fleet man­agers cit­ed improved oper­a­tional effi­cien­cy, with an addi­tion­al 22% cit­ing cost sav­ings through ana­lyt­ics.
  • Alter­na­tive Fuels in Use:  32% of fleet man­agers sur­veyed stat­ed that alter­na­tive fuel vehi­cles were already in their fleet, with an addi­tion­al 33% plan­ning to incor­po­rate them with­in the next two years.
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