NAFA Representatives Discuss 11 Essentials of Fleet Management with Chinese Delegation

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Release date: 8/24/2017

NAFA's influence in global fleets continues to expand. On August 22, representatives of the Association met with Xue-Liang Tao, PhD, Director of Department of Policies and Regulations, National Government Offices Administration, Beijing, China. Accompanying him were 21 delegates from his department (Policies and Regulations) who handle Asset Management, Property Management, and Financial Management. They met with Kate Vigneau, CAFM®, NAFA's Director of Professional Development; and NAFA Treasurer David Hayward.

David and Kate presented a 60-minute overview of "The Eleven Essentials of Fleet Management." They are:
The organization has a robust policy framework (Fleet Management Manual, Driver Handbook and Service Level Agreements) covering appropriate topics.

  • A Fleet Management Information System tracks Key Performance Indicators that contribute to organizational goals.
  • Vehicles are selected using a formal process that considers, as a minimum, lifecycle costs, safety and the environment.
  • The organization uses the Recommended Automotive Classification of Expenses (RACE) system along with Total Cost of Ownership methodology to measure all costs of fleet operations.
  • The organization uses lifecycle spreadsheets and defines and observes optimal vehicle lifecycles.
  • The organization has a comprehensive safety policy, which includes classifying crashes into preventable and non-preventable categories and tracking Crash Frequency Rates (CFR).
  • Vehicle Equivalency Units are used to calculate productivity and compare maintenance performance.
  • The organization is proactive in the selection of remarketing methods and tracks results.
  • The organization considers alternatives to fleet ownership and conducts regular reviews to ensure the fleet is right-sized.
  • Key personnel are certified by industry associations, ensuring they are qualified for the jobs they perform.
  • The organization sets goals for fuel and emissions reductions in accordance with NAFA’s Sustainable Accreditation Program.

The 11 essentials are a terrific foundation for the new fleet manager, and can serve as a report card for experienced fleet managers to determine the areas where they are succeeding as well as areas in need of improvement.
There was a lively Q&A session after the presentation which lasted nearly an hour. The Chinese delegation was particularly interested in the need for a dedicated Fleet Management Information System and NAFA’s Sustainable Fleet Standard.  
These government representatives share many concerns with North American fleet professionals, such as the high fatality rate on Chinese highways. This led to a discussion on the role of the driver and the vehicle in traffic safety. They also expressed the need for standards and benchmarks in fleet utilization and optimal lifecycles.

China has embraced the principles of the sharing economy, and carsharing in particular, which NAFA can learn from as we explore and promote mobility management. One of the delegates explained that she is accustomed to sharing space, tools, and cars, so applying these principles to mobility management is second-nature.