How to Maintain a Fleet During the Coronavirus Shutdown
The government is calling for the shutdown of “non-essential” fleets in response to the widespread Coronavirus epidemic. However, for fleets that do deliver products that are considered “essential,” such as food, medication and pet supplies, demand is skyrocketing. Suddenly eCommerce companies like Amazon are being called on to deliver essentials to a country in quarantine.
Michael Woronka, Chief Executive Officer, Action Ambulance Service Inc., reports, “The importance of moving product and people by land, sea, air, and rail cannot be underestimated and will be the cornerstone of the foundation of working our way back to ‘normal’ as this pandemic subsides, and it will.”
Fleet managers are responding quickly to the outbreak: Airlines have put workers on furlough. Navy bases have had to quarantine fleet staffers in response to two workers testing positive for coronavirus. Yet amid this massive restructuring, there has never been a stronger focus on the supply chain. While auto manufacturing plants such as Toyota, VW, Honda, Volkswagen are suspending operations, vehicle rentals are experiencing an uptick as rental demand from courier and delivery companies increases.
Preparing for Natural Disasters in Uncertain Times
According to Patti M. Earley, CAFM, Fleet Fueling Operations Supervisor at Florida Power & Light and President of NAFA, after a disaster, the most important mission is getting people’s lives back to normal as quickly as possible. “For most organizations,” Earley says, “restoration or continuity of daily functions doesn’t happen without the fleet. While there may be some advanced warning with hurricanes, most disasters don’t necessarily give you notice before they strike.”
Succession Planning is Key to Professional Continuity
Everyone wants to think they’re irreplaceable. Yet when the lottery hits new heights, the lines are long—with many dreaming of quitting their day job. Retirement parties come around frequently. And no one likes to think about it, but people die every day—and many of them are still in the workforce when it happens.
Then there are happy things: marriages that take someone out of state, or a promotion that leaves the role vacant.
In a world in which vacancies may mean the full-time equivalent shifts to another department or in which a fleet professional suddenly juggles additional responsibilities, having the next hire identified makes sense. And it may prove more valuable than simply filling the job.
Data Safety: How Do You Protect Your Fleet from Hackers?
Today’s increasingly connected vehicles provide a trove of data and insight, but that brings with it another worry, especially for law enforcement fleet professionals: the valuable data also might be of interest to criminals.
What about a terrorist attack response that is dramatically slowed down because police vehicles are remotely disabled, wherever they sit?
Officers are sitting in an undercover police car, staking out a drug kingpin. Out of nowhere, the car is surrounded by armed men, because the bad guys hacked into the police network to find out vehicle locations.
Navigating Fleet Staff Conflict
Workplace relationships can be the most difficult kind. They are as close as family ties, and frequently, one will see their co-workers more than spouses, children, and so on. The key differences are that your livelihood depends on your ability to work and interact with your colleagues, and the quality of your organization’s efforts can suffer greatly if you don’t.
Therefore, fleet and mobility professionals can find themselves in the position of mediator and conflict mitigation manager , with two employees on either side and at odds with each other.
“At its core, fleet management is a resource management discipline and the most important resource we have are our employees,” said NAFA Regular Member and Past President Christopher D. Amos, CAFM, Commissioner of Equipment Services, St. Louis, Mo. “Workplace productivity is negatively impacted by anything that distracts from people doing their job.”
Is Green the New Gold?
Investing in a new technology or initiative for the sustainability benefits alone is a noble idea with long-term benefits—but not necessarily one that upper management will gravitate toward. These days, with budgets being crunched to squeeze out every dime, those efforts might also require cost savings.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever, fleet professionals say, to find vendors who will offer solutions that support sustainability. Increased competition, naturally, means better solutions—and better results. So yes: “green” can add up to “gold,” but it will take some work.