Tag Archives: transportation

Better Than Reimbursing Drivers

Enterprise Fleet LogoBy Bryan St. Eve, Enterprise Fleet Management

For those who wonder how much better it could be to provide company vehicles rather than reimburse drivers who use their own vehicles, it’s easy to count the ways:  improved cash flow, reduced overall operating costs, improved safety, enhanced driver morale and more professional company image. Each of these factors is significant independently; together they present a compelling case.

A recent analysis for a company that has 80 drivers, who average 15,000 to 20,000 miles per year, indicated that about $100,000 a year could be saved by switching from reimbursing drivers to providing company-owned vehicles.  Although the calculation was based on a combination of hard costs – lease terms, monthly payments, maintenance and insurance – and fuel savings generated by having a fleet of uniformly fuel-efficient vehicles, soft costs also were a factor. For example, while some drivers were operating older cars that were not very reliable, resulting in more downtime, others were driving vehicles that were not very fuel -efficient.  In addition, for those in competitive industries, employee-owned vehicles did nothing to enhance the professional image of the company they represented, which impacts awareness among potential customers and prospective employees.

The advantages of company-owned vehicles begin with acquiring vehicles that are the right size, include all appropriate safety features and have uniform fuel efficiency.  Establishing a separate line of credit for vehicle purchases though a full-service fleet management company can eliminate the need to tap existing lines of credit to fund a rapidly depreciating asset. In addition, fleet management professionals can help ensure that vehicles are replaced at appropriate intervals to achieve optimum performance and resale value.

Operating costs can also be minimized with a company-owned fleet.  A managed maintenance program can monitor and ensure regular service checks, examine invoices, and arrange the most economical, timely and high-quality repairs for fleet vehicles.  This program also can yield maximum warranty benefits, rebates, price breaks and other opportunities to minimize expenses.  For example, a fuel card program can automatically monitor fuel purchases and mileage for each vehicle, while giving drivers maximum access to the most convenient fueling stations.

In today’s competitive marketplace, great looking vehicles are good advertising. In addition to promoting the company’s professional image in traffic and at job locations, having great looking cars can enhance employee satisfaction, which impacts retention as well as attracting the most qualified applicants when there are openings.

There are several options to reimburse an employee for using his or her own car on the job – actual cost, standard mileage rate, fixed or variable allowance.  However, a comprehensive cost analysis could show that none of these methods is as cost effective or efficient as providing company-owned vehicles.

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Bryan St. Eve is a Director for Enterprise Fleet Management in Louisville and can be reached at 502-458-3100 ext. 279.  He is supported by an experienced team of veteran mechanics and accredited Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) technicians to serve the fleet maintenance needs of businesses with mid-size fleets.  In addition to maintenance management programs, Enterprise’s services include vehicle acquisition, fuel management and insurance programs, as well as vehicle registration, reporting and remarketing.  Visit the company’s web site at www.efleets.com or call toll free 1-877-23-FLEET.

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For more information contact
Robyn Frankel, Frankel Public Relations
Toll free: 877-863-3373, rfrankel@frankelpr.com
OR Ned Maniscalco, Enterprise Fleet Management
314-512-5523, ned.maniscalco@ehi.com

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Better Fuel Efficiency, Lower Interest Rates & Higher Resale Market Drive Need for Long-Term Fleet Management Strategy

Enterprise Fleet LogoBy Bryan St. Eve, Enterprise Fleet Management – Builders Exchange Allied Member

Any business with a fleet of vehicles knows there are six major cost elements: depreciation, interest, fuel, maintenance, risk management and taxes.  Not surprisingly, the ever-increasing cost of fuel is beginning to rival some of those cost elements, including depreciation, and less fuel-efficient older vehicles are the least cost-effective.

The good news is that there has never been a better time to begin to manage fuel expenses.  Not only are 2013 model year vehicles designed for maximum fuel efficiency, but record low interest rates and an unusually high resale market for used vehicles present an exceptional opportunity for businesses with medium-size fleets to take advantage of the opportunity to lower expenses.

But, without a long-term fleet management strategy, getting the most value could still be a challenge. A long-term strategy can help project financial targets for three, four and five-years down the road on everything from acquiring and disposing of vehicles to managing maintenance, risk management, warranties, and mileage, as well as the potential wear and tear a business will inflict on each of its vehicles.

A good place to start is to work with a professional fleet management company that has access to a wide range of makes and models of cars, light- and medium-duty trucks and service vehicles and has the ability and experience to identify the right vehicles and available options to meet the individual needs of a particular business. In addition, they may have the ability to forecast and analyze long-term cost structures to help the business hit specific financial targets.

Simple mathBecause a fleet of vehicles can represent a major cost, requiring a considerable amount of money up front and demanding a continuing amount of money, time and resources to manage, businesses that have a long-term strategy will do well.  Fuel is a good example.  Combined with inflation, reduced fuel efficiency could lead to as much as a 50 percent increase in annual fuel costs within the next three to four years.  This means that for a business just to maintain its current fuel budget it could ultimately be necessary to get the equivalent of 16 mpg from a vehicle that currently gets 13 mpg.

Today’s fuel reality is a growing concern for businesses that own and operate fleets of vehicles.

Not only can owning and operating a fleet of vehicles efficiently and cost-effectively translate to better customer service, it can lead to a more profitable bottom line and more satisfied employees. The combination of new increasing regulations on vehicle manufacturers to improve fuel economy and steadily escalating fuel prices makes it imperative for businesses to begin now to better manage fuel costs for their fleet of vehicles.

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Bryan St. Eve is a Director for Enterprise Fleet Management in Louisville and can be reached at 502-458-3100 ext. 279.  He is supported by an experienced team of veteran mechanics and accredited Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) technicians to serve the fleet maintenance needs of businesses with mid-size fleets.  In addition to maintenance management programs, Enterprise’s services include vehicle acquisition, fuel management and insurance programs, as well as vehicle registration, reporting and remarketing.  Visit the company’s web site at www.efleets.com or call toll free 1-877-23-FLEET.

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Enterprise Fleet Management Sets Record with 15th Blue Seal

The Builders Exchange would like to congratulate our Allied Member Enterprise Fleet Management for receiving 15 consecutive years of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) “Blue Seal of Excellence” award.  Enterprise Fleet Management offers cost effective solutions to our members for maintaining and management of their fleet operations.  Services offered include but are not limited to monthly vehicle cost analysis, mileage reporting, vehicle acquisition, risk  management and fuel programs.

ST. LOUIS, November 15, 2012 – Setting a record for fleet management companies, Enterprise Fleet Management has received the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) “Blue Seal of Excellence” for the 15th consecutive year.  The recognition certifies automotive repair businesses with the very highest standards of service excellence.

With 87 percent of its service advisors being ASE Certified, Enterprise Fleet Management significantly exceeds the requirements for the Blue Seal.  To qualify for ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition, a business must have at least 75% of its technicians ASE Certified and at least one technician must be certified in each specific service or repair the business offers.

“We congratulate Enterprise Fleet Management on achieving this significant milestone,” said Tim Zilke, ASE President & CEO. “As one of the longest continuously recognized members of the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program, Enterprise represents the best in our industry for their commitment to their customers and their technicians by supporting voluntary technician certification through ASE.”

Enterprise was first recognized with the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence in 1997 and was the first fleet management company to receive the honor.  Bob Schurwan, vice president of Enterprise Fleet Management operations, credits the dedication and skill of Enterprise’s employees, each of whom has an average 10 certifications.

“We are very pleased to accept this recognition on behalf of our great team of service advisors who are dedicated to customer satisfaction,” said Schurwan.  “Our National Service Department works hard to make sure that customers receive the best service and value for their fleet vehicles.”

Schurwan added that in the most recent fiscal year, Enterprise’s service advisors saved customers with maintenance management programs more than $13 million by helping them avoid paying for unnecessary repairs, as well as arranging maximum warranty benefits, rebates and price breaks and helping them take advantage of other opportunities to minimize expenses.

About Enterprise Fleet Management

A full-service fleet management business for companies with medium-size fleets, Enterprise Fleet Management supplies most makes and models of cars, light- and medium-duty trucks and service vehicles across North America. Enterprise Fleet Management is owned by the Taylor family of St. Louis, who, through regional subsidiaries, also own and operate Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s extensive network of more than 5,500 neighborhood and airport branch offices, all located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population.

With 58 fully-staffed offices nationwide, Enterprise Fleet Management has been recognized with the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) “Blue Seal of Excellence” for 15 consecutive years, an industry record. In addition to winning a 2012 American Business Award for Innovation in Customer Service, Enterprise Fleet Management supports a comprehensive set of environmental initiatives that includes helping customers purchase verifiable greenhouse gas emission offsets by pledging to match a portion of each customer’s greenhouse gas offset purchases up to a total match of $1 million. For more information about Enterprise Fleet Management’s environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of the fleet management business, visit http://drivingfutures.com/fleetmanagement/. For more information about Enterprise Fleet Management, visit www.efleets.com or call toll free 1-877-23-FLEET.

For more information contact
Robyn Frankel, Frankel Public Relations
Toll free: 877-863-3373, rfrankel@frankelpr.com
OR Ned Maniscalco, Enterprise Fleet Management
314-512-5523, ned.maniscalco@ehi.com

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Winter Safety in Any Climate

By Bryan St. Eve, Enterprise Fleet Management – Builders Exchange Allied Member

Businesses with a fleet of vehicles face a variety of challenges during the winter months.  With fewer hours of daylight and more hazardous road conditions caused by rain, sleet, snow or ice, safe driving practices and proper vehicle maintenance can go a long way in controlling costs and increasing efficiencies for drivers and their vehicles.  The advantages can include everything from reducing the chances of vehicle collisions, personal injuries, worker compensation claims and downtime to avoiding expensive repairs caused by excessive wear and tear on a vehicle.

In addition to having a good driver training program that includes a written fleet safety policy, it’s important to make sure drivers are familiar with some of the newer emergency icons that may light up on the dashboard to signal problems that need to be addressed.  These icons include:

  • Traction Control, also called acceleration slip regulation (ASR), is designed to ensure maximum contact between the road surface and the vehicle’s tires when accelerating from a complete stop or speeding up to pass another vehicle, particularly under less than ideal road conditions.
  • Stability Control utilizes speed sensors on each wheel, as well as steering-angle sensors and a hydraulic modulator control to increase traction during potential side-skidding situations.
  • Antilock Braking System (ABS) senses and prevents wheel lock-up to improve traction and steering during hard braking.  Because the ABS allows drivers to steer while applying maximum braking, there is greater vehicle stability in an emergency and this can make a significant difference in avoiding obstacles.
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) uses pressure sensing transmitters mounted inside each tire to monitor an unsafe change of 25 percent or more in the air pressure in one or more of a vehicle’s tires.

While it is never a good idea to skip or postpone routine maintenance, it is essential to be vigilant about maintenance in the winter, especially for the following.

  • Wipers, Windshield & More.  Inspect wiper blades, windshield washers and washer fluid level. Seal any windshield cracks, which tend to spread in the winter.  Also check each vehicle’s battery for load capacity and the electrical/charging system, as well as all belts and hoses for softness and wear.
  • Tire Replacement.  Match dimensions indicated on the tire information decal for new tires to help avoid inaccurate speedometer/odometer readings, ABS brake malfunctions and multiple engine and transmission errors. Some vehicles with all-wheel drive require replacement of all tires at the same time because of potential driveline problems. Consult your owner’s manual or a fleet management professional for additional information.
  • Tire Maintenance.  Use a quality air pressure gauge to check pressure at least once a week. Correct tire pressure helps extend tire tread life and gas mileage and contributes to good traction and handling. Rotation of the tires, recommended every 10,000 miles, will also extend the tire life further. This is especially true for front wheel drive vehicles.
  • Gasoline Selection.  Seasonal blends of gasoline will ensure better performance in the winter.  Always consult your owner’s manual for recommendations regarding grade or octane of fuel. .While gasoline that is too low in octane can drastically affect vehicle performance, higher octane can drive up expenses unnecessarily.

Last but not least, check the vehicle’s emergency roadside kit to make sure it is winter ready. Items may include a cell phone car charger or extra battery, first aid kit, and extra winter clothing, including gloves and boots, as well as a flashlight, tire gauge, fire extinguisher and snow shovel. Even with roadside assistance, being prepared can increase safety, reduce stress and make waiting for assistance more comfortable.

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Bryan St. Eve is a Director for Enterprise Fleet Management in Louisville and can be reached at 502-458-3100 ext. 279.  He is supported by an experienced team of veteran mechanics and accredited Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) technicians to serve the fleet maintenance needs of businesses with mid-size fleets.  In addition to maintenance management programs, Enterprise’s services include vehicle acquisition, fuel management and insurance programs, as well as vehicle registration, reporting and remarketing.  Visit the company’s web site at www.efleets.com or call toll free 1-877-23-FLEET.

For more information contact:

Robyn Frankel, Frankel Public Relations

Toll free: 877-863-3373, rfrankel@frankelpr.com

OR Ned Maniscalco, Enterprise Fleet Management

314-512-5523, ned.maniscalco@ehi.com

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