Becoming a World Class Fleet Organization

By Steve Saltzgiver

The past couple of years have been a whirlwind of wonderful activities since joining RTA: The Fleet Success Company’s family. The warm welcome I’ve personally received from the RTA team has been exceptional and I would be remiss not to express my sincere thanks to everyone there for helping me transition into the software side of the business.

As you are aware, RTA is the one of the most successful fleet management information systems (FMIS) in the fleet industry with over 40 years of experience and recognition. What everyone might not know is that RTA is one of the largest with respect to number of clients who utilize its FMIS application. During the past two years, the world fleet community has taken notice of RTA as a world class fleet success organization. This places all of us at RTA in a unique situation to maintain its sharp focus to live up to other’s expectations.

As of late, I believe much of this perception comes in part due to the 40-plus years of experience and the kick-off of the Fleet Success initiative (including its weekly podcast, events, fleet data analysis, blogs, vlogs, and other great initiatives). We’ve tried to demonstrate our commitment to many of our clients’ aggressive Fleet Success programs, along with aiding their Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) objectives. Our clients’ increasing use of fully electric and hybrid electric vehicles, green fleet technology, and innovation places RTA in a unique position to drive change — not only with our FMIS but within the industry. These are initiatives that we can all be proud of to help clients achieve and continue in years to come. To maintain these high expectations our goal in fleet management is to strive for continuous improvement using techniques designed to increase efficiencies and drive down costs.

During my career, a passion for great fleet management has always propelled me towards becoming the very best I could be. I’m excited to be part of a dedicated team of professionals at RTA working to transform the industry and fleets we touch into a world class operation. If we think about it, nothing is more important than executing our collective goals in fleet management to provide reliable transportation and ensuring products and services are delivered to our valued stakeholders. Executing these important goals honors the RTA brand that we vow to uphold, and more importantly, help us become a winning team to achieve our purpose to make fleets successful.

This is a great time to be working as a professional in the fleet management industry. Never has the challenge to do more with less been greater than over the past couple of years. The recent slide in the supply-chain and its impact on the economy, coupled with ever-increasing technology, makes our job as fleet professionals more challenging and exciting to solve today’s problems.

How can we strengthen our continuous improvement focus?

It’s simple, we just need to transition the way we do business from a daily tactical focus to strategic fleet management perspective. In other words, we need to look ahead and get a glimpse of what we are currently and where we want to be in the future. Our RTA web app is being designed with this in mind.

So, what is strategic management and how can we move in this direction?

The continuous improvement programs we already have in place at RTA will help us with our quest to achieve the very best. Renowned management expert Stephen Covey says, “The reason why most teams never reach their potential is they don’t define and execute goals.

Interestingly, successful fleet teams share four things in common with winning sports teams. They are;

  1. Every Team Member must understand the goal. (Goal is to score, win and place first.)
  2. Every Team Member must know how they contribute to the goal.
  3. Every Team Member must execute individual goals for the entire Team to win.
  4. Every Team must keep and know the score to win and taste success.

How does our winning team score a victory to become the best?

Most organizations know, “what gets measured gets managed!” The new Fleet Success Scorecard created by our expert Product and Engineering teams will help clients see and know the score necessary to succeed. The Fleet Success Scorecard monitors key performance indicators (KPI) based on the four pillars of fleet success. Our tracking of these important KPIs like cost-per-mile, miles-per-gallon, cost-per-transaction, and Preventive Maintenance compliance – all help our clients’ fleet organizations become world class. These ideals are easily achieved when we place focus on our individual and collective work quality, integrity, and collection of accurate data (e.g., asset mileage).

During my career in fleet management, I have come to realize the single most important thing we can do is ensure we understand asset utilization. This means the most critical thing we can do as a winning team is to develop a singular focus on acquiring accurate asset usage (i.e., mileage, hours, fuel consumption). Because of this undisputable fact I have learned that “Accurate mileage (or usage) is the lifeblood of great fleet management!” Accurate mileage virtually affects every known metric important to managing an effective and an efficient fleet.

How can we make our clients’ fleets the best in the world?

By answering this simple question, “Are we doing our best to provide the quality data necessary to transform their unique fleet of assets into a world class operation?”

If the answer is “yes” we all win as a fleet success team!

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