RTA Connect 2022: Another Year, Another Great Event
By Steve Saltzgiver, Fleet Success Ambassador
Last week, those of us at RTA had the opportunity to rub shoulders with many of our valued clients in Mesa, AZ, at RTA Connect 2022. As the Fleet Success Ambassador, I look forward to this week to network with and participate in the many exceptional education sessions.
On Day 1, many of our users were able to attend classes to improve their RTA FMIS skills and to learn more about the system. This is a day that I personally enjoy as I sit in on many of these sessions and learn things that the system will do that I wasn’t aware of before. The RTA system has more than 40 years of development and as a long-time fleet professional, I’m absolutely amazed at what this system can do to assist fleet operations. Each time I attend one of the sessions instructed by my colleagues, I’m amazed by what they know, and I always learn something new. One of my favorite sessions is “Hidden Gems,” which was taught this year by Jared Turley. It’s impossible not to discover something that you didn’t know before when attending this session.
On Day 2, we started the day with my favorite event, breakfast. This year I must say that all the meals were excellent. Kudos to Jeff Jenkins and his team for setting up the menu.
Next, Josh Turley, RTA’s CEO, kicked off the day of educational sessions with his keynote presentation introducing this year’s theme of “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” which was apropos considering we are emerging from one of the biggest storms in world history with the COVID-19 pandemic. I especially enjoyed the REO Speedwagon song to kick off the day! You would have had to live under a rock the past few years not to realize that this pandemic changed our world drastically in many ways and we must adapt within the fleet industry. The keynote also informed us of what’s been happening the past year at RTA. I find it fascinating as an RTA employee to discover things I either forgot about or wasn’t aware of. I was especially excited to see all the RTA system updates that occurred during the year. I marveled at all the work our Product and Development teams did to enhance our desktop and mobile applications in the past 12 months.
Most importantly, Josh talked about the success of last year’s Fleet Success Summit and next year’s event in Las Vegas, March 21-22. As the Fleet Success Ambassador, I personally look forward to taking part in this awesome event. We have many of last year’s experts returning along with a slate of new industry experts to enlighten attendees.
Before exiting the stage, Josh recognized Jan Smith for 30 years of wonderful accomplishments during his service at RTA. This is quite an accomplishment to work for the same employer for 30 years. In these days of the Great Resignation, I commend Jan for his contributions to RTA.
The rest of the day we were educated by many great speakers teaching sessions like The Four Pillars of Fleet Success, Analytics – Defining important Metrics & Why, Budgeting made Easy(ier), and a wide array of exceptional classes related to doing more with the RTA application. One of my personal favorites was the Product team’s introduction to the new RTA Web product. It was awesome to see the progress firsthand.
Lastly, we concluded the day with a fun 80’s Arcade Night where attendees dressed up in 80’s attire and exercised their skills playing 80-style arcade games like Pac-Man, Galaga, and many others. It was fascinating to see all the efforts each attendee put into their costumes — even though I lived through the decade. On a personal note, I was excited to play Pac-Man, which as a Boomer was one of my favorites. (I’m happy to report that I had one of the Pac-Man high scores along with Neil Parsons at Granger Waste Services).
On Day 3, the final day, we again had a hearty breakfast and were entertained by Marc Canton who provided a keynote address called, “Keys to Surviving and (Thriving in) the Storm”. This keynote included timely topics like the perfect storm in fleet and the “Brain Drain” loss of institutional knowledge that we’re seeing today with the generational transition of workers. (Boomers to Gen Z). Marc also included several examples of how best to manage your fleet data, conduct analysis, and best practices for attendees to consider for optimizing their fleet operation.
Next, we were off to a full slate of educational sessions that included, “Speaking the Kind Truth,” “Vehicle Right-sizing and Replacement,” “RTA Software Routines,” “RTA Dashboards,” and an array of roundtables with RTA experts talking about timely fleet topics. Finally, one of my personal favorites was participating in our podcast, “The Fleet Success Show,” with a live audience asking questions about their biggest fleet issues. This session was released this week as Episode 77. (It’s hard to believe we have these many podcast episodes already!)
Lastly, Josh closed out the event with a great recap of the key takeaways that we all witnessed during the week of educational sessions and networking.
I’m always sad to leave RTA Connect but excited for another great year ahead where we can use the knowledge gleaned from attendees to improve their fleet operations and for all of us to improve our lives as professionals.
If you’re interested in attending RTA Connect 2023, Oct. 3-5, in Las Vegas, watch for upcoming communications and registration materials. In the meantime, consider joining us for the Fleet Success Summit, March 21-22!
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