"In many organizations, the fleet manager is one of the few people who is totally plugged into the business. Fleet managers typically know where the money comes from, where it is, and where it is going; this is a business of metrics and has been for decades." Quotes like these were offered from fleet managers throughout the United States and Canada when NAFA Fleet Management Association surveyed its membership on how they viewed the role of fleet in their organization. The survey shined a light on a problem that has long plagued the fleet management industry -- a lack of respect in the business world.
"NAFA is proud to announce our Beyond Fleet campaign, an exciting new program designed to elevate the perception of fleet managers," said NAFA's President Douglas Weichman, CAFM, who first proposed the campaign during his inaugural speech at NAFA's 2011 Institute & Expo. "At NAFA, we understand the importance and value of professional fleet managers. The Beyond Fleet campaign will emphasize the value of a fleet manager's expertise and show how their duties go far beyond general fleet responsibilities."
The Beyond Fleet campaign is centered on a series of internal and external initiatives designed to promote and advance the fleet management position. The campaign seeks to gain executive-level recognition for fleet managers, educate fleet managers on their value and worth to their employers, and equip fleet managers with the tools they need to sell and promote themselves to their employers.
Fleet managers are not only responsible for millions of dollars in company assets through the vehicles they purchase and maintain for their employer, they are involved in developing and reviewing fleet policies and procedures, conducting lifecycle cost analysis, fuel management, vendor management, data collection, fleet communications, integrating sustainability programs, vehicle remarketing, selecting information systems, vehicle financing, human resources matters, fleet law, vehicle telematics, driver management and training, risk management, and departmental budgets.
"Beyond Fleet will be one of the most significant Member benefits we've ever offered at NAFA," explained NAFA's Executive Director Phillip E. Russo, CAE. "We have crafted a digital suite of tools at http://www.BeyondFleet.com featuring presentations and template letters for fleet managers to utilize and show their employer they are more than just the 'car guy' or 'car gal.'"
"From print advertising to radio spots, videos, social media, and even music, our message will be clear, concise, and to the point," added Russo. "Beyond Fleet will demonstrate that a fleet manager's value to his or her employer is, indeed, beyond fleet."