Louisiana State University Agricultural Center automates fleet with FleetCommander Fleet & Motor Pool software

The Agricultural Center at Louisiana State University (LSU AgCenter) has completed a trial use of FleetCommander fleet and motor pool software and, after reviewing the resulting return on investment report, has decided to implement the technology.The announcement was made by Agile Access Control, Inc., (Agile), creator of FleetCommander.

Officials at the LSU AgCenter say the management of their 22-vehicle fleet is being automated with FleetCommander because it simplifies the reservation process and collects the fleet utilization data needed to make decisions about eliminating unneeded vehicles. The resulting savings will assist in meeting state-wide goals in the face of mandated budget and staffing cuts.

LSU AgCenter Fleet Coordinator Jodi Davis says the vehicle reservation process has, until now, created a burdensome workload on fleet staff. Since making and modifying reservations and dispatching were previously done manually using paper and clipboards, she estimates automating the reservation process through FleetCommander saves approximately 250 hours of staff time. LSU AgCenter estimates handling approximately 1,000 vehicle reservations per year.

Davis says collecting the data required to cut unneeded vehicles is another major benefit for implementing FleetCommander. "FleetCommander's rigorous data collection capability allows us to generate the utilization reports that take the guesswork out of deciding how many vehicles we actually need. As FleetCommander collects more data in the coming months, it may give LSU AgCenter the opportunity to reduce the number of vehicles in its fleet. Eliminating the extra costs associated with keeping those vehicles in our fleet will save us a lot of money," she said. Agile estimates a per-vehicle savings of $4,000 in depreciation, maintenance, and other costs annually.

According to the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana state auditors keep a close watch on fleet spending, requiring them to report on vehicle use, gas expenditures, and mileage. "In the past we had a difficult time consistently collecting the information we needed to report to the state, including the purpose of each trip and destination. FleetCommander automatically collects this information during the online reservation process. Gathering information to generate these reports would take hours; now it's automatic," she says. Davis also says since FleetCommander requires users to enter the destination and purpose of each trip during the reservation process, it eliminates personal use of LSU AgCenter vehicles and those associated costs.

"Our end-users love FleetCommander," says Davis. "If they need to make a change in the middle of the night, they can. If the vehicle they want is not available, it offers the manual-assignment option. It's easy-breezy."

Davis says LSU AgCenter is interested in implementing the FleetCommander unstaffed key control kiosk and keybox system as well. "It would be great to have the capability for our end users to access keys during off hours when staff is not here," she says.

"We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to show LSU AgCenter substantial savings opportunities during the free trial period as they test-drove FleetCommander. Trying out a product before buying it is how I personally like to acquire new things. And our free trial offering is being well-received by our customers, including LSU's AgCenter. They were able to see first-hand how much more efficient their operations could be managed. It doesn't get any better than that," says Ed Smith, president of Agile.

The LSU AgCenter is one of 11 institutions within the Louisiana State University System. The LSU AgCenter's mission is to provide the people of Louisiana with research-based educational information that will improve their lives and economic well-being. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, enhancing the environment, and improving the quality of life through its 4-H youth, family and consumer sciences, and community development programs.

The LSU AgCenter is headquartered in Baton Rouge and shares physical facilities with the LSU A&M campus, which is the state's flagship university.