State of Michigan's comprehensive fleet automation effort results in cost savings, increased utilization and reduced vehicles

By automating the reservation, vehicle assignment and dispatching processes, Michigan has reduced the number of staff hours and associated costs necessary to manage the fleet.


Since launching their comprehensive roll-out of fleet technology more than three years ago, the State of Michigan has achieved significant cost savings, reached utilization rates upwards of 80 percen on most work days, changed driver behavior, saved thousands of dollars on personally-owned vehicle (POV) mileage reimbursement, reduced staff time needed to manage the fleet, and more. The announcement was made today by FleetCommander fleet and motor pool software creator Agile Access Control, Inc. (Agile).

"By incorporating fleet technology into our operations, we are achieving efficiencies we never thought possible, like managing our entire 15-site fleet with total visibility. Now we are able to analyze real-time utilization rates so we can make good decisions about more efficient use of pooled vehicles," said Dave Ancell, of Michigan's Department of Technology. "With the successes we've had, our plan is to continue to expand to more sites across Michigan," he said.

The rollout of motor pool technology was part of Michigan's comprehensive effort to slash fleet costs and change driver behavior. The state now uses FleetCommander to manage car sharing for about 400 vehicles among nearly 6,200 end-users. More than 110 statewide motor pool requests are made each workday.

Ancell said by automating the reservation, vehicle assignment and dispatching processes, Michigan has reduced the number of staff hours and associated costs necessary to manage the fleet. For example, by automating the management of keys, Michigan was able to reassign staff to other duties, representing a significant savings to the State. In the early stages of pooling vehicles, approximately 30 percent of the permanently assigned vehicles were removed from the fleet. Savings from these reductions are now part of the State's budget. When vehicles are reduced, Agile estimates a $3-5,000 savings in maintenance and depreciation costs for every vehicle cut. In addition, because account codes assigned to each trip are automatically validated, Michigan eliminates staff time needed to manage those functions.

More recently, Michigan was able to add needed vehicles to two motor pools using the savings achieved by significantly reducing POV reimbursement and rental car usage. Similarly, the State was able to gather the data needed to understand that there are certain cases where permanent assignment of vehicles makes economic sense.

"We are delighted to see the State of Michigan continue to put FleetCommander through its paces and take full advantage of the efficiencies FleetCommander is designed to help our customers achieve, especially since it is such a large and complex operation. Michigan is an excellent example of how technology can totally transform fleet management and not only eliminate manual processes such as paper or email reservations, but also collect the all-important metrics needed to understand how fleet dollars are being spent," said Ed Smith, president of Agile.

Other efficiencies realized by the State include:

  • Standardized utilization reporting statewide
  • Ability to analyze metrics and make necessary adjustments to size and composition of fleet
  • Self-service check-in and check-out through FleetCommander kiosks at all15 sites
  • Automated, secure, around-the-clock access to keys at nearly half Michigan sites
  • Immediate communication of fleet policies and safety issues such as icy roads
  • Automatic policy enforcement
  • Automated notifications of issues such as late return of vehicles to drivers and supervisors
  • Interfacing with the state's accounting system to communicate reservation charge-back information total transformation from manual reservation processes to online reservations, modifications, and cancellations, as well as the collection and validation of account information to eliminate repetitive tasks
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