Are You Wasting your Budgeted Fleet Dollars? FridayFleet Addresses These Topics

Are you wasting your budgeted fleet dollars?

donlen-fridayfleet-are-you-wasting-fleet-dollarsThat’s the question posed by Mike Antich, Editor and Associate Publisher of Automotive Fleet in his recent post, What Percentage of Your Budgeted Fleet Dollars are Wasted?

If you’re like us, that headline made us stop and not only read Mike’s post, but think about the broader implications of wasting precious dollars in these uncertain times. Mandates to cut spending and improve productivity continue to roll in for all of us. But we all think: how? where? I’m already running thin!

Mike goes on to cite several areas that he calls “low-hanging fruit” – those areas that can have an impact without adding additional cost:

  • Over-spec’ing and under utilizing assets
  • Preventive maintenance compliance
  • Remarketing strategy
  • Driver behavior, including idling, speeding, and overloading of vehicles
  • Vehicle violations and accidents

Recent issues of FridayFleet have covered these topics. In case you missed any, check these out:

12 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Bottom Line

Controlling fleet cost is about more than the price you pay for an asset. Safety, productivity, and remarketing value also play a big role when you tally your “total cost” column. Donlen’s experts from acquisition, remarketing, consulting, and fleet maintenance give some of their best tips to help you reel in costs. And best of all, these won’t cost you a penny! > Read more

Accident Management: Costs and Prevention

Statistics show an average of 20 percent of fleet vehicles are involved in accidents each year. At an average cost of $2,135 each, a 200-unit fleet with 40 accidents per year costs your company $85,400. At Donlen, we’ve seen a significant rise in accident management costs. Compared to the same time in 2010, the percentage of fleet vehicles involved in an accident has increased by .1%, while the average cost of an accident repair has increased 6.7%. > Read more

Improving Driver Behavior: Introducing DriverPoint 2.0

Three years ago, stock prices were dropping, fuel prices were rising, and finding ways to “green your fleet” was becoming more reality than buzz phrase as companies looked for ways to reduce costs and meet stakeholder demand. Reports were out stating that up to 33% of a vehicle’s fuel economy is impacted by driving behavior. So, it made sense to us: find ways to help fleets improve driving behavior, which will lower MPG and result in cost savings across the fleet. “After three short months…I achieved a 10% improvement in MPG.” > Read more

Ten Steps to a Best-in-Class Fleet

What is a best-in-class fleet? To us, it means you’re getting maximum return on your investment. You’re lowering overall costs, while increasing fleet utilization and productivity. And you’re using tools and products that increase your efficiency during these jam-packed days. Today, we’re giving you ten steps to help you achieve best-in-class status. > Read more

Plan Ahead, Maximize Returns

Everyone is talking cycling these days. When is the right time to cycle vehicles? When will I achieve optimal return on my investment? The industry is just coming off an unprecedented period when used cars actually appreciated. But just like gravity, supply and demand is really tough to avoid. Used vehicles were increasing in value because there were so few in the market. When is the right time to cycle? > Read more

Managing Assets

Managing a fleet is becoming more complex as companies utilize more than one provider for leasing and services such as fuel management, vehicle maintenance, and accident management. Every month, fleet managers manually combine reports from all their vendors to create a single report. The ability to truly integrate data across multiple providers just didn’t exist. Until now, that is. > Read more

Mike concludes, “The most effective way to reduce waste is to increase compliance with fleet policy. Fleet policy must be a powerful component of a company’s overall cost-control strategy.” And we agree. To get you started, we compiled a comprehensive list of items you may want to consider including in your driver policy in the following post.

Creating a Driver Policy: Reducing Accidents with a Proactive Strategy

If you don’t already have a driver policy in place, or perhaps you haven’t reviewed it lately, it could be time. Have you ever had to sign your name to a document? Perhaps a contract or agreement. Does it make you feel more accountable? For most people it does. Your driver policy can contain information on cell phone usage, traffic violations, safety guidelines, revocation of company car privileges, acceptable personal use, defensive driving, and alcohol and substance abuse while driving. In addition, a driver policy gives drivers one source for all information relating to their use of a company vehicle, including ordering and maintenance. No more searching email or the company intranet for the relevant policy – it’s in one spot. > Read more

If you’d like assistance with your fleet policy, whether updating, implementing, or creating, your Donlen Account Manager can help.

Thanks Mike, for the thought-provoking post.

FleetWeb® Tips

See your vehicle order status updates in one location in FleetWdonlen-fleetweb-acquisition-exceptions (1)eb.

  1. Click “Do” icon, and click on “My Fleet Preferences” tab
  2. Click “Acquisition Exceptions”
  3. Check “Units with a schedule A” and set the desired days, hit submit
  4. Information will now be visible in the “Acquisition Exceptions” tab when opening the “My Reporting” display in the “Do” menu

Hertz Value Lease™ Deal of the Week

donlen-hertz-value-lease-nissan-rogue-01132012 Nissan Rogue S*

  • Estimated Mileage: 22,696
  • Exterior Color: Silver
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $17,805

*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The exact vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Driver’s Corner

“The Insurance Institute says that more than 90 percent of accidents are avoidable,” said Dave Lodding, Donlen’s President of Fleet Management Services. At an average cost of $2,135 each, a 200-unit fleet with 40 accidents per year can cost a company $85,400. > Read more

Here are a few things you can do to help avoid accidents:

Approach intersections with caution:

The majority of all fatal and injury accidents occur at an intersection. Never assume the other driver will yield the right of way. Even if you have a green light, be sure to scan in both directions to be certain cross traffic has stopped.

Avoid distractions:

Cell phones, while a great tool, can create a significant distraction to the driver of a moving vehicle. No call, text message, or email is worth putting your life or that of someone else in jeopardy.

Don’t tailgate:

Always maintain a 3-5 second following distance from the car in front of you, and even greater distances in hazardous weather conditions.

Maintain your vehicle:

Having a safe vehicle can keep you safe. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth. Ensure your wiper blades are in good condition and your wiper fluid is filled. And make sure your brakes are performing properly.

And Finally…

And finally, what is used for storage, has housed famous bands, been the first command center for some of the world’s most popular brands, and is found in more than 82 million U.S. homes? If you answered garage, you’d be correct – and it’s become more than just a place to house your vehicle. Want to know more about the history of the modern garage? Check out this infographic. And, it’s noted that 1 in 2 homeowners want a garage their neighbors envy. Need further proof? Check out these prime examples. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you have a stable of exotic cars to put in them. Is your enviable? Send us a pic!

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

*Portions of What Percentage of Your Budgeted Fleet Dollars Are Wasted reprinted with permission.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on February 8, 2013

About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (, with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry’s most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago” each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for six of the last seven years, and a National Association for Business Resources “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Donlen’s innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity,” named to “2012 InformationWeek 500” for innovative technology; the Stevie® “2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution,” the Silver Award for “2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year,” and the “2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year.”