Donlen, Hertz Showcase New Technology at NAFA

This week, FridayFleet sat down with Barry Steel, Donlen’s Senior VP of Sales, Development and Strategy, to talk about the recent NAFA 2012 Institute & Expo.

So, how was the show?
Fantastic. It was really exciting to have Hertz and Donlen there together, for the first time showing some of the products we’ve been working on in the past several months. There was a lot of energy and excitement about Donlen and Hertz – a lot of buzz about it in a very positive way. We had quite a large booth, so there was opportunity to have many Donlen and Hertz people there to meet with our customers right in the space. We were doing demos of a couple of very exciting products you’ll be hearing more about in the very near future.

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To see more pictures from NAFA,
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What were the key messages during the show?
Every day, we’re hearing this from customers: Fleet managers are constantly under pressure to do more with less, and reduce costs. Any program that allows a fleet to maintain operations at a lower cost is a huge benefit. So at NAFA, we tried to demonstrate just a few of the many ways we’re helping customers increase productivity and reduce costs. These are programs that only Hertz and Donlen can do together – really innovative, unique programs never before seen in the fleet industry. For instance, we highlighted our newest program currently in beta testing, Hertz Value Lease™. This is an exciting new category in the fleet industry and one that we think will really benefit our customers. They will have a broader selection of quality, pre-driven vehicles to choose from, giving them some great alternatives. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this program soon.

What else were you hearing from visitors to the booth?
Driver safety is another key area that fleets are concerned with. (Donlen CEO) Gary Rappeport was on the fleet executive panel “More Straight Talk From Fleet Leasing Executives” at NAFA, and there was quite a bit of discussion about driver safety during the panel. We understand how important this is, and have been focusing on this issue for several years with our GreenDriver® driver-training program, and now DriverPoint™ Telematics. Visitors to the booth could see firsthand how DriverPoint technology gives them a means to measure vehicle operation and engage drivers in cost reduction programs and overall fleet safety. When we talk about safety, it’s not just about reducing the number of collisions, it’s also about bringing insurance costs down and improving the morale of fleet drivers, which carries other benefits, such as low turnover and improved customer service.

So what are your key takeaways from the show?
I believe we’re on the right track, concentrating on the key issues that customers are concerned with. They have many types of assets, many vendors, and little time. They really want a partner who can help them manage everything. Donlen can do that. We’ve got exciting things coming out in the next couple months. I wish I could talk about them now! Stay tuned…

Driver’s Corner

Do you look at your tires before you get in the car? A new study from the NHTSA says underinflation is among the tire conditions that can increase the chance of a collision. When tires are underinflated by 25% or more, tire problems are three times as likely to be cited as critical events before a crash, the study said, and more than half of the tire-related crashes involved a single vehicle. Read more of the findings here and be sure to check your tires.

And Finally…

And finally, what car enthusiast hasn’t dreamed of sliding behind the wheel of a Shelby GT500 and listening to the engine roar to life? The industry lost a legend this week, a true pioneer whose name is synonymous with speed and performance. Carroll Shelby seemed to do it all; he was a championship winning racecar driver, “flying sergeant” wartime pilot, philanthropist, entrepreneur, car manufacturer, and racing team owner. He will be missed.

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on May 18, 2012

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.”