Fleet Acquisition Order-to-Delivery Times; NY Gas Rationing

“It’s the weather. There are parts shortages. We’ve got quality holds. Another recall.”

Sound familiar? MY2012 experienced all these disruptions – and more – to timely vehicle delivery. While intellectually we all understand that things happen that are out of our control, the reality is that fleets need vehicles to operate. The vehicle acquisition process is crucial to short- and long-term planning, onboarding of new employees, and fleet optimization. When a fleet can’t get the vehicle they need, the effect can be long reaching.

A recent Automotive Fleet article (Fleet MY-2012 Order-to-Delivery Times Improve Slightly) outlined key factors that affected delivery times, including increased vehicle volumes, quality holds, limited fleet allocation, and weather-related delays, among others. At Donlen, we have adopted a team approach to our vehicle acquisition process – and it’s working.

Donlen’s Proactive and Proven Process

“We have a great vehicle acquisition process here, but there are many factors that are out of our control,” said Cindy Gomez, Manager of Vehicle Acquisition services at Donlen. “We expect things to happen in a certain timeframe, and when they don’t we’re on the phone right away. We’re proactively coordinating with everyone in the supply chain – manufacturers, upfitters, logistics – to help make sure we stay on track with our orders.

“By getting everyone involved on a conference call early on, we’re able to assess the situation and make recommendations to the customer. That way, we’re able to better meet their objectives.”

Rob Scaffidi, Donlen’s VP of Truck Acquisition and Licensing, points to another reason Donlen has better-than-average delivery times. “We’ve created a process that keeps everyone on track internally. In FleetWeb®, our entire team has complete visibility to every aspect of a customer order – from initial order, to managing the OEMs and upfitters, on through PO issuance and payments to vendors. By continuously monitoring orders, we can quickly find exceptions and address them.”

“We also use this process to monitor team performance,” he went on to say. “It’s important to us that we’re providing tools that make our order specialists more productive. In doing so, we’ve eliminated any potential barriers internally that may delay orders.”

Donlen Order-to-Delivery Times vs Industry Standard

Donlen compared our order-to-delivery times to industry standards for the vehicles posted in the Automotive Fleet article. Overwhelmingly, we averaged better across the spectrum of assets.

If you have questions about your fleet, Cindy can be reached at 847-412-4923.

Hurricane Sandy Update:

Gas rationing went into effect this morning in New York as hundreds of thousands of residents were left without power by Wednesday’s nor’easter storm. The rationing plan allows drivers to fill up every other day:

  • License plates that end in an odd number or don’t end in a number (as is the case with vanity plates) can fill up on Friday.
  • License plates that end in an even number or a zero can fill up on Saturday.

Buses, taxis, limousines, commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, and people carrying portable gas containers are exempt from the plan. We encourage our customers to contact our Driver Call Center to find available fuel in the area.

Chrysler reports that 15 dealers in the New Jersey/New York area are not accepting deliveries. Volumes are expected to return to normal by Thursday. For a complete list of dealers, visit > https://www.donlen.com/fleet-management-industry-announcements.html

FleetWeb® Tips

Use the Vehicle Trend Analysis tool in FleetWeb to help identify cycling times for your vehicles. View resale performance against the segment benchmark and examine the remarketing auction price trends in real-time.

  • Type “Vehicle Trend Analysis” in the search field in the upper right corner
  • Select the year, make, model, and trim level for the vehicle you’d like to analyze
  • Click “Add Trim”
  • Add any other vehicles you’d like to compare at the same time
  • Select your trend period: either 6 or 12 months
  • Click “Submit” in the upper left corner
  • Get a PDF of the results by typing in your email address and click “Send as Mail”


donlen-hertz-value-lease-nissan-versa-1112Hertz Value Lease™ Deal of the Week

Choose from a pool of quality pre-owned vehicles available for lease. Easily search available vehicles from within FleetWeb.

2012 Nissan Versa S*

  • Estimated Mileage:  14,856
  • Exterior Color: Silver
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $12,776

Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Driver’s Corner

More gas rationing and a nor’easter are bringing new challenges this week to the already-stressed East Coast. As nerves may become frazzled and tempers flare, staying calm while driving is important during these difficult times. Here are a couple tips to help you stay relaxed:

  • When we’re stressed, our breathing is shallow and quick. You know that relaxed feeling you get right before you fall asleep? That’s because your breathing is deep and slower. Concentrate on taking long, deep breaths when at stoplights or in heavy traffic, and feel the relaxation it can bring.
  • Turn off the noise. Think about what you’re listening to on the radio. Is it a highly charged conversation on a talk radio station? This may not be helping your stress level. Softer music may be a good choice – or better yet, something that you can sing to! Taking your mind off the traffic situation around you (yes, by singing) can help you refocus your energy.

And Finally…

And finally, recovery efforts continue along the coast in the aftermath of Sandy, and stories of heroism continue to emerge. On Sunday the US honors the brave men and women who have served this country with annual Veterans Day activities. We’d like to take this space today to recognize Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans to rapidly deploy emergency response teams into crisis situations. Skills such as decisive leadership, teamwork, risk mitigation, and emergency medicine make military veterans uniquely qualified for disaster response. “Jump teams” from Team Rubicon – teams that go from location to location to assist in the most critical areas – are already working in Sandy-affected areas. And on Sunday, hundreds of veterans will be leading relief efforts in Rockaway Beach, NY, working street-by-street, home-by-home, helping to clear debris, repairing homes, and helping to assess damage for those affected. Heroes all over again.

Thanks to veterans everywhere. Safe travels.

*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The same vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on November 9, 2012

About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (www.donlen.com), 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.”