Simple Yet Effective Ideas Win NAFA’s 2010 Goill Awards

Difficult business times offer an opportunity for those with bright ideas to shine. Two fleet managers who each discovered an easy solution to a difficult problem were presented with the NAFA/Bell Canada 2010 Larry Goill Memorial Quality Fleet Management Idea Awards at the Association’s annual Institute & Expo on Tuesday, April 27 in Detroit. One of the fleet industry’s most prestigious awards, the Goill Award is presented each year to fleet managers whose innovative ideas have improved productivity or resulted in bottom-line savings for their employers. This year’s winners were David Vasquez, the Manager of Fleet Operations for SECO Energy, and Bob Adamsky, Fleet Manager for Del-Air Heating and Air Conditioning.

Vasquez entered the Goill Awards with an idea that actually helped his former employer. As Director of Fleet Maintenance for Lake County in Sumpterville, Florida, Vasquez recognized that a large number of county vehicles were assigned as take home vehicles without proper justification – a situation that negatively impacted the county’s fleet budget. Vasquez developed a simplified process to justify vehicle assignments based on the percentage of commuting use versus business use. His vehicle justification model, based on NAFA’s Lifecycle Cost Analysis, calculates vehicle assignment based on the actual costs, defining cost of ownership by year, month, and mile. The model has several user-adjustable parameters, including months in service and targeted mileage, and compares those figures against the anticipated monthly usage and mileage. In addition, the model breaks down the annual and lifetime costs of business use versus commuting use and compares the cost of a County-supplied vehicle against the IRS reimbursement rate. Most importantly, the model has a decision-making formula that clearly states whether or not assignment of a county vehicle is more economical than employee reimbursement and whether or not an assignment can be justified based on anticipated mileage and business need.

Vasquez started out using the model to justify requests for new vehicle assignments, but ended up using it to highlight and reduce commuting use. Judges for this year’s Goill Awards commented that his idea was a great example of a simple, low-cost solution that provided great savings and better efficiency.

Bob Adamsky increased his fleet’s fuel mileage by 10 percent, lowered fleet emissions, and enhanced driver safety by limiting his vehicles’ top speeds – and accomplished all of this in just 10 minutes! By reprogramming all of his vehicle’s electronic control modules to limit the vehicle’s speed and simply having a technician plug in the system, his simple yet effective plan was underway.

The beauty of Adamsky’s idea is that it eliminates the fluctuations that occur between vehicle models and drivers. In theory, if you have 20 drivers using the same vehicle model, you will almost certainly have 20 different fuel mileages. Yet by transferring performance accountability from the driver to the vehicle, Adamsky gained more control and was able to make changes that benefitted not only his company but the drivers and the environment as well.

Adamsky said his goal was to make the program profitable and realize a seven percent savings in four months. When used across his 500-plus vehicle fleet, the vehicles saw a 10 to 14 percent improvement in fuel economy. This has led to less fuel burning, which means fewer emissions released into the environment, and safer drivers on the road since the vehicles are not able to exceed the set speed limit.

The NAFA/Bell Canada Larry Goill Memorial Quality Fleet Management Idea Award was named after Larry Goill, an active member of NAFA in the late ’80s and early ’90s. At the time of his passing in 1995, Goill was NAFA’s Vice President for Canada and the Supervising Engineer of Fleet Services for Bell Canada. The awards were sponsored by Bell Canada in appreciation for how much Larry added to that company’s commitment to quality.

About NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the world’s premier non-profit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location or fleet composition. NAFA’s Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance and repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles including in excess of 1.1 million trucks of which 350 thousand are medium- and heavy-duty trucks. For more information visit http://www.nafa.org

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