Having started off my career in Fortune 500 companies across different capacities like sales and marketing, leasing sales, and product strategy, I feel like I have a well-rounded view about key players and customers in the industry. I entered fleet management five years ago, starting at Sasser Family Holdings but on the rail industry side. I then joined Union Leasing three years ago as SVP, Sales and Marketing with the aim of positioning the company for growth, specifically by targeting customers that value high-touch customer service and are quite dependent on fleet management partners. It was then that we started asking how we can position ourselves for future growth. What’s really interesting is the role that technology plays to help us better facilitate our approach with our customers.
Over the decades we have amassed a library of resources, both internal and external, which help our team and our partners do their jobs with skill and confidence. Peruse these pages for current trends and thought leadership, our newsletters, and tips that we have found helpful over the years. And if you have any questions for us, we’re always here for you.
If you read up on the comparisons between drunk driving and drowsy driving, you’ll find they’re both equally dangerous. Both conditions slow reaction time, and affect memory and the brain’s ability to process information.
Study after study confirms that exhaustion, like intoxication, impairs driving significantly. Here’s one that’s particularly compelling: After 17–19 hours without sleep, driving performance is equivalent to or worse than a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. After 24 hours of sleep deprivation, driving performance is as bad as (or worse than) a 0.1% blood alcohol concentration—well beyond the legal limit. At the 0.08% mark, across all states, you are considered drunk.
The automotive world has pretty much stayed the same or has made only incremental advances over the last few decades. The introduction of the CD changer was probably the most innovative or technologically sophisticated advancement the industry had seen – up until the last couple of years.
With the start of a new year, it’s a good time to analyze current and upcoming fleet trends that will be making a big impact on the industry this year and beyond. So when planning the future of your fleet, you’ll be able to anticipate any threats – and opportunities – for your business a lot more successfully.
I have been in the fleet management business for about 20 years – I actually started out in rentals and worked my way up into sales. If I were to guess from what I’ve observed, the ratio of men to women is roughly the same as it was in the 1990s, so it really isn’t changing at the same pace as a lot of other industries. A lot of women that I’ve worked with over the years left this sort of job to work for a more 9-to-5 type role, like at an insurance company or dealership. Not only am I a woman (with kids!) in a male-dominated field, but I’m also African American. Working hard, breaking down barriers and finding balance along the way has taught me a lot over the years. I wanted to share some of my experience with others.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most traveled holiday of the year is Thanksgiving weekend. It’s not surprising that the most DUI arrests of the year are made between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s Day since social binge drinking is fairly common during this period. Between Christmas and the new year, the average number of fatalities involving alcohol rises 34%.
If there’s anything this summer has taught us, it’s that Mother Nature isn’t always so motherly. Even if your location might preclude you from hurricanes like Harvey, Irma, and Maria, there aren’t many places in the world that aren’t exposed to some kind of natural disaster or severe weather system—be it flooding, ice storms, wildfires, earthquakes, or tornadoes.
With this in mind, we can’t stress enough how important it is to the success of your fleet to prepare for emergencies with a thorough and documented plan. After all, waiting for chaos to descend isn’t the best time to start thinking about what your fleet needs.
I am a second-generation fleet management professional. My parents met while both working at Gelco before GE bought it. In fact, my dad is still in the business! I wanted to share some of my experience with the new generation of fleet professionals breaking into the industry. I hope to inspire some other young women in traditionally male-dominated fields to keep at it.
Back in early July, Union Leasing announced the appointment of our new president Todd Heemsoth. We sat down with Todd, who has an impressive track record of building and implementing information systems and strategic technologies, to talk about how he is going to leverage his past successes to grow the Union Leasing business and to get his perspective on the State of the Union.
Q. Your background is rooted in technology and you have a reputation for being entrepreneurial – what are you most excited about in your new role? What are your priority corporate objectives?
I am most excited about coming into a company that has an incredible track record – the unmatched level of customer service, a nice, steady growth pattern and a very experienced team. I’m looking forward to building on what we’re already doing well – our back office processes and customer service – by seeing how we can integrate technology in order to optimize and deliver an even better experience to our customers and partners. I know that technology is not the answer to everything, but it can be applied to certain areas to get the most out of what we can deliver.
As a woman in the fleet management industry for almost 40 years, I’ve seen a lot of change with technology, globalization, and consolidation, but what’s most surprising is how much this business has actually stayed the same. From a sales perspective, it’s still a relationship-based business. It’s far from transactional – it’s a complicated decision for your customers to make and it’s a complicated process to manage. My role is to help my customers make the right choices and manage their budgets like they’re my own. I still have customers that I’ve had since the beginning – that’s what keeps me going.