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.
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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.
So you decided to get a fleet management company to help you with your business. Good decision! But lately, you've been disappointed and overwhelmed, and you need a bit more support from your partner. Here are some red flags to watch out for – if you recognize any or all of them, reach out and let us tell you how our personalized approach and customized solutions can help lighten your load.
Knowing your stuff inside and out is table stakes. To be competitive in today’s progressive and challenging industry, a fleet manager must not only be professional and highly skilled, but also have the credentials to back it up.
Your employees are your greatest investment and asset. When you put them first, everything improves, including your bottom line. As we all know, happy employees are more productive employees and this same logic follows when it comes to your fleet. Safe and happy drivers better maintain a safe and happy fleet.