Government Fleet

FACT 2013

Magazine for the professional fleet manager managing public sector vehicles and equipment.

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❲ AS I S E E I T ❳ By Thi Dao, Managing Editor It Takes One Idea I 'm a frm believer in the single, simple (or perhaps not-so-simple) idea. One idea can save you thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours of time. It can save a job or two. It can be the diference between a successful year and a not-so-successful one. Tere are many things feet managers around the country are doing successfully, and by sharing ideas about what works, we can help more feet managers make improvements in their own operations. In working on the Bright Ideas section in this issue, I've been able to interview numerous feet professionals about their ideas and how they executed them. Some of the ideas are internal to the feet and are easier to carry out. Other ideas are massive in scale and require planning time and approvals from other departments and/or elected ofcials. Whatever it is, these ideas have earned feets extra revenue, improved customer service, enhanced operation efciency, helped communities, made vehicles safer, reduced energy use, or lowered purchasing costs. Te common factor feet managers commented on was the necessity of working with everyone in order to execute these ideas. Support, expertise, and input can come from a variety of people, whether that involves comments and fne-tuning from technicians or drivers who will work with it every day, or from department heads for policy changes or enforcement. While we ofen focus on and share the big ideas, there's a lot of merit in the small ideas, which people may not talk about because they are considered just part of the everyday job. However, a small, internal change addressing a specifc need can make a feet more efcient and its staf members much happier — you would just never hear about it. By addressing problems that arise, or improving upon operational processes that aren't quite perfect, you can continually improve your feet, which will lead to its growth. Not every idea will give you amazing results, but if we all focus on one well-thought-out idea at a time, the fleet operation (and government in general) will continually improve from year to year. Overcoming the Challenges Making changes can be daunting, especially since it means you're adding work for yourself and anyone else you recruit. With many feet managers already struggling with too many responsibilities, this might be the last thing you want to think about. However, as department leaders, it is your responsibility to look at the big picture and make the changes and improvements that will leave your operation in a better place. It's also your responsibility to realize when an idea — even if it seems great — just won't work out. Executing even a simple idea can be time-consuming. What kind of work will it require for you and your employees? What kinds of tools, equipment, or expertise are needed? Does it need approval from a council or user group? What are the potential cons? If the analysis doesn't work out in its favor, it may be time to let it go. It's a tough call because an idea can have so much potential, but it's important to acknowledge when something isn't the best solution for your agency. Not every idea is perfect, and not every idea will give you amazing results, but if we all focus on one idea, big or small, one project at a time, the feet operation (and government in general) will continually improve from year to year. Some ideas founder, but others fourish and change the way an organization is run. What's your bright idea? 40 GOVERNMENT FLEET I SEPTEMBER 2013

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