Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Fleet management maximises efficiency

Published:Sunday | June 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMChad Bryan, Staff Reporter
Gregory Everett, business development manager of Auto Solutions.
A fleet of heavy-duty vehicles.
A vehicle being attended to at Auto Solutions.
The motor vehicle service area at Auto Solutions.
A pump attendant filling up at tank at a gas station.

Today, Automotives begins a series on careers in the automotive sector. There are many ways to make a living out of a passion for motor vehicles, and over the next few weeks, we will speak with people who are doing just that. They will speak about not only what they do, but how they got to this point in their professional lives and the required skills and training, so that those who wish to take a similar path will know what to do.

Gregory Everett, business development manager of Auto Solutions, says having an appreciation for logistics and extensive experience in the transportation industry is essential for someone interested in fleet management.

Described as the management of any or all aspects of a company's vehicles, fleet management can be defined as administration of vehicles over which a business has some degree of influence in selecting and operating.

"I have always had a strong transportation background. I have always worked in the transportation industry, although I've worked in different areas of transportation and logistics, but having been particularly strong in logistics, I was led into fleet management. You start to appreciate the type of effort it takes to have an efficiently run fleet," said Everett, who holds qualifications in electrical mechanical engineering and project management.

Everett also pointed out that having a strategic mind and being able to make quick decisions are also useful attributes to possess.

"If you have a good grasp of engineering and logistics, then you will be a very good fleet manager. If you understand maintenance and the transport industry in Jamaica, then that is the real thing that would make a good fleet manager," he emphasised.

Auto Solutions, a newly incorporated business, plans on targeting government and non-government institutions as well as

private small and medium-sized enterprises looking to outsource their fleet management.

The company, which trades publicly as Integrated Automotive Services (IAS) Limited, was incorporated in 2014 with the specific aim of rebranding AndrÈ's Auto Supplies and Services.

"We have a full fleet-management service - vehicle acquisition, vehicle leasing, licence and registration, risk-management programmes, fuel management and maintenance management," said Everett.

He further stated, "We do not just offer the maintenance and repairs of these types of equipment (vehicles and other heavy-duty machines), but we also offer the full management of the service. There is a huge legal compliance part of it, where you have to ensure the vehicle is legally on the road. You have to ensure that the vehicle is properly licensed, maintained, and has the proper carriage licence."

He further pointed out that the fleet-management industry in Jamaica is still in the early stages of development, pointing out that only one company had been outsourcing fleet management previously.

Everett says Auto Solutions also does performance monitoring in order to maximise efficiency.

"We're able to monitor driver and engine behaviour to determine how the vehicles are being driven. We are able to ensure that the vehicle isn't being abused," he said.

Petcom, LIME Jamaica and the National Water Commission (NWC) are companies whose fleets are being managed in part by Auto Solutions.

"We manage the heavy-duty fleets for these companies. For Petcom for example, it would include the liquefied petroleum gas carriers," Everett pointed out.

Explaining the costs associated with outsourcing fleet management, Everett said it depends on the

specific service being provided.

"It depends on to what degree you take it. We can do simple fuel monitoring for a really low cost, not even $1,000 a month per vehicle. For performance monitoring, it is slightly more expensive, but you are getting access to online information about your vehicle," said Everett.

The access to online information, which is also a new system being adopted by Auto Solutions, allows the customer to track when the vehicle leaves the depot, when it is returned, the fuel it used during its journey, and idle time.