The interest in electric vehicles (EVs) certainly continues to grow in our industry.
By Rob Wilson – Director IPWEA FLEET
As I write this column, IPWEA FLEET is about halfway through the 2019 Plant and Vehicle Management Professional Development Workshop series. It’s been terrific to see so many fleet managers and other’s willing to share their knowledge and experience for the benefit of the industry. The sharing of knowledge at the workshops occurs through formal presentations and through general discussion enthusiastically engaged in by participants.
This year we have had a focus on local content with each location delivering one session based on a topic relevant to the area. In addition, round table (or round the room) discussion further enhanced the exchange of valuable information.
So, what are the key themes we are hearing at the moment?
Certainly, the recruitment and retention of good technical staff is a challenge faced by many organisations, especially when competing with higher paying organisations. Some organisations are trying to overcome this challenge by re-packaging the employment offer to focus on flexible working hours, work life balance, security and professional development potential. Others are taking a “grow your own” approach and working with schools to recruit apprentices who they hope will be the workforce of tomorrow.
Obtaining capital to replace assets at the optimum time continues to be a challenge. We know the fleet replacement reserve can be a tempting piggy bank for the appropriation of funds for other investments. In some instances, capital shortages run across the whole organisation and participants spoke of the need to present a strong case for capital funds based on multiple criteria such as economic, safety, efficiency and so on. Others spoke of managing tight funds through a comprehensive risk-based approach to replacement deferment or by leasing.
Another notable observation has been the benefit of using IPWEA FLEET resources to help manage the fleet practitioner’s workload. All of our fleet community are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the tools and resources available on the IPWEA FLEET website to help meet current challenges.