The fleet management industry has such a diverse range of people and roles, and everyone has a unique story of their journey in our industry.
This month we talk to Mark Mills, Manager Fleet and Logistics Services – Sutherland Shire Council. Mark is also a member of the IPWEA FLEET Council.
FI: How did you get started in fleet and plant, and what was your first job in the industry?
MM: My first exposure to fleet and plant management principles and methodologies was through my new role as a Fleet Coordinator with Wollongong City Council back in the early 90s. I was fortunate enough to have had an exceptional mentor, who had substantial experience in an asset management background.
My first job in the industry was an apprentice mechanic in small team of three, working on a diverse range of light and heavy vehicles.
FI: Tell us about your role and the kind of fleet and plant you manage.
MM: As Manager of the Fleet and Logistics Services unit, I am accountable for the strategic and operational management for the following functional areas; Fleet Management and Maintenance (Workshop Operations), Stores Supply and Inventory Management, Depot Facility Management and Emergency Management.
Like most Councils, we manage the end to end whole of lifecycle process for a diverse range of fleet and plant assets. We have the added complexity of running our own waste kerbside residential collection service comprising of a large number of heavy regulated vehicles.
I am very fortunate to lead a team of very busy dedicated technical professionals who are great at their jobs.
FI: What’s the favourite part of your job?
MM: The people and getting to do something I actually love doing.
FI: What are some of the biggest challenges you see facing fleet professionals this year and beyond?
MM: Transitioning to new technologies such as electric vehicles and dealing with challenges such as infrastructure, and lessons learned through ownership experience.
Taking advantage of emerging technologies that provide opportunities to improve safety, performance and efficiencies.
FI: How do you think the fleet department can make sure it has buy-in and support from the rest of the organisation?
MM: They must have a voice at the executive table. It’s imperative to a fleet manager to have some strategy to achieve this. My approach is to keep them well informed on changes and initiatives through written reports and briefing requests.
FI: If you weren’t in the fleet industry, what would you be doing?
MM: Not sure, I have never been interested in any other profession.