Fujifilm best practice for optimised fleet management in US & Canada
Based out of Valhalla, New York, Fujifilm Holdings America Corporation manufactures, markets and provides service for a broad spectrum of industries including photographic, medical imaging and informatics, pharmaceutical and other life science industries.
The group is comprised of fourteen directly owned subsidiary companies in the United States and Canada, and two in Latin America, being in Brazil and Colombia.
Currently managing the company's 1,500 vehicles in the US and Canada is regional fleet manager Jim Petrillo (pictured top), a 25-year veteran of the company of which Global Fleet was fortunate enough to have a few words with last week.
|Company||Fujifilm Americas Holdings Corp|
|Job Position||Fleet Manager & Accounting Services Manager|
|No. of Countries||two (USA & Canada)|
|No. of Employees||10,000+|
|No. of Vehicles||1,500|
At Fujifilm, the company's fleet has evolved over the years. "A vast majority of the vehicles (~95%) were sedans back in 2010 but now I'd say that approximately 97% are SUVs," said Mr. Petrillo.
Although SUVs are a little more expensive, they are more apt to carrying tools for technicians and sales pamphlets for salespeople. Approximately 80% of the company's fleet are work vehicles and the rest are perk vehicles.
According to the executive, some of the keys to managing a fleet in North America include:
- building a strong relationship with a fleet management company
- focusing on driver comfort as well as safety
- making sure that you work with multiple car manufacturers
There are several fleet management and vehicle leasing companies in the United States, and you could possibly work with a few of them. However, focusing on the right one for your company and really relying on their team of professionals to support you along the way is of utmost importance.
"It is incredible how many decisions need to be made in fleet management. For me, I'm kind of like a one-man band here so having this support is very helpful. My fleet management company has really been the key to my success," says Mr. Petrillo.
As mentioned, assuring driver safety is one of the main roles of any fleet manager. Despite this, factors such as cost benefit and fleet efficiency also need to be kept in mind.
In North America, according to Mr. Petrillo, fleet managers also need to focus on comfort. Remember that the United States is big. Your drivers might be driving longer distances than what coworkers are facing in other countries so make sure you have comfortable vehicles in your fleet.
Unlike other countries of the world where a single OEM focus could work, Mr. Petrillo does not feel the same for North America. "Besides drivers really liking to have a choice, its just not a good idea to put all of your eggs into one basket. Remember that things happen. Having one manufacturer is not the best option to me," Mr. Petrillo said, emphasizing the importance of TCO when selecting your supplier.
Tips for the North America Fleet Manager
- While high residual values on used cars may entice you to get rid of vehicles, remember that the lack of parts and semi-conductors today are delaying new car shipments. Don't jump the gun.
- One of the challenges in North America is knowing how to deal with different climates. While Canada may demand special tires or 4x4 vehicles, well tinted windows may be sought after in Florida.
- Electrification still has obstacles. The main problem today is the lack of charging infrastructure. The high price of electric vehicles is also a concern but to a lesser extent as prices are dropping.
- Telematics is good for controlling driver behavior and overall safety but ROI is a must. Remember that it is less ideal for a decentralized national fleets and implementing driver training courses is a good alternative.
- Pay attention to height limitations on infrastructure in urban areas. Some cities have very low overpasses and building entryways.
- Rely heavily on your fleet management company for reporting and other support. This will give you more time to focus on other corporate goals.
For more information on fleet and mobility topics in North America, visit the region's on-demand streams of the Global Fleet Conference 2021.