Managing a fleet can be a stressful endeavor. But learning from past mistakes can make becoming a fleet manager an easier responsibility.
There have been many fleet professionals in the public sector who have seen just about everything. The biggest piece of advice, as with any career, is to listen.
Beyond your immediate circle of colleagues, seek out professionals who are in the area and have been in the industry for a while. Their knowledge will open you up to a new way of thinking, says John Alley, assistant manager of vehicle maintenance for King County Metro Transit in Washington. Alley also adds that it’s imperative to visit your customers to understand their concerns and issues. And always keep your boss informed of what your operation is up to and how it is performing.
John Trojanovich, a retired equipment manager with the Arizona Department of Transportation, says that taking the time to learn how to become a good listener will pay huge dividends throughout your career. The people around you will always be your best resource. And if you’re new to the job, chances are that those around you know much more than you.
While you may be eager to correct existing issues within the fleet, be sure to consider the long-term effects.
Paul Hanson, director of Minnesota Department of Administration, Services Fleet and Surplus, says to be cautious when first entering your new position. Being proactive is great, but without the proper analysis of the fleet’s history and future goals, you may just be pushing the problem aside or creating a bigger issue down the road
Lastly, it’s up to you to promote your department.
George Baker, director of Central Services for Volusia County in Florida, reminds you to be the head cheerleader for your organization. Your fleet needs you to be a public relations superstar that gets involved in the community, networks, speaks to the press, and partners with government officials. The more positive relationships you are able to develop, the more resources you’ll be able to secure for your fleet.