– By Marc Sibbald –
The room was buzzing with anticipation. It was time. The opening of the 2017 Australasian Fleet Management Association conference was about to begin. And it didn’t disappoint.
It started with a group discussion about everyone’s first car which generated a lot of noise. The perfect ice breaker that I thought was going to keep everyone talking all day.
Then the opening keynote was delivered by international guest Mike Antich, Associate Publisher and Editor of Automotive Fleet Magazine (USA), and he shared some of the tips he has learned from the best Fleet Managers around globe.
He explained to the delegates that they were not in the asset management business; they are in the business of customer service and needed to collaborate internally and externally to make their organisation successful through the support of a well run fleet.
Antich then provided some direction by listing the four key traits of good Fleet Managers that he had witnessed. First, Fleet Managers must have a strategic vision for their fleet that is aligned to the goals of the organisation. He said “don’t be transactional and reactive. It works, but not that well”.
Second, treat suppliers as partners because they have a broader view of the world through their dealing with many customers. The third tip was to be adaptable and open to change. Lastly he advised everyone to be a life long learner which was well received by everyone in the room.
As the last session ended and delegates were heading to the venue for the the networking dinner the AfMA team were still working hard to get things setup for day two. I saw Mace Hartley, Executive Director at AfMA, looking very happy after a long day and asked him for his highlight on day one.
“The highlight for me was the interaction between the delegates. They were really engaging with suppliers in the exhibition space. And the speed dating with suppliers was a hit!” said Hartley.
Bring on day two!