– By Caroline Falls –
Fleet Auto News has signed on again to be media partner for the increasingly popular fleet conference organised by IPWEA, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia. We’re looking forward to all the stories we find at the conference and will share them with you over the coming months.
The 2019 conference, to run in Brisbane from March 25 to March 27, will be IPWEA’s third annual dedicated fleet management conference, and organisers have planned for an increase on last year’s attendance of 160 and have expanded the space dedicated to exhibitors.
“Our delegates have increased each year since our first conference and we’re expecting the same to happen this year,” said Rob Wilson, Manager IPWEA Fleet, adding, “We’ve increased our exhibition space this year and expect around 30 exhibitors in total.”
This year the conference theme is – Strategy, resources, performance.
“It’s a conference about improving the management of your fleet, whether that be a huge and diverse capital city fleet or a small regional contractor,” said Wilson.
“Overall the program is about identifying opportunities for improvement, having the right people, tools and equipment and monitoring performance.”
Speakers will talk about changes currently occurring in the fleet management industry, risk management and compliance. There are sessions on staff competencies and skills development and some on new technologies and processes.
Two international speakers headline the program. U.S.-based Tom C Johnson, an author and creator of the 100 Best Fleets in America contest, is likely to energise the audience with stories on achieving excellence. He has analysed some 3,500 fleets in the past 30 years. In his book, “The 7 Qualities of the 100 Best Fleets,” he tells the story of one fleet manager who invested $400 and got a return of $44,000.
Noel Ilao, Director of the Bureau of Equipment at the Philippines Department of Public Works and Highways, has a great story to tell about the transformation of a fleet of some 9000 assets across a country comprising 7100 islands.
Overall the program is designed by fleet managers to address the issues they face everyday – things like planning, managing staff and contractors, introducing new technologies, and meeting obligations such as chain of responsibility.
To wrap up the event, a field trip has been organised to the manufacturing facilities of Komatsu and Volvo Trucks, both located in Wacol, about 30-minutes drive from the conference facility, the Royal International Convention Centre in Bowen Hills.
“The conference is a chance for delegates to get away from day-to-day pressures and think about how they can make their fleet operation more efficient and effective,” said Wilson.
He said it is designed to benefit participants in three ways:
— Firstly, the presentations will be thought provoking and provide answers and tips that can be applied by delegates in their business;
— Secondly, networking sessions will give delegates the chance to catch-up and share experiences; and,
— Third, delegates can spend time with exhibitors and talk about the latest developments in the market.