The Agile Fleet

Insights, ideas, & expertise for optimal fleet management

Initiative: A different kind of fleet metric

Posted by The Agile Fleet on March 05, 2019

Guest blogger Matt Sager, CAFS, is the City of Austin's Contract Management Specialist and shares with us his personal philosophy for getting ahead in the fleet industry.

Motivational speaker (& CEO of Porsche for a time) Peter Schultz had a great saying: “Hire character. Train for skill.” I like to think my experience working in fleet industry reflects that expression.

Matt Sager City of Austin 200My career has taken some interesting twists and turns over time. Early on, I had no experience on the business side of fleet. I barely knew what I didn’t know. Risk management? Asset management? Financial management? I understand what those words meant - but had little idea what those subjects entailed in the real world. I had to learn more.

What I did know is that I wanted to get off the shop floor. To do that, I would need to broaden my knowledge and increase my human capital. The only option I had was to study. I turned to the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA). I thought NAFA’s professional certification program could be what I was looking for. They offer accreditations as both Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM), and Certified Automotive Fleet Specialist (CAFS).

However, the cost of the CAFM certification was a consideration. I had to ask myself: Am I sure I want to spend money on the program with no guarantee of advancement? Am I even sure I want to stay in the automotive, or fleet, field at all? I thought about it. I prayed about it. I ultimately decided to bite the bullet and pay for a NAFA membership and the CAFM program. I was lucky that the NAFA Expo was in my city of Austin that year and offered bootcamps for every discipline. When the classes started, I was immediately inundated with information. I printed up all the study materials and tried to follow along. At the end of the week, it was time for testing. I crammed the most I had ever done since college.

I ended up passing 6 of the 8 disciplines, which certified me as a CAFS. I wasn’t disappointed about not passing all eight. I learned a lot and was now certified!

I saw this experience as proof of two things. First, I did have a great deal of knowledge of the business side of fleet. Second, it showed that I was committed enough to even try.

Ultimately, my aim is to be at the higher realm of fleet decision-makers. I don’t think I would be able to get where I am, and certainly won’t be able to get where I want to go, without NAFA’s help.

Initiative is a great metric by which to judge someone, especially in business. That way of thinking helps me to articulate my value to upper management. And taking a leap doesn’t intimidate me too much anymore.

Did you know you can earn NAFA's CAFM and CAFS credits toward re-certification by participating in Agile Fleet events, speaking on a panel or guest blogging? Learn more.

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Topics: Guest Blog, Fleet Certification

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