Iowa State University Director of Transportation Services, Kathy Wellik, CAFM, has worked in the field of fleet management for more than 10 years. As Iowa State's fleet director, she oversees the university's daily rental fleet. Kathy won National Conference of State Fleet Administrator’s (NCSFA) Fleet Excellence Award in 2016. The award recognizes member fleet managers that can demonstrate sustained efforts to improve the efficiency of their fleet. She has been a regularly featured speaker at many industry events, including NCSFA, NAFA and 100 Best Fleets.
Q: How were vehicles shared prior to implementing FleetCommander?
A: The system we were using prior to FleetCommander was good, but also had many disadvantages. Customers would email their request to the dispatcher, who then had to rekey all of the information into the motor pool system. This doubled our workload and keying errors could occur. Another challenge of our previous system was that the vehicle grid only showed vehicle availability in half-day increments, making it more challenging to move reservations around to alternative vehicles on busy days.
Q: What were the initial goals of the project?
A: We had several goals for implementing FleetCommander. One was to automate the reservation system so customers could reserve vehicles online 24/7. We also wanted to automate our billing processes. In the past, we had to produce five reports to be able to do billing and now it is done with the push of a button. Another goal was to be able to see vehicle availability by the hour to better schedule our vehicles and improve utilization.
Q: Do you feel you’ve achieved those goals?
A: Yes, the system is amazing and we have gotten more from FleetCommander than we expected. There have definitely been a few bumps in the road, but the staff are friendly and understand why we need things a certain way. The customers love the system. The ability to survey customers is very helpful and allows for wonderful feedback, helping us to ensure that our customers’ needs are met.
Q: Have you been able to reduce any unneeded vehicles based on the reports?
A: Just this year, FleetCommander’s utilization reports indicated we could reduce vehicles in several categories. We’re saving $612,514 in vehicle reductions. Additionally, we have also been able to reduce a staff member. Below are our numbers based on data from our FMIS.
Q: How much money do you think you have saved the university since you automated your operations?
Q: What is your favorite thing about the system?
A: I love how user-friendly it is and that you can access it from any device.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently or the same?
A: We would definitely do it all over again. The users and staff love the system. We have developed a customer steering committee that has close to 40 members right now. It started off with 10 people, but customers want to join because they love the system and want to learn more.