The Agile Fleet

Insights, ideas, & expertise for optimal fleet management

An Insider's look at Whitman College's Motor Pool Success with Fleet Managers Laurie Doohan and Shannon Perkins

Posted by The Agile Fleet on October 17, 2017

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Whitman College is a private liberal arts college located in Walla Walla, Washington. Whitman College is dedicated to developing the whole person and encouraging creativity, critical thinking, character, and responsibility. The college has been a FleetCommander customer since 2014.

Q:  Tell us a little about your fleet.

A:  The college owns 10 motor pool vehicles. These vehicles are available to full and part-time employees, including students, interns, and volunteers. During the school year, faculty utilize our vehicles for their field trips, staff uses the vehicles for tours, athletics attend out-of-town meets, and our outdoor program uses vehicles for their trips. Our vehicle inventory includes 14-passenger turtle top busses, an 11-passenger van, SUVs and a cargo trailer.

Q:  How was your motor pool handled prior to automating with FleetCommander?

A:  Prior to automating with FleetCommander, scheduling our motor pool vehicles was very cumbersome and inefficient. Users would call or email with a reservation and we had to keep track of it on a spreadsheet. Double booking or inefficient use occurred regularly. It was a pain to keep our fleet technician apprised of changes or additions to the schedule. However, with FleetCommander, our users create their own reservations online, and it is a simple click to approve the request. Our fleet technician can see exactly when vehicles are returning and going out. Efficiency and optimizing use of our fleet has increased dramatically since we began using FleetCommander.

Q:  Are you able to handle special driver requirements that you weren’t able to before?

A:  Yes. As a college, we have a diverse population from faculty to students to staff. We have to manage restrictions for drivers. Good driving records are required. FleetCommander helps us keep track of driver certifications in their profiles, and also tracks when they expire. It helps us keep drivers informed of the rules as part of the vehicle check-out process. They must indicate that they have read the rules which helps us with compliance. We are also putting a greater emphasis on safety with a new initiative that includes a defensive driving course and a training program given by our Safety Department.

Q:  How has staff time spent managing the fleet changed since implementing the FleetCommander system?

A:  Managing our fleet would have been a full time job without FleetCommander. Currently, it only takes up one-third of my day. I am very grateful that the college has this software. Thanks to the reports, we have been able to schedule our technician fewer hours when we are not busy and have been able to increase our fleet turn-around. The reports assist directly with our billing.

Q:  How do your drivers feel about the system?

A:  Drivers appreciate how easy the checking-out part of the system is. Tracking driver certifications reassures faculty that safety is a priority. Everyone who uses the system appreciates the capability to look at and review all of their reservations online any time. Drivers are also more aware of policies and procedures such as out cancellation policy because they are clearly communicated through FleetCommander.

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Topics: Insider, University Motor Pool, Utilization, Right-sizing, Fleet Management Technology

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