Highlights of Government Fleet Expo & Conference 2019
We just returned from the Government Fleet Expo & Conference (GFX) in New Orleans and can’t wait to share the highlights and trending topics in fleet management in the government sector that we picked up at the event.
It was a great seventh year for GFX and the conference saw record-breaking growth in attendance – it was truly the place to be for government fleet professionals.
A huge thank to you to GFX for hosting a great Block Party and another round of thanks to those who stopped by our Ford Interceptor to learn more about Derive and our idle reduction solutions! Whether you saw us at the Block Party or stopped by our booth on the tradeshow floor, we really appreciate the time we had with everyone. We’ll be sure to let you know next time we bring a test vehicle to a fleet event so you can see us in action.
The conference was packed with fun, educational sessions and gave the opportunity for fleet workers to learn new skills, new strategies, and new technology and how to leverage today’s best practices within their operations.
We had the opportunity to attend a few sessions and listen in on the trending topics in the classes and saw some major themes across the classes. Here are our 10 major takeaways from the event.
10 key takeaways from the GFX 2019:
- Follow the leaders: At the opening keynote address Mahanth Joishy shared lessons learned from transitioning from the Big Apple to the City of Madison and how smaller fleets can replicate ideas big fleets execute, but on a smaller budget and with the resources they do have.
- Be prepared: At the breakfast keynote, “Resilient Leadership: Prepare Today to Prevail Tomorrow,” Lt. General Russel L. Honoré shared tips on how anyone can become a leader by having a clear purpose, knowing how to react and rebound, and unifying the troops.
- Surprising results: At a telematics roundtable, we heard many fleet managers talking about implementing telematics solutions and being shocked at some of the data they got back, particularly in speeding and seatbelt use – two of the things we focus on here at Derive with our speed limiters and seatbelt-enforced drive. Fleet managers talked about the importance of getting that data but then facing the challenge of getting drivers to change their behavior.
- Uncovering the truth: On the flip side of finding out the truth of how drivers behave on the road, many fleet managers talked about how they use that data to prove their drivers were in the right when it came to investigations with law enforcement or insurance companies. Fleet managers can have their drivers’ backs and use it to exonerate them from infractions instead of just acting like Big Brother with telematics software.
- Connecting data to the bigger picture: A trending topic at the conference was how to use the data your telematics software collects, why having that data is important for day-to-day operations, and how to integrate that data into the bigger strategic plan of the organization.
- The future of fleet automation: Telematics solutions automate many aspects of fleet management, but with new technology comes new opportunities and changes. An interesting training session covered automation in the fleet industry and what you can do now to plan for the future and set your fleet up for success with these advancements, like hiring a data manager to oversee the sheer amount of data you now have at your fingertips.
- Bringing maintenance back in-house: Another good session covered why it might be a good idea to bring fleet vehicle maintenance back in-house to save money, improve productivity, and have better oversight across operations, as well as some tips for how to make that transition.
- Incentivizing employees: Investing in employees can cut costs as one training session taught us. The City of Baltimore fleet professionals shared how they started an incentive program that saved $400,000 in avoidance of certain projected costs in its six-month pilot. The session highlighted how rewarding drivers can produce better results than punishing bad driver behaviors.
- Drones in the DOT: Take to the skies to improve fleet operations! A fun session covered how DOTs are using drones or autonomous aerial systems to quickly collect data and shift fleet resources.
- We face challenges in access privileges and data protection: Who owns the vehicle data? Who has the right to access it? Who is responsible for protecting it? All valid questions that were discussed at the conference and something we’ll want to keep on top of as access to data becomes easier.
Did you attend GFX this year? If so, tell us your key takeaways from the conference on LinkedIn.
Interested in our speed limiting software? Contact us to start reducing high-risk driver behavior and expenses!