Overview of the 2020 NAFA I&E Virtual Conference – Operations


 - Graphic: NAFA

Graphic: NAFA

The 2020 NAFA I&E Virtual Conference kicked off on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020  with a presentation from keynote speaker Kevin Brown, who gave a presentation on “The Hero Effect,” which addressed how to best achieve professional and personal goals. The keynote was sponsored by ARI and featured an appearance from ARI President Bob White.

Later, educational sessions for the first day were categorized in several ways: “The Essentials,” “Professional Development,” “Strategy,” “Law Enforcement,” and “General.” 

In the Essentials category, the first of the two presentations was titled “A Better Way: Automation and Predictive Analysis Applied to TCO,” which looked at understanding and calculating TCO through automation. The second Essentials course was titled “Accelerate Your Career – 11 Fleet Essentials,” which detailed to attendees the eleven essentials of fleet and how to apply them to day-to-day operations. 

The Professional Development sessions for the first day of the Virtual I&E, included a discussion titled “Awing the Auditors 3 – Surveying Your Suppliers.” This session applied supplier evaluation frameworks to real-world scenarios, and helped attendees identify what is important in a supplier relationship. 

The other development session “The Art to Writing an Effective RFP,” was designed to help attendees understand the key components that make an effective RFP effective.

The “Strategy” session for the day was titled “Vet Your Vendors: Ask All the Right Questions” and helped attendees identify the types of fleet related services that lend themselves to hidden fees; ways to best write proposals and/or contracts to protect yourself from hidden fees;  and understand recourse should you enter into an agreement that was accepted under circumstances that were false. 

Government sessions for the day included “Pursuit Hybrid – What You Need to Know!” and a Ford Law Enforcement OEM Showcase. 

Virtual I&E Day Two

The second day, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, of the Virtual I&E kicked off the Winner’s Circle Panel, which featured NAFA’s Fleet Excellence Awards (FLEXY) winners and NAFA Members tying for first place on the 100 Best Fleets list will discuss their award-winning fleet strategies. 

The panel was moderated by Ray Brisby, CAFM retired fleet manager at Calgary Fire Department and Tom Johnson, author at 100 Best Fleets, and featured an appearance by Laura Jozwiak, CAFM, senior VP, sales & client relations at Wheels, Inc. Wheels is a sponsor of the FLEXY Awards. 

Following this was a Women in Fleet Management (WIFM) panel titled “Virtual Networking and Conferencing: Tips, Tricks & Discussions” that was dedicated to conversations on how to make the most of your virtual networking and conference experiences. This session was also sponsored by WIFM.

After this were several concurrent panels, one of which was titled “Critical Policy Areas That Matter. Are You Prepared?” This panel helped review high-risk policy areas impacting fleet. Another current session looked at “Integrating New Players in your Traditional Fleet Strategy,” and discussed new technology and the operations of new fleet start-ups and addressed how organizations can benefit and utilize the skills of these new players.

A panel titled “Top Shop: Best in Class Shop and Technician Benchmarking Strategies,” analyzed how fleet managers can benchmark key aspects of shop operations and how this information can be applied to improvement efforts.

Later sessions on Tuesday included “Combining Coaching and Technology to Create an Effective Safety Culture,” which educated attendees on how safety coaching uses data to nurture a strong safety culture.

An alt-fuel concurrent session, “Develop a Managed Charging Strategy for EV Success,” identified the intricacies of local utility rates to optimize your charging strategy, and how EVs can assist in meeting sustainability goals and lower costs. There was also a professional development panel, “Lead Your Fleet Through Change with Effective Communication.”

The second day was rounded out by a U.S. Legislative Update from Pat O’Connor, the long-time legislative counsel for NAFA. 

Virtual I&E Day Three

The third day, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, of the Virtual I&E kicked off with a panel titled “Fleet Response to COVID-19 Pandemic,” which featured fleet managers from the corporate, government, utility, university and law enforcement sectors as they discussed what worked well and what failed them in their fleet response to the coronavirus.

Following concurrent sessions included “Advanced Automation: Lifecycle Analysis Applied,” which focused on the lessons learned for automating life cycle cost analysis: including data collection, structuring models, impact of older equipment and more, and also a “Lightning Round on the Evolving Fleet Regulatory Environment” panel which featured several industry perspectives on several regulations such as tariffs, data privacy, CAFE standards, COVID-19 concerns and more.

Later concurrent panels included “Enhance Security and Transparency in a Connected Strategy,” which previewed fleets of the future in which vehicles, telematics and payments will be fully integrated. Another forward looking concurrent session was “Musings on Mobility,” which featured debate on some of the hottest topics in mobility. 

Another current session was a fleet case study titled “Unclaimed, Unturned and Underutilized: One Fleet’s Story of Maintenance Operations Improvement.”

Both days featured law enforcement showcases from FCA and General Motors that featured police fleet representatives as they addressed vehicle repair and maintenance solutions, new products, and the future of law enforcement fleets. There was also a law enforcement fleet rightsizing panel hosted on Wednesday afternoon.

Virtual I&E Day Four

The final day of the conference began on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 with a general session spotlighting the state of the fleet industry and the challenges of today and tomorrow.  

NAFA President Patti Earley, CAFM, joined Moderator Mike Antich, editor, Automotive Fleet; Katie Keeton, President at Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA); and Steve Carey, President at NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, for the “State of the Fleet Industry I&E session.

Following this were three final concurrent sessions including “Get it Right. Success Stories on Fleet Right Sizing,” which real-life solutions on how to dig into your utilization metrics in order to develop a strategic asset management strategy. Other concurrent sessions featured a professional development session on work-life balance tips from employers and a law enforcement session on benchmarking shop operations.



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