It’s time for fleet professionals to get ahead of the global wave and sign up for certification.
The NAFA contingent attending the Global Fleet Conference in Miami, June 5-7, included two Canadians— Ray Brisby, CAFM from Calgary Fire and myself. NAFA was invited to the event to give a presentation on fleet certification and to lead a strategic planning session on the creation of a global fleet certification program.
The initiative regarding Global Fleet Certification was well received. Approximately 25 people from countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, China, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, France and the US were in attendance. Other organizations represented were NEXUS, Bobit Media and the Automotive Fleet Leasing Association (AFLA). There were also companies represented— Mondelez, General Mills, Bimbo, ARI and Donlen. Peter Nogalo, ARI, was the other Canadian representative in the room.
There is no doubt that fleet management differs from region to region and even between countries within a region. From open versus closed-end leasing, to the price of fuel, to the relative emphasis on sustainability, to the adoption of a mobility approach to fleet, there are vastly different approaches to the same issues. NAFA, however, has long made the point that fleet management across industries, and even across countries, has a lot in common.
Five of these similarities quickly come to mind:
- All fleets should be able to access and understand key data elements—odometer readings, fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
- In vehicle selection, fleets should always consider lifecycle costs, safety and sustainability.
- When acquiring new vehicles, attention should be paid to right-sizing both the vehicle itself and the fleet overall.
- To ensure a successful approach, fleet managers should form good relations with internal stakeholders (finance, risk, maintenance, etc).
- All fleet organizations rely on outside suppliers to some extent, and it is therefore paramount that they establish strategic partnerships with suppliers.
These commonalities could very well prove to be a starting point in building a global program. The global program could also include regional certifications in key areas where partners seek to partner with NAFA to customize certification for their needs. This was the case with the PARA Institute in Brazil, which has been working with NAFA for several years and now offers a country-specific fleet certification known as PGF. The future path for global certification has yet to be set in stone, but it is clear that many opportunities exist to further professionalize our industry around the globe.
NAFA’s existing programs, the CAFM and CAFS, already contain what is called “blended” content in that they seek to offer both Canadian and U.S. regulatory and legislative information. To support our Canadian candidates, NAFA has been working closely with the Western Canada Chapter. The Sustainable Certificate was offered to 16 candidates in May, 2018 and our training team will be in Calgary in January 2020 to offer a full Boot Camp and certification exams. Get ahead of the global wave and sign up for certification today.