A Storm of Risk Is Brewing in Fleet Management

by Scott Mishoe

Scott Mishoe is the director of Business Development for National Sales at Ryder. He has spent nearly 32 years in transportation leasing, maintenance, and life cycle cost management, and has been a Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) through the National Private Truck Council since 2001. Mishoe spent the early half of his career with Ryder, and from 1997-2014, he held sales and management positions with PHH First Fleet (now Element Financial), LeasePlan, Fleet Advantage, Amerit Fleet Solutions, and AmeriQuest. Mishoe's professional expertise touches on all areas of fleet finance, procurement, and operations efficiency in helping fleets benchmark their total cost of ownership against other alternatives.

With a swirling squall of change hammering the fleet management industry, Ryder’s Scott Mishoe speaks to the need to weigh risk and prepare for even more changes in the future.

If you’re in the transportation industry, you’re riding a sea of change. There’s change from federally-mandated emissions upgrades over the last 8 years, change from technology advancements and change from a roller coaster in fuel prices. Even our society has changed dramatically in that time. Fuel economy is now capable of topping eight miles per gallon for an 80,000-pound rig. However, finding drivers to operate these incredible pieces of equipment, and technicians to work on them, is becoming a real challenge. The shortages in both of these critical skill sets can really cripple a company. Every day, I speak with companies that are struggling with several issues at the same time. Will it get better soon, or have we just seen the beginnings of a real crisis?

For businesses that are evaluating their fleet’s effectiveness, there are more considerations than ever in deciding the best methods for getting products delivered. Sometimes, it’s not just about dollars and cents; it’s about the ability to do it at all. Private fleets really struggle with this issue. They need their fleets for customer service, quality control and a whole list of other reasons. However, often it’s not the company’s core competency.

The solution may lie in a total fleet analysis to determine what businesses do well and what someone else can do better. Questions you may be asking yourself include: Should I lease or buy? Should I manage my own maintenance shop or outsource? Should I use my buying power or a full-service lease company with better buying power? Should I hire and train drivers or lease drivers? What about the liability, is it worth doing all of these things myself or should I outsource the whole thing? What about breakdowns and the impact on customer deliveries and satisfaction? Even equipment manufacturers and their dealers have struggled. One thing is for certain, managing a fleet represents more risk than ever before and the dollars at stake are staggering.

For many private fleets, transportation is not the core skill set. You have to figure out what you do best and what a partner might do better, and then figure out the right recipe for success today and tomorrow. Proper fleet planning goes out many years into the future. Change is constantly in front of us and with new greenhouse gas regulations coming through 2023, it won’t get any easier. Your tolerance for risk may very well lead you to search for new answers.

Leave a comment

View Latest Digital Edition

Terry Mulreany
Subscriptions: 800 708 9373 x130
Susie Angelucci
Advertising: 484.459.3016

View Latest Digital Edition

Visit our sister website for news, information, exclusive articles,
deal tables and more on the asset-based lending, factoring,
and restructuring industries.