Equipment Type

Best in Class

Rod Sutton is editorial director of Construction Equipment magazine. He is in charge of editorial strategy and writes a monthly column for the magazine, The Sutton Report. He has more than 30 years in construction journalism, and has been with Construction Equipment since 2001.

The function performed by those who manage fleets of heavy equipment has shifted dramatically from one of simple acquisition and maintenance to include financial and regulatory issues. Today we hear as much about metrics, lifecycle costing and residual value as we do about preventive maintenance, track wear and uptime.

Frankly, it’s about time. According to construction-industry CFOs, equipment accounts for about 80 percent of a company’s capital assets. Any organization that doesn’t put some consideration behind the management of such assets is playing a risky game.

This shift of responsibility, whether acknowledged within the organization or not, has catapulted our subscribers to a new level of performance. No one would argue that recognizing those managers who perform their duties with excellence is important not only to them, but also to their organizations and the industry.

That’s why we partnered with the Association of Equipment Management Professionals several years ago to launch the Fleet Masters Award. The award honors exceptional equipment managers and their organizations who excel in meeting the unique challenges inherent in cost-effective, efficient and effective management of fleets that combine off- and on-road equipment.

This year, Marilyn Rawlings, CEM, and her team at Lee County Fleet Management Division in Fort Meyers, Fla., were awarded the Fleet Masters. The key reason: Lee County’s use of benchmarks. There’s one of those terms not bandied around much 10, or even five, years ago.

Rawlings judges her team’s performance based on how they measure up against benchmarks. Her supervisors may or may not judge its fleet’s performance along those sames line, but be assured they do ask tough questions when Rawlings comes looking for money for new machines.Benchmarks allow her to respond intelligently to their queries and calls for justification.

To Marilyn and her team, we offer our congratulations on a fleet operation that exemplifies excellence in management. To other teams, we encourage you to enter the 2011 Fleet Masters Awards program. It doesn’t cost anything to enter, nor must entrants be members of AEMP. For information, or an entry form, contact AEMP at sara@aemp.org or 970.384.0510.

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