Fleet Master Winners Announced

Sept. 28, 2010

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Companies in all industries have used the Malcolm Baldrige Award as a standard for measuring performance improvement and best practices within their organizations. Baldrige recognition validates their efforts.

Such was the thinking when Construction Equipment and the Association of Equipment Management Professionals agreed to honor the nation's top fleet-management teams. We wanted to hold up as examples the best teams in the country in terms of fleet-management performance and best practices. This was the genesis of Fleet Masters, with the goal to evaluate human relations, vendor relations, asset management, maintenance management, and technology.

In March, we recognized Kokosing Construction and the Virginia Department of Transportation in the private and public fleet categories, respectively. We tell their stories in this month's issue, beginning on page 33.

AEMP, although an association of equipment managers, also includes equipment manufacturers and distributors. In fact, one of the group's guiding principles is the Equipment Triangle: Each of the three sides supports the others, and each must succeed in order for all to succeed. That's why Fleet Masters must score high on vendor relations.

Kokosing's success in this area relates to a best practice in the way the company partners with its suppliers to ensure Kokosing technicians have all they need to maintain the fleet. Everything from the machine's documentation to the number of bolts on a cutting edge is in Kokosing's hands, and much of that is incorporated into the contractor's technological support systems.

VDOT epitomizes best practices in performance standards and measurement. By determining which metrics mean excellence, VDOT was able to set standards of performance across the fleet. More important, those metrics are measured and the results published. The resulting competition among divisions raised performance across the entire department.

Our congratulations to both of these management teams. To the rest of the industry, we offer these winners as examples of excellence. Smart managers learn from the best. Just as the Baldrige award incites others to work toward higher standards, we hope Fleet Masters does the same for equipment-management professionals.