Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

Aramark Reinvents its Uniform and Career Apparel Fleet

September 2008, by Cheryl Knight - Also by this author

A leader in professional services, Aramark provides award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to healthcare institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world.

Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel, one of Aramark’s three service arms, is headquartered in Burbank, Calif.

In Fortune magazine's 2008 list of "America's Most Admired Companies," Aramark was ranked number one in its industry, and since 1998, has been consistently evaluated by peers and analysts as one of the three most-admired companies in its industry.

Aramark's success stems from its mission to focus on customer service. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Aramark has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 19 countries.


Uniform and Career Apparel Realigns Fleet Operations

One of Aramark's three service arms — Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel (AUCA) — began a realignment of its fleet in 2006. The initiative's primary goal: leverage people, processes, and technology to streamline operations, enhance process consistency across the organization, and improve fleet cost efficiencies.

Satish Natarajan, senior director of fleet operations, and Manuel Nieto, VP of operations support and engineering for Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel (AUCA).

"We operate in a very competitive environment," said Satish Natarajan, senior director of fleet operations for AUCA, based in Burbank, Calif. "Our main objective in fleet is to provide adequate capacity to increase vehicle uptime and keep fleet costs down."

Through a fleet of 6,000 vehicles — including 3,500 stepvans and 1,000 other vehicle types — AUCA provides uniform rental and uniform leasing services to more than 200,000 customer accounts nationwide from more than 200 service locations and distribution centers across the United States. Aramark's full-service employee uniform solution includes design, sourcing and manufacturing, customization, cleaning, maintenance, and delivery.

The organization's fleet operations includes four areas: field operations, support staff, compliance, and analysts and project management. The groups partner to handle everything from procurement and fleet maintenance to fleet policy and compliance. The division relies on numerous in-house garages and more than 95 fleet managers and mechanics to help run operations nationwide.

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