Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

Fleet Executive Helps Streamline Uniform and Career Apparel Fleet

Satish Natarajan, senior director of Fleet Operations for ARAMARK Uniform and Career Apparel, is Fleet Financials’ 2009 Fleet Executive of the Year. Natarajan’s leadership helped his company better leverage people, processes, and technology.

May 2009, by Cheryl Knight - Also by this author

Satish Natarajan, senior director of Fleet Operations for ARAMARK Uniform and Career Apparel (AUCA), was awarded the Fleet Financials 2009 Fleet Executive of the Year Award. Five outstanding fleet executives vied for this year’s award, presented at the NAFA Institute & Expo April 26 in New Orleans.

Sponsored by CEI, the award recognizes exceptional senior executive leadership in contributing significantly to fleet vehicle management. A panel of five industry judges evaluated candidates according to such criteria as cost-saving initiatives, policy setting, innovative programs, and cultivation of fleet manager training and management.

Investing in People, Processes & Technology

Natarajan, who holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering, began his tenure at ARAMARK as an intern in 2000. Following a stint as a management consultant, he rejoined ARAMARK in 2002, managing process improvement measures and organizational management initiatives. He joined the company’s fleet team in 2005, beginning a restructuring initiative in 2006.

The initiative’s goal was to move from a maintenance mindset to a people, processes, and technology (PPT) focus to streamline operations, enhance process consistency across the organization, and improve fleet cost efficiencies.

Natarajan spearheaded the fleet department’s reorganization efforts, which led to:

■ Organizational training and knowledge-sharing.
■ Operations streamlined through measuring, managing, and benchmarking to industry best practices.
■ Right-sized vehicle capacity.
■ A fleet management system, diagnostic and compliance tools, and a telematics pilot.

“My goal was to simplify, standardize, and automate,” Natarajan said. “We determined how to streamline and began to roll out the best processes and leverage technology.”

He realized it was vital to put systems in place so fleet would continue to automate and sustain standard processes.

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