Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

New Initiatives Generate Big Savings for Pamlab's Fleet

The Pamlab fleet team saved more than $100,000 last year as a result of several fleet initiatives, including the cycling of more vehicles and offering four-cylinder vehicles with added features versus standard V-6 models.

March 2013, by Cheryl Knight - Also by this author

In today’s workforce, it is often difficult to find people who are truly passionate about their job. For people in the fleet industry, this usually isn’t the case, since most fleet professionals really enjoy the sometimes chaotic world that is their chosen career. David Anderson, senior Fleet & Travel manager for Pamlab, reflects that passion for the job every day.
“Ever since high school, I knew I wanted to work in the automotive industry,” said Anderson, who began his quest by attending Northwood University, where he received degrees in automotive marketing and management. 

After graduation, he worked at a Mazda dealership for a short time and then had a 14-year career with Enterprise Rent-A-Car where he ran the remarketing department for South Louisiana.

“I learned a lot, not only about the remarketing business, but the rental, leasing, and car sales side of the business in a fairly short time,” Anderson said. 

He then switched gears and decided it was time to give the fleet side of the business a try. “Although the fleet industry was a little different than what I had done at Enterprise, many of the functions were similar,” he said.

In 2004, Anderson took the fleet manager job at Pamlab. 

As senior Fleet & Travel manager, Anderson divides his time between managing the fleet, travel and hospitality, building facilities and mail room, and the front desk reception area of the company’s main office.

He reports to Julie Hayden, senior vice president of Finance, who oversees the company’s accounting & payroll departments, as well as Fleet, Travel, and building maintenance. The two have more than three decades of fleet experience combined.

“I am very fortunate that senior management has given me autonomy and their trust to run our fleet with the company’s best interest in mind,” Anderson said. “It is my fiduciary responsibility to make sure every dollar is spent wisely in the fleet department.”

He strongly believes there should be an open line of communication with senior management on any significant changes that financially impact the fleet department.

“Since I am the only person at Pamlab who handles the fleet, I am always interacting with senior management as necessary,” Anderson explained. “I believe it helps to have company-supplied vehicles for the executives to be able to keep ‘face time’ with them. They tend to be more understanding and empathetic to our fleet needs when their company cars are part of our fleet.”

The executives also understand the fleet vehicles are important tools for Pamlab’s sales reps to perform their job, and they have been flexible in the type of vehicles Anderson puts on the selector list. 

“Maintaining the balance of cost of ownership and functionality is key in our fleet business,” he stated.

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