Merchants Fleet Management has created a variety of white papers on important topics such as best practices for fleet management, online fleet management, leasing benefits and more.

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  • Date


  • 10/30/2018

    Is Your Fleet Ready for Winter

    The thermometer is dropping, and the season for snow, sleet and salty roads is looming. In fact, the frozen precipitation has already started to fall in some states, and even those warmer climes will face many months of stormy conditions. This is the time of year when fleet vehicles should be readied for the changing weather. Just a few preventative measures will help keep drivers safe, mitigate downtime and extend vehicle life.
  • 10/10/2018

    It Is Not Too Late to Sell Fleet Vehicles this Year

    As end-of-year planning approaches crunch time, many fleet professionals are evaluating life cycles and deciding when to move older vehicles off the books. It is a good time to consider upgrading. A combination of new tax laws and a stable resale market has created financially favorable conditions for fleet purchasing, which will certainly help organizations looking to keep drivers happy in a competitive economic environment.
  • 09/07/2018

    Merchants TCJA Tax Law WP

    Late last year, Congress passed, and President Trump signed, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. While the full impact of these changes has not yet been felt, any company that is dependent on a mobile workforce should carefully evaluate the potential impact and their strategy around company transportation.
  • 08/06/2018

    The Remarketing Future of Discontinued Models

    It's inevitable, each year an OEM will either slow production or even end construction of a model altogether. When this occurs what happens to the remarketing value of the discontinued unit? To answer that question we examined past trends to try and find some stability in an uncertain future.
  • 07/27/2018

    Options for Controlling Costs in Todays Volatile Fleet Market

    It’s no secret, the economy is consistently evolving and for many businesses their success depends on where the market sits today. Daily operational costs fluctuate, and these swings can lead to noticeable effects on annual budgets. As a manager of fleet our partners rely on us to maximize cost controls and minimize the impact of the volatility in the marketplace. To achieve this our strategic consultants use a combination of out of the box thinking and preventative planning, to help you leverage all the tools at your disposal. This white paper looks at the five biggest economic uncertainties impacting fleets and what you can do to help mitigate their impact.
  • 06/14/2018

    5 Benefits of Short-Term Leases

    The mobility movement is upon us, and it’s changing the way fleet managers and fleet management companies (FMC) alike are assessing their fleets. Efficiency is top of mind, and to achieve this many companies are starting to implement a mobility solution. As we covered in a previous white paper, a mobility solution is centered around getting the right vehicles you need, when you need them, and for exactly how long they’re needed. To accomplish this your FMC should look to utilize a trio of strategies: vehicle pooling (backed by technology), short-term leasing (including seasonal and project based), and vehicle alternatives. In this white paper, we’ll be exploring the five advantages of successfully incorporating short-term leasing into your fleet.
  • 06/13/2018

    Best Practices for Optimizing Fleet Fuel Efficiency

    Fuel is one of the largest costs associated with running a fleet and can be a moving target that taxes budgets. While fuel prices themselves are not something fleet managers can control, increasing fuel efficiency and implementing parameters on fuel spend are actions they can take to decrease operating costs and mitigate the impact of price fluctuations. Additionally, some of the core strategies for boosting fuel efficiency often have the added benefit of improving safety and can even help protect and enhance a company’s brand.
  • 05/17/2018

    5 Benefits of Vehicle Pooling

    There has been a lot of talk recently about what the future of mobility could be. However, there are thing you can do today to help kick start the process. One of those is implementing a program centered around vehicle sharing. In this white paper we look at the five key benefits of introducing a vehicle sharing program.
  • 04/19/2018

    Idle Reduction

    There are hidden and not-so-hidden costs to excessive idling, and they all add up to an ongoing concern across fleets of all sizes. Fuel waste, increased maintenance expenses, risk of fines, and even damage to a company’s brand are all consequences of leaving standing vehicles running. Even with the relatively low cost of gasoline, many organizations have idle reduction goals as part of an overall mandate to control costs and adopt more ecologically sound practices. However, instituting change comes with challenges, particularly when it requires widespread behavior modification. While there are specific telematics advances that address idling and other potentially costly driver habits; technology alone is not the magic bullet. Even the best programs can fall flat if they aren’t met with widespread company support.
  • 03/27/2018

    ELD Mandate 2018

    The new Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate became effective in December, 2017, but law enforcement agencies have been observing a kind of soft rollout, writing up citations with no CSA points or vehicles taken out of service. That is all about to change as full enforcement of the ELD rule goes into effect April 1st. Make sure you know what needs to be done in order for your drivers to be compliant.
  • 03/14/2018

    Working With a True Fleet Advocate

    The landscape of fleet management is constantly evolving. New technology is introduced, services become more sophisticated, and what works today isn’t guaranteed to work tomorrow. To be successful in this dynamic and ever-changing environment your fleet management company (FMC) must deliver in four core areas. These are; added value, trusted consulting, customer service, and technology. Once you’ve found someone who excels in all four you’re no longer working with just an FMC; rather you’ve partnered with an advocate who can help optimize your fleet.
  • 03/13/2018

    Mobility More Than a Buzzword

    The term “mobility” has always been an intricate part of fleet management but today it has taken on a whole new meaning. Today it needs to be embraced as a mind-set. It’s thinking; how to get the most efficient transportation that’s needed, when it’s needed, and for exactly how long it’s needed. It doesn’t pertain to a specific lease structure, or even stop at just vehicles. Rather, mobility is a customizable plan that allows transportation to happen efficiently and easily. Once you’ve embraced the mobility mind-set a better understanding can be found in three additional categories that, when combined with traditional leasing, contribute to a truly mobile fleet.
  • 12/05/2017

    Addressing Devices And Drugs in Todays Fleet

    Devices and drugs. They both impair drivers and both have proliferated to the point where they contribute to the majority of serious accidents in the U.S. As marijuana legalization sweeps across the country and opioid use and abuse has developed into a national epidemic, fleet managers are faced with addressing the growing trend of risky behaviors that compromise drivers’ ability to operate their fleet vehicle safely. The trends are disturbing, but training, monitoring, and creating a safety-minded culture with clearly defined policies and incentives make a difference.
  • 11/06/2017

    Fleet Management Buyers Guide

    Once you start to look at the fleet management companies out there, you will find the majority offer what you are looking for and even some capabilities you didn’t know you needed. The search eventually narrows down to a short list of providers with similar technology, services, and pricing. This is the stage at which you need to ask the hard questions. It is important to find out if the Fleet Management Company can truly be an extension of your team because most fleets are a costly, support-intensive piece of an organization’s business operations. You don’t need a vendor. You need a partner.
  • 09/25/2017

    Make Sure Your Fleet is Ready for the Next Storm

    Natural disasters across the U.S. over the past decade have been historic and devastating with property damage costing tens of billions of dollars. Pictures of submerged cars, scorched lands, and collapsed roofs have become all too common and serve as a stark reminder that a fleet’s emergency preparedness is critical to protect drivers and minimize losses. Every fleet and organization is different. Some may need to move assets and workers away from threatened areas. Meanwhile others, like utilities, may need to send more in. Regardless of the situation, managers should have plans and policies in place before everyone is under duress. It is much easier to execute a plan everyone knows ahead of time than scrambling in the heat of the moment when communication, fuel availability, and roadways may already be compromised. Step one is a regional risk assessment.
  • 06/29/2017

    Best Approach to Upfitting

    Well-designed vehicle and upfit specifications can increase driver efficiency and safety while reducing costs over the vehicle lifecycle. However, the broad range of chassis, equipment and installer options can be overwhelming, making it difficult to know where to begin.
  • 06/09/2017

    Fuel Programs Should Go The Extra Mile

    The low cost of fuel has been good news for fleet managers over the past several years. As prices have dropped fifty percent since 2008, attention to fuel spend has taken a back seat to other concerns such as maintenance and acquisition costs. However, the fuel line item still represents a significant percentage of fleet budgets and many organizations may be missing out on discounts, payment structures and data-gathering opportunities that will save money today and have them better positioned for the future should prices revert to their historically volatile state.
  • 04/07/2017

    The Path to ELD Compliance

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is requiring Electronic Logging Device (ELD) compliance beginning December 18, 2017. As the deadline fast approaches, professional drivers and fleet managers are seeking clarification on whether or not the new law applies to their operations and, if so, how to transition to the new technology.
  • 01/20/2017

    Lifecycle Management

    When was the last time you evaluated your fleet lifecycle practices? Could you be leaving money on the table because your fleet is no longer fully optimized for your business? Lease structures, fuel costs, maintenance schedules, and resale values should be scrutinized as markets change and your business evolves. To be effective, every business should evaluate its fleet policy to ensure it meets the organization’s specific needs and accounts for the manner in which it operates. When it comes to optimizing fleet lifecycles, one answer doesn’t work for all. Most importantly, know VWGoA Fleet Services can help identify structures and policies that will best meet your operational goals.
  • 11/17/2016

    When to Self Manage

    Should I self-manage my fleet? The short answer is, rarely. Some organizations have fleet assets that are absolutely core to their business and have both the courage and deep pockets to invest in technology, people and processes to allow them to manage their fleet assets with great success. And some organizations that have a smaller footprint can manage their assets by leveraging local relationships. But by and large, most organizations don’t fit neatly into those two categories. Partners are essential in operating a business effectively and efficiently. Fleet is often an area that is overlooked and under-managed for a variety of reasons, which may include leadership bias, complacency, or a lack of knowledge. Partnering with a trusted fleet management company provides opportunities to reduce cost and improve fleet processes. The key is finding the right partner that offers the necessary products and services, and is willing to focus on your individual and specific needs.
  • 10/04/2016

    International Accounting

    New accounting standards for leasing transactions are coming down the pike in 2018-19 and they will impact every company and organization with lease agreements. The new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) requirements are designed to make these transactions more transparent by ending what corporate financial stakeholders identified as large, off-balance-sheet accounting in addition to unifying European and U.S. accounting practices.
  • 08/12/2016

    Improving Efficiency in Government Fleets

    Cloud computing and big data are powering real-time vehicle monitoring in systems that capture a wealth of actionable information from tire pressures and idling times to, speed, locations and routes. These telematics and analytics-driven fleet management tools can deliver data to desktop dashboards, but more importantly, recent developments in how that information is aggregated and presented to users makes that information truly actionable. As a result, managers and drivers can make informed decisions that reduce accident rates and fuel usage, maximize resource deployment, and mitigate vehicle wear and tear.
  • 07/18/2016

    Sustainability Best Practices

    Sustainability is a large undertaking for companies and fleet management is where a company can have its greatest impact. Discover where to begin, what changes can be made and how to evaluate your progress.
  • 07/14/2016

    ELD Mandate

    Understanding the basic principles surrounding the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandate and how to meet its compliance standards.
  • 03/17/2016

    Focused Fuel Cards

    Corporate and government fleets have a number of purchasing options available to them to manage their fuel consumption and spend. For the contemporary fleet manager, fuel-associated data capture and controls are critical.
  • 03/04/2016

    Harnessing Big Data

    Today’s connected fleet generates a constant stream of data from the many activities involved in successful fleet operations. This data needs to be captured and analyzed so that managers can use it to maximize efficiency and drive cost savings.
  • 02/11/2016

    Turning Fleet Data into Applied Strategy

    There are five keys to success in transforming fleet data into successful fleet strategy. In short, success depends on the right combination of people and process.
  • 12/17/2015

    Fuel Best Practices

    In our ever-evolving landscape, optimizing cost-efficiency is one of the paramount priorities of a Fleet Manager. This whitepaper provides practices and recommendations that can help you more efficiently and effectively manage your fuel program.
  • 11/17/2015

    Cash Flow Management

    In this white paper, we will focus on three key areas where managing your fleet can improve overall cash flow: lease options, maintenance and fuel products.
  • 11/04/2015

    A Leasing Guide For Fleets

    Where closed-end leases work. While open-end lease structures are widely accepted in the U.S., this eight-part guide breaks down the advantages of closed-end leases and how this structure can improve your company's image and bottom line.
  • 10/12/2015

    Selecting an FMC

    3 Keys to Identifying a Flexible, Stable and Creative FMC. With a major FMC shakeup taking place with mergers and acquisitions, now is a good time for fleets to take a look at whether or not their current provider fits the bill.
  • 09/26/2012

    Sustainability Initiatives

    Identify opportunities for your company to save money and the environment.
  • 09/21/2011

    Reimbursement vs. Leasing

    At some point, every fleet faces an important choice: administer a reimbursement program or offer company-provided vehicles. This whitepapger will help you understand your options.

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