Understanding Data Stewardship and Fleet Sustainability for Smarter Fleet Management

Gretchen ReeseOctober 16, 2020

Welcome to the first episode of Utilimarc’s new podcast, Fleet FYIs!

In our first episode I’m joined by the winner of the Fleet Manager of the Year Award for 2019, Erin Gilchrist Rugg. She has accomplished many things within her career thus far, including directing a competitive fleet at Safelight Auto Glass for the better part of the last two decades, as well as leading a multi-million dollar cost savings initiative during her time there. 

Today, Erin and I begin to break down data stewardship and the importance of data when it comes to driver compliance and working with upper management on driving change within your organization. Let’s dig in.


Here’s a quick summary of my conversation with Erin:

There were so many incredible insights that Erin shared in this episode, and it was hard to pick out a small handful. Here’s a glimpse into what is on Erin’s (and potentially other fleet managers’) minds going into the future:

  • Where is the industry with fleet electrification?
  • Winning Fleet Manager of the Year for 2019
  • The concept of ‘falling into fleet’
  • Challenges of a fleet manager; including driver compliance

    and
  • An overview of data stewardship

Erin’s most memorable quotes:

“Fleets cost organizations so much money, but the ROI of a successfully run fleet can add tremendous value and help build the brand of the organization.”

and

“We have to rely on data to tell compelling stories, so that drivers can buy into how compliance can benefit them personally – and allow them to do their jobs better, safer smarter.”

Erin Gilchrist Rugg, Understanding Data Stewardship and Sustainability with 2019 Fleet Manager of the Year Award Winner, Erin Gilchrist Rugg | Utilimarc Fleet FYIs Podcast

And if you’re more into reading – that’s fine, too! Here’s a copy of the transcript for the first episode of #UtilimarcFleetFYIs:


Understanding Data Stewardship and Fleet Sustainability with 2019 Fleet Manager of the Year Award Winner, Erin Gilchrist Rugg | Utilimarc Fleet FYIs, Episode One

Gretchen (00:04):

Hey there. Gretchen here. Welcome to Fleet FYIs, the weekly podcast by Utilimarc that makes fleet management strategy smarter, by bringing to you nearly two decades worth of data insights, industry hot topics, and expert analysts together in conversation. Our aim is to help you better understand your data and your key metrics by hosting candid conversations with some of the industry’s finest. But before we begin, if this is your first time listening to our podcast, thanks for hitting the play button! I’m so glad you decided to come along for the ride and have a listen. Once you finish today’s episode, if you could take a few minutes to leave us a review, we’d really appreciate it. Give us a rating, tell us what you liked or perhaps what you didn’t, or you can leave us a comment or a question about what we’ve covered today. Also, if you have a topic that you’d love for us to cover, but we haven’t touched on yet, let us know. We’d be happy to go over it in detail in a later episode. Sound good? All right, let’s get back to the show.

Gretchen (01:06):

Hey there, happy Friday. Welcome to the first episode of Fleet FYIs, the new weekly podcast from Utilimarc. My name is Gretchen, and every week I’ll be chatting with fleet professionals at the top of their game to bring to you the key trends and industry hot topics, keeping our finger on the pulse of everything happening in the world of fleet. Today we’ve got an exciting guest on the show, Fleet Manager of the Year for 2019 award winner, Erin Gilchrist Rugg. She managed a competitive fleet for Safelite Auto Glass for the better part of the last two decades, as well as led a massive cost saving and sustainability initiative within her time there. In this episode of Fleet FYIs, Erin and I begin to break down data stewardship and the importance of your data when it comes to driver compliance, and working with upper management on driving change within your organization. I hope you’re keen to hear more about it because she’s got great insights that I can’t wait for her to share. Let’s dig in.

Gretchen (02:08):

Hi, Erin. I just wanted to officially welcome you to Fleet FYIs. So welcome to the podcast. How’s it going?

Erin (02:16):

Doing great, Gretchen. Thanks so much for having me. And I’m looking forward to talking about topics that are near and dear to me today.

Gretchen (02:22):

Absolutely. So I know you a bit from previous conversations, but for our audience members, maybe that might not, could you tell us a little bit about your background?

Erin (02:31):

Sure. I’m a fairly newlywed, a mother of five, an avid cyclist, and live music connoisseur. I definitely love spending time with my family and being in the outdoors. My background is in retail operations management, distribution, and logistics, but over the past 15 years in corporate fleet management. So yeah, that’s just a little bit about me.

Gretchen (02:58):

So, I was able to read that you were named fleet manager of the year last year in 2019. Can you tell me a bit what that was like? I mean, that sounds like an amazing accomplishment.

Erin (03:10):

Yeah, it was. It was an incredible honor to be recognized amongst my peers in an industry that’s just filled with very talented and successful fleet leaders. I think the real gift was that my new husband and oldest daughter were able to join me at the awards reception. It’s meant a lot to me to be there with them and be recognized in that way as a woman in the industry, especially for my daughter. So it was an incredible honor.

Gretchen (03:41):

What was the process of the nomination and then winning the award, what was the process like for that?

Erin (03:49):

Sure. So I am not exactly sure who nominated me. I’m guessing it was an industry partner who had access to a lot of the accomplishments that I’ve had over the past years, but specifically in recent years, in my role as a director of fleet at Safelite. And so with those nominations, they have a group of fleet professionals, including the prior year’s winners, evaluate those in an anonymous way and select finalists, and then the industry votes on those finalists, as well as that committee. So I’m pretty sure that’s how the process works. And so of course, what a great honor to be recognized by the people that have mentored me and that I look up to and collaborate with, and benchmark against in my own job.

Gretchen (04:48):

Absolutely. What would the qualifications be for an award like that, or maybe you might not know this. But is there any qualifications necessary that they look for? Like, do you have to manage a fleet of a certain size or do you have to be in a certain type of role for a fleet, or is it just kind of up in the air, whomever gets nominated is automatically considered?

Erin (05:12):

No, I think that you have to be in a fleet leadership role inside of the industry. You have to run a fleet or be part of the fleet operations team, and then what’s weighed are your accomplishments. So, I’m sure they’re looking at areas like efficiency, and sustainability, and safety, and industry involvement as well. Being there for your peers in the industry, in your career to help each other and help the industry as a whole.

Gretchen (05:49):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Interesting. So what would you say if you had to pinpoint one thing, what do you think being named fleet manager of the year, what do you think it did for your career?

Erin (06:01):

Yeah, I think it brings the kind of recognition that is hard to do on your own. I think fleet can be somewhat of a thankless job sometimes. We are busy taking care of process and vehicle and driver, and I think that we’re not the best group at promoting ourselves. So I think the industry propping up fleet leaders helps all of us get recognized and especially winners of awards like this so that people can, the industry and outside of the industry that there’s acknowledgement and understanding for what fleet managers do every day. So I think that’s probably the most notable resume perks, so to speak, of winning an award like that.

Gretchen (06:54):

Yeah. Well, and kind of like you said, with people that maybe they don’t promote themselves a lot and whether that’s because they’re either humble people or they feel like, “This is just what I do every day.” It’s nice for them to get that industry-wide recognition that really champions what they’re doing, because it’s a way of saying not just, “I know I’m doing the right thing,” but that people recognize it too. And it’s almost a way of feeling more so appreciated for what you’re doing. And I think that that can be really helpful for anyone, whether you’re in fleet or not, just to be recognized for what you’re doing and knowing that you’re doing a good job. And so you’ve had a lot of experience in the fleet industry and previously you told me that most people fall into fleet. It’s not something that’s necessarily sought out, but it just kind of happens. What do you think is something that most people misunderstand about the fleet industry either from a high level or even into the specifics?

Erin (07:54):

Yeah, so there’s really no degree or, well, there never used to be sort of a degree in fleet management. And so I think most fleet leaders have backgrounds in logistics, maybe operations, certainly finance and procurement. And in my humble opinion, the most misunderstood thing about the fleet industry is that it’s a tight knit group of pretty brilliant and collaborative professionals that in their fleet roles wear many hats for their organizations. So, I would say that’s probably the thing that’s most understood. And again, I think organizations might just seek out leaders with strong process and operations backgrounds, essentially procurement backgrounds, and sort of hand them the fleet. And the beautiful thing is while that seems like it’s challenging, it certainly is, the industry is such that it helps bring leaders up. And there’s a lot of great educational resources as I mentioned, a lot of amazing collaboration and benchmarking to help leaders who do sort of quote unquote, fall into fleet succeed, greatly.

Gretchen (09:13):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So do you think that perhaps if we’re talking about people that just fall into fleet because it worked out that way, or maybe the promotion or a position was offered to them, I’m curious how you think that perhaps falling into fleet could impact the understanding of the industry. So I’d love to turn the question over to you. Why do you think the fleet industry is so misunderstood? Do you think maybe there’s just a lack of comprehension about what the industry entails, for example, managing fleets could also be referred to as managing assets and understanding operational cost process and Data Application?

Erin (09:53):

Yeah, actually it’s all of those things I think, but I believe that organizations themselves might not fully understand all the nuances of running a safe and efficient fleet. And while fleet costs organizations so much money, the ROI of a successfully run fleet can add tremendous value, and help build the brand of that organization through safe practices and sustainability. So I think it’s, once organizations can grasp what well run fleets can really bring in terms of value, then I think they will better look for the most qualified candidates that might have the skill sets and attributes to make those kinds of things happen.

Gretchen (10:42):

Yeah, absolutely. So I’d love to talk to you a little bit more about your position with Safelite Auto Glass. What did a typical day in the life look like for you? Did you have any responsibilities that really stuck out that might be impactful to share?

Erin (10:56):

Yeah, I mean, it was a fun adventure. I would say the best thing about every day, is that it was different with a full new set of opportunities and challenges. However, with the team like I had at Safelite, I never felt like we couldn’t take it on or handle it. I think the most rewarding daily activity was just serving our customers, making sure that they were set to do their jobs safely and efficiently, whether it was a driver or driver’s leader or whomever in our set of customers. It was just a pleasure to serve them and hear the gratitude that they felt for being able to stay on the road, and get to those customers, and make money, and do that in a safe, efficient, and consistent way.

Gretchen (11:46):

Absolutely. So do you want to expand a little bit on maybe some of the challenges that you faced every day? I’m curious to hear about that.

Erin (11:53):

Yeah, I think any of my partners in the industry would agree that driver compliance is a big challenge, probably the biggest challenge. I mean, drivers are faced with operating vehicles, which arguably could be the most dangerous tool that they use every day. And then on top of that, they have a job to do, probably a technical sort of job that requires a lot of focus and skill. And then they’re expected to do a lot of processes keenly associated with that job. And on top of that, are expected to operate that vehicle, take care of that vehicle. So I think the challenging part about compliance is being able to let drivers know that you care, and give them the right tools and processes so that it makes it easy for them to do the fleet stuff, so they can really focus on the technical aspects of their job no matter what they might be.

Gretchen (13:03):

Sure. So, you were a fleet manager for a highly competitive fleet. What would you say would be on fleet managers minds now? You were talking about driver compliance, how could we expand on that?

Erin (13:18):

Yeah, I think fleet leaders are developing safety strategies. They’re consistently dealing with driver compliance. It’s an age old, and I think always will be an issue, and they’re always working on what’s next in sustainability, such as electrification. So I think all of those are focuses for fleet managers, but also challenges. But I think there’s a lot of great things happening to help fleet leaders tackle those, and to digest and tackle those challenges. Right.

Gretchen (13:55):

And here at Utilimarc, we’ve been talking about fleet electrification for, Oh gosh knows, months. It’s been a long time and I mean, it’s an industry hot topic. Just in the last couple of weeks, I am not sure if you’re familiar with some of the water fleets in New York, but they said that they just launched two fully electric ferries that are going to be carrying hundreds of people back and forth every single day. So, I mean, it’s relevant right now. And having your finger on the pulse is obviously super important, not just to fleet electrification, but also industry trends. But where does data stewardship fit into what fleet managers are thinking about right now?

Erin (14:36):

Yeah, I guess simply speaking, data stewardship is sort of the collection, the management, the oversight of data assets, I think that help provide organizations with high quality that needs to be easily accessible in a consistent and digestible manner. Okay? Well, that’s a lot. So said differently, it’s making your data work for you to show trends and predict failures, so proactive approaches can be developed and implemented. And I think when that’s done well, you can tackle anything and everything.

Gretchen (15:15):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you mentioned proactive approaches. What do you think the importance of having a proactive approach versus a reactive approach is when it comes to managing your data and how that could widely impact your fleet?

Erin (15:26):

Well, data tells stories. Right? So, when you think about the importance of being able to tell stories with data, it’s critical for organizations to steward data, to prevent issues that increase things like accidents and costs, and ultimately exposure for your brand. So I think from my perspective, the entire industry supply chain, alongside of the organizations they serve, are obligated to develop tools and tech to help organizations make the most of their data all the way through the vehicle’s life cycle. And while that sounds easy, it’s not. It’s a collaborative effort, right. But I’ll go back to the word obligated because what you have and what you know is discoverable. So again, I’ll go back to the criticality of data stewardship for organizations because when they can predict, they can make drivers feel appreciated and safe, which affects a lot of different aspects and functions across the organization.

Erin (16:48):

However, again, the industry, I think as a whole really needs to work together and care for data in a way that helps the organizations get to where they’re going. And you talked about proactivity, data can predict all kinds of things. It does predict where an accident might take place in a certain intersection. It will predict weather patterns that could affect drivers, and weather patterns that can affect traffic. And it can predict traffic patterns. It can predict drivers that are most likely to get in an accident. So considering all of that, again goes back to the obligation to do your best, to steward that data, and get out ahead of things that can be avoided.

Gretchen (17:46):

Absolutely. And I think data is so to the fleet industry and pretty much every industry too. Data can be applied anywhere you look, and we’ve got a wealth of it at our fingertips, to the point almost where you could be overwhelmed because you might not know where to start. But if we’re trying to tell a story with this data that we’re collecting, where do you think the importance comes in? Not just collecting data from your own fleet, like you said, and be able to help your drivers with predicting traffic patterns and storm behavior, which could affect your fleet and your drivers as a whole, but the importance of maybe collecting data from the industry too? Like if you’re creating an industry-wide benchmark as a fleet manager, how has that been most helpful to you?

Erin (18:30):

That’s a great question. I think whether the data is coming from the industry to the organization, or they’re working together, or we’re benchmarking, or whatever we’re doing, if we’re storytelling with data, I think drivers and their leaders, like I mentioned, they’re focused on what’s making money for their organizations, keeping customers happy, building brand recognition. Therefore we, I’ll say all of us, we have to rely on data to tell compelling stories so that drivers can buy into how compliance, for example, will benefit them personally. What’s in it for them? How will new policies, and tools, and technology that are born from these data stories, help them to do their job faster, safer, smarter, simply put?

Gretchen (19:13):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And do you think that’s relevant to just drivers or could that be applied to technicians or mechanics or even upper management levels? How do they all fit into this, and compliance as a whole, how does that all fit into this data storytelling that we’ve been talking about?

Erin (19:41):

Yeah. I mean, I think the data is so incredibly integrated. So whether you’re talking about efficiency through on time vehicle maintenance or predicting drivers that are going to be in an accident, or you’re talking about… A fleet management company, for example, they’re trying desperately to bring value to their clients and use data in a multitude of ways, developing pilots and return on an investment analysis, there’s nowhere that data doesn’t play a critical role.

Gretchen (20:24):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, absolutely. And I think that we’re a lot more heavily reliant on data than maybe even we let ourselves believe. Like it’s just become such an integral part of our lives, both in our personal lives and professional too. Right?

Erin (20:40):

Sure.

Gretchen (20:41):

I mean, it’s just everywhere. And I was cued into this driver management initiative that you had led and I’d love to talk to you more about it. So, I mean, you designed and you led an initiative focused on driver behavior management and that resulted in multi-million dollars in savings, which is amazing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to save that much money, right? But from a reduction in fuel use to accident severity and maybe even to improvements in vehicle efficiency and driver safety, I would paint that as a success, but the question is, how did you take your fleet’s data to help you really take on an initiative like that one?

Erin (21:27):

Right. So again, I’ll stress that data is the single most important source for any fleet initiative. And I’ll say that for Telematics, specifically, data drives pilot versus baseline analysis, that builds on ROI analysis, that ultimately tells an organization if a program like Telematics, for example, will be successful for them. So that’s the starting point, right, in how the data’s used. And then going forward, post-implementation the data continues to be the source of analyses, success factors, trends with positive and negative. And that data drives continuous action, change, and improvements along the life cycle of the program or the initiative.

Gretchen (22:19):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So would you say that the data that you use for your cost saving initiative… I mean, like we’ve said, data can be applied to every instance of your fleet, and basically anywhere where there’s a vehicle or a driver, you can apply a dataset to that particular situation. But would you say that your cost saving initiative data could be potentially tailored to sustainability efforts as well?

Erin (22:45):

Absolutely. There’s not one single fleet initiative that doesn’t tie back to, or affect sustainability. When organizations focus on things like safety and efficiency, vehicle efficiency improves and drives down fuel consumption considerably, obviously resulting in major reductions in your organization’s carbon footprint, as just one example. So certainly it can be tailored, but I think that every good thing that’s born from healthy data and carefully crafted fleet initiatives from pilots, and good analysis, and good ROI analysis, results in reductions, in art and any organization’s carbon footprint.

Gretchen (23:35):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Just as a fleet manager and a general perspective, where do you think the fleet industry is with embracing sustainability and technology as we speak? I mean, green technology doesn’t always mean it’s less expensive, unfortunately. We’re not there yet, but could be hopefully soon. Where do you think the fleet industry is with embracing all of this new sustainability and new green technology?

Erin (24:00):

Right. I think the industry is humming. I mean, fleet management companies, fuel card and payment solution providers, fleet leaders, OEMs, we’re all becoming uber-focused on data, electrification, driver safety, driver tech, et cetera. I mean the sky’s the limit and I think we’re moving the needle every day. It does take a lot of time, and effort, and top-down leadership support in organizations to make these big strides. But I see it happening around the industry. Things are starting to move and it feels really great.

Gretchen (24:35):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So out of personal curiosity, do you think that this push for sustainable technology, green technology, sustainability in general, maybe even fleet electrification, do you think that’s been from customer requests, customer pushing, or maybe just personal climate with the feelings towards the environment now, or do you think that was actually initiated by police themselves saying, “Hey, this should be something that we should get into”?

Erin (25:06):

I think it’s a little bit of all of that, but I think good fleet leaders, so many of us out there, we care very deeply about the environment. So I think it’s a combination of those pushes, but I’ll say that fleet leaders specifically want a more efficient fleet, want alternative fuels, and alternative fuel technologies. We want that. So we do push. So I would say definitely, but I will say it won’t be easy. And fleet leaders will need support from OEMs, certainly big data and analytics partners, infrastructure developers, and more, to make the move to electric. It’s a commitment, but with any commitment comes effort, sacrifice, and ultimately great reward. So for the organization, its associates, and the environment, I think that fleet to look to their industry partners, to pilot options that are right for their fleet, the data can predict these outcomes and set these pilots up for success, especially for fleets with Telematics.

Gretchen (26:21):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So just for your opinion, do you think the fleet industry is ready for electrification? Like if they can, do you think they would be ready tomorrow to electrify their fleet? Not saying it would happen tomorrow, but just in case.

Erin (26:34):

Okay. So if we’re talking about what could happen tomorrow, I think what’s possible tomorrow is that the industry is ready to provide fleets with the necessary data and analytics to prove to organizations that electrification can happen. Maybe not in every vehicle for their fleet, but they can certainly, the data can pinpoint the vehicles that could be most ready for an electric vehicle replacement. So that can happen tomorrow, the prep work, the data, the analytics, the piloting. And then I think what follows is, it’s sort of like if you build it, they will come. But that’s not been true for alternative fuels such as C&G, for example.

Erin (27:34):

So I think that the accessibility and adoption for the infrastructure for electrification is less expensive, is easier than some other alternative fuels and techs. So yeah, I think the answer to that is definitely. We’re ready. We’re ready to move. And while we can’t make it happen tomorrow, we can start preparing now, and many fleets have already done that and are also committing to electrification. One example I love to cite that, a friend of mine sent me an article yesterday about American Electric Power and their commitment to a hundred percent electrification by 2030.

Gretchen (28:24):

Wow.

Erin (28:25):

I mean, that’s a wonderful thing. So like I said, it’s humming and it’s coming, so I’m excited.

Gretchen (28:32):

Yeah. So where do you think you would want to pilot technology such as, a fully electrified fleet? Do you think there would be a specific region, or maybe a type of vehicle that would be the best option, or the best place to pilot technologies like this?

Erin (28:50):

Sure. Well, I’m not currently running a fleet, but if I could speak about my prior experience-

Gretchen (28:55):

Sure.

Erin (28:57):

… as a fleet manager, I was lucky enough to have a fleet that had Telematics. And so again, that Telematics data can pinpoint the vehicle behaviors that would be best suited for hybrid electric vehicles or best suited for total electrification, that would consider things like the vehicles stopping and starting, regenerative braking for hybrid situation. It could also look at areas where vehicles are operating and electrification infrastructure exists already. And then potentially the vehicle classes where electric vehicles are most readily available. And then it’s about doing the analysis, life-cycle cost analysis for the electric vehicles versus the petrol vehicle and things like that. So again, it’s about just putting that data to work and telling the stories about where and what vehicles could be replaced by electric and electric hybrid, as we speak.

Gretchen (30:14):

Absolutely. And it actually makes me think of when Ford announced the news that it was releasing a fully hybrid option F-150, and we did a writeup for Utilimarc’s website when the announcement went live. But I found it really, really fascinating that technology like this was now actually being brought to the job site rather than just a passenger car for an executive or a site manager. This thing actually belongs on a job site. So it’s not just your passenger vehicles that are being hybridized.

Gretchen (30:47):

I mean, it’s something that can do the heavy lifting and it can be really involved with any type of fleet operations. Now this is just a pickup truck. And now I’m imagining if, say for example, they ended up doing electric semis, and there’s so many potential opportunities for Electric Technology in the fleet industry, which this isn’t to say that Ford will be responsible for it all. I mean, they could be, but I’m excited to see where it goes because sustainability is so important, especially now. What would be some of the main sustainability initiatives that you’ve headed in your career as a fleet manager thus far? Like, has there been any that have stood out to you with like a shining beacon?

Erin (31:29):

Yeah. I mean, of course we talked about the Telematics program and its success, and that’s sort of… I think that one stands out, but I don’t want to downplay that there’s no silver bullet as it relates to sustainability. I think about the other things that we focused on and I think about vehicle Telematics, driver behavior management, to increase vehicle efficiency, idle reduction programs, contests, initiatives, on-time vehicle maintenance, vehicle inspection programs, vehicle and upfit lightweighting initiatives, engine recalibration technology, reducing the vehicle’s fuel consumption during accel, decel, and idle. So that’s to name a few. And I won’t say these are initiatives that I led, but certainly as I mentioned, it took a lot of storytelling, data analysis and communication, teamwork, collaboration, all those things to make these programs and initiatives successful.

Gretchen (32:46):

Oh, I’m sure. I mean, that just sounds like a highly collaborative initiative from a whole because I mean, not only do you have to have a fleet manager, that’s championing it or people in management that are championing it, but also like you had mentioned previously when it comes to data storytelling, you need driver compliance and technician compliance. And there’s so many moving parts that if everyone’s not on the same page, it’s either, it’s not that it wouldn’t be successful, but perhaps it might not reach the full potential that you could see it reaching, if everyone’s not on the same page.

Erin (33:20):

Exactly.

Gretchen (33:21):

And out of curiosity, were you faced with any pushback from upper management when it came to sustainability, or did you find that maybe it wasn’t open arms that they were accepting it with, but more so a very open mind?

Erin (33:37):

Of course, I think all fleet leaders are faced with upper management pushback, but it’s mostly because we needed to tell better and more compelling data stories to demonstrate to leaders and drivers how these initiatives would benefit them. So I can’t say, “Gosh, upper management didn’t want to support this initiative.” It’s a two way street, so fleet leaders and their industry partners have to tell better data stories. So, I will say that good communications, collaborations, the pilot’s reporting and analysis, and certainly solid implementations, those things set the stage for program success long-term. And it keeps upper management that have so many challenges in their day to day working life, it keeps them abreast and up to speed on what’s out there. Would it work for our fleet? How would it work for our fleet? But again, it comes back to the fleet leaders and their industry, supplier partners telling more compelling data stories-

Gretchen (34:51):

Absolutely.

Erin (34:51):

… so that organizations can clearly see, “This is exactly how we’re going to benefit.” And then we’re on board.

Gretchen (35:00):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, absolutely. And kind of like you had mentioned multiple times at this point, but I think collaboration is just so key in this industry and if you don’t have it, I mean, it makes it hard to get anything done. Right? And I mean, that’s true for any industry, right? Because I mean, you have to work together and if it’s an initiative as big as sustainability or managing your data, I mean, you have to have collaboration from upper management all the way down to someone that’s working in a garage. Because you can come up with this great idea, but if you don’t have, like I said, everyone on the same page or willing to do what it takes to make initiative work, it’s not going to have as big of an impact as you think it might, even if it’s one of the greatest ideas that you’ve ever presented company-wide.

Erin (35:46):

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.

Gretchen (35:48):

So, Erin, do you have anything else that you’d like to add maybe, that you’d like to tell our audience about either fleet management or data stewardship before we wrap up?

Erin (35:59):

I don’t think so. It was fun to talk about what keeps me up at night, but also what I’m super passionate about. So thank you so much for the opportunity.

Gretchen (36:13):

Absolutely. And just in case our audience has any questions for you after listening to this episode of Fleet FYIs, is there any place that our audience can find you, like an email or a LinkedIn profile?

Erin (36:25):

Yeah, I think the best way to reach me is just message me on LinkedIn. I’m on there pretty much every day, reading great stories from all sorts of industries and kind of staying in touch with my partners. But that’s the best way to reach me, and I look forward to hearing from any of the audience that would have questions or ideas, or just want to share stories.

Gretchen (36:51):

Cool. Well, I’m really happy you were able to have the time to talk to me today and to appear on Fleet FYIs. It’s been really great having you.

Erin (37:00):

Thank you so much, Gretchen, have a great day.

Gretchen (37:02):

So, I think Erin totally knocked it out of the park. Data Application is such a huge part of fleet management strategy. And sometimes when you think about it, data can be overwhelming, to the point where sometimes we don’t even know where to start. But that’s just because there’s so much of it available to us at our fingertips. And that’s partially because not just having large fleets to manage, but just because there’s field data, there’s OEM data manufacturers, there’s outsource maintenance, so many data sources that it can be hard to know where to start, if you haven’t really broken it down to understand how your data can work together to tell a story. And if you’d like to hear more from us or Erin about Data Application or any of the topics that we’ve covered today, Erin shared her LinkedIn profile, which is Erin Gilchrist Rugg on LinkedIn.

Gretchen (37:54):

Or you can connect with us either on our website, which is utilimarc.com spelled out U-T-I-L-I-M-A-R-C dot com. And there we’ve got plenty of content covering all things you need to know involving fleets. And you can also get in touch with one of our analysts, if you’d like to learn more about anything that Erin spoke about today. Also, if you really liked our episode today, I’d love for you to give us a review. We’d really appreciate it, and it would definitely help us out. You can leave us a review on any of your favorite podcasting platforms, or if you feel like sharing today’s episode, if you really learned a lot from it, you can share our episode with the hashtag Utilimarc Fleet FYIs on your favorite social media platform. And you can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn at the user handle @utilimarc. So tag us using the hashtag Utilimarc Fleet FYIs and we’ll look forward to seeing how you’re engaging with our episode. But aside from that, that’s pretty much it for me this week. So until next Thursday, I’ll catch you later.


If you or someone you know is interested in being a guest on Fleet FYIs, please email our content manager with your request.


Gretchen Reese

Gretchen Reese

Content Manager

Gretchen Reese is the content manager at Utilimarc. She has experience in global and strategic marketing, previously working as a copywriter and content specialist for a London marketing agency and freelancing in multiple niches. See more from Gretchen


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