Staying educated – going beyond the classroom

Published in the January 2020 issue of Fleet Affiliation

The Work Truck Show® 2020 will be here before you know it. Staying educated is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and your organization competitive. The vocational truck and equipment industry continues its rapid growth of emerging technology and new regulations. These, coupled with the continued drive to be efficient, can be a trifecta challenge for any fleet professional. Taking advantage of education inside and outside the classroom is a necessary step in business. Finding resources and venues to gain industry knowledge without becoming overwhelmed is the bottom-line challenge. Failure to stay ahead of the curve may have long-term ripple effects leading to inefficient operations and increased expenses.

Successful fleet managers need information, training and education to make their fleet operations as efficient as possible. Upper management (often not aware of day-to-day fleet management operations) may require some education themselves. Management must strive to make each budget as lean as possible. Budgets consist dollars and cents, but having a grasp on the value of time should be considered as well. While classroom learning is important, going beyond can be an invaluable experience. With Work Truck Week™ kicking off March 3, 2020, NTEA will be hosting Work Truck Show 2020 and Green Truck Summit at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attending this premier event is an opportunity like none other. Beyond the classroom, fleet professionals have the unique opportunity to meet with key suppliers, learn firsthand from industry experts about emerging trends, regulations and strategies to align their organizations with the industry as a whole.

Convincing the boss
With lean budgets, upper management looks for what appear to be unnecessary budget lines. Eliminating education and training are viewed as low hanging fruit when budgets are cut. In the short term, this may seem like a successful savings tactic, but continued deferment will put organizations further and further behind as technology and the regulatory environment continue to expand. Convincing the boss can be a large hurdle to overcome. In order to sell him or her on the benefits of participation, fleet professionals need to create a plan showing tangible results. Begin by identifying value — to you and the organization. Second, create a list of unresolved issues, and communicate a resolution plan. Finally, identify ongoing operational issues that require solutions. Preparing and doing a little research beforehand will result in the opportunity to show the most value for your time spent away from the office.

What’s happening at Work Truck Week
Many seasoned professionals have attended Work Truck Show in the past and know the value of its educational offerings and one-on-one interactions on the Show floor. As the industry continues to grow, so do opportunities. Beyond the Work Truck Show, there are several points of contact that should not be overlooked. Tom Johnson, author and creator of the 100 Best Fleet in North America, will be heading up a round table discussion exploring solutions to 2020’s biggest fleet challenges. Dialogue will be facilitated by 100 Best Fleet Managers in North America. Additionally, the National Association of Fleet Administrator’s local chapter will be hosting a regional meeting. Both of these opportunities allow direct interaction with your industry peers.

Get in the driver’s seat
Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive provides hands-on experience with the industry’s latest advanced technologies and alternative fuel applications during Work Truck Week. Meet key suppliers, learn about innovative clean vehicle solutions and test drive or ride in the newest trucks. Participation is available to all Work Truck Show attendees (No separate Ride-and-Drive registration is necessary).