Braving the storms – the phrase holds a double meaning for the Virginia Farm Bureau, a farmer’s advocacy group that provides insurance services for members in the state of Virginia. While the bureau has worked hard to help its members weather recent storms, it has also been affected. “Our biggest challenge is the same challenge the insurance industry faces as a whole with all the storms over the past few years – remain financially strong while lowering overall costs,” said Ron Diamond, Vice President of Administrative Services for the Virginia Farm Bureau.
- Reduce total costs
- Increase fuel efficiency
- Improve maintenance ROI
- More cost-effective vehicle selection
One avenue the Virginia Farm Bureau took to reduce overall expenses was to lower total costs for their fleet of 140 vehicles. “We turned to Mike Albert Fleet Solutions to help us devise a fleet strategy,” said Ron. “We asked them to help us lower our fleet costs, and their team looked at safety, fuel efficiency and even the size of our vehicles.”
Virginia Farm Bureau’s employees depend on their vehicles to do their jobs and need a fleet management partner they can rely on and trust. “Our vehicles are a tool of the trade,” continued Ron, “so we absolutely needed industry experts.”
BETTER, SMARTER DECISIONS
Reducing total fleet costs begins with information – and a lot of it. Yet, it’s more than just gathering information. It’s understanding it and then taking action. It begins with a thorough review and analysis before applying what was learned to the development of a strategy. “We look at Mike Albert as a partner to help us accomplish our goals,” stated Ron. “Their people are very responsive, help us tremendously and give us the information we need to make better decisions.”
"I know the people at Mike Albert care about our business. We are working with people, not a company." Ron Diamond, Vice President - Administrative Services
Mike Albert Fleet Solutions worked side-by-side with the Virginia Farm Bureau to research and gather the necessary data. Together, the companies reviewed details of Virginia Farm Bureau’s fuel efficiency, vehicle applications, lease options and maintenance management. Combining that information with an intimate understanding of Virginia Farm Bureau’s business goals helped Mike Albert identify cost-saving opportunities and potential process improvements.
“Mike Albert reviewed anything and everything associated with operating a fleet. Their industry expertise and experience helps us make better, smarter decisions,” said Ron.
WORKING WITH PEOPLE, NOT JUST A COMPANY
To help partners accomplish their fleet and business objectives, Mike Albert Fleet Solutions builds a foundation of trust. And that trust is earned by developing a true partnership. Virginia Farm Bureau conducts business in much the same way.
“Mike Albert is professional, but with a family feel. They are like us,” explained Ron. “That’s important to me, because when I work with a vendor I’m looking for a long-term relationship with someone I can depend on.” Mike Albert works to communicate daily with Virginia Farm Bureau and Ron said that experience is unique among his vendor relationships.
With a partner relationship, Mike Albert truly gets to know their clients. The familiarity creates a comfortableness that only enhances the relationship and ultimately improves service. “We are dealing with people we know,” said Ron. “In fact, they’ve invited me to their office on more than one occasion to meet the individuals we work closely with. Mike Albert is like family and I know the people there care about our business. We are working with people, not a company.”
SMART DECISIONS SAVE MONEY
The relationship between Mike Albert Fleet Solutions and Virginia Farm Bureau has been positive in more ways than one. Mike Albert has been able to quantify the relationship’s total impact, and it equals $155,000.
Mike Albert also helped Virginia Farm Bureau reach its goal of reducing overall fleet expenses. Revising the maintenance management program has resulted in a 2:1 return on investment and saved Virginia Farm Bureau more than $30,000.
Analyzing vehicle applications and then changing vehicle models saved more than $3,100 per vehicle in 2013 while lowering total rent expenses by $75,000. The Unlimited Mileage Program saved Virginia Farm Bureau an additional $15,000. Another significant cost savings opportunity resulted from changing vehicle models. More fuel efficient vehicles reduced fuel expenses by $40,000.