PeopleNet, a provider of intelligent onboard communications and fleet management solutions, has launched a new service, the MPG Guarantee Program, to help fleets improve miles-per-gallon fuel performance. The new offering is based on years of in-depth experience with many North American fleets and is backed with a money-back guarantee, the company says.
“The cost of fuel is the most critical issue fleets face today,” says Rick Ochsendorf, vice president of operations for Minneapolis-based PeopleNet. “The efficient purchase and use of that fuel is an urgent challenge. For most fleets, it means the difference between profit and loss. For some, it’s a matter of survival.”
Ochsendorf says the MPG Guarantee Program evolved from more than 13 years of PeopleNet experience with customer fleets that adopted technology to improve operating and business performance. To attain those goals, many fleets had to re-evaluate and revise long-established business processes, he says; PeopleNet helped effect the necessary changes to meet and exceed performance goals in many areas, including fuel efficiency.
According to Ochsendorf, the goal of the MPG Guarantee Program is to increase fleet MPG by 5 to 10 percent. “We are 100 percent confident that fleets are going to change fuel economy in the 5 to 10 percent range,” he says.
In some fleets at today’s prices, that can represent millions of dollars. PeopleNet guarantees the MPG benefit will exceed cost of the program within one year or all fees will be refunded. “This involves much more than simply changing driver habits, though that’s certainly a part of it,” Ochsendorf says. “We’ll spend substantial time with the fleet and look at all the elements that can contribute to the goal.”
The PeopleNet MPG Guarantee Program involves a yearlong collaboration with six weeks total of on- and off-site consulting in two-week segments. The MPG Guarantee Program includes six distinct phases that begin with an in-depth analysis of fuel purchasing, maintenance, driver habits, operating efficiency and equipment specs. It goes on to establish measurement benchmarks and a custom fleet-specific plan to improve MPG.
The cost of the program is a flat fee, which is about the same no matter the size of fleet. Ochsendorf says that for a 120-truck fleet, the cost of the MPG program equates to about 0.5 percent of annual fuel spend; 0.3 penny per mile; or a 0.8 percent improvement in MPG. The program also includes training for in-company trainers to carry the program forward and a long-term plan to make sure that MPG benefits are maintained well beyond that first year.
Jim Coffren, a former maintenance manager and analyst for Beloit, Wis.-based Blackhawk Transport, recently joined PeopleNet’s Professional Services to help launch the MPG Guarantee Program.