ARI held its fourth annual Best in Fleet Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from November 5th to the 7th. The event brought over 100 fleet customers, suppliers, partners and ARI senior leadership from the U.S and Canada together for 3 days of information, engagement and insight.

Bob White, President of ARI kickstarted the annual conference by encouraging guests to embrace the theme of this year’s event; to view fleet as an investment. “Your fleet is an investment. It is an asset that delivers the products and services to support your customers and your business. We, at ARI are a service company, none of what we do matters if we aren’t delivering to you, the best service possible. Enhancing your business is ultimately why we are here. On behalf of ARI, thank you for your partnership and for attending this year’s event.”

Bob also spoke of ARI’s current and future business initiatives. Recently, the company has received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). ARI is the only FMC to hold this certification. The certification allows the company’s customers to classify their payments to ARI as Tier 1 Diversity Spend and further diversify their organization’s supply chain. ARI believes the certification will help them reach their goal of having a balanced executive management team in the future.

ARI has also made updates to their customer experience through prioritizing transparency and speed of response time for their customers, investing in their Driver Centred Platform App, updating billing processes for customers as well as launching ARI’s Equipment Direct platform. ARI’s Equipment Direct looks to combat profit loss from the non-ability to dispose of fleet units and speciality equipment by offering customers an online auction platform where they can auction off their assets to qualified buyers to save costs.

Trip O’Neil, Vice President of Sales, Southern US, ARI gave an insightful presentation of 2020 fleet trends. He spoke to the growing commercial fleet industry, which has been up 16.6% year over year. The total fleet industry as a whole is up 10.5%. Among the trends of increasing demand of SUV’s/crossovers, delivery delays and tariff disputes, ARI offered customers the following advice; plan for uncertainty, order vehicles early to plan for longer delivery times, recycle your vehicles now while the market is still strong and lastly, to review and update your fleet policies.

Peter Nogalo, Marketing Manager at ARI moderated an OE innovation panel with Lyfts VP Express Drive, Chris Donus and Ford’s VP, Mobility Business Group, Marrion Harris. The trio covered topics from advanced internal combustion engine technology to discussions around an electric and connected future to ride sharing and mobility. Peter quoted an insightful truth; “to be unconnected as a fleet is to be uncompetitive.”

Mike Ramsey VP Sales Support, ARI introduced guests to “total cost of risk” which occupies 15% of the total cost of ownership pie. Mike also brought to the stage Dave Schotz from Direct Energy to discuss how through working with ARI, Direct Energy was able to decrease their total cost of risk. “Working with ARI helped Direct Energy take all the data we had accessible and develop a simple scorecard to help us utilize that date to manage our risk. Since we did this, our fleet accidents have dropped by 80%” said Mike.

Other topics covered on day one included lessons from a litigator with cases involving fleet collisions. Guests were also invited to participate in one of four afternoon networking events; a bike tour, a round of gold, deep sea fishing or a Segway experience.

On day two, Chris Conroy, CEO Holman Enterprises gave an inspiring talk on the power of relationships in both business and in life. Chris gave guests a look at how Holman’s collective competencies are meeting the needs of today’s complex fleets. Chris emphasized during his presentation that “great leadership starts with the ability to connect with people.” This, is what Chris says, both Holman and ARI strive to do.

Later in the morning, a real world case study was introduced which showed how advanced business intelligence helped optimize fleet operations for TruGreen’s fleet. Steve Haindl, Holman Enterprises, gave a presentation on how technology megatrends are impacting business today and tomorrow. The conference ended with an engaging and humorous keynote presentation by veteran golfer and golf commentator for CBS Sports, David Feherty. David spoke on his life’s ups and downs, and his experience in the golf world with a comical behind the scenes look.

Steve Lawn, Fleet Manager at Parkland Fuel Corporation praised the event and its host, “prior to partnering with ARI, we didn’t have an FMC. Working with ARI has made a huge difference and made managing our large fleet much easier. This is my second year attending ARI’s Best In Fleet Conference, I’ve yet to be disappointed. This is a great event.” 

Over 100 customers joined ARI for this year’s Best in Fleet conference.

ARI President, Bob White kickstarted the event with a powerful message.

ARI’s Kathryn Foster and Steve Lawn, Parkland Fuel Corp catch up during the networking break.

Trip O’Neil covered the must know 2020 Fleet Trends and strategies to succeed amidst them.

 Peter Nogalo, ARI, Chris Donus, Lyft and Marrion Harris, Ford discuss the latest in OE innovation.

Gene Spencer, Weatherford with Geoff Seely, ARI.

Direct Energy’s Dave Schotz (middle) spoke to ARI’s competency and thanked the FMC for all they do to help him manage his fleet.

Mike Ramsey, ARI, talks total cost of risk and how to lower it.

Attendees spent an afternoon touring sunny Fort Lauderdale.

Holman CEO, Chris Conroy emphasized the power of relationships in both business and in life.

Guests were treated to a dinner at Holman Motorcars Fort Lauderdale. 

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