The Heart of NAFA

Bryan Flansburg, CAFM

Director of Transportation, University of Colorado

Tell us a lit­tle bit about your recent research project with Toy­ota.
It was a very inter­est­ing project; we com­plet­ed it about six months ago. We had 28 pre-pro­duc­tion Toy­ota plug-in hybrids that we put into about 140 homes in Boul­der and the dri­vers wrote blogs to share how well they liked them and what they felt about the dri­ving expe­ri­ence. The data was then col­lect­ed in order to deter­mine the fuel econ­o­my, how they were uti­lized, etc.

Toy­ota had 600 of these units through­out the coun­try and 28 of them were at Boul­der. Boul­der was the only place where they actu­al­ly had the units go into per­son­al homes, every­place else was more of a fleet type sit­u­a­tion. So, our respon­si­bil­i­ties for that were to train peo­ple how to uti­lize the plug-ins and dri­ve the vehi­cles; and then to check them out to the peo­ple and check them back in, clean them, and ser­vice them.

Has Toy­ota divulged the results of this research?
Yes, they have giv­en out their ini­tial research. It was kind of inter­est­ing; the data showed that, believe it or not, the peo­ple Boul­der had bet­ter fuel econ­o­my than the oth­er 600 vehi­cles that were in the project. While we only had 28 of the vehi­cles in the project, and those are the ones that we put into the homes, the entire 600 unit fleet fed their data back into our research to look at what was hap­pen­ing with fuel econ­o­my for all of the fleet. Sta­tis­tics def­i­nite­ly showed that the peo­ple in Boul­der drove more effi­cient­ly than the peo­ple across the coun­try.

What is high­est on your list of ini­tia­tives with your fleet this year?
We are in the process now of try­ing to reduce fuel usage, not just to save mon­ey but to reduce our car­bon foot­print as well. The Uni­ver­si­ty is installing data track­ing devices into our vehi­cles to track idle time. We can track dri­ver habits to see if we can then edu­cate our dri­vers on how they can improve their fuel usage through their dri­ving habits.

What are some of the biggest chal­lenges that you face oth­er than fuel con­sump­tion?
I think one of the biggest chal­lenges that most gov­ern­men­tal fleets are fac­ing right now is that we haven’t bounced back from the eco­nom­ic down­turn.  Our state bud­get is low on mon­ey and that trick­les down to the Uni­ver­si­ty. Some­times peo­ple think, well, trans­porta­tion won’t affect us. But it does because the pro­fes­sors who usu­al­ly take field trips may not have that trans­porta­tion or that trav­el expense in their bud­gets, so they don’t use our ser­vices to trav­el to their var­i­ous field trips or wher­ev­er they may be going.

Let’s talk about NAFA. How did you become involved with the Rocky Moun­tain Chap­ter?
The chap­ter con­tact­ed me and said, “Hey, you know we have this chap­ter and you might be able to learn some­thing.” I start­ed going and got very active.  I end­ed up becom­ing a sec­re­tary-trea­sur­er, vice chair and the chair­man of the chap­ter as well. I think that the chap­ter real­ly offers a lot of net­work­ing and edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties. We have a chal­lenge in the Rocky Moun­tain Chap­ter of get­ting our mem­bers to come to Den­ver for a meet­ing. We have Mon­tana, Wyoming, Utah, New Mex­i­co, and Col­orado as well. Because of the geo­graph­i­cal chal­lenges, we are look­ing into the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using webi­na­rs so that we can engage more chap­ter mem­bers.

I think the chap­ters are the heart of NAFA and I have devel­oped sev­er­al great friend­ships. I think the chap­ters offer the oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet peo­ple who are local, and if you do have a ques­tion you can con­tact them quick­ly, you can vis­it with them; I do that on a reg­u­lar basis.

What would you tell a fleet man­ag­er who is try­ing to decide whether to go to NAFA Insti­tute & Expo next month?
Most of what I know about fleet, I learned from NAFA. Pri­or to NAFA, to be hon­est with you, I was a main­te­nance man­ag­er and a tech­ni­cian. Most of the poli­cies I have in place are through NAFA. It is a tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ty for peo­ple – even if you know some­thing about fleet or you have been in fleet for a long time you will still learn some­thing at every I&E.

What are some of the things you have tak­en away from NAFA I&E that have made a dif­fer­ence in the way you man­age your fleet?
The first dif­fer­ence I&E made to me is that I got my CAFM in 1997. My pre­de­ces­sor retired in 1997 and the pri­ma­ry rea­son that I was able to move up and become the direc­tor of trans­porta­tion was because I had achieved the goal of CAFM.

Anoth­er thing: After attend­ing the DOT meet­ings, we revised our DOT pol­i­cy. We just went through a DOT audit and we are in the process now of devel­op­ing a cen­tral­ized pol­i­cy for DOT at the Uni­ver­si­ty sim­ply because the Uni­ver­si­ty has sev­er­al dif­fer­ent cam­pus­es. We are on the Boul­der cam­pus and we have a Den­ver cam­pus, an Anschutz Med­ical Cen­ter, and then the Col­orado Springs cam­pus. We have poli­cies on the Boul­der cam­pus, but DOT looks at us as one enti­ty so we are in the process of devel­op­ing a cen­tral­ized pol­i­cy based on the infor­ma­tion that we brought back from I&E and some of the class­es that we attend­ed there.

I have attend­ed sev­er­al class­es for pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment at I&E. I have brought those class­es back, rede­vel­oped them and taught them to my employ­ees as well. So, there are a lot of things I have got­ten and giv­en back to the Uni­ver­si­ty through the I&E process.

Tell us about ‘Test Dri­ve the CAFM’ at the I&E.
One of the things that is new at the I&E this year is that the CAFM Com­mit­tee has decid­ed to put togeth­er a ‘test dri­ve’ of the CAFM pro­gram. Cur­rent­ly, when you sign up for the CAFM pro­gram you get eight mod­ules and a lot of peo­ple see eight as a huge goal. With the test dri­ve pro­gram you can sign up for just one mod­ule, which is the asset man­age­ment mod­ule. You can go to the boot camp and then after the I&E on Sat­ur­day you will test for that one par­tic­u­lar mod­ule. If you decide at that point that you want to sign up for the CAFM pro­gram, that mod­ule is cred­it­ed towards your CAFM as you move for­ward. So you only have sev­en oth­er mod­ules to accom­plish. I think that is a real neat way for peo­ple to get a taste of the CAFM; in this case ‘Test Dri­ve the CAFM.’


Bryan Flans­burg, CAFM, Direc­tor of Trans­porta­tion, Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado
Bryan Flans­burg has been involved with Fleet Man­age­ment for over half of his life.  Bryan super­vis­es the area man­agers whose respon­si­bil­i­ties include admin­is­ter­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty fleet, dri­ver train­ing, a motor pool, a main­te­nance shop, a tran­sit oper­a­tion, and alter­na­tive trans­porta­tion options. He has held posi­tions as main­te­nance man­ag­er, fleet man­ag­er, and cur­rent­ly serves as Direc­tor of Trans­porta­tion Ser­vices at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado.



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