Enterprise pitches fleet management to Grey Highlands

A proposed fleet management system has the potential to save the Municipality of Grey Highlands more than $250,000 over a decade.

At its meeting on March 15, Grey Highlands council received a fleet management presentation from Chris Lockhart, a representative of the Enterprise Fleet Management Program.

Lockhart pitched council the option of signing on for his company’s program, which his presentation estimated would save Grey Highlands $258,674 over the next ten years.

Enterprise, which is best known for its car rental agencies, also offers fleet management services and was selected by the Local Authority System to be the municipal provider of fleet management services in Ontario. The Local Authority System is a non-profit agency through the Association of Municipalities that offers municipalities cooperative business services.

Lockhart explained to council that the Enterprise program finds and leases vehicles for municipalities through open-ended equity leases. The program uses analysis to determine the point in time when the costs of depreciation, maintenance and fuel intersect and then replaces the vehicle with a new model.

Over time, the program leads to a more refreshed and efficient fleet and significant costs savings as a newer and more up-to-date fleet eventually transitions to just oil changes and regular servicing. The Enterprise system tracks and notifies its clients when vehicles are due for servicing.

“We help our folks reduce their expenses in both capital and operating,” Lockhart said.

It will generally take a municipality a five-year transition period to fully implement the system.

Lockhart said the equity leasing program allows a municipality to stretch its annual capital dollars farther and purchase more vehicles. He said most smaller municipalities will budget to replace a couple of vehicles a year, with 100 per cent of the cost of the vehicle paid up front.

“Why pay for 100 per cent of a vehicle up front if we’re not going to use 100 per cent?” he said.

Locally, Enterprise works with the Municipality of Meaford, the Town of The Blue Mountains and Clearview Township.

Through the program, municipalities continue to have full control over the timing of when a vehicle is replaced and the type/model of vehicle they wish to purchase. Enterprise will source the vehicle for the municipality.

“It’s your decision to replace the vehicle. We give you the tools to make the decisions,” said Lockhart.

The company does source electric vehicles as part of its program. Lockhart said Enterprise recognizes that municipalities, in an effort to mitigate their climate change impacts, are looking towards electric vehicles.

“We know this wave is coming. It’s coming pretty quickly,” he said.

Grey Highlands staff will be bringing a full report and recommendation about the Enterprise system to council for consideration in the very near future.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca