UFP Magazine

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Curtis Marquardt Jr.

Sharing Knowledge: The Value of Joining a Utility Fleet Organization

Sharing Knowledge: The Value of Joining a Utility Fleet Organization

Have you ever heard of the Homebrew Computer Club (HCC)? How about Apple, the technology company? The odds are that all of you are familiar with Apple – with its ubiquitous iPhones and iPads – but very few of you have heard of the HCC. But did you know that without the HCC’s existence, Apple might never have existed? In fact, some credit the club as the birthplace of the personal computer revolution.

To give you some background, the HCC was created in 1975 to bring together like-minded electronics enthusiasts in order to talk shop and share ideas. It was during an HCC meeting that one of its members, Steve Wozniak, found inspiration to design a new kind of personal computer – the seed from which the Apple empire grew.

At this point you may be thinking, what does any of this have to do with utility fleet professionals? The answer is that belonging to an organized group of like-minded professionals – whether they’re focused on electronics or fleets – can have an incredible impact on personal success as well as the success of an industry.

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Curtis Marquardt Jr.

The Final 3

Each issue, we ask a fleet professional to share three keys to fleet success.

This issue’s Final 3 participant is Matt Gilliland, fleet manager for Nebraska Public Power District. NPPD is Nebraska’s largest electric utility, delivering power to about 600,000 Nebraskans. The utility’s fleet department provides direct life-cycle oversight for nearly 1,200 fleet assets in 41 locations within the state. In addition to his role as fleet manager, Gilliland serves as president of the Upper Midwest Utility Fleet Council, is a member of the UFP editorial advisory board and holds a master’s degree in business.

Tip 1: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
“It is so important to push information out as it becomes available as well as listen for, then act upon, the voice of the customer. One thing we do to accomplish this is through a monthly newsletter that is sent to every equipment operator and any supervisor or manager that has an equipment operator in their department. The newsletter offers a method of feedback and suggestions while communicating recalls, best practices, equipment replacement projections and progress, and other important information.”

Tip 2: Surround Yourself with Great People
“When you surround yourself with people who take pride in what they do, it creates an atmosphere of accomplishment. I owe my professional success largely to the members of my team. One would be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated, hardworking and expert level of people anywhere in the fleet industry.”

Tip 3: Create a Better You
“One of the best investments a person can make is an investment in themselves. Seeking professional certification, training, networking connections and education are tremendous ways to invest in yourself and foster professional success.”

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Curtis Marquardt Jr.

How Standing Idle is Setting You Back

How Standing Idle is Setting You Back

Pop quiz: Which uses more fuel and produces more emissions – letting a passenger car idle for 15 seconds or turning off a car and restarting it after 15 seconds?

If you answered that restarting the car uses more fuel, you would not be alone. Most people believe that starting is the less efficient option. But that’s not the case, according to research conducted by Argonne National Laboratory. Results of their experiment revealed that just 10 seconds of passenger car idling time actually uses more fuel than stopping and restarting the engine.

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Curtis Marquardt Jr.

How Engaged Are Your Employees?

How Engaged Are Your Employees?

Across the globe, there is a shortage of a very important resource that is reaching epidemic proportions. What’s worse, it’s a resource that is vital to your fleet operation and has a substantial impact on your bottom line.

This increasingly rare commodity is the engaged employee.

So, what is an engaged employee and why are they the most important asset your fleet operation can have? Generally speaking, an engaged employee is one who is psychologically invested in the organization and committed to getting the most out of his or her abilities and efforts for the sake of advancing the growth and success of the organization.

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