Higher education

Dec. 16, 2014
Program offers advanced, engaged avenues for learning

L eading private fleet management practitioners and supplier partners will gather in Jacksonville, FL, January 17-21, 2015, for the Private Fleet Management Institute (PFMI) in what promises to be the best program in the event’s two decade-long history. Since the event has a long-standing reputation for excellence in both substantive content and networking, attendees arrive with high expectations that are frequently exceeded.  Many will be from companies that have previously put team members through the program. A premier faculty consisting of 20 of the top private fleet managers in the nation makes PFMI a great differentiated value, but three structural features help optimize and broaden the experience. 

First, the subject-matter content always covers the core disciplines of finance, human resources, safety, operations, and equipment and maintenance. Rotational break-out discussion sessions set up a continuous process of idea sharing and interchange along with best practices within and sometimes beyond core discipline boundaries. Virtually every attendee becomes both teacher and learner.

For example, in the break-out session on operations, an Institute faculty member covering “Converting Data Into Actionable Intelligence and Behavioral Change” will open with a brief presentation and then lead a discussion among participants on their experiences and challenges on the subject.  Over the one-hour session, virtually all participants will have shared something with the group, thus making the experience one of exponentially greater perspective from multiple vantage points.

Second, the class as a whole will hear in general session various stand-alone speakers address topics like benchmarking private fleet excellence, the state of private fleets, and engaging the NPTC culture as well as several profiles in individual private fleet excellence and best practices. These are interspersed among the break-out sessions and cover broader range and strategic topics with precision and economy of time.

Third, beginning on day one, the entire class is organized into a dozen or so teams.  These teams are given an individual case study profile of a mythical private fleet, each with a different set of strengths and weaknesses. The teams work over the next several days to analyze the facts of their case study fleet, apply various principles of management and best practices from the core disciplines, and rehearse for a formal “stand and deliver” presentation on the final day before the entire class as they would before a senior executive of a real company in defense of the private fleet. This is a competitive “nail-biter” with first-, second- and third-place winners. 

Most who go through PFMI are also candidates for the Certified Transportation Professional® (CTP) program and thus expect the experience to help prepare them for the CTP exam in February. Go to NPTC’s website for registration details.

As everyone knows from personal experience, PFMI is “higher education” at its best!

Gary Petty is president and CEO of the National Private Truck Council. The council’s website is www.nptc.org. His  column appears monthly in Fleet Owner.

About the Author

Gary Petty

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