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Security Fleet Managers Driven to Steer Clear of Costs

Security's Fantastic Fleets Survey shows managers are literally getting more mileage out of their vehicles

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While still a leading cost center for installing security businesses, new developments and better tools have allowed vehicle fleets to serve as a prime example of efficiency optimization in the post-recession economy.

Fleet managers are fighting back against rising new vehicle, gas and insurance costs with strategic financing, superior fuel management, leveraging the power of GPS and smarter mobile devices, and rolling trucks less often thanks to software-centric solutions and remote diagnostics. And today’s vehicles are being built to higher standards of reliability and durability. At the same time, more refined graphics processes are helping security firms better market their services with some of the most colorful and eye-catching vehicles on the road.

These findings are reflected in SSI’s biannual 2014 Security’s Fantastic Fleets Survey — the industry’s only comprehensive project of its kind. The research features the responses of more than 200 North American company fleet managers and other supervisors or owners involved in making vehicle purchase decisions.

Some of the most noteworthy changes since the study was last conducted in 2012: vehicles are being kept in service longer (average 145K miles vs. 117K in 2012) and financed longer (13% of terms 60+ months vs. 2%); GM surpassing Ford as the top manufacturer; fuel cost falling from the No. 1 concern to No. 4; virtually no change in percentage of alternative-fuel vehicles (10%); a sharp rise in GPS usage across the board, including tracking speed (46% vs. 30%) and verifying timecards (38% vs. 25%); more employees taking vehicles home (86% vs. 73%); and higher average insurance costs in every coverage category ($2,456 vs. $1,898). A new question finds that 48% of field techs are now equipped with iPads or other tablet devices.

Check out our gallery for more facts and figures about managing security’s finest fleets.

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Article Topics
Business Management · Research · Fleet Management · Security Fleets · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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