The NSW Department of Industry has received a major industry award for its innovative practices in managing its statewide car fleet that's saved the department more than $1 million a year.
The department, which will soon operate out of the site of the old Orange Base Hospital, was recognised for a number of cost-saving strategies.
The senior manager of Integrated Fleet Services John Barlow was named the 2019 Australasian fleet manager of the year at the Australasian Fleet Management Association Awards in Melbourne on Thursday.
According to the Department of Industry's executive director of corporate operations Katherine Tollner, Mr Barlow introduced a Fleet Optimisation Strategy that slashed insurance premiums and at-fault claims by 90 per cent.
"This award is a fantastic achievement and recognises the work John and his team are doing to lead the way for private and public sector organisations in Australasia," he said.
"The strategy challenged traditional fleet management approaches by adopting vehicle telematics, using hybrid electric vehicles, and successfully piloting car share services in regional NSW."
This means department staff now have alternative vehicle options and the Orange community benefits as they can also access the vehiclesJohn Barlow
Mr Barlow said using vehicle telematics is a potential life saver for department staff who often travel long distances on isolated country roads.
"The telematics system will automatically alert a 24x7 third party call centre if a vehicle rolls, it detects an accident or the driver activates the duress alarm," Mr Barlow said.
"Processing vehicle usage data electronically through telematics also saves us significant time, resources and money."
Another innovation has been the introduction of hybrid vehicles to the department's fleet.
The department has invested in the infrastructure required for electric powered vehicles needed to cover long distances, with charging stations installed at numerous regional and metro locations.
Mr Barlow said the third significant innovation has been a partnership with GoGet car sharing services.
"This means department staff now have alternative vehicle options and the Orange community benefits as they can also access the vehicles," he said.
"As a result of the Fleet Optimisation Strategy the department has been able to reduce the number of pool vehicles by 80 vehicles," Mr Barlow said.
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