NAFA Delivers Strong Testimony on US Postal Service Hearing

NAFA’s Director of Professional Development Katherine Vigneau, CAFM® states replacing all USPS vehicles at same time is not in keeping with best practices.

Princeton, NJ, May 21, 2015 --( NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) today provided strong testimony to the US House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform during the Committee's hearing on the US Postal Service's request to acquire 180,000 new vehicles.

Katherine Vigneau, CAFM®, NAFA’s Director of Professional Development, told committee members that best practices should be adhered to during the fleet replacement process and that the Postal Service’s idea of replacing all 180,000 at the same time, from a single source, is not in keeping with best practices.

"In accordance with NAFA best practice, the USPS has a definite requirement to replace a significant portion of their fleet," Vigneau said. "Lifecycle Cost Analysis has been used to demonstrate that operating costs are rising significantly. Extended replacement also has the disadvantages of not introducing important safety and technological improvements in the fleet. The lifecycle methodology should be used further to analyze custom vs. commercial purchase options and alternative fuel options."

Vigneau pointed out that the Office of the Inspector General report "...continually mentions the weakness in the long-term replacement strategy. Without a detailed strategy, the acquisition process cannot continue. The strategy should envision a smoothed replacement cycle with regular, predictable capital requirements. The strategy should also seek to provide a long-term solution to avoid being in this position as the replacement vehicles end their lifecycles in a further 25 years."

Vigneau also stated that fleet management should be centralized and the individuals responsible should be trained in fleet management best practice. "Centralization will give better control over the long-term replacement cycle," she added.

NAFA advocated the following best practices be followed:

1. The organization uses NAFA’s lifecycle spreadsheets (or similar) and defines and observes optimal vehicle lifecycles, avoiding the pitfalls of extended replacement.

2. A long-term capital procurement plan exists and is regularly reviewed and updated.

3. Management of fleet assets is centralized for efficiency, liability and control reasons.

4. A vehicle selector list is created taking into consideration lifecycle costs, safety and the environment as a minimum.

5. The organization sets goals for fuel and emissions reductions in accordance with NAFA’s sustainability standard.

The US Postal Service is in the beginning stages of replacing its delivery fleet. It has been reported that replacement of its 163,000 mail delivery trucks would come at a cost of at least $4.5 billion. The agency has stated it would award a replacement contract for its aging fleet to a single supplier which would provide 180,000 vehicles for $25,000 to $35,000 per vehicle.

A former Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Army, Vigneau has held various positions in logistics and transportation in Canada and abroad. From 1998 to 2001 she held the post of Fleet Manager for the Department of National Defense, responsible for policy oversight and management of a fleet of 32,000 vehicles. She most recently spent four years at the Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger, Norway leading the Logistics training of NATO forces before her retirement in October 2010. She has been an active volunteer with NAFA – Fleet Management Association since 1999. She worked on education projects and has been the Vice Chair (2005-2007) and Chair (2007 to 2009) of the Certification Board, and Canadian Vice-President (2009-2010).

About NAFA Fleet Management Association

NAFA is the world’s premier not-for-profit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location or fleet composition. NAFA’s Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance and repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles including in excess of 1.1 million trucks of which 350 thousand are medium- and heavy-duty trucks. For more information visit
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