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At Work: Fleet Service Manager

Fleet Service Manager
Name: Dana Hopkins
Company: Modern Group Ltd.
Location: Bristol, PA
Age: 37
Years on Job: 16 years in industry; joined Modern in May 2011
Dana Hopkins

I have the best job in the business. As a fleet service manager at Modern Group, I get to do it all—I have a hand in everything the material handling industry does, from marketing and selling trucks and providing service to involvement with the financial, engineering, aftermarket and allied equipment ends of the business. I’m only in the office one to two days a week; most of my time is spent on the road with existing and prospective customers or working with our sales team. Adaptability is a must.

I work with Modern’s 30-plus field reps to train them on what a fleet program is and how to present it to targets. The old adage that a fleet program “gets customers out of the forklift business” just isn’t true. We’re giving customers the tools and partnership to properly manage equipment in a way that benefits the bottom line.

There is a variety of software to track and capture data; some capture every failure code and report how often a bearing failed. In my experience, that level of detail is more cumbersome than useful. The two key data that I rely on are service events and utilization data.

Once a potential fleet candidate is identified by our sales team, I step in to develop a fleet proposal with site analysis and recommendations. What differentiates me from other dealers is that I visit every one of the customer’s branches to deliver my proposal. It gives me first-hand knowledge of equipment and processes and allows me to build personal relationships.

Tools of the Trade
As fleet service manager, there are several tools I rely on. I always need access to data, so I carry a smart phone, an iPad and a laptop. With all that data, I live a large part of my life in spreadsheets, so I need to be proficient with numbers. A comfortable pair of shoes keeps me going when I’m on the road.

Fleet programs are long-term relationships that rely on trust. It’s important to know the customer’s long-term growth plans, which is often proprietary information. I abide by the Shared Success Principle: When working with a customer, their success is mine and, in turn, my success is theirs.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association