A fleet manager plays a crucial role in ensuring that a company's vehicles are well-maintained, safe, and cost-effective. They are responsible for overseeing the entire fleet operation, from acquisition to disposal. A Certified Fleet Manager (CFM) is a professional who has demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of fleet management. In this article, we will explore the steps that are needed to become a CFM and how it can benefit individuals and companies.
What is a Certified Fleet Manager?
A Certified Fleet Manager (CFM) is a professional designation for someone with demonstrated expertise in managing and maintaining a fleet of vehicles. This person must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass a certification exam by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This non-profit organization promotes excellence in the automotive service and repair industry.
How can someone become a Certified Fleet Manager?
Becoming a Certified Fleet Manager (CFM) requires a combination of education, experience, and dedication to the field of fleet management. The first step in becoming a CFM is to obtain a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as business, logistics, or engineering. Next, individuals should gain experience in the field by working in a fleet-related role, such as a fleet administrator or fleet coordinator. As they gain experience, individuals should also seek out opportunities to learn about the latest industry trends and best practices by attending conferences, workshops, and training programs.
The professional experience could include anything from managing a fleet of corporate cars to a municipal fleet of buses or trucks for public transportation, construction, heavy civil, or any other industry engaged in transport. There are so many ways companies and logistics organizations need to utilize fleet management to meet demand in the wider global economy.
Once an individual has the required education and experience, they can then apply to take the CFM exam. The exam covers a range of topics, including fleet operations, maintenance, safety and risk management, and financial management.
Taking the CFM certification exam
To be eligible to take the CFM certification exam, candidates must have at least five years of experience managing a fleet of vehicles and a bachelor's degree in a related field. Alternatively, candidates may qualify with seven years of experience managing a fleet and an associate's degree in a related field.
The CFM certification exam covers a range of topics, including fleet management principles, maintenance management, fuel management, safety, and environmental regulations. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within four hours.
To maintain their CFM certification, individuals must participate in ongoing professional development and re-certify every five years. This can be done by earning continuing education credits by attending industry conferences, participating in training programs, or publishing articles in industry magazines.
CFM certification recognizes individuals with a strong foundation in fleet management principles. It is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest industry best practices. By earning the CFM certification, individuals can demonstrate their expertise and dedication to their profession, leading to career advancement and increased job opportunities.
What does a Certified Fleet Manager do?
Certified Fleet Managers oversee and manage a company's fleet of vehicles. This includes tasks such as:
- Planning and implementing a vehicle maintenance schedule
- Tracking and analyzing the costs associated with the fleet
- Identifying and implementing cost-saving measures
- Ensuring compliance with all relevant laws and regulations
- Managing and supervising any staff that are responsible for the fleet
- Negotiating with suppliers and vendors
- Using fleet management software to track and analyze data
- Developing and implementing policies and procedures for the fleet.
How much can you earn with the CFM certification?
It is difficult to estimate how much an individual with a Certified Fleet Manager (CFM) certification can earn, as salary can vary widely based on a number of factors such as the individual's level of experience, the size and type of organization they work for, and the location of their job.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for transportation, storage, and distribution managers, which includes fleet managers, was $94,730 in 2020. However, this figure includes all transportation, storage, and distribution managers, regardless of whether they have a CFM certification.
Obtaining a CFM certification can demonstrate expertise and commitment to the profession, which may be attractive to potential employers and could lead to higher salaries. It is important to note that earning a CFM certification is just one factor that can influence an individual's earning potential. Other factors, such as education, experience, and performance on the job, will also play a role.
What does a CFM need to track in order to be successful?
Certified Fleet Managers (CFMs) are responsible for tracking and analyzing a variety of metrics to ensure that a company's fleet is operating efficiently and effectively. Some of these metrics include:
- The total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Fuel consumption and cost
- Vehicle downtime
- Maintenance and repair cost
- Accidents and incidents
- Vehicle utilization
- Vehicle lifecycle
- Driver performance
- Environmental impact
- Compliance with laws and regulations
- Fleet size and composition
These metrics help CFMs identify areas where the fleet is performing well and areas where improvements can be made. These metrics enable CFMs to make data-driven decisions and implement cost-saving measures.
Becoming a CFM requires a combination of education, experience, and dedication to the field of fleet management. With the right qualifications and experience, individuals can take the CFM exam and become a certified fleet manager. With that certification, they'll have the knowledge and skills to manage fleet operations efficiently and effectively and to make data-driven decisions that can help a company save money and improve safety.