The Fleet News Awards recognise the top performers and innovators in the industry during the past year, from fleet managers to car manufacturers, contract hire firms to service companies. An expert line-up of 12 industry experts has been brought together for two weeks of discussion on this year's entries at Fleet News' headquarters, in Peterborough.
The panel includes leading fleet managers, all of whom are former award winners and have expert knowledge of all areas of fleet, from the best way to run a vehicle department, to what attributes service companies need to show to offer a winning products, while they also have expert knowledge of vehicles and what makes a winning business car or van.
This year, we have had a record entry for all categories of the awards, with hundreds of nominations and nearly 100 companies in the overall shortlist, meaning the judges have had a harder task than ever in picking winners.
The judges considering the fleet decision-makers entries are John Maslen, editor of Fleet News and overall chairman of the judging panels; Steve Moody, deputy editor of Fleet News; Alan Miles, of the Royal National Institute for the Blind and Stewart Whyte, director of fleet consultancy Fleet Audits, who is also a director of the Association for Car Fleet Operators.
Whyte, Miles, Maslen and Moody are also part of the fleet service company judging panel. Other members include, Phil Redman, of IBM, (who won the Fleet Manager of the Year (250-plus vehicles) award in 2001; Dug Brown, of Somerfield Stores, who was presented with the UK Fleet of the Year award in 2002 and Keith O'Connor, fomerly group procurement director of NCN Express, who is now a consultant with Fleetsolve. He is a multiple award winner, having taken home Fleet Manager of the Year (250-plus vehicles) in 2002 and the Fleet Risk Management awrd in 2001.
In the car category, the panel was increased to 11 judges, with the addition of Martin Ward, national research manager at used car experts CAP; David Kershaw, operations director of Lloyds TSB autolease, which operates a fleet of 150,000 vehicles and Kevin McNally, managing director of LeasePlan, which has more than 130,000 vehicles.
Together they added an in-depth knowledge of running costs, residual values and years of hands-on experience in the car market to help with choosing the winners of the car and van categories.
A new award, presented in association with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, is the Environmental Manufacturer of the Year Award. The BVRLA carried out a detailed survey of manufactures and Robin Mackonochie, the association's head of communications presented the in-depth findings to the full judging panel, which then examined the results in-depth and made their final decision on a winner in this category.
The judging panel:
Deputy editor, Fleet News
Judged: fleet managers, service companies
CAP national research manager
Judged: cars, vans
Simon Harris Road test editor, Fleet News Judged: Cars, vans
David Kershaw Job title: Operations director, Lloyds TSB autolease Judged: cars, vans
Administration and data protection manager, RNIB
Judged: fleet managers, cars, vans, service companies
Dug Brown Fleet executive, Somerfield Stores Judged: cars, vans, service companies
manager UK Fleet Management and Forms & Print Departments, IBM
Judged: cars, service companies
Director, Fleet Audits Judged: fleet managers, cars, vans service companies
Head of communications, BVRLA Environmental manufacturers of the year
managing director, LeasePlan
Judged: Cars, vans
Consultant, Fleetsolve Judged: cars, services companies
Editor, Fleet News
Chairman of judging panels
The awards in full
Cars and vans
Supplier Company Awards
Intensive in-depth judging process ensures fair play
THE judging process for this year's awards has been one of the most in-depth in its history.
In the past six months, we have asked fleet decision-makers to enter themselves for an award, but also to nominate who they think deserves to receive recognition from Fleet News in each category. We received more than 600 nominations, which where then compiled into a shortlist and put before the judges.
Before the judging, the panel received all entries in advance, allowing them ample time to give each questionnaire full consideration. The judges then convened at the Fleet News' offices, in Media House, Peterborough, to go through the entries together, putting forward their individual observations and sharing their expertise with the rest of the panel.
They focused on all areas of a company's or fleet decision-makers operations. Short-listed fleet decision-makers were invited for interview to enable the judging panel to decide on a winner.
Service companies received a detailed questionnaire and when all entries had been received, the judges were able to make a detailed and fair comparison of every entry in each category.
The judging process is very intensive and lasted for a two-week period to ensure that each entry was given ample scrutiny.
Stars line up to make our big night a roaring success
FLEET News has signed up a galaxy of stars to ensure the 2003 Fleet News Awards are a night to remember.
BBC Breakfast News anchor Natasha Kaplinsky, comedian Lenny Henry, and the band The Real Thing, will be on stage during the industry event of the year at Le Meridien Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on March 19.
In November 2002, Oxford graduate Kaplinsky moved from Sky Sunrise to the BBC flagship breakfast programme following stints at Meridian, London News Network and London Weekend Television. On the night, Kaplinsky will be hosting the awards ceremony.
The comic touch will be provided by Lenny Henry, who since the Seventies has been delighting audiences with his stand-up routines, TV shows, acting and wacky characters, as well as his work for Comic Relief.
The Real Thing first had a UK number one in 1976 with the catchy disco anthem 'You To Me Are Everything', and followed it up with other dancefloor fillers, including 'Can't Get By Without You' and 'Can You Feel The Force?'. Finally, Joffins Disco will provide dancing late into the night for one of the best evenings of the year.
Now book your place
Print off the booking form, fill it in and fax it back to 01733 468346. A member of the events team will then contact you to confirm your booking.