Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - 62

MANUFACTURING
"If a car has a lower
quality and doesn't sell
in the market, that's
going to be a disadvantage compared to other
cars that have a better
resale value."
Driving Excellence
Lauer joined Merck in July 1988. After
serving in the U.S. Army as the commander of the Fort Bragg Bomb Disposal
Detachment, he joined Merck in July
1988, gaining experience in engineering
operations and facilities management.
Since 2007, he has overseen the company's fleet of 6,000 vehicles in the United
States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Primarily, the fleet consists of sales
vehicles, but site vehicles comprise 15
percent, including electric carts and tractor-trailers. Merck's sales team members,
Lauer notes, use their vehicles to educate
physicians on the company's medications.
Merck regularly updates its sales
fleet, which is used far more often than
its site-based vehicles. "We replace the
sales vehicles every three years or for
every 75,000 miles," Lauer says.
This gives the drivers the benefit of
improved safety equipment, as well as
a better fuel economy and less down
time. "Once vehicles get up to 80,000
to 100,000 miles, their need for maintenance grows," he says. "Our drivers
would have to take time off of territory
to maintain their vehicles."
Merck also maintains strong relationships with the automotive OEMs to
benefit its fleet.
"It's important for us to understand what
products are coming along and what differentiates each of the manufacturers," he says.

62

TLIMAGAZINE.COM SPRING 2017

The company has agreements with
the manufacturers to get the best
pricing, but also looks at the total cost
of ownership, weighing factors such as
depreciation, fuel economy and maintenance, as well as resale value. "If a car
has lower quality and doesn't sell in the
market, that's going to be a disadvantage compared to other cars that have a
better resale value," he states.
Helping Out
Merck keeps its fleet efficient by employing fleet management companies to
oversee its day-to-day operations. With
6,000 vehicles in its fleet, "I can't handle
6,000 calls," Lauer admits, noting that
Merck delegates other actions to the
fleet management companies, including
deciding when to sell or scrap a vehicle.
"They help us do a lot of analysis and

reports," he says, noting that the firms
help Merck establish a vehicle's total
cost of ownership. "They know how
much it costs to maintain a Chevy Malibu versus a Subaru Legacy."
The management firms also help
Merck keep a close eye on its drivers
and their purchases. "We have fraud
detection," he says, noting that the firms
can tell if the drivers use premium fuel
or put more fuel in the vehicle than the
tanks can hold.
Merck also has the firms keep a close
eye on car rentals when the work vehicles
of drivers are in the shop, Lauer adds.
"Once their cars get fixed, they get out of
the rentals as soon as possible," he says.
"We've been with our current fleet
management firms since 2008," Lauer explains, noting some have added
services that previously did not exist at


http://www.TLIMAGAZINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017

Table Of Contents
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover1
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - 1
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Table Of Contents
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Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover3
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue4A
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue3a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue2b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue2a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol8issue1a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol7issue4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol7issue3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol7issue2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_vol7issue1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017fall_vol2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017fall_vol1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2017winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2016summer_vol1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2016summer_vol2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/tli_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015fall_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/tli_2012fall
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com