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Damian James' Blog: 9 November 2010 - Starry, starry night!!!

Date: 09 November 2010

Damian James is Head of Transport Provision for Bracknell Forest Council and a technology champion

I know it wasn't fireworks night last Wednesday but the 2010 ACFO awards dinner went with a real bang. This was a new format because although the awards have been going for twenty plus years this was the first big ceremony to celebrate the achievements within the industry in the last twelve months. Over two hundred people attended and it was a great occasion.

One of the most commented things about the evening was that it was more intimate due to the number of attendees. This gave people lots of opportunities to circulate and catch up with colleagues. I managed to catch up with a number of people that I hadn't seen for ages which is always useful as I learnt one or two new things along the way.

As some of you may know I do have a slight bias towards ACFO as I was recently asked if I wanted to become a Director of the association. I was delighted to be able to accept the offer and took up the new position in October. I have been a strong supported of ACFO ( for over ten years and chaired the South Wales and West region between 2005 and 2008. It is a great privilege to be asked and even more important to me that I can now serve the wider industry in promoting best practice in fleet management.

One of the things that struck me last Wednesday was how diverse this industry is. I spoke to other fleet managers, leasing company representatives, manufacturers, a tyre supplier, a driver training organisation, and a fleet and road risk consultant to name but a few. All of the above spoke with passion about their own field of expertise and I don't think there are many industries that could say the same. I know we have all had difficult times and for some of us things are going to get a whole lot worse over the next few years but even with that backdrop there is also a lot to be positive about. Quality of product, service provided and knowledge within the industry has never been higher and if this can be achieved through the worst recession in sixty years then that's really something to celebrate within the sector.