It is a common misconception that fleet management is a complex process of streamlining vehicle operations. While tracking the vehicle chains, idle times, and driver times may seem complicated, there is a lot that owners/fleet managers can do to enhance the bottom line. By following a few practices, you can reduce costs, improve performance, and design efficient travel policies.
Here Are The Basics Of Effective Fleet Management
Depending upon the kind of vehicles that your fleet needs, you may want to develop a timeline for ordering them. If you do not have them in time, your orders and services will get adversely impacted. It will have a direct impact on your financials and also the reputation of your business.
Vehicle production takes time, and you can resolve delays by understanding their lead times. Secondly, you can choose to order from the factory instead of the dealers to cut the middle costs and have consistency in your fleet. If you have a big order, you can try to negotiate with the manufacturers for better pricing and options.
When selecting the vehicles, you also need to consider the fuel consumption, insurance, and taxes to make the best deal for your company. GPS plays an important role in fleet management, and if you want to create your own app, you should have the necessary tools to develop an effective GPS.
Streamline Vehicle Acquisition & Disposal
Without any set guidelines, the departments in your firm will follow their will for ordering and disposing vehicles. What you need is consistency. It is advisable to accumulate the required information and knowledge at a central place and make it easily accessible to all.
As you do this, the departments will also get a better understanding of the options available in the market. You can also require them to bulk order instead of allowing them to order separately. Similarly, you can define guidelines to dispose of the vehicles before they start consuming more fuel and lose their efficiency.
Regular check-ups to ensure that the vehicles are in a good state are essential for the health of your fleet. It is regardless of the fact if they are owned by your company or leased by your employees. The onus of ensuring the safety of the vehicles will lie with you.
You can make it easy by designing a schedule for regular inspection. As you do so, ensure that the team records the necessary indicators. Also, ask them to flag any faults and the action taken thereof.
Apart from this, it is also necessary to ensure that the vehicles are insured. You may use a software solution to track all the dates if you feel manual records are not feasible. Lastly, send frequent reminders to your employees if they own the vehicles used by your business.
When you own a fleet, a lot of your business depends upon the performance of your drivers. Here, you would want to focus on two things – safe driving habits and high driving performance.
Once the vehicle leaves the premises, the drivers take charge, and you will depend a good deal on them. From timely communication to adopting fuel-saving habits to regular maintenance, your drivers can impact the health of your business in several ways. You may think of an incentive program to motivate your drivers to give their best to the company.
A global positioning system can also keep you in the loop about your vehicles’ locations.
Driver & Vehicle Safety
When you have a fleet of vehicles and work with other partners to transport their products and material, there is nothing as crucial as safety.
You do not want to pressurize your drivers to save fuel and jeopardize their safety in any way. Accidents and mishaps happen, but you need to have a process to minimize them at all costs.
Firstly, ensure that your drivers have a valid license and are trained to drive their vehicles. Secondly, prepare a set of guidelines for your drivers to avoid any unfortunate incidents on the road. They should also know the reporting procedures accurately to document the scene for insurance purposes.
Due to the dynamic external factors, the cost of the fuel is always rising. Whether you decide to go ahead with petrol or diesel, it is going to be the largest contributor to your overall costs. To keep the costs in control, you need to understand the consumption and usage.
It can become challenging if you own a large fleet or have a multi-location presence. It may not be possible to manually record every single incident of your driver pumping the fuel. In such scenarios, it is advisable to work with software solutions to achieve optimum efficiency.
Depending on the state that you are based in, the legislation may require you to follow a few rules. Furthermore, the US Department of Transport has laid down an ethics manual to safeguard human lives and public properties.
As the owner or manager, fleet risk management and compliance become your responsibility. As you stay compliant and register fewer accidents, you can expect more business in the future. Furthermore, it is also helpful for the health of your workers and the safety of your clients’ consignments.
Auditing is also an essential part of compliance. With regular inspection, you can catch all kinds of problems before something untoward can happen.
When you own a fleet, it may become overwhelming to understand costs to enhance your bottom line. An efficient way to ensure this is by using metrics to measure as many aspects as you can. As you do this, you will be able to understand your vehicles and fleet performance.
Such data will also enable you to make crucial decisions about your fleet operations. If your business is a large one, it is advisable to invest in software to get the best ROI.
Fleet management can keep you on your toes. However, once you set robust processes to track the vehicles and performance, you will be in a better place.