Regardless of your fleet’s size, it is challenging to maintain operations at peak efficiency around the clock. Be it vehicle procurement or vendor communication, fleet managers have a lot on their plates. So unless you have a proper system in place, you run the risk of letting key aspects fall through the cracks, which could wind up squandering your time, money, and other resources.
However, you can improve productivity, reduce downtime, and run your fleet management operations more cost-effectively with only a few minor adjustments. Whether you are in charge of a small fleet of vehicles or a large one that spans the country, the following fleet management tips will work wonders for you:
1. Stay On Top Of Fleet Maintenance
A lot of people put off necessary automobile repairs and maintenance. Despite their durability, vehicles still require regular maintenance, especially if they are part of a company’s fleet. Every vehicle in your fleet must be inspected once a month, at the very least. It is because a seemingly minor issue could develop into a major one over time. By keeping up with routine maintenance, you can find issues before they escalate into costly repairs. Keeping up with maintenance is also vital for ensuring the safety of your fleet and preventing accidents.
For each vehicle, you can anticipate paying roughly $70 per month. This should give you a general idea of how much you will pay annually and create your budget accordingly. When it comes to buying vehicle parts, you should opt for a well-reputed supplier. The biggest benefit of working with top vendors such as Continental Research Corporation is that they will go out of their way to provide top-quality products.
2. Invest In A Fleet Management Software
For a long time, managing a fleet of vehicles meant using paper forms and sticky notes on a cluttered whiteboard. These procedures are not only chaotic, but they also discourage teamwork. That is where fleet management software can make a huge difference. It allows you to stay in touch with your workforce, which increases productivity and decreases downtime.
Also, you may use this software to assess the driving behavior of your team and identify the best and worst drivers. In particular, a driver scorecard allows you to quantify drivers’ “safety ratings” and rate them accordingly. You may give constructive criticism to drivers who received low scores and perhaps even design or enroll them in a safe driving program to improve their attitude toward driving and their ability behind the wheel. Besides, it will also help you create a rewards system for your top-performing drivers. This will increase the driver retention rate big time and encourage drivers to become safer on the road.
Another major upside of fleet management software is that it streamlines route planning. That way, you may establish appropriate routes in real-time to keep your fleet on time and reduce fuel consumption without manually planning each route. Additionally, you can gain an understanding of your fleet’s performance and employ critical measures for decision-making. Optimal routing saves vehicle wear and tear, hence increasing their service life.
3. Factor In Vehicle Specs
Before you start shopping around to purchase a vehicle for your fleet, it is a good idea to list down all the requirements that the new vehicle should meet. Opting for an automobile that is not well-suited to your needs (in terms of capacity or performance) can have negative consequences down the road. It may end up costing you a lot of money in repairs and upkeep.
By explaining the vehicle’s primary purpose, you will save money in the long run. Ensure that vehicles are specified based on factors such as usage, operating conditions, and load type.
At the same time, we also recommend not going overboard with vehicle purchases. When investing in something as crucial as your fleet, it goes without saying that you should be careful with your finances. It is important to strike a balance when adding vehicles to your fleet. A larger fleet means more money spent on repairs and upkeep. Moreover, keeping track of so many automobiles can be a formidable task, even for a trained fleet manager. Examine your present fleet strength before embarking on an expansion.
4. Set Realistic Goals
When managing a fleet, it is essential to set objectives and track results. Perhaps most importantly, your company’s goals should be clearly defined and widely disseminated. Sharing fleet management goals with everyone from the board to upper management to the frontline staff is imperative for achieving them. Standard fleet management objectives could include the following:
- Maximizing vehicle usage
- Promoting the well-being of all drivers
- Monitoring regulatory compliance
- Bringing down gas/fuel prices and consumption
The stress on your staff will decrease as fleet operations become more streamlined. That should be incentive enough to spice up the fleet management game, right? Though this is easier said than done, walking the tight line of the tips covered in this post means improving fleet management will just be a matter of time.