The safety of your drivers and vehicles, as well as productivity, is directly related to the sales and service goals of your organization. That is why a fleet manager has to be constantly on his toes to dig out the best ways for successfully handling fleet of company vehicles.
1. Hiring Dedicated Fleet Manager
Hiring a dedicated person for taking care of your fleet of vehicles is the first step towards managing it in the best possible way. The top five duties of fleet managers includes fuel management, vehicle procurement, up-fits, GPS system management, and maintenance management.
The fleet manager takes care of all these duties which automatically save the money for the owner he is required to pay for outsourcing repairs and maintenance.
2. Preventive Maintenance Should Be A Priority
A successful fleet manager always makes preventive maintenance his top priority. Vehicles when maintained properly cut down the chances of downtime and unscheduled repairs.
Some of the aspects that are included in preventive maintenance are tire rotation/inspection and regular vehicle safety checks.
These preventive measures scheduled in a regular cycle is highly crucial because apart from checking oils and rotating tires, this is the time when the fluid levels, as well as air pressure in tires, is also checked.
3. Keeping An Eye On Cost Of Ownership
For ensuring that the profit margin you are expecting does not receive a dent, keep an eye on the cost of ownership.
Check whether the maintenance cost of an aging vehicle is going beyond what you are getting; understand the warranty coverage of the manufacture and how these factors are affecting your entire cost of ownership.
Each vehicle has a residual value. Understanding the residual value as well as the existing trends in the used vehicle market will help you decide the optimal time for selling the vehicle and make a cost-effective deal.
4. Understanding Demands Of Each Vehicle
If you have vehicles of multiple brands and make in your fleet, it is better to understand the maintenance demands of each vehicle. Based on the time, the vehicle will be on road and it will carry bulks of loads that outlines the specifications of each vehicle properly.
The Under-spec’d vehicle can lead to severe maintenance issues and can directly impact your budget.
On the other hand, the over-spec’d vehicle can lead to an increase in the cost.
So a fleet management organization must sit down with its fleet managing specialists and staff and replace vehicles only on the basis of priority parameters like operating conditions, usage, what is being carried, and so on.
Some of the important tasks that are an integral part of quality fleet maintenance includes:
• Fuel card services
• License and title management
• Fleet analysis
• Vehicle disposal
• Equipment purchasing and leasing
• Maintenance and repair program
• Tools for researching, building and comparing new trucks, trailers, and cars
5. Design A Proper Company Policy
From maintaining and repairing a vehicle to scheduling and tracking, the route using the software for fleet management, a company must always have a proper format for fulfilling all such duties.
A company policy should also include criteria for earning incentives and bonuses and it should also mention what is acceptable and expected and what is completely beyond limits for all the employees.
6. Communicating Company Policy With Drivers
Just having a company policy is not enough. You must communicate the company policy with your drivers as well as with the allied staff.
Make sure that they are well aware of their duties and the policies that the company follows for using vehicles.
Arrange a session occasionally so that they get a clear understanding of the per month schedules and maintenance policies of your vehicles.
The session should teach them how they should act in any case they get involved in an accident or if the vehicle suddenly needs any repair.
7. Managing Fuel Consumption’s & Maintaining Greener Fleet
With the updated software, it is possible to have a track of fuel consumption of your fleet.
It also gives you an idea regarding how to maintain a greener fleet that minimizes emissions as well as reduces the costs. Fleets that seems to be consuming more fuel are dangerous for the environment, should be immediately replaced.
8. Having Control Over Fleet
An efficient fleet supervisor has complete control over his fleet.
He has all the data about vehicles, their maintenance scheduling, routing, and vehicle testing and fleet documentation outlined in a regularized format.
You can use the appropriate management tool for ensuring that all such details are at the fingertips.
9. Say ‘Yes’ To Innovation
A company that is open to new ideas and ready to test them always has an edge over its competitors.
A fleet management company must always say yes to such technological innovations, be it software or a GPS tracker installed on each vehicle.
More often, the implementation of such new updates and software make work easier and also offer a complete picture of the fleet to the owner.
It not only helps in making your entire working system more efficient but you can as well strengthen the weak points that such new technological data unravel.
10. Updating Staff About New Changes
Even though most of the new updates are related to in-house tracking and maintaining schedules, make sure that field staff including the drivers are aware of the new changes.
Introducing new technologies should always be followed by training programs, developments, and redesigns.
Intimating your staff about these new updates and taking them into confidence will automatically make them feel important. Moreover, once they understand the changes in the way of working, they also will try to follow and co-operate which ultimately will help you to manage your fleet in a smooth way.
Adopting such best ways to manage a fleet of vehicles saves both time and money of the company in the long run.
One of the important parts of the solution is the adoption of innovation and new software & service options.
Designed vertically, you can always take the benefit from customized fleet management software that fulfills the specific needs of your company.