Regardless of how big you fleet is, the day to day running and managing requires skill. An effective fleet manager’s contribution can never be underestimated, with the implementation of best practices bringing substantial cost savings.
So, how can you improve your effectiveness, skills and knowledge as a fleet manager?
Be proactive with the safety of your fleet and drivers
The outside world is becoming increasingly distracting and producing more safety hazards for your drivers. Prevention is better than cure, so it’s a good idea to map out potential safety concerns and provide a solution. If you wait until an accident or a near miss, your company and employees could pay dearly with compensation claims, a HSE investigation and worst of all a fatality or life changing injury. The cost of handy gadgets or apps may seem unnecessary, but the alternative could be a lot more expensive and traumatic!
Be proactive and find out what your drivers are doing when you aren’t looking.
Make maintenance management easy and accessible.
Admit it, humans are inherently lazy. If a process seems unnecessarily complicated, less effort is put into completing tasks. If you want your drivers to take good care of your vehicles and keep up with routine vehicle service and maintenance, you need to make inspections, scheduling and reporting as effortless as possible. Online management software with mobile apps and automated features like service reminders are the key to a successful vehicle maintenance program. Compare this to an outdated approach of whiteboards, notes and files – things are bound to get complicated and potentially more expensive if you miss a service and a problem on your truck escalates!
Simplify your maintenance management by making it as accessible as possible by your team.
Set yourself guidelines for truck purchasing and disposal
Without guidelines, different departments and locations may buy vehicles as need and keep them for as long as they see fit. Planning ahead to replace vehicles at the optimum time will save money rather than bulk purchasing. Avoiding the costs of running old trucks which become unreliable and expensive to run is paramount. When planned your team will be able to purchase trucks which are specified exactly to your company needs rather than compromising with a rushed timescale. Collate your data and find out when it’s best for your company to renew your fleet of trucks.
Our team at Sterling can help you work out what features are the most important and can help your company.
Set goals and expectations for driver performance
Happy employees mean a happy company! Of course, every employee should perform to the best of their ability, but motivation and incentives can do wonders for helping your drivers to be loyal and care about your assets as much as you do. Think of high fuel efficiency or performing thorough vehicle inspections daily. Monitoring driver behaviour makes it easier to promote safe driving habits.
Measure everything that matters
KPI’s are important. They help you to monitor progress but sometimes you can collect too much data and start focusing on the wrong goal. What’s the point if you aren’t measuring well? KPI’s such as cost per mile, total cost trend and operating cost summary are few to start with. Make sure they are strategic indicators that can help you positively impact your fleet.
Document everything digitally.
This point is so important I am basically mentioning it twice. Online storage is not expensive so there are no excuses for not knowing where your information is stored. Everything from invoices to employee records and product manuals can be kept on one central cloud database which can be accessed from anywhere. Find a system which will help to integrate your servicing and inspections and scheduling all in one place.
Constantly educate yourself about industry advancements and consider adoption.
Somethings do involve trial and error but without knowledge you are rarely going to succeed. With the industry constantly changing you need to keep up by joining an industry association, reading trade publications, keeping up with the latest vehicle technology and signing up to newsletters.
Armed with this new knowledge, you can learn what’s best for your company and put best practices in place.
Featured Case Study
Clements Plant & Access
However, having visited the Sterling factory I was extremely impressed in the superior quality of the product and it’s clear that they have produced a design with the user in mind and have eradicated a number of issues seen in competitive products.