Owning and managing a fleet of vehicles, regardless of size, is no easy feat. However, it comes with several advantages for companies that require the use of several vehicles on a regular basis. Owning a fleet can offer companies flexibility, as they can tailor their shipment schedules based on the customer’s preferences.
It also provides companies the ability to give their delivery services a personal touch. Having a fleet of vehicles is also a good way to advertise the company’s business, as they can always imprint their logos and services on the vehicles.
With the pros, however, also comes the cons. The most common disadvantages are the cost that comes with fleet ownership and high insurance fees. With proper management, though, these disadvantages can be outweighed by all the perks and advantages of having a company-owned fleet.
Below are some tips on how to effectively manage a fleet and keep your company’s operations flowing smoothly.
Develop Processes and Policies for Drivers
Drivers are vital to the fleet. However, not all drivers may be careful enough once they are on the road. According to research done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, around 87% of drivers engage in risky behaviors while behind the wheel. These behaviors can include speed driving, red-light running, driving while intoxicated, distracted driving, using phones while driving, and not wearing a seat belt to name a few. Developing processes and policies that are to be strictly followed by drivers can help ensure that your fleet is driven with the utmost care and that each county regulation is being followed up to a tee.
Keep Vehicles Well-Maintained at All Times
Regular vehicle upkeep is crucial for the successful management of a fleet. It helps ensure that your vehicles do not break down unexpectedly while on the road. It also keeps drivers safe from untoward accidents that may occur due to an automobile’s faulty parts. According to RAC Foundation, road accidents account for 0.5% of all deaths in the UK in 2009, and 25% of all deaths among teens in that same year. Some of the most common causes of road accidents include faulty breaks, blowouts, and worn tires, and issues in steering or suspension. All these can be prevented through regular vehicle maintenance.
A well-maintained fleet can also help reduce operational costs, as the expenditures involved in preventive maintenance is often lower than repairs. It likewise boosts productivity, since there will be less downtime caused by car breakdowns.
Monitor the Performance of the Fleet
Proper fleet monitoring helps increase efficiency and productivity. Additionally, it ensures the overall safety of drivers and vehicles. Basically, fleet monitoring is a process by which fleet managers are able to track real-time or near real-time the activities of each vehicle and driver. With the right vehicle fleet management system, a manager can effectively track the driver’s behavior, vehicle speed, vehicle location, engine troubles, fuel consumption, vehicle’s idle time, hard accelerations, harsh braking, traffic data, and many more.
Create Incentive Programs for Drivers and Other Personnel
Motivate fleet drivers and other personnel to make them do better at work. Performance incentives, such as bonuses, extended vacations, and other incentive programs can greatly motivate drivers to enhance their work performance and to prioritize their safety while at work. It also helps with employee loyalty and retention.
Focus on Customer Retention
No business will prosper without loyal customers. Hence, customer retention should be given priority by fleet managers. Customer retention can be improved by providing excellent customer service and by giving loyal customers incentives for every repeat business they make. Loyalty programs, for instance, can help keep customers interested in your brand. It may also likely make them recommend your fleet services to contacts in their network. Some other ways to enhance customer retention include the use of email campaigns, carrying out satisfaction surveys, improving communications, keeping a good social media presence, and maintaining a good reputation among others.
Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs can help managers assess the company’s success in achieving its intended growth. By setting targets and monitoring data that is important to the company’s operational success, managers can evaluate whether the team is performing above, within, or below the company’s expectations. KPIs may be focused on the overall performance of the fleet or may be used to assess the processes used in the company’s various departments, such as sales, marketing, and customer service.
Effective fleet management comes with the utmost dedication to the work at hand. When done right, managers can make a remarkable impact on the overall success of the fleet.