Owning and managing a fleet of vehicles is only one aspect of fleet management. In a nutshell, it involves whole fleet coordination and management that addresses every phase of the lifecycle of the vehicle (from purchase to usage, maintenance to retirement). Reduced operational costs, risk mitigation, reliability and safety assurance, and increased productivity are also part of successfully operational fleet management, and in this article, we will take a look at ways to ensure that your fleet operation is smooth, optimal and on the way to the top.
The Benefits Of Managing Your Fleet
Vehicle maintenance, licensing and compliance, supply chain management, accident management and subrogation, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, speed management, fuel management, health and safety management, and vehicle remarketing can all be included in fleet (vehicle) management. Proper fleet management is important. You cannot trust that you will stay on top of everything if you are unaware of what everything is. It is important to have a schedule, software and tools that help you manage your fleet better as it will help with the following:
- Maximising efficiency: Your vehicles will function properly if you are managing them the right way. Optimal fleet management lets you stay on top of your game and ahead of the competition because customers and suppliers trust you.
- Increase productivity: A schedule and keeping track of where everything is will help you identify which vehicles are busy and which ones can be booked. This will ensure that productivity stays on par.
- Improve safety for an organisation’s vehicles and drivers: You will know where your vehicles are, when and with whom. This way, you can keep an eye on them and be available or have the right resources in case of an emergency.
Often this is achieved using a combination of vehicle tracking, reporting on fuel consumption, monitoring of driver behaviour and management of vehicle maintenance.
Manage Your Fleet With Software
Society has been relying heavily on technology for some time now, and the reason for this is not just because the world is shifting but also because technology is implementing new ways to make managing almost anything easier. Using fleet management software cuts your paperwork time in half and helps you keep your records clear and concise. You can schedule your drivers’ trips, your vehicles’ services, and other projects onto one system or software where everyone involved will have access to the same information. This also helps with keeping the team aligned as well as holding those accountable who need to be responsible for the projects when they are scheduled for them, and managers can store all driver and vehicle records and easily access them when needed.
Fleet management through software also helps a great deal when it comes to data loading and management. When you enter data (orders, updates, etc.) manually, it is a long and tedious process, whereas with fleet management software, you can automate your data.
Invest In A Manager
It may seem like the work of a fleet manager is easy when you are starting out, but with upgrades, technologies and software, you may need a trained eye to help you manage your business with ease. Employing a fleet manager will help you streamline everything and dedicate certain tasks to them while you focus on other things. Driver management, monitoring fuel usage and costs, asset utilisation, route planning, and the adoption of any programmes that boost business efficiency and shorten wait times may all fall within the purview of fleet managers, who are in charge of fleet operations. The day-to-day running of your vehicles needs to be monitored at all times, and as a business owner, this may not be ideal for you, and that’s where a manager comes in.
Fleet specialist services are available from financial services providers, and they provide you with the necessary fleet solutions in South Africa that cater for your business. Take WesBank, for example, which takes the following approach to help you manage your fleet needs:
- Analysis and solution design
- Procurement and replacement
- Fleet management
- Vehicle disposals
In the fleet management business, many businesses are under the threat of fuel theft and negligence from drivers, which results in some of the parts being broken. With fleet management software, you can integrate fuel transactions by adding your payment method (usually card) into the software so that you track the finances of your fleet. You can also monitor driver behaviour through tracking and monitoring them regularly. Poor driving practices, such as abrupt acceleration and braking, might cause fleet maintenance to be needed sooner than intended. Idling can significantly increase the fuel expenditures for your fleet. Use your fleet management system software to enforce regulations like turning off the engine if it idles for a prolonged length of time in order to efficiently eliminate waste. Immediately altering a driver’s behaviour can help prevent accidents. As a result, insurance costs might be greatly decreased.
Have Vehicle Replacement Cycles
As the backbone of your company, your vehicles are important. You need to have a service and maintenance plan and schedule for them and keep track of their conditions to avoid unpleasant surprises. Vehicle replacement is a delicate subject for many fleets, but taking a data-driven approach ensures you’re making the best decisions at the right time.
Hopefully, your fleet management questions have been answered, and you have a better understanding of what you need to ensure you operate in a smooth manner at all times. Yes, there may be challenges in your business, but having the right preparation and team will help you deal with those small (and big) problems easily.