Fleet management covers the whole lifetime of a vehicle whilst it is within the control of your business, from acquisition to disposal and involving an awful lot in between. The overall aim of fleet management is to reduce costs, improve efficiencies - not just of the fleet itself but of the impact it has on deliveries and operations the organisation deals with – and ensure compliance.
However, fleet management is changing all the time, and the key is keeping up with changing technologies, new software and new legislation. So we have put together a list of ten things you need to know, to make sure you can develop a robust and effective fleet management system for your business.
1. Fleet management covers every vehicle
There is a common perception that ‘fleet’ is only talking about company cars and delivery vehicles, but many different types of organisations have a fleet that is central to their operations. This includes hauliers, contractors, utilities, couriers, sales, service, taxis, public transport, healthcare providers, emergency services. All these different types of fleet need managing in the same way.
2. Software is the key to success
Your central focus should be on developing a system that integrates communication, organisation and compliance. A good software tool should help you manage vehicle acquisition, service and maintenance, fuel usage, compliance, inventory, accident management, budgeting and driver performance. And should be able to produce meaningful and practical data to support all these functions.
3. There is no excuse to miss anything
A good fleet management system will give you visibility of driver performance through GPS and built-in dash cams, so you can monitor how drivers drive, interact with customers and other road users, use their time productively and react in accordance with safety regulations. This all allows you to make key decisions and allows more transparency to support data.
4. Cutting costs
A good fleet management provider can reduce your costs by around 18%. This is mainly done through fleet tracking, which enables complete transparency and provides streams of data to monitor performance and support your decisions. This helps improve fuel efficiency, vehicle wear and tear, insurance costs, operations efficiency and reducing waste.
5. Compliance can trip you up
You need a robust and fool-proof system for checking licences and registrations, vehicle tax and insurance and for notifying you of new legislation which can impact your operations. Without this you could face fines, inefficiencies and the temporary or permanent cessation of a key part of your operations.
6. Fleet management improves your service to customers
It might not be the benefit that most readily comes to mind when you are implementing a fleet management system, but being able to provide more accurate delivery information and live tracking ability improves your level of customer service. Continual improvement targets that come from data reports should also ensure this service only gets better.
7. Fleet management is a paperless system
Your communication, data reports, compliance, day-to-day management and records can all be digital, whilst still being fully traceable and auditable.
8. Manage grey fleet too
Grey fleet is the management of vehicles which are owned by employees but used on company business. The organisation has a responsibility to manage these in the same way as its own fleet, and although the tax position and benefits to the company are different, many of the other management systems will be exactly the same.
9. Fleet management can be done remotely
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to re-assess many aspects of our lives, including what work we can do away from the office. Now, many organisations have made permanent changes to their operations. So with the right software and good communications, you can effectively manage your fleet remotely and still maintain the same real-time visibility.
10. 5G will improve fleet management even more
5G technology is going to be big by the end of 2021, and this will enable even better improvements for route planning, communications, in-car safety tech and real-time applications. As a result the fleet manager will be able to provide more accurate information, better analyse performance and drive down costs in new and better ways.