Combining fleet and facilities management is proven to be an effective tool in a facilities management organisation, as there are many common characteristics to each discipline which can work in tandem and result in a cohesive and efficiently-run business. Facilities rely on many different people and systems, and one of these is fleet vehicles. Within fleet management there are also a number of concurrently running factors to manage, so here we have looked at five key things that a fleet management provider can do to operate effectively in a facilities management environment.
In a fast-paced business there is no room for ineffective communication. This can mean over-complicated instructions, or information that is directed at the wrong people or at the wrong time. It is important that communication is clear, concise and meaningful, in order to get maximum benefit from it, and this needs to align with management technique. In facilities management, and when dealing with fleet vehicles and systems, you can come into contact with many different types of people; customers, employees, contractors, members of the public, cleaning/maintenance staff. These all require different forms and style of communication, and a key management tool is adapting your tone, message and medium to effectively communicate with each.
It is easy to get carried away by the possibilities of what modern technology presents in terms of the endless streams of data that systems produce. With facilities and fleet management, this mainly revolves around costs and the factors that influence them. Energy and labour costs are a major part of this, and it is important that data streams are setup to provide meaningful and useful data that you can apply to real-time projects and situations.
Set realistic targets
This follows on from the previous point, in that only when you have established the consistent production of meaningful data, can you set measurable and achievable targets. Running facilities and fleets in tandem requires a good manager to set targets in terms of fuel and energy usage, travel times and mileage and job-specific tasks such as delivery times. Continuous improvement is what you should be striving for and systems such as least-cost routing help you to achieve this. Using this system you can carry out cross-comparison procurement to ensure that every purchase is verified as the best value available.
Running an efficient organisation means that you are not losing time to over-fussy procedures, wasteful practices and error-strewn performance. This can be minimised by implementing systems that are simple and direct, have clear lines of communication and use the right data that is tailored to provide the results you need to see. The use of IT systems and programmes such as planned preventive maintenance also means that many procedures can be automated, so that communication and management is taken care of without manual intervention, and the problems that can sometimes bring.
When managing a facility you are responsible for many different contracts in terms of utilities, maintenance, services and of course fleet. A key skill is being able to negotiate these on terms that suit the business. This can mean that contracts run for varying lengths and provide the right cost savings that will help the organisation. It is important not to approach contract negotiations with an inflexible attitude and in the hope that a ‘common template’ will necessarily be the most beneficial solution to the business.