For a functioning business with a fleet of vehicles, developing a fleet policy is a roadmap to getting the most out of your vehicles and managing them in line with your overall organisational objectives. A fleet policy is a top-tier document that needs to be authorised and understood by senior management, but it should not be a document that is only afforded lip service, and should not be visualised as a hollow box-ticking exercise which might get you through an audit.
A fleet policy sets out the fundamental elements of your fleet management system, and therefore needs to be meaningful and realistic. In this document you will set out what your fleet management objectives are, and how you are going to achieve them, this will then trigger lower-tier documents and the working operational procedures of your business, so that means setting out the parameters of your fleet management system to establish that you have the capacity to achieve your objectives, and then outlining the structure of your system to show the meat on the bones. This is where you will list your resources (people, contacts, budgets, outsourced contractors) who has authority in different areas and your policies relating to costs management.
What are the important elements of a fleet policy?
When it comes down to writing a fleet policy the above structure will help you form the basis of it, but when looking at the key elements, what needs to be included?
Of course vehicles are the fundamental feature of a fleet, so your policy needs to include processes which control how you choose a vehicle to suit a particular task or operation? How do you know this is the most efficient or practical vehicle? What service and maintenance facilities will you use? What financial model will you use to fund the sourcing of vehicles? How do you manage the use of vehicles in terms of business and personal use? How do you manage grey fleet?
What standards do you need for vehicle driving? How often do you need to review a driver’s competence and performance? Who is monitoring and recording training?
This is a huge element of your fleet management system and its importance is often overlooked. You need to have a good records system which is easily accessed, indexed and updated. And you need a robust system which notifies you of impending actions required. But fundamentally compliance involves monitoring and recording licencing, certificates, health checks, driver training, vehicle service and maintenance, tax and insurance.
A fleet policy needs to have a mechanism for prevention of and response to incidents. So this will include carrying out risk assessments for all your vehicle operations, incident response procedures, having reporting processes in place, how you assess, control and implement corrective actions, how you record everything internally and how you manage insurance as a result of incidents.
Although you have a fleet policy in place, this isn’t the end of the process, because you have to constantly monitor how your fleet management system is performing. So your fleet policy needs to include what systems you have for measuring performance. This can be driver performance, vehicle performance, costs measurement and compliance. There are various technologies now available to monitor vehicle and driver behaviour in terms of efficiency, so it is quite easy to set targets and be able to analyse them to identify performance and areas for improvement. This is essential in being able to report that a fleet management system is functional and efficient in line with budgets, compliance and the organisation’s targets and objectives.
How Total Motion can help develop your fleet policy
At Total Motion we understand that there is no off-the-shelf fleet policy that can be implemented across the board in every business. But our experience allows us to very quickly understand your business, identify the key elements in an organisation and develop a beneficial fleet policy which will ultimately control all your fleet management processes.
If you contact us today, we can partner you with experienced fleet professionals who can help you with a tailored fleet policy that refines your procedures, creates a cohesive and functioning system and delivers efficiencies and cost benefits for your organisation.