Whether you are an upcoming fleet manager or have years of experience in the field, you’ll agree that the job is both challenging and rewarding at the same time.
A fleet manager needs to use multiple hard and soft skills to ensure smooth operations because an effective fleet is often a lifeline for a business.
Usually, large fleets present the best opportunity for businesses to cut down their costs through effective management. Fleet managers have numerous factors to consider. They need to put an efficient system in place, ensure everyone’s safety, reduce recurring/non-recurring costs, take care of sustainability issues, and ensure compliance with the area’s regulations.
In the following sections, we’ll go through 5 simple practices that can improve your fleet’s productivity, reduce overall costs, and help you become an effective fleet manager.
1. Always prioritise the safety of your crew and cargo
When it comes to safety, a proactive approach is your best bet for success. Waiting for a serious accident or a near miss can be detrimental to your people and the business. Investing in preventive tools like hands-free devices and in-cab cameras may seem pointless, but they can save you a lot of resources by being great deterrents.
Apart from your driver’s behaviour, the environmental conditions also have an impact on your fleet’s safety. Severe weather conditions can make it harder for your drivers to perform effectively, so you should make peace with the delay.
Upper management may be a little sceptical about this approach. Some may even outright disagree. However, having their backs will motivate your team to work efficiently and increase their commitment to success.
2. Make a proactive maintenance program and stick to it
Improper maintenance is one of the most common sources of inefficiencies in many fleets. Vehicles that are not in their best-operating conditions consume more fuel and have a greater carbon footprint. You also face many unreliability issues due to aging vehicles that hurt your brand image.
Many businesses fail to create effective maintenance strategies. Some that have them do not follow the recommendation due to a multitude of reasons. It’s necessary to have an effective maintenance program and adhere to it. Otherwise, you’ll start wasting resources and getting overwhelmed in a very short period.
3. Go big with the data!
Any excellent fleet management plan will use metrics and insights to monitor performance and initiate control in case of a deviation. Today, multiple fleet management systems are available in the market that let you analyse real-time data by keeping an eye on key indicators like the overall costs, breakdowns, breaks, distances travelled, and much more.
Digitisation is another important requirement for effective management in any industry. The world has left file folders and office documents behind.
Today, everyone uses an online storage method that allows easier collaboration and lets your team work together even if they are physically apart. Digitising all your data also helps you automate your key processes and reduce your business’s environmental impact.
4. Use route management and train your drivers
If your fleet operates in urban centres, there is a high probability that your drivers deal with congested roads and traffic blocks daily. The unproductive time they spend idling piles up to increase your costs and negatively impact your team’s motivation.
As a fleet manager, you should look into some advanced solutions like GPS-based route optimisation tools that let you avoid traffic and suggest alternative paths. Most of these solutions are quite intuitive and do not require any significant investment. Therefore, you’ll be able to easily implement them in your fleet.
5. Be open to change
You might have a system that works, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll always do. The business environment requires agile managers that are always on the lookout for new opportunities to capitalise on.
Imagine if Holden decided to keep building the Astra or if Nokia had actually adopted the Android system when it came out. Change is good, and both these companies know it.
If you want to be an effective fleet manager, it’s imperative to stay connected with the latest advances in the industry. While it’s impractical to adopt everything you read or hear about, up-to-date knowledge will allow you to consider the best solution according to the needs of your fleet.
6. Leverage modern technology to enhance your effectiveness
For the longest time, effective fleet management required you to make compromises. Managers had to find the perfect balance between operations, cost, safety, and sustainability.
However, the tech behind fleet management has advanced considerably in the past few years. You can now use data-driven processes and modern approaches that allow you to maximise the operational efficiency, sustainability, and safety features of your fleet without any significant increase in cost.
Fleetyr can be the perfect partner on your journey to be an effective fleet manager. We have the expertise and the analytical know-how to help you maximise the potential of your existing fleet, and take it to the next level.
Get in touch to learn how we can take you and your fleet to the future!