10 Fleet Management Tips
Originally published on October 15, 2020
Managing a fleet well is essential to running a successful fleet, but can be easier said than done. However, when you master managing a fleet, it has myriad benefits for your expenditure, fleet morale, productivity and efficiency. We break down the fleet management best practices in our Comprehensive Guide to Fleet Management, and in this blog post, we will focus in more detail on 10 fleet management tips.
1. Set Clear Processes and Policies
Having clear and organised processes and policies ensures there is a workflow for every system of which everyone is aware. This saves confusion between teams and drivers by making sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. Additionally, having a central procedure for all elements of operation within the fleet allows policies to be reviewed and improved at regular intervals to improve efficiency and productivity. These processes include but aren’t limited to:
- Vehicle procurement processes
- Fuel purchasing system
- Vehicle maintenance procedure
- Driver policies
- Cost tracking
- Driver satisfaction and performance
Once you’ve established reliable systems, keep all processes in one accessible cloud-based place alongside user manuals, etc. so everyone can keep up to date with updates and check they are following the correct steps.
2. Keep on Top of Vehicle Maintenance
Needless to say, fleet safety is of paramount importance when it comes to fleet management best practices. An essential way to ensure your fleet is safe is to stay on top of vehicle maintenance and inspections. This might be a task you delegate to your fleet administrator. Still, regardless of who handles it, a thorough process must be established and implemented to schedule regular vehicle checks and servicing. Keeping a detailed trail of records showing the measures taken to maintain vehicle safety not only prevents vehicle checks from being missed but also keeps you informed of what has and hasn’t been completed. Read our blog post on how to mitigate fleet risk for more tips.
3. Use Metrics Effectively
The best way to make progress within your fleet is to track and manage performance and analyse this regularly to recognise setbacks, spot trends or patterns and areas where improvements can be made. Not only should you track the performance of your drivers, but also the performance of vehicles, such as fuel and cost-efficiency. Some metrics that directly impact your fleet include:
- Operating costs
- Cost per mile
- Time spent on journeys
By collecting objective data that reflects the productivity of the fleet, you have a fuller picture of how the fleet operates. Check out these simple fuel card management features to help you keep on top of metrics.
4. Select fuel-efficient vehicles
Most fleet managers’ targets are based on finding and implementing ways to cut costs within the company to increase profitability. A significant contributing factor for saving costs is ensuring your fleet comprises of fuel-efficient vehicles. With so many eco-friendly options on the market, there are numerous ways to save on fuel consumption. Ensure adequate time and resources are spent on securing fuel-efficient vehicles for long-term savings and sustainability. As well as assessing the cars in your fleet and replacing them where needed, obtaining fuel cards for your fleet is another way to make savings on fuel. Find out more about how a fuel card will save you money.
5. Maintain Clear Communication
Communication is vital when you manage any team. This can be especially challenging when managing a fleet as it’s rare for your team to be in any one place at one time. As the fleet manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure communication processes are clear to the whole team and that any communication glitches are ironed out with fail-proof methods to avoid communication breakdowns going forwards. Ensure you’re clear about your expectations and regularly keep in touch with your drivers to stay aware of their schedule and progress and so that they know where they stand. To foster a healthy team dynamic, why not organise some team building days with these ideas?
6. Be Approachable
As well as initiating good communication practices, presenting yourself as an available and approachable manager lets your drivers feel safe coming to you with any questions, concerns or ideas. By building up your drivers through encouragement and a two-way relationship, you foster trust and an open forum where drivers feel they can come to you. Listen to their ideas and carefully consider what their experiences are. This helps improve their job satisfaction and in turn, improves driver retention, performance, and workflow of a team.
7. Reduce Mileage
Reducing mileage is another crucial facet of successfully managing a fleet. Inefficient detours and scenic routes cost companies time, money and driver stamina. Some extra time spent on planning routes is a game-changer in the greater, long-term strategy to save your company time and cost. Using journey planners and downloadable satnav routes is an effective way to reduce mileage by agreeing a set course with your drivers.
8. Develop and Improve
All of the above tips are key to managing a fleet well, but they only go so far without developing and improving continuously. Include your team in ways to create and implement solutions to recurring issues or glitches in your systems. Every so often, get your whole team together for brainstorms and strategy sessions to develop a culture where everyone feels like an integral part of making the company successful. Another way you can develop personally is by learning more about your management style.
9. Learn to adapt
When you manage a large team or fleet, the ability to roll with the punches goes a long way. Be open to experimenting with new approaches and challenge yourself to innovate. You could join an industry association where you can learn from other fleet managers, keep updated on industry news and helpful resources, such as blog posts.
10. Install Telematics
Telematics delivers valuable insight into your fleet performance and driver behaviour. A simple device installed in each vehicle allows fleet operators to have complete visibility of their fleet, from vehicle tracking and route analysis to capturing events such as hard braking, harsh acceleration, and speeding. This data-driven approach can, in turn, be used
to implement KPIs and provide a platform to educate and improve driver output all designed, with cost reduction in mind. Fuelmate has a wealth of experience in this field and is on hand to offer any assistance in relation to telematics and fuel card solutions for your fleet.
Refer to our Comprehensive Guide to Fleet Management for more information on fleet management best practices and stay up to date with our blog for further fleet management advice.