Modern fleet management procedures are integral for the success of modern businesses. It’s 2020, and if you’re still using outdated fleet management strategies, you’re asking for trouble. These days, you have access to a wide range of tools and knowledge that can help you maintain and manage your fleet of cars or trucks. As the New Year and the new decade get underway, it’s time to overhaul your fleet management strategy.
With a combination of good habits and effective tools, you can get the most from your fleet with minimal expense. Be smart about buying and maintaining fleet vehicles. Don’t shy away from collecting data on your drivers and your trips. And, finally, be proactive about safety – don’t simply react to hazards as they emerge. Continue reading this post if you are interested the essential tips for modern fleet management.
Establish and Use Guidelines for Vehicle Purchase
Vehicles are among the most expensive assets you can own. They’re not cheap to purchase, run, or maintain, and they depreciate in value quickly over time. Whether you’re buying just a few vehicles or hundreds, you need to put a system of purchasing guidelines in place to keep those costs down. When purchasing fleet vehicles, you need to consider what kind of cars, trucks, or vans you’ll need. Think about what they’ll be used for. You can usually get discounts on buying or leasing multiple vehicles within a period of time for fleet use, so plan to replace fleet cars in bulk rather than buying them one at a time. Consider, too, the right time to sell fleet vehicles in order to maximize their value. Establish procedures for investing in fleet cars in order to improve your overall management processes.
Regular tire rotations, oil changes, and other maintenance can keep your fleet cars on the road longer and save you money. Make maintenance a priority and create a schedule for performing maintenance on your fleet vehicles. It may be too inconvenient to your operational needs to have the oil changed in every car at once, but you can stagger fleet maintenance over several days. If you have a large fleet, it might be more cost-effective and easier to perform maintenance in-house. Fleet management companies can also help you streamline fleet maintenance. If you want to improve your processes as a whole, you need to deploy the best fleet maintenance practices.
Encourage Drivers To Care For Fleet Vehicles
It might be too much to expect fleet drivers to take their vehicles in for regular oil changes, but you can at least incentivize them to drive safely, keep the interior of the car clean, and perform tire pressure checks. If your fleet drivers aren’t returning the cars to your inventory regularly, but are instead driving them home at night, for example, you can delegate more of the vehicle maintenance to them. Send regular reminders to drivers who are expected to change oil, check tire pressure, and perform other maintenance tasks. Require drivers to submit monthly or quarterly photos of their vehicles so you can monitor their condition, especially if you’re not getting a good look at these vehicles in person very often.
Collect And Use As Much Data As You Can Get
Modern fleet management companies, like Zurich Connected Cars, can provide you with all of the high-tech tools you need to collect data on trips, including road conditions and miles driven, and even real-time data like fuel level and location. Dash cams and cab cams can prove invaluable in the event of an accident, and driver behavior monitoring devices can help you eliminate problem drivers to prevent accidents altogether.
Some valuable metrics that data can help you track make a difference when owning a business fleet vs leasing. These metrics include accident rate, cost of operation per mile driven, vehicle depreciation, operating cost trends, and fuel efficiency. Of course, real-time data could help you locate specific vehicles, which could be useful if, say, you need to know where a driver is taking his or her assigned vehicle or even if you need to locate the driver nearest a specific location. New digital tools make collecting and analyzing data easy.
Be Proactive About Safety
Safety needs to be a major concern of fleet management processes. Don’t wait for hazards to appear – get in front of dangerous situations by making safety training and best practices a priority from the jump. Use some of the devices previously mentioned to make sure drivers are operating the vehicles safely. Invest in hands-free devices so drivers can stay in touch with you and each other, without compromising the safety of everyone on the road. Make sure to hire safe drivers with clean records, and give them regular safety training to keep their skills fresh.
Managing and owning a business fleet can be complex, especially if it’s a large one. Make sure your fleet management strategy is up to the challenge, and get help if you need it. You’ll be surprised at how much money, time, and stress a fleet management company can save you. To improve you management procedures, ensure you establish purchasing guidelines and prioritize maintenance. Even with efficient maintenance policies in place, you need to encourage your employees to care for vehicles as well. Furthermore, you need to collect all the useful data you can obtain and remain extremely proactive about fleet safety. If you are interested in the essential tips for modern fleet management consider the points mentioned above.