Regardless of the size of the business, managing a fleet of trucks can be both stressful and complex. From fuel costs to truck maintenance, hiring the right staff, and training them, fleet managers have an unenviable job. Fortunately, technological advances are rapidly starting to make the process a lot easier. Below are a few tips on how to boost your fleet management solution.
1. Choose the best vehicles for the company’s needs
This is one of the most important tasks of a fleet manager. Depending on the type of industry that your firm operates in, procuring the right type of vehicles that best meet operational needs can make or break the business.
From strictly adhering to maintenance requirements to determining optimum vehicle replacement cycles and carefully considering disposal options can all have a major impact on the fleet management program’s success or failure.
Another important consideration here is vehicle reliability. It’s of little use if truck B costs $10 000 less than vehicle A but the direct and indirect costs of breakdowns will amount to three times that.
2. Optimize schedules and fleet delivery routes
Routes that are properly planned will undoubtedly increase customer satisfaction rates. It is crucial to provide your customers with accurate estimates for delivery times and small appointment windows. Efficiently planning delivery routes can help to shorten delivery times and will improve driver safety because there will be no need for them to rush. Ultimately this will also have a positive impact on accident rates.
3. Have an open-door policy
The fleet manager is a core part of any successful equipment and vehicle management program. His or her knowledge helps to keep track of issues and trends that might affect not only clients but also internal departments of the company. That is one of the biggest reasons why the fleet manager should always make time to listen to what drivers, clients, and other stakeholders have to say.
4. Control spending professionally
One of a fleet manager’s most important duties is to ensure the optimum use of the capital the company has available. Factors that can have a major impact on the firm’s success include:
- Deciding whether to buy, lease, or rent vehicles based on sound financial criteria
- Ensuring that the company gets the best financing rates
- Taking into account tax incentives and other tax implications when making financial decisions
- Negotiating the best possible prices
- Taking into account resale values and operating costs when making purchasing decisions
- Planning for the firm’s future operational needs
5. Use technology to plan truck sizes and routes
New technologies such as GPS tracking can help drivers to arrive at their destination safely and efficiently. With proper route planning, they will be able to avoid roads with weight limits, low bridges, and heavy traffic. Drivers will also have access to live information about road closures and detours so they can choose the best alternative route. All of these can play a major role in driver safety and customer satisfaction rates.
6. Encourage safe driving habits and improve the performance of your drivers
Regular driver training is another crucial responsibility of fleet management. The aim here is to improve safety standards and efficiency. Focus on issues such as reducing fuel costs and eliminating bad driver behaviors like excessive idling, hard braking, and speeding. Probably the best way to do this is to make it very personal. Keep track of those drivers who might need training in specific aspects of the job and make sure they get the training they need.
7. Reward positive driver behavior
Another good idea is to have an incentive program in place that rewards drivers for positive behavior. With modern technology, it’s very easy to keep track of issues such as speed fines, delivery times, accidents, etc. If the company rewards those drivers who perform best in these areas it will motivate other drivers to improve. In the end, it will reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and benefit the whole fleet’s efficiency.
Want to discuss more fleet management solutions for your business? Let Efficiency help! Contact us.