The cost of maintaining your fleet management is steadily increasing. Your business depends on the optimal performance of drivers and vehicles. It takes more than regular overhauls to maintain a high level of performance.
The good news is that with a few adjustments to controlling your fleet, you can achieve higher productivity, less downtime and more profitable operations.
Today’s article gives you 10 tips to improve fleet management so that it delivers peak performance.
10 tips for optimizing fleet management
You’re not alone. Fleet management isn’t just a headache for you every day. Many others feel the same way. That’s why you can benefit from the experience of others to optimize your own vehicle management.
1. Define purchase conditions
Going from offer to offer only makes sense in the short term. That’s why it pays off in the long term to define standardized terms and conditions for vehicle purchases.
For example, many companies allow department heads to purchase vehicles themselves, while others ensure that all purchases are submitted to a supervisor, who checks the following conditions, for example:
- Fuel economy is low or at least below specified conditions.
- Spare parts are available.
- Vehicle replacement is readily available.
- Maintenance costs are low.
- Has industry-specific features.
If you ignore these or other requirements, you may end up with an expensive, difficult-to-maintain or even useless vehicle. Ultimately, a vehicle should be profitable for a company.
2. Measure everything that is measurable
You can apply the same metrics to controlling your vehicle fleet that you demand from other areas of your business.
While some metrics are more important than others, measuring everything that can be measured will generally help you make better decisions about vehicles, drivers and repairs.
Here are just a few things to start with:
- Purchase or lease: details of contract and warranty of each vehicle purchased.
- Fuel consumption: including date and place of refueling and type, amount and price of fuel.
- Maintenance: both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Record data on when what work was performed, parts needed, and cost of parts and labor.
- Driver performance: including days, locations, and circumstances of accidents.
- Driver’s licenses and their expiration dates.
With all of this information, you can decide if it’s worth changing maintenance companies or if this or that driver has already renewed his or her driver’s license. Remember that you have management solutions like SAP Business One that you can implement in your company in a few steps.
3. Optimize schedules
A reasonable rotation can be achieved through reservations. You can apply the same system as for meeting rooms: find a convenient calendar where you can additionally enter vehicle usage.
4. Checklists for drivers
Although we recommend that you record as much data as possible, there’s no need to have multiple employees dealing with pointless data maintenance.
Instead, create checklists for drivers to jot down key information before they turn in their keys or their shift ends.
5. Vehicle rotation
Vehicles in your fleet should not be freely available. Drivers always pick the newest or preferred model.
To ensure that vehicles are not overused, rotation is done rationally and according to schedule. For example, you can avoid paying expensive insurance on vehicles that aren’t driven, or warranties expiring without the vehicle ever leaving the garage.
You can schedule this rotation yourself or get help from management solutions that make this task easier, like SAP Business One.
6. Do a lot of preventive maintenance.
Don’t wait until you have a big problem. Be proactive and perform repairs and overhauls in a timely manner to minimize the risk of major repairs or even a serious accident.
7. Optimize the use of the vehicle fleet
When many vehicles are available, comprehensive controlling is difficult to perform. If drivers or employees feel there are “too many vehicles,” they will drive more miles or secretly take private routes.
Check the registers regularly for unnecessary trips. Communicate any concerns so that everyone knows that fleet management is indeed in place.
8. Control the size of the fleet
Do you really need each of the vehicles you purchase? Don’t allow your budget to be stretched by impulsive or ill-advised purchases. Sometimes it’s enough to have a few rental cars without having to spend funds on a new purchase.
9. Create strong policies
When employees and drivers know what is expected of someone using the fleet, you avoid misunderstandings and communication problems.
Create clear policies that help all employees and drivers have expectations present.
10. Automated solution for fleet management.
As in other areas of your business, you can automate many of the fleet-related tasks, such as consumption recording, maintenance scheduling or vehicle rotation. This helps you have a clear picture of the real state of your fleet.
With the help of fleet management, you can reduce the negative impact of annually increasing prices for consumption and maintenance. It also allows you to make informed decisions based on data. Contact us at any time if you need SAP Business One support.