Businesses must constantly find new and innovative ways to trim operating costs – and fleets are no exception. Effective use of a fleet management software can transform a fleet manager’s understanding of the entire fleet, helping them identify areas where they can streamline processes to save time and understand operations to reduce costs. Here are a few areas for managers of light fleets to target:
Use Fleet Analytics
Organisations with large fleets need to manage people, vehicles, services and a seemingly endless list of other items. Organisations with smaller fleets still need to stay on top of the same vehicle and fleet management tasks, but with less manpower. How can a fleet manager understand where money is being wasted if these items are not being monitored and data is not collected?
Fleet analytics gives businesses a deeper and more rounded view of the fleet usage and costs. The key is to avoid getting caught in a pit of data that is impossible to process. Identify areas where there is room for improvement and see how they perform. Keep a short and long-term eye on these, and add new areas to analyse as you become more comfortable with the software.
Understand Whole of Life Costs
The traditional way to understand the costs of a vehicle was to simply check the list price or leasing rate. However multiple other factors drastically alter the vehicles whole of life costs, including fuel economy, mileage, service, maintenance, repair, damage and taxation. Then all of the relevant factors that affect a vehicle’s true cost of ownership are factored in, a bargain vehicle can quickly morph into a burden, especially when completed manually.
With fleet management software, all vehicle details are kept in one place such as maintenance logs, utilisation, movements, and more. Multiple factors can be properly tracked, including fuel use and mileage, and even benchmarked against other fleet vehicles. The wealth of data gives fleet managers a much more comprehensive view of the whole of life cost.
Reduce Incident Rates
Risk management is a constant challenge, The impact on the bottom line can be dramatic – the New Zealand Racing Board for example estimated that it saved approximately $44,000 in vehicle damage costs per year across the fleet after introducing fleet management software as part of its driver safety policies.
Strong management strategies and high-quality data to benchmark and track progress will improve driver behaviour, thus reducing accident rates. Dodging one serious accident could very well pay for the company’s entire risk management efforts in one fell swoop.
Monitor Fleet Usage
Understanding the total mileage that the fleet vehicle is covering and why, offers valuable insight into how a company is performing. Businesses may find that some fleet vehicles are preferred by employees, whilst others are surplus to requirement. With this understanding, fleet managers can make more informed decisions about increasing or reducing the size of the fleet, as well as what types of vehicles work best for the business operations. An in-depth, data-driven understanding of fleet usage is also crucial for introducing electric vehicles into the fleet.
Working smarter not harder is particularly applicable to managing a fleet of vehicles. By utilising these four key steps in tandem with telematics and fleet management solutions, an organisation can quickly gain insight into how it can find efficiencies and ultimately improve its bottom line.