Every company that boasts a commercial vehicle fleet should know how to manage the utilisation of the vehicles. Basically, fleet management can be described as the optimisation of vehicle fleet operations, normally through software that uses GPS tracking. It gives companies a chance to maximise the use of vehicles, such as trucks, vans, cars and construction equipment by streamlining routes, improving drivers’ safety and behaviour, enabling compliance with government regulations, recovering stolen vehicles and optimising vehicle maintenance.
As you can see, it’s quite a complex system, with many challenges that need to be dealt with successfully, so that the company in question can make the most of its fleet. The endeavours to optimise costs, risks and efficiency are key to successful fleet management. Let’s take a look at the most important aspects of this process.
To begin with, fleet managers need to eliminate any possibly for drivers to abuse company fuel spend. Some solutions integrate a company’s fleet fuel purchases and match it with real-time vehicle locations, so that fleet managers can verify fuel usage. Every business should take care of this issue in order to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Next, there is the question of theft and loss, which can be drastically reduced if there is a GPS tracking system installed. Even one stolen vehicle can cost dozens of thousands of dollars in loss profit. The bigger the fleet, the greater this potential risk. This is a particularly sensitive issue when fully loaded trucks go missing, since the loss can be devastating.
Unless you take very good care of your fleet, you’ll lose money because your vehicle won’t reach a destination and you’ll also have to spend more money on fixing the problem. To solve this issue, you need to have employees who are trained to notice vehicle issues and report them immediately. However, that’s only the first step. You can’t always rely on them, which is why many forward-thinking Australian companies have installed fleet management software to provide custom maintenance alerts for regular tyre and engine check-ups, for example. If you depend on your vehicle to cover great mileage on a regular basis, as it’s the case down under, you should at least buy cheap tyres in Sydney and keep them in your garage, so that you can replace the old ones quickly and not wait for new tyres to be delivered.
An efficient fleet management system works on reducing vehicle idling by using software that detects when vehicles are running but stationary. Such software can provide information about the drivers who display this undesirable behaviour. Also, unsafe driver behaviour is a major problem, because it increases a fleet’s insurance premium, wastes gas and wears out vehicles more quickly. Again, certain software solutions with GPS tracking can be the solution.
Vehicle safety and compliance
Accidents can lead to loss of lives, which is the worst possible outcome. In a less gloomy scenario, the company will end up paying an injury claim and repair costs. That’s why it’s important to have trained drivers, who understand the importance of road safety. Also, all laws are regulations need to be respected, so that safety is ensured and costs avoided.
Operational efficiency deals with moving products or services as quickly as possible to market vendors or customers. For example, in trailer business, it means knowing exactly which trailers are loaded and unloaded and, if unloaded, how to get them loaded again quickly. This concept also refers to knowing which vehicles can service customers the moment they become available. Modern technology has also provided many solutions to this issue and the key is to find the most suitable one.
The way a fleet is managed has a great impact on the overall performance of every company that has company vehicles. For some of them, it’s actually the most important element, which simply has to be done right, but that is not possible unless those in charge really understand what fleet management encompasses and how to go about it.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in latest business news and new social media trends. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.