When you first started managing an automotive fleet for your company, the chaos of having such a big responsibility was probably a lot to take in. Now that you’ve gotten used to it, you may feel like you’ve got into a fairly comfortable routine. Still, when you’re in charge of a vehicle fleet, you should always be looking for new ways to improve efficiency.
Here are some great steps to take:
My first pointer is to figure out how large of a fleet you actually need, and to downsize it if needs be. I know that downsizing at all may sound a little backwards to you. Less vehicles diminishes the volumes that suppliers were previously able to send you, right? While this is true to some degree, there are few established fleets out there which couldn’t do with a little downsizing. You probably have at least a few vehicles which aren’t meeting your original criteria, and have been left in the dust by some of your more reliable vehicles. Holding onto these will only make your inventory and fleet costs swell. Provided you can keep up with quotas, you should seriously consider downsizing your fleet.
If there’s one sure-fire way to improve the performance of an entire fleet, then it’s fitting all your vehicles with some GPS tracking software. With one of these programs, you’ll be able to see exactly where all of your vehicles are at any time. I’m sure you can imagine the ways this would make the operation smoother. A GPS fleet management system will also allow you and your management to track the performance of your drivers, and see who’s running late or taking diverted routes more than others. Other factors you’ll be able to track can also tell you something about the condition of the vehicles you’re using. When the drivers know that their performance is being monitored, you’re sure to see an immediate lift in your fleet’s overall efficiency.
It may sound strange, but one of the best ways to improve fleet efficiency is to pass the whole thing off to an experienced fleet manager. Seen as you’ve raised the company and the fleet from the ground up, you’re probably a little hostile to the idea of passing on such an important task. While that kind of dedication is commendable, it could be doing more harm than good. Fleets can be very volatile, and require a sharp and constantly available mind to manage them properly. If you try to juggle other aspects of the business with managing a fleet of vehicles, you’ll quickly start to feel indispensable when you’re working with the fleet. This will drag you steadily away from other, perhaps more important parts of your venture. Take the reins every now and then, by all means. However, if you want to maximise efficiency, hire a fleet manager.
I hope that this post has helped you towards managing a much more efficient fleet. When it comes to logistical functions, efficiency is the one thing that always counts!