Fleet managers occupy a strong position within a company because their tasks overlap in the areas of human resources, sales, procurement, risk management, law, finance, administrative services as well as the environment, health and safety. In addition, the vehicle fleet is a key component that deals with vehicle connection technology, telematics, sustainability, logistics, employee productivity and security initiatives.
Today, fleet management requires working with cross-functional groups, managing millions of dollars in assets, collaborating on complex technology initiatives, and influencing employee productivity. It is the responsibility of the fleet manager to present the cross-functional team with the standpoints of the fleet from the procurement of the equipment to the selection of the suppliers.
Three challenges that are always at the top of the list for many fleet managers – improving driver safety, reducing high fuel costs and keeping companies under pressure to reduce the fleet’s contribution to the company’s global carbon footprint.
But how can you do that?
By networking today’s business environment, employees can use teleconferencing and various media communications to avoid the need for physical travel. In addition, GPS and other telematics solutions not only reduce unnecessary kilometers through improved routing, but also prevent excessive use that can occur if the driver believes that „nobody is looking“.
In fact, studies have shown that mere notification (to employees) of mileage checks has an impact that leads to a reduction in mileage over a range of business and personal mileage without incurring significant capital costs.
Fleet managers should be commissioned to work with the driver management teams to implement practical solutions to reduce the number of kilometers traveled and to develop a return on investment (ROI) analysis for the use of telematics and other technology solutions.
Operating a cost-effective and efficient fleet often requires the knowledge and experience of fleet managers, but the strategic direction of senior management is also a driving factor for such changes.
Unfortunately, many organizations with fleets fail to consider the impact of drivers on vehicle fuel consumption. Hard acceleration, idling, uneven speeds, excessive use of the air conditioning and hard braking are bad driver habits that can be corrected through driver training and / or training.
However, such a strategic orientation requires cooperation at all levels of management in order to achieve driver acceptance and success. Some vehicle tracking systems can also monitor and report „events“ such as excessive acceleration, braking or cornering, and can also detect excessive idle times.
Fuel is often the second largest variable expense (after depreciation) that fleet managers face. Fleet managers should, however, continue to watch out for possible peak values and carry out a proactive fuel management program at all times.
Lowering fuel costs is an easy way to lower operating costs. But it is difficult to track these operating costs across the entire operation of your fleet. Integrated fuel cards make it easier for you to track driver behavior that drives up fuel costs. You can even find out the fuel costs per vehicle and rule out unauthorized refueling.
Praktiken wie die Anschaffung kraftstoffsparender Technologien, Gewichtsreduzierung der Fahrzeuge, zusätzliche Getriebeübersetzungen und geeignete Antriebsarten zur Erfüllung der Geschäftsanforderungen sollten auch bei stabilen Kraftstoffpreisen fortgesetzt werden.
Die Anzahl der gefahrenen Kilometer ist ein Bereich, in dem Flottenmanager normalerweise nur eine begrenzte oder gar keine Kontrolle haben. Abgesehen von der Überwachung und Durchsetzung von Richtlinien für den persönlichen Gebrauch sind Flottenmanager nicht in die Daten über den täglichen Geschäftszweck eingeweiht oder verfügen nicht über die Instrumente, um die Angemessenheit und Rechtfertigung für eine solche Nutzung zu messen.
Dennoch kommt es zu unnötigen Fahrten mit geringer geschäftlicher Rechtfertigung und solche Ereignisse treiben die Fahrzeugbetriebskosten in die Höhe. Aber was ist die Lösung?
Eine praktische Lösung beinhaltet eine stärkere Beteiligung der Vorgesetzten an der Überwachung der Fahrergebiete, der Berichte über die geschäftliche Nutzung und der Anzahl der Verkaufs-/Serviceanrufe im Verhältnis zu den gefahrenen Kilometern und der Zeit.
Führungskräfte der höheren Ebene sehen möglicherweise häufige Fahrzeugwechsel als unnötige Kosten für das gesamte Flottenbudget an und ermutigen Fuhrparkmanager stattdessen, ihre Fahrzeuge bis zum Erreichen eines höheren Anlagealters zu behalten.
Diese Praxis der Nutzung einer alternden Flotte ist auf frühere Praktiken, mangelnde Kapitalausstattung oder das Versäumnis zurückzuführen, die Kosten und Vorteile eines rechtzeitigen Flottenersatzes zu kommunizieren.
Die Reduzierung der Lebenszykluskosten von Fahrzeugen erfordert das Wissen, wie die Austauschzyklen optimiert und die richtigen Austauschzyklen eingehalten werden können.
Nach Berücksichtigung aller relevanten Faktoren (z.B. anfängliche Neufahrzeugkosten, angemessener prognostizierter Wiederverkaufswert, Kraftstoffverbrauch, geplante Wartung und geplante Reparatur, Zahlungen für den Eigenbedarf) kann der Fuhrparkmanager kurz- und langfristige Austauschpläne erstellen.
Overpaying your employees over time is an expense that can be a problem for many companies. Every overtime means less profit for your company. But with better use of existing resources, your team can do more in less time.
You can also avoid the costs associated with hiring more people during times of heavy workload or as your business grows, and instead assigning and deploying people in a smarter way.
Monitor, measure and analyze the performance of your fleet, your drivers and employees around the clock and convince yourself that your team members are always doing their best.
Receive accurate time card reports that state exactly when your drivers start their shifts, where they are, how many stops they have made and when they have completed their deliveries.
Smarter routing can also mean that employees spend less time traveling between jobs and more time making money.
Sometimes it is difficult to say whether you need all the vehicles and equipment you have in stock. How do you know if your investments are paying off well? Underutilized plants can put a daily strain on your operating budget … and your profit.
The key to making better use of your existing assets is the Asset Usage Report. It contains details of what is used – and what is not – and how you can save in different areas of your company.
Do you end up renting equipment because you can’t find the piece you own? With GPS tracking and real-time status, you know what is available and where it is.
Exclusive partnerships with a growing number of manufacturers mean that the required GPS hardware may already be installed.
Your mobile workers generate a lot of paperwork. There are forms for everything: waybills, POD (Proof of Delivery), vehicle checks, order sheets and customer invoices, to name just a few. Converting paper forms to electronic versions can reduce fleet costs in several ways:
● Stationery – The cost of buying paper forms, pens, clipboards, and other stationery can add up quickly. Switching to a digital workflow can reduce the effort, especially with expensive official forms.
● Form handling – Finding the right form, filling it in and taking it to the right department can be time consuming. Digital forms can be stored on a single mobile device, with the correct form set to appear exactly when it is needed.
● Data Entry – Deciphering handwritten forms can be a nightmare for data entry personnel. Using electronic forms means that the information goes straight to your database, which saves time, speeds up reporting and improves data accuracy.
● GPS and location data – Use real-time location data to prefill forms. Examples include automatic notification of workers entering or leaving a location, which can be used to automate time sheets, order statements, or delivery confirmations.
● Violations – Speeding and other moving violations are a costly expense for owning and operating a fleet. A single ticket can increase your insurance tariffs, and if your drivers receive more than one ticket, these tickets can cost you thousands of pounds in higher premiums each year.
Fines for non-compliance with relevant regulations, such as compliance with operating times or vehicle inspections, can further increase costs.
Compliance tools can help ensure drivers comply with the law and reduce fines – and downtime – to a minimum.
Historical reports also help validate your fleets‘ improved safety records and can reduce insurance premiums. GPS fleet tracking provides an effective means of tracking vehicles in the event of theft. A higher recovery rate means lower vehicle losses and lower insurance claims costs.
Fleet managers play a diverse role within a company. The fleet is an unusual task in that it has customers internally and is itself an external customer of the suppliers.
As a result, fleet management requires a level of expertise that cannot be developed by managing a fleet on a part-time basis. An internal connection with other business departments dedicated to the fleet is required.
Historically, the external volatility to which the fleet has been exposed over the years, in areas such as fuel prices, resale markets, fluctuating operating costs, regulatory changes and fluctuating interest rates, requires a fleet manager who makes insightful recommendations to minimize financial risk or opportunities can use to benefit from evolving market developments.
It is also important to recognize that the fleet must be viewed as a two-tier responsibility: first, there are everyday responsibilities that affect the drivers – the people who burn the fuel and wear the tires.
Next, the fleet managers are the internal experts who are responsible to senior management to answer all questions related to the fleet and act as a sounding board for management. Many fleet managers see themselves as internal consultants who work in their company. In this position, a fleet manager brings added value to the company.
In general, fleet managers are responsible for maximizing the efficiency, productivity and safety of company vehicles and drivers. Therefore, they have unique insights into fuel consumption, vehicle maintenance, driver safety, federal and state regulations, and fleet costs.
If managed correctly, the fleet offers considerable cost avoidance for a company.
On one level, the fleet manager position is very strategic, while on another level it is very tactical because day-to-day business is absolutely necessary for a company to run its business cost-effectively.
Internal fleet management is necessary because it requires a number of unique skills, but more importantly, the fleet manager not only reports numbers, but also controls these numbers. A fleet manager manages fuel costs, minimizes maintenance costs and markets the vehicles at the highest possible resale value.
As a result, the fleet manager must be a responsible and logical businessman who works well with both internal and external customers and partners.
With technological change, the diverse skills of the fleet manager will enable him to master these changes as he can draw on his diverse experience in the areas of operations, sales, personnel, finance, facilities and procurement. That’s why the top fleet manager should also integrate a telematics system.