More fleet, more problems?

Your transport costs are probably your second biggest cost behind payroll and running vehicles as a business carries responsibilities and all this needs to be managed.

So maybe a full time fleet manager would be a little excessive, but it’s become too much for you to handle on a job share basis?

A recent study by the RAC found that 80% of SME fleet operators have an individual within their business spending less than 6 hours per week managing it whilst trying to perform other job tasks. When it comes to prioritising all these responsibilities often the fleet falls down the list as its complex and difficult for the person concerned. My own feeling is that for an unqualified person with few tools and experience it’s almost impossible to manage your fleet risks, costs and administration without spending much more time on it and working on your skill and knowledge gaps. And even then it’s still a tall order.

So what exactly is fleet management? Maintenance, breakdowns, accidents, trackers? Well the answer is – yes. It’s all part of it. It’s about understanding your legal obligations in respect of the 4 pillars – the Company/Management, the Drivers, the Vehicles and the Journeys. Getting a framework in place that includes policies, driver management and vehicle management. Making smart decisions about the right type of vehicles and funding and then working out what’s involved to manage the vehicles and drivers on a day-to-day basis and what tools and resource you need to execute your fleet policy. Driver handbooks, licence checking and driver training all have a part to play but this is not a box ticking exercise.

It sounds like there’s a lot to think about, and there is, but the alternative is what many SME’s are feeling right now. That feeling of the fleet being disorganised and out of control. High risks, cost leakages and drivers managing their own vehicles.

At KeyFleet we call it ‘fleet-pain’ and it’s symptomatic of a fleet managed on a part time job share basis.

Also, we have to keep in mind that Driving for Work is a dangerous activity and the decisions you make can put the business, your drivers and those affected by your drivers at risk. For me, it’s about using the right tool for the job. After all, we don’t know what we don’t know but that’s not a reason not to try and be proactive. Get to grips with it yourself or if you can consult with professionals.

The great news is what happens when you start to work this way! The MD is happy, after all, he or she is saving money and doesn’t have to worry about any legal repercussions. The FD is happy too; the right vehicles and funding are welcome to the finance department.

But that’s not all, what gets measured gets done and when you start to pay attention to your fleet it responds. The drivers start to drive more safely and more efficiently, collisions reduce, costs reduce and insurance premiums stall.

 

Plus, you kinda feel good about it…

My advice?

It’s pays to manage your fleet effectively and the sooner the better.

Stay safe, reduce costs, reduce admin…