Investing in a fleet of vehicles is undoubtedly one of the major expenditures involved in any business. If your business involves a fleet of vehicles, it is important for you to spend time and energy managing them as well. You can get the most out of your fleet with efficient fleet management. Many times when businesses do not invest in fleet management tends to go through hard times of watching their fleet dwindle one vehicle at a time.
Fleet management is not an easy job and fleet managers need to look at the bigger picture. To begin with, you need to know the importance of proactivity and prevention when it comes to the vehicle fleet. With preventive measures, you can always handle unexpected vehicle breakdowns without spending an incredible cost over it. If you expect your vehicles to run and operate effectively, having an optimal fleet management plan can be beneficial. Here is the 5E model that can assist you with optimizing your fleet:
- Ensure up-to-date and proper maintenance
Just like any other devices, even your vehicles need timely and appropriate maintenance to run smoothly for a longer duration. Acquiring a fleet and then neglecting its maintenance would make it faulty over a period of time which in turn will result in operational inefficiencies.
Moreover, using poorly maintained vehicles can also give rise to safety issues. Hence, to avoid increased insurance costs and operational disruptions, you need to ensure the proper maintenance of your vehicle fleet. Coming up with a maintenance plan can be very helpful in this case.
- Educate your drivers
No matter what strategies you may come up with, your driver is the one who is going to make all the difference at the end of the day. You need to educate your drivers about how important it is to optimize the fleet. Drivers should report immediately in case there is an issue with the vehicle. Drivers should be encouraged to drive safely and carefully such as not pulling the hand brake too hard and checking the engine oil on a regular basis. Moreover, drivers can be educated on how to treat minor repair issues.
Fleet managers should also keep the driver’s safety as a priority. Drivers should be trained on how to handle the situation after an accident. In case of any claims, drivers should be able to properly report the incident and hence educating your drivers about all these aspects make sense.
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- Eliminate idle time and wait time
Idle time is the time for which a driver usually takes a rest stop; however, keep the engine running whereas wait time refers to the time spent when a vehicle is being loaded or unloaded and the driver keeps waiting for it. To keep a check on operating costs, it is crucial to make a plan that can help decrease both idle time and wait time. Besides proper planning, you need to motivate your drivers as well about the best driving habits that can reduce idle time.
- Expenditure calculation is a must
Just like a person behind the wheel should know the route and alternate possibilities, a fleet manager in a similar way should know the expected expenditures and possible risk-adjusted expenditures. A fleet manager should keep a tab on the maintenance cost and other possible expenditures related to vehicle maintenance.
Besides this, a fleet manager should also check the manufacturer’s warranty coverage and the current value of their vehicles in case they decide to sell the existing vehicle. To put it simply, fleet managers should calculate the expenditures and come up with possible saving opportunities.
- Embed fleet management software
If you opt for a fleet management software, it can assist you in several ways such as monitoring a vehicle’s location, tracking driving behaviour, optimizing routes and coordinating various vehicles. A fleet management software also helps you communicate better with the drivers and better coordination between drivers and in-house team members can optimize and enhance your fleet management.
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