For any transportation business, the fleet of vehicles is extremely important. For effective functioning and operational efficiency, it is crucial that the business’s fleet is properly taken care of. Success of a business dealing with a particular product or transportation is primarily based on a highly productive fleet. In this article, we discuss all about fleet productivity, what it means and how you can achieve that to meet all your business goals.
Defining Fleet Productivity
In simple terms, fleet productivity can be defined as the amount of work that can be accomplished corresponding to the fleet of vehicles required to do it. Essentially, a fleet is deemed productive when the work done by the fleet is considerably higher as compared to the number of resources involved. It is important to keep fleet productivity as an essential goal in any business, since it requires a lot of administration and management. Fleet productivity is crucial in saving time, money and optimizing manpower.
Tips to Achieve Fleet Productivity
Here, we will elaborate 6 key points that can help a business gain optimum fleet productivity, such as:
- Fleet Maintenance
- Fuel Efficiency
- Tackle Idling
- Time Optimisation
- Job Scheduling
Technology has time and again proven to be a big helping hand when it comes to maximizing efficiency. It has played an important role in all business aspects and departments, and fleet management is no exception. For fleets, leveraging the power of technology has paved the way for enhancing productivity, particularly Telematics. Telematics combines the power of tracking with analytics, delivering actionable data to fleet managers. With this data, they can find the areas that can be automated and optimized, thus improving fleet efficiency considerably.
Telematics, with the help of GPS tracking, tracks and records the location of the fleet at all times. Other than that, it provides detailed information about the fleet’s operations and performance. It provides metrics such as vehicle health, fuel efficiency, route optimization, maintenance updates, etc., to name a few. With the help of these metrics, it can help gain insight into how the fleet is performing and about customer requirements and delivery.
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When a fleet has a good physical working condition, it is bound to perform better. This can be achieved by timely fleet maintenance. Fleets in a transportation business generally utilize heavy duty vehicles, which are an expensive asset. Since it is not cost effective to continually replace them, it is imperative that they are appropriately taken care of. Regular maintenance checks and monitoring of vehicle health can significantly improve the longevity of the fleet.
Moreover, with the aid of technology, fleet managers can now stay steps ahead from vehicle breakdowns with the help of predictive maintenance. Telematics ensures that fleet managers are notified about potential issues that may arise within the vehicle’s operations, such as degrading engine health or over utilization of fuel, which can enable them to schedule maintenance appointments well in advance. The added advantage to this is that it considerably reduces the fleet downtime. As the fleet works in its optimum physical condition, it moves closer to achieving fleet productivity.
Fuel accounts for one of the major expenses in a business. It is detrimental to a business to have a fuel-guzzling fleet in terms of costs and effectiveness. Therefore, a fleet that is fuel efficient can go a long way in helping business costs, and enhancing fleet productivity.
To make a fleet more fuel efficient, incorporating fuel programs such as fuel expense cards can be helpful. With these cards, fleet managers can track fuel expenses with ease, reducing a ton of paperwork along the way. The fuel expense cards can eliminate discrepancies in fuel costs in terms of unaccounted cash payments at petrol pumps. Moreover, it can help give a clear insight into the exact costs that are being spent on fuel, and can identify over expenditure.
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Since productivity is directly proportional to the amount of work that is being accomplished, idling works as a deterrent for that. When a vehicle in a fleet indulges in idling, it leads to a wastage of time, fuel, money and an impactful outcome. Because of idling, a significant percentage of fuel gets wasted, which can lead to increased costs. Along with that, the time that is spent idling contributes to monetary and operational loss to the business.
To run a productive fleet, it is important that excessive and unnecessary idling is kept in check. With a fleet monitoring system in place, vehicles indulging in idling can be identified and appropriate action can be taken to tackle that.
Effectively managing the time utilized in running the fleet, as well as in the fleet’s operation is an important factor for a fleet to be productive. From vehicle inventory to registrations to acquiring new vehicles for the fleet, fleet management involves a ton of paperwork. However, by incorporating a fleet management system in place, paperwork can be reduced significantly. Manual data filing and documentation can be replaced with an automated system that stores and manages data on its own accord. It can also streamline operations and enhance fleet utility.
Another way a business can optimize the time spent can be utilizing technology to perform route planning. By charting out routes for the fleet to take beforehand, drivers can save time on the roads by avoiding areas with traffic or ongoing constructions. This can make deliveries run on time and improve customer satisfaction along the way.
A well-structured job schedule for drivers in a fleet can be very helpful for attaining fleet productivity. A pre-defined delivery structure can be organized that help drivers drive more efficiently between different stoppages. This can be done with a routing system that takes into account the delivery areas, and mapping it with the vehicles available on the road.
With this system in play, a more optimized delivery system can be set in place. This will enhance fleet productivity in terms of accountability of the drivers and a timely delivery schedule.
With these 6 ways, businesses can have an organized fleet in operation that is optimized and productive.
Quick read: 5 Features of a Fleet Management Software That Your Business Needs
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