A small business doesn’t necessarily have to have limited resources, but that doesn’t meant that you should allow financial leaks to persist, or that you shouldn’t run your fleet in a cost-effective way. Everything from the safety of your drivers to the condition of your vehicles, all the way to the technology you use to make fleet management a more precise, efficient task, all of this and more will play a vital role in helping you maximize your long-term ROI.
After all, corporate vehicles aren’t cheap and every car you purchase needs to justify its price in the long run. Here to help you maximize your fleet’s productivity and efficiency are the five tips to meticulous and successful fleet management.
A report a day keeps financial troubles away
First things first, strict bookkeeping is the essential part of a well-organized fleet. It might not sound like a whole lot of fun, noting down every ounce of fluid spent by the vehicle, every minor repair that happened that day, or every service expense for every vehicle in your fleet, but without these findings compiled in a comprehensive report, you have no way of knowing how your fleet is faring in the competitive market. Creating reports should, therefore, be one of your priorities.
The daily reports will help feed your weekly reports with accuracy and a minimal risk of error, which will in turn help you fuel your monthly improvement strategy. Use your weekly fleet expense and sustainability reports to devise a growth strategy you can implement on a monthly basis. One small improvement a month will lead to a successful year, so leave no expense out of the books.
Embrace modern monitoring technology
Real-time fleet monitoring is a real thing. It has been for some time now and there is really no excuse for not integrating smart monitoring technology into your overarching management system. After all, how are you supposed to gain accurate and actionable insights into the inner workings of your entire fleet without real-time access to all of your vehicles and drivers, their location, current status, and performance? There is only so much the drivers will be able to recount at the end of the day, you know.
Instead of leaving it up to your employees to give you the relevant information about your vehicles and their own performance during the day, be sure to switch to a fleet monitoring system that will allow you to track the whereabouts of every vehicle in real time. This will also prove essential for ensuring driver safety and on-road support, as well as prolonging the lifespan of your vehicles.
Make sure all vehicles are kept in mint condition
Regular and comprehensive vehicle maintenance is the cornerstone of a thriving, productive, and cost-efficient fleet. This goes for every business, big or small. Not only is regular maintenance imperative for compliance and regulatory reasons, but it’s also important for driver safety, efficiency and performance, and of course, customer satisfaction.
To that end, be sure to check the fluids, the braking system, the tires, and the engine. What’s more, have a mobile windshield repair mechanic swing by your parking lot to inspect all of your vehicles and conduct the necessary repairs right on the spot before they hit the road. Keep in mind that windshield inspection is one of the most important tasks, as even the slightest of cracks can lead to severe problems down the road, not to mention that the windshield is the first to suffer from on-road wear and tear.
Obtain comprehensive insurance for vehicles and drivers
Safety is non-negotiable. If any of your drivers get injured at work, you could be looking at severe financial penalties. What’s more, it is your duty as a business owner to extend adequate coverage to your employees and drivers, so there is no excuse for hiring drivers without offering a sound insurance package. It’s not like anyone will want to sit behind a wheel without it, anyway.
On the other hand, commercial vehicle insurance is imperative for keeping your cars covered against collisions, break-downs, vandalism, and environmental impacts. Without it, the accumulated expenses associated with repairs and damage control could put you out of business in no-time. Don’t risk it, get adequate coverage.
Build a meaningful relationship with your employees
In the end, the fate of your fleet will rest in the hands of your drivers. These people are the ones who will be taking care of the vehicles in every sense, ensuring their proper functioning and longevity. If your drivers don’t feel the duty and the sincere desire to keep the vehicles in proper aesthetic and mechanical condition, then the fate of your fleet will be in jeopardy.
To avoid this scenario, you will need to hire the right people, and provide extensive training and orientation to get them in the right mindset. Except for the prospect of getting paid at the end of the month, and the fear of being penalized, the driver doesn’t feel an inherent incentive to treat your vehicles as they would their own. It will be up to you to impart onto them the values of your brand, and inspire them to care for the fleet in the way that is required.
Managing a fleet of company vehicles is by no means an easy task, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to make the entire process more effective and efficient across the board. With these tips in mind, you can safely pave the road to a thriving business fleet.