You may have installed a GPS tracking device on your vehicles and purchased a fleet management software. However, that’s not all that is there to gain absolute control of your fleet. In fact, it may leave you blindsided on the data that truly matters, which can cost your business!
On the other hand, there is a fear of underutilizing valuable data and missing out on opportunities. While you can introduce automation to carry out a bulk of the repetitive task, human intervention plays a crucial role as well. In fact, a combination of technology and skill gives birth to an effective fleet manager.
If you are rearing to get started on your new position, we have just the thing for you! Here is an elaborate list of skills required along with useful tips and tricks to make fleet management a piece of cake!
Tips to Ensure Complete Control of Your Fleet at all Times
Here is a list of all the actionable points to ensure absolute fleet control:
1. Identify the Aspects that You Would Control
Even though it may seem like an attractive idea, it is just not feasible to micro-manage your fleet. Thus, you need to identify the core spheres that you would like to control. Typically, you can control the following elements:
- Expenditure: Whether it is the cost per trip or revenue generated through it, controlling your expenses right at the start of a trip is the best way to control the finances involved.
- Location: Fleet managers may want to gain access to the vehicular location and manage the driver’s route.
- Deadlines: Ensuring deliveries against their specified deadlines is yet another aspect of fleet management that the manager might want to control.
- Availability: Fleet, driver, and resource availability is also a crucial aspect that the company may like to control.
In toto, your company may want to control all these elements of fleet management or just a few of these.
2. Go Digital
There is something nostalgic about running a paper-pen roster. But does that make your business scalable in the long run? Of course not!
So if you have been pushing back on digitization, now is a good time as any to get started. You can take off with simple fleet tracking through GPS. You can later graduate to an effective fleet management software with real-time fleet updates, automated rostering, scheduling maintenance of vehicles, and other such features.
While these digital platforms may seem like a hefty investment, they also offer an attractive ROI for the entire capital that you put into purchasing it. In due time, you can branch out to incorporate other forms of technology that will further refine your fleet management system.
3. Set Driver Expectations
Do you want your drivers to meet deadlines?
Are you concerned about a driver’s dipping performance?
Communicate. Unless you inform the driver about these concerns, there will be continued discrepancies. Hence, the best way to establish absolute control over your fleet is by discussing the deliverables that are expected from the drivers.
At the same time, set goals for your drivers corresponding to these expectations. Having a clear sight of the goals will help them deliver what you want and exactly how you want it.
4. Define KPIs and Monitor Them
Metrics are everything. Whether you are monitoring the progress of deliveries or crunching numbers to map out fuel consumption patterns, everything is crucial to measure performance. Thus, if you wish to lead your fleet right by its helm, then create KPIs and measure them.
These KPIs that define the performance of a driver, team, or fleet could be a factor of the expectations that have been outlined previously. You can get an overview or in-depth insights into the fleet performance, vehicle performance, cost per mile, operational costs, driver performance, route efficiency, and so on.
Through the KPIs, you can create a reward program for your hardworking drivers and push the ones that are delivering sub-par services.
5. Make Safety a Priority
Preparing for a disaster is always wiser than waiting for it to hit. Thus, for excellent fleet management capabilities, your first priority should be the safety of your fleet.
Enable safety training and procedures right from the induction of new drivers. Furthermore, ensure that all drivers follow the highest standards of safety practices and procedures.
Make sure that your vehicles undergo regular repair and maintenance. At the same time, invest in hands-free devices, in-vehicle cameras, or driver behavior monitoring tools so that you can ensure that all protocols are being followed.
Even though it may seem like an extreme, ensuring safety will offer you greater control over our fleet and will help in damage and risk mitigation.
6. Document Information
Documents such as invoices, receipts, work orders, employee records, photographs, product manuals, etc. consume a lot of space. The last thing you would want is to dedicate a physical room for the storage of such paperwork!
With affordable cloud-based data storage options available, it would be a crime not to document data digitally. Whether you are filing your IFTA or creating a database of all your employees, store all your information online so that it is easily accessible at all times. Plus, it is a LOT easier to organize this data and make it readily available as and when required!
Most of your fleet management tools can seamlessly integrate with cloud-based storage. As a result, it can offer you useful insights into optimum fleet performance. Thus, you can strike the perfect balance of scheduling underutilized employees while also incentivizing the high performing ones.
Finally, make it a point to read up and research on the prevailing industry trends. Consider technological adoption at a higher rate to stay a step ahead of your competition and to manage your fleet. You may notice a significant reduction in the operational costs and overall efficiency of your business.
Given that a fleet manager has to manage multiple elements at the same time, the above tips will equip you with the necessary skills and understanding of how to control your fleet at all times. A well-managed fleet is the key to a successful business!