For fleet managers who have been doing the job for a long time, new technology has brought about tremendous advances and increased efficiency when it comes to getting the job done. But great fleet management isn’t just about showing up and hoping everything goes according to plan. As someone who’s in charge of tracking your fleet’s progress and trying to get better from year to year, there are a few performance-boosting tools you should have in your kit. From figuring out the most efficient way to manage vehicles to measuring all the ways in which WatchCard can help fuel your fleet, your job is comprised of finding the best ways to move your business forward from year to year. If you’re looking for a few tips to help you get started, read on.
Spend Wisely (and Consistently)
Part of your job is to keep tight reins on your yearly budget. However, after you’ve been doing the job for a long time, it might become difficult to find newer ways to cut corners and stay cost-effective. The beauty is that if you’re working hard to create consistent savings over time, such as through the purchase of gas cards for your fleet and through continued investment in green vehicles with alternative fuel sources, the savings you accrue will be automatic. Each year, try to compare your fuel savings to the last and see where you could do better. Are you noticing that specific driver behavior patterns are costing you fuel? It’s time for a re-training. Could you be using your green vehicles more consistently and effectively? Try to bring some of the older vehicles with worse MPGs out of rotation and replace them with green vehicles. The upfront cost will bring you huge savings in the long run.
Use the Right Tools
As a fleet manager, the tools you use can easily affect how well (or poorly) you do your job. The right apps and GPS systems can make your job far easier, or they could end up creating a lot more work for you to do. When it comes to finding the right software, look for apps that give you the greatest amount of usable information without making your work for it. For instance, software like FleetWave and My Geotab works hard to give you precise tracking info and updates on driver patterns, compliance and safety scores, and vehicle maintenance checks. They also allow you to easily store and access information in the long term so that when it comes time to do a weekly report, you have your data right in front of you. Working smarter, not harder is a crucial part of achieving the balance you need as a successful fleet manager.
Develop Strong Relationships with Drivers
Your drivers are the soul of your fleet. If they’re not happy or not performing at their top level, it creates a problem for you in the long run. There are many ways to boost fleet morale and incentivize better working habits, but the best way to achieve this is to keep your communication lines open. Part of your job revolves around working and collaborating successfully with other people, whether you’re trying to improve customer service or get a better sense of what’s working (and what’s not) with specific drivers in your fleet. If you allow your drivers to come to you with any questions or issues down the line, you’ll be able to stop potentially costly problems before they start. It can be easy to forget that your business depends on people, not machines. Always remember that the happiness of your drivers can have a major effect on the success of your business.
In a business delivery fleet, there are a ton of things to pay attention to during each and every delivery. In the midst of trying to bring in jobs on time and to the satisfaction of customers while staying safe on the road, it can be easy to forget about the basic rules of IFTA compliance. When you’re using the right technology, nothing falls through the cracks. Make sure you’re prioritizing safety checks at the beginning and end of each job so that the basic tenets of compliance don’t feel like an afterthought. Once you streamline this procedure, you’ll be able to stay audit-free and avoid risky, costly fines to your business.
Measure Your Progress and Keep Doing Better
Part of your job involves creating daily, weekly, and yearly goals to meet. When you’re keeping the big picture in mind, it’s important to stay conscious of the progress you make from year to year. Whatever you saved on gas costs last year, try to beat that number this year. If you had a certain number of safety violations this year, try to get it down to zero next year. Whatever your progress, keep setting the bar higher and you’re certain never to fail.