Consider this; the time poor, multitasking, confused employee who just happens to have been given the task of looking after the company vehicles, otherwise known as fleet management.
So to get a heads up on what’s required they do a search and discover definitions regarding reducing associated risks for companies relying on transportation in business, reducing vehicle costs, managing vehicle investment, improving productivity and ensuring compliance. Does this help them? Probably not.
Fleet management when broken down into the main areas involves;
- Accident management and breakdown cover
- Service, maintenance and repair
- Risk assessment including licence checks and driver behaviour analysis
- Sourcing of vehicles and their acquisition through various channels including contract hire and leasing
- Vehicle logistics including storage and disposal
- An online fleet management system giving access to your vehicle and driver info
There is no science behind fleet management, just good sense, safety and planning. It should be about keeping a company’s vehicles on the road, in the most cost and time efficient way, at all times keeping the safety of the driver, other road users and pedestrians at the heart of what they do.
Whether you are a dedicated fleet manager or fleet management is an additional part of your role, first work out what you need most help with and then do some research.
Do you need someone to advise you on the areas you are not sure of, such as the driver risk assessments that will help you remain compliant?
Have you been tasked to reduce the costs per vehicle and need access to discounted servicing, breakdown and parts?
Is telematics a must-have in your battle to reduce fuel consumption, journey times, and improve fleet safety?
Even if you are not sure exactly what you need to do and why, ask. A good fleet management company will take the time to explain what processes you need to go through and why.
The Elements Of An Effective Fleet Management Process
You will need to do a risk assessment on every driver even if they don’t drive for work on a daily basis, carry out licence checks, and when needed, monitor their driver behaviour to look if any form of training is needed – even if they use their own vehicles. This is the compliance and duty of care area which is sometimes overlooked, but is increasingly being legislated for.
- When your vehicles are off the road, the recovery, repair and management of this should all be handled by the fleet management company. Do they have a dedicated resource to check that the repair and servicing costs are kept to a minimum and done in a timely manner?
- Can they provide you with hire vehicles as and when you need them, for the amount of time they are needed, at a competitive price and in the time frame needed.
- When and how do you pay for additional services? Can you access your account easily, when you need to and how are payments managed?
- Do they have access to service providers that are local to your drivers and offer good value for money?
- Do they have all the services you may need under one roof or are you going to have to get different parts of your vehicle management needs from different providers?
- Are they going to tie you in for a year at a time or can you leave easily and quickly should you decided they are not the right company for you?
- When you are ready to jump in there are many companies to choose from so take your time and research. Go on websites, are they transparent in what they provide and their costs? Ask questions in the pop up chat box, click on the social media threads to see if they are current and active, providing interesting and helpful info for you.
Remember this is a service that you are going to be paying for so customer service is key. When you call and talk to the person who picks up the phone consider if they are going to be the right company for your company, as they are going to be looking after your fleet vehicles, one of your biggest business assets.