Find yourself needing a few fleet management tips?
Does this sound familiar? Your small business has been thriving over the past few months, and you are starting to grow your operation. You’re beginning to purchase commercial vehicles and hire a team of drivers.
Gone are the days of only managing your own vehicle, schedule, and work agenda. Now, you need to efficiently oversee a small business fleet. Welcome to the fleet industry.
Running a small company fleet comes with many challenges. You’re juggling multiple tasks like budgeting, reducing downtime, tracking vehicles, monitoring driver behavior, and on top of all of that, overseeing customer demands.
If you can relate, you’re in luck.
In this blog post, we will share five fleet management tips essential to running successful small business fleet operations like yours.
Let’s get started.
Top 5 Fleet Management Tips for Small Business Fleets
1. Hire a Fleet Manager
If your fleet has more than a dozen vehicles and is continually growing, it is time to hire a fleet manager. A fleet manager oversees logistical tasks and is responsible for the vehicle readiness of your fleet.
By closely monitoring vehicle performance, they ensure that your assets are operationally and financially efficient.
You need someone who is designated to manage all of your assets.
Fleet managers can help with:
- Controlling fleet vehicle maintenance
- Overseeing operational costs
- Managing the procurement of your vehicles
- Keeping up with vehicles' regular inspections
- Monitoring driver performance
2. Set Goals
To manage a fleet effectively, you’ll want to set defined goals for management and your drivers. Not only should you be setting goals, but you should also be monitoring the progress you are making to reach them.
It's far easier to succeed when the entire team works together to achieve a standard set of objectives. Make sure you are clearly communicating your business ambitions and strategy to everyone within your fleet operation so that you can all work together to reach your goals.
A few examples of goals you might set for your company may include:
- Lowering fuel costs
- Increasing the safety of your drivers and other motorists
- Improving your CSA score
- Extending the useful lifespan of your vehicles
- Regular maintenance checks
3. Automate, Automate, Automate!
As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You might not have time to manually log every detail of your fleet, nor should you have to.
Let fleet management software do the hard work for you.
With fleet management technology, you can monitor your fleet through your desktop or mobile phone. With GPS fleet tracking software, you can dramatically increase efficiency when keeping track of maintenance, pre-planning routes, or locating your drivers.
Fleet management solutions allow you to view all of your fleet’s activity in one place, helping to improve fleet productivity and efficiency, save time, streamline your business operations, lower operating costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
4. Properly Train Your Drivers
Most accidents on the road are caused as a result of unsafe driving behavior.
Not only does lousy driving behavior threaten the well-being of your drivers and other motorists, but it also leads to high costs in terms of insurance, vehicle repairs, fines, downtime, and property damage.
To avoid this, implementing an effective driver training program is a must to promote overall driver safety.
Automated driver coaching is a great way to empower drivers to ditch bad habits on the road. Driver coaching technology allows the driver to correct their behavior by providing them with actual clips of what the camera saw when they were driving unsafely.
If the driver does not take steps towards changing that behavior, they are then enrolled in interactive training courses that are designed to combat their unsafe behavior.
This is an excellent way to gear your drivers towards awareness and improvement so that they can do their jobs as safely as possible.
5. Prioritize Vehicle Maintenance
Although most vehicles are built to withstand serious abuse, you should never skip out on vehicle maintenance. With regularly scheduled maintenance, your vehicles will continue running smoothly, which means your business will too.
Without preventive maintenance, you can risk your vehicles being put out of service which can significantly affect your business' productivity, can cause an increase in operational costs, and could hinder your company’s reputation.
With fleet maintenance tracking, you can ensure that your vehicles get the attention they need on a regular basis. Automatic alerts and reminders will notify you of any issue the vehicle is having, as well as when your vehicle is simply due for maintenance.
This automation will help extend your vehicle’s useful lifespan and reduce the total cost of vehicle replacement and upkeep.
In closing, proper fleet management is valuable for any business that relies on a fleet of vehicles. When you're faced with running a fleet, you'll need as many helpful fleet management tips as you can get.
Forward Thinking Systems is a leading provider of fleet solutions. We hear from fleets every day about the problems they're facing. As such, we get a lot of great insight into how you can better help your business.
Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and how we can help make your asset, car, and truck fleet management easier.
Want to see how a powerful fleet management system can improve your small business operation?
Take the proactive approach and schedule a free demo below!
What are the benefits of a fleet management system?
Benefits include lowering fuel costs, keeping up with preventative fleet maintenance, improving fleet safety, planning more efficient routes, and overseeing your entire fleet's performance on one easy-to-use interface.
This way, you can make informed business decisions based on real-time data.
Why is fleet maintenance essential?
If you do not take maintenance seriously, you risk vehicle downtime, excessive wear and tear, expensive repairs, consequential safety and compliance problems, and you'll very likely incur unnecessary costs.
A good rule of thumb is to schedule maintenance when your vehicles hit 3,000 miles so that you can prevent issues before they happen. This way, you know you are managing a safe and efficient fleet operation.
What industries use fleet management?
If your company has more than five fleet vehicles, your operation can significantly benefit from asset, car, and truck fleet management technology. Industries that rely heavily on solutions to analyze the key metrics of their fleet include:
- Transportation and Logistics
- Food and Beverage
- Cities and Municipalities
- Police and First Responders
- Waste and Recycling
What are common challenges faced by fleet managers?
Three of the most common challenges that fleet managers encounter are cost savings, fuel usage, and driver safety- with limiting fleet costs coming in as #1.
Reducing spending is a priority for all fleet managers. They are in charge of limiting vehicle purchase costs, fuel consumption, and bad driving behavior- all of which contribute to higher company expenses. Fleet managers can save money by:
- Installing a GPS tracking solution
- Utilizing route optimization software for pre-planning routes
- Staying up-to-date on fleet vehicle maintenance
- Implementing driver scorecards
What is the most critical aspect of fleet management?
Two words: GPS tracking. With this tool, fleet managers gain a higher level of visibility over their entire fleet by being able to monitor their drivers and vehicles at all times.
GPS tracking helps improve driver safety, reduce fleet vehicle theft, increase customer satisfaction, organize route planning, and assist with asset management. The ability to oversee all fleet performance will significantly benefit your company in the long run.
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