Fleet management is a term few businesses are aware of until they have more than one van or vehicle in their business – and then they realise the need for better management of their assets.
It’s not always necessary to employ a specific fleet manager for this job since there are lots of software options available to enable the effective running of a fleet and also the job can be outsourced to specialist firms.
Fleet management itself covers several functions such as fuel and driver management as well as telematics which is the tracking and analysing of the vehicle’s performance.
Telematics for fleet management
The implementation of fleet management means that the firm’s investment in its vehicle fleet is protected because it is an asset that needs to be worked efficiently and properly.
However, once the vehicle is out on the road then its efficiency and productivity needs to be carefully monitored.
This means that by using telematics – or tracking as most people know it – a business can improve journey times, fuel ecomony and driving behaviours.
This issue of behaviour is an important one because it means that the business is taking an interest in the health and well-being of their driver and that they are driving safely within legal limits.
Fleet management and managing drivers
But the main aim for effective fleet management, even for a small business, is that it reduces their transportation costs to help boost productivity and profits.
The simplest way to manage a fleet, particularly of vans, is to install a tracking device so that real time information is fed back to a web-based system for the business owner to analyse and monitor what is going on with their vehicles.
This is a task that many small business owners will find fairly easy to deal with and keep on top of but there may be times when there are simply too busy to effectively manage a fleet of business vehicles.
Outsourcing fleet management
This means that the job will have to be outsourced, if the firm decides not to employ a fleet manager, and the fleet management firm will then oversee and coordinate everything to do with the vehicle’s activities.
A third party fleet management firm will effectively micro-manage the vehicles so that the business owner doesn’t have to worry about things like fuel, maintenance and finding spare parts while at the same time enjoying improved productivity and reducing downtime.
Fleet management of vehicles in small firms is a large and complicated area and it’s an issue that commercialvehicle.com will be returning to for further detailed explanations of how this vital role is undertaken to ensure that productivity, safety and profitability are maintained and built upon.