Being a fleet manager has its unique challenges.
"Can You Hear Me Now?"
It may be near-impossible to think of a role or industry in which poor communication isn’t a problem. However, it’s fundamentally fatal in fleet management. Because there are so many interrelated practices and targets to coordinate for the profitable and efficient operations of any fleet, it’s crucial that managers clearly, quickly, and consistently communicate with their operators and drivers. It’s not only their task to provide detailed instructions and to explain procedures, but also to provide their teams with the means for communicating within the company. It must go beyond keeping a journal and be centralized in a user-friendly dashboard.
Are your instructions concise and are you giving your staff the means to raise pertinent questions and/or make effective suggestions? Having accurate information provides the ability to address specific challenges and open focused dialogues toward faster solutions. Having the right tool to hold all these details is crucial for this to succeed. A fully integrated fleet management system, or SM2 FMS, becomes the key to this success.
The Times they are a changin'
All industries change over time, and the fleet manager’s job seems to be in a constant state of rapid evolution. Because of how widely diverse the operational conditions can be, there’s always something changing and/or in development, such as labour and consumables costs, legislation concerning driver and equipment safety, or integration of automated and mobile technologies. A great fleet manager always keeps on top of these changes and plans his future strategy proactively. An upcoming example of this is the UK government’s desire to phase out diesel and gas vehicles by 2040.
Even if you’re years away from deploying electric vehicles, you should know what to do when you are left with no option but to use them. A strong FMS will provide you with the needed components for an efficient preventive maintenance program. It will help you extend the life of your vehicles and allow you to determine the right time for their optimal resale value. An adaptable FMS will have already incorporated the possibility of tracking alternate fuels, including electricity. You’ll be ahead of the game and that is the competitive advantage that distinguishes business success from business extinction.
“I Didn’t know"
This is possibly the riskiest mistake a fleet manager can make, but is it a sign of incompetence or an indication that they don’t have the right tool for the job?
In the case of ignoring maintenance, it’s usually a short-term attempt to save money or downtime, but it usually ends up spending more of both in emergency overtime labour and expensive insurance or legal issues. Poorly maintained vehicles break down, endanger drivers and members of the public and cause anxiety and frustration among all involved. Fleet vehicles must be regularly serviced and inspected to ensure optimal performance. In the case where neglect isn’t by choice, then the solution is simple and should already be fully integrated in the FMS they are using, within the preventive maintenance module. This can show notifications of when to get regularly recommended maintenance done, and with certain mobile peripherals the fleet manager can also get real-time data on the functionality of the equipment.