Fleet management is a critical task in any organization because it ensures that the vehicles and the staff that operate them are well-managed for optimum efficiency and productivity. It also helps to reduce costs and builds good customer service. However, it is faced with various challenges.
Below are some of the challenges that face today’s fleet management:
Fuel price volatility
Among the biggest headaches for fleet managers is keeping a handle on fuel costs since they can be so volatile and unpredictable. Fuel costs make up to 35% of costs for organizations with sizeable fleets. As such, even a slight fluctuation in fuel prices can have a significant impact on the bottom-line of those businesses. Failure to have proper fuel cost estimates may mean having to reduce the allocations to other areas to meet the deficit. Besides getting the best fuel cost estimates and forecasts, reducing the total fuel consumption is another way that fleet managers can try to mitigate their risks. The lower the fuel cost, the less the percentage of the total business costs it represents. In such cases, changes in fuel prices will not have a significant impact on the business.
All departments in a business are under pressure to do much with less or to deliver better results at the same cost or even lower. Fleet managers need accurate data and top-notch forecasting tools to make proper decisions that can reduce costs. The use of technology is also helping to cut costs, for example acquiring vehicles with better fuel efficiency, prior diagnosis of vehicle problems to avoid attending to them when it is too late (thus incurring higher costs and causing idle time for workers), and lost business. Technology such as vehicle tracking systems can help to avoid misuse of the vehicle, thus reducing wastage of fuel and other things that can make costs escalate. Businesses can find such services at Eyeride online to help them cut costs.
Every fleet manager has to make sure that all of the drivers under him or her are safe as they go about their work. This is a tall order and the managers have to employ every possible means. It is not a wonder there has recently been more focus on eradicating avoidable accidents, especially by offering training on safe driving. Managers must also learn to employ technology to monitor and enforce safer driving behaviours.
According to a recent survey focusing on fleet managers, a quarter of all commercial drivers in the UK do not observe guidelines on issues to do with fatigue and rest. The same survey also gave findings that only two-thirds of fleet managers have installed systems to enforce the guidelines like taking breaks. Managers can put systems in place to see to it that the drivers take those rests instead of leaving it to their discretion. Tracking system and in-vehicle cameras can help to enforce these rules and reduce risky habits.
Fleet managers are faced by the challenge of ensuring that a driver’s time is gainfully used since lost driver time is a cost without matching returns. Downtimes must be kept at the lowest possible levels or eradicated. Managers can use modern technology to smooth out tasks like refuelling, routing, and conveying information. Technology can also remove manual data entry as well as completing forms. Automation of data entry and transmission can also help to improve fleet managers’ productivity.
There are a ton of challenges in today’s fleet management, but making even small efforts to improve things is better. Some things that can help to handle the challenges include training drivers on safe driving and employing technology to track vehicles and driver behaviour to avoid preventable accidents. Use of advanced forecasting tools can also help to deal with unforeseen changes.