Any fleet manager would tell you that managing a fleet is no child’s play — and they’d be absolutely right. With expenses to control, vehicles to maintain, and drivers to keep safe and productive, they have enough on their plate; and, no room for error, as it is. To be able to minimize errors, and keep operations rolling, they need to increase fleet efficiency.
But what does that entail? In this article, we share some tips to help you streamline your vehicle management, and kick-start fleet efficiency practices!
6 ways to increase fleet efficiency
1. Utilize technology
Truth be told, technology is a powerful ally in your efforts to increase fleet efficiency. Advances in fleet Telematics and vehicle management systems can help you make the most of your drivers and vehicles. To highlight, having access to actionable data — regarding vehicle status and driver performance — can help you keep your fleet on the right track.
2. Gain real-time visibility
Heading down the technology path, you gain real-time visibility into your fleet, from day one. Put differently, you’ll instantly know where your vehicles and drivers are, at any given time. Furthermore, you can set up alerts, to get notified whenever there’s a change in vehicle status and health, as well as driver activity. This will help you resolve issues on the spot and avoid unnecessary costs.
3. Control fuel consumption
If not monitored properly, fuel can be a rapidly cumulative expense for a fleet business. That said, to be able to control fuel consumption in your fleet, you need to know exactly how much fuel is being used; not just per vehicle, but also per trip.
With fleet tracking software, you can gain valuable insights into excessive idling, fuel theft, fuel fraud, and, of course, aggressive driving instances; all of which may be weighing down on your budget. So, the sooner you address the aforementioned issues, the sooner you can keep a tight rein on fuel costs. With fuel costs reduced, you have made a huge step towards increasing efficiency in your fleet.
4. Monitor driver behavior
Employing mindful and conscientious drivers can literally save your business from disaster. The road is a dangerous place to be, and even the smallest mistake behind the wheel can lead to:
- traffic accidents,
- costly vehicle repairs,
- liability insurance costs,
- legal problems, and
- even loss of business.
Chances are that not all your drivers are ‘mindful and conscientious’ on the road. Some may have bouts of aggressive driving or, worse, road rage. Eventually, unchecked dangerous driving behaviors, not only lead to breakdowns, and faster vehicle wear and tear, but also serious crashes. This is why it’s essential to monitor your employees’ driving habits, at all times. It’s the most efficient way to pinpoint unsolicited driving patterns promptly, and act towards correcting them.
Driver monitoring software, with an integrated scorecards feature, can constructively help you in this direction; especially, since it provides snapshots of your drivers’ safety scores for measure. This means that you’ll know who drives aggressively, when, and how often. Having enough data in your hands, as to your crew’s driving inefficiencies, you can offer them customized training. By doing so, you can keep your employees safe, optimize driving performance and, of course, increase fleet efficiency.
5. Track deductible business mileage
As you probably already know, tracking business mileage can save your business a lot on tax returns. Fleet management software, with a mileage tracker functionality, can help track and calculate your fleet’s deductible mileage, accurately, and effortlessly.
In addition to tax returns, a mileage tracker can also help you achieve fuel economy, and even improve driver performance. And, when it’s time to file for your taxes, you can export a mileage report — compliant with the requirements set by the IRS — and send it directly to your accountant.
6. Follow a preventive maintenance plan
Following a preventive maintenance program, along with performing frequent vehicle inspections, are essential practices; first, for keeping your fleet vehicles on the road and, second, for keeping small issues from turning into big ones, thus inducing lost man-hours and considerable downtime.
With a little help from an intuitive fleet maintenance management system, you can set a proactive goal to keep your vehicles healthy and robust. Keeping to such a goal, and plan, will allow you to minimize repairs, and reduce vehicle downtime; not to mention, eliminate lost man-hours, and roadside accidents. At the same time, you help improve your vehicle’s lifespan and increase its resale value; well, isn’t this fleet efficiency at its best?
Want to increase fleet efficiency? Maintain a state of flow
When all is said and done, the success of a fleet business largely depends on increasing your fleet efficiency. Now, to increase fleet efficiency, it’s important to achieve and maintain a state of (continuous and smooth) flow in your vehicle management, first. While this may seem like a lot of work, keep in mind that, today, fleet managers have a better chance of achieving it — compared to their predecessors.
That goes to say, having the latest on-board Telematics technology, and a robust vehicle management solution at hand, you instantly gain full visibility into your fleet; thus, enhancing control over daily operations, processes and, of course, costs.
By having access to vehicle and driver data, you can keep your vehicles healthy, your drivers productive and your operations fine-tuned. From that point on, fleet efficiency comes naturally, allowing you to focus on expanding your business. ✌