The importance of fleet innovation and investment

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The importance of fleet innovation and investment

Our Head of Procurement and Commercial, Rajan Sethi explores importance of fleet innovation and investment in the first in our series of blogs.

What is fleet management and why is it important? If like us you’re confused by what you read online and within the media you might find this blog helpful.

Effective fleet management encompasses the policies, procedures and the control of costs to increase revenue and greater service. This ultimately has a direct effect on your brand image.

What do you need to consider?

When it comes to replacing your old vehicle fleet with a new one it’s important to consider the requirements of the fleet to meet the requirements of the business and what options are available on the market. Shopping around for the best deal certainly has its advantages, be sure to involve the strategic decision makers too. Fleets can reduce costs significantly as well as their carbon footprint. 

If you’re not already using fleet management software, you might want to ask yourself why and understand how this might work for you.

In an era of reduced budgets, we’re always looking to do more for less. So much so that businesses are becoming increasingly tempted to put investments on hold. The downside to this is that long-term it could end up costing the business more money.

What should I do next?

Market research suggests that any organisation operating a fleet of more than 50 vehicles should look at this process in a strategic manner. It’s not just about procuring vehicles cheaply; you should consider other factors such as accident rates, vehicle maintenance, insurance, fuel consumption, and driver management.

First you must ask yourself, whether your company has the capability to undertake this? If not perhaps consider employing an internal fleet manger. Or if the overheads are too great you might want to consider working with an external provider that can help manage this for you.

Have you considered fleet management software?

Investing in a software package allows organisations to monitor real-time data on vehicle operation. Along with ensuring vehicle and employee safety it promotes efficiency by recording the organisations daily data on driving routes, speeding, idling time, and work breaks this data can be used to build driver profiles.

By studying these profiles an organisation can implement change to spark efficiencies.

The common functionality of this software includes:

  • Dispatch and scheduling 
  • GPS tracking
  • Price and quote management
  • Route planning and optimisation
  • Fleet maintenance
  • Cargo optimisation

How will I benefit from fleet management?

By implementing a fleet management strategy across your organisation you’ll be able to reduce costs significantly.

Procuring vehicles on a lease allows you to cut down on maintenance and repair costs. In turn a vehicle will spend more time on the road. A costly breakdown could cost not only a day’s work but the cost of fixing the vehicle too.

It’s likely that your insurance fee will be reduced. Through theft prevention option this can decrease the insurance cost due to the risk of loss reduction. A new vehicle on the road has a lower accident risk which helps to reduce costs.

If you choose to adopt a fleet software system, the fuel information together with an efficient route plan can lead to fuel consumption optimisation. Tracking systems can also be useful for planning where the nearest refuel location is. Using real-time data to reduce idle times will increase efficiencies and overall generate greater customer satisfaction.

Fleet management needs the buy in from employees too. They will benefit from driving new vehicles as well as efficient journeys through route planning. Studies show that this will have a profound effect on employee satisfaction. This in the long-term will contribute to staff retention and recruitment.

Overall the greater efficiencies will be passed on to the customer. Customer satisfaction is paramount for any organisation and can lead to increased revenue and will help develop and promote a positive brand image.

Why do you need this?

Any organisation that relies heavily on a fleet of vehicles will tell you that it is an avoidable but essential cost. Innovations in technology such as fleet management software now allow you to manage your driver’s every move. Some within the industry disagree with this approach but others see its greater potential.

To implement a successful fleet management strategy an organisation will need to combine technology with long-term goals. By adopting this approach an organisation can highlight the potential for efficiencies which in the long-term will influence other areas of the business.

To be a sustainable organisation in the 21st Century business will need to adopt the culture of change, investing in innovation to improve their market position.

The risk if they don’t? Their competitors will beat them to it.