On average, the monthly price of fleet management systems is $3 per car, or between $3,500 and $6,500 annually for a fleet of ten vehicles, according to tech.co.
If you have outsourced delivery services before, you are familiar with the stress linked to locating reliable service providers. Besides, hiring transport services won’t give you the confidence needed to grow your company.
While owning a fleet of vehicles can significantly increase your chances for business success, managing a fleet of cars is not easy. A lack of accurate data makes it challenging for businesses to maintain a fleet effectively.
For this reason, it is advisable to incorporate the latest route optimization software in the logistics industry and apply other simple fleet management strategies.
1. Choose the right fleet vehicles
If you are planning to update your fleet or add new vehicles, make an effort to pick the best models available in the market. Investing in the right fleet vehicles is the best solution for cutting costs on repairs and fuel. Therefore, research the market to identify quality and reliable cars.
Also, read customer reviews about automobile performance on credible online sources. Reliable consumer feedback will guide you in selecting automobiles that are fuel-efficient and dependable. Other aspects you will need to think about include the required size, terrain, and type of journey.
While it might sound appealing to buy an oversized vehicle, it will only increase fuel expenses. A small-sized one will force you to make several trips to satisfy customer needs. As a result, you will waste a considerable amount of time you could use to handle other important business affairs.
Before purchasing cars, determine their purpose to be sure they meet your business needs without adding unwanted costs.
2. Keep a digital record for fleet management
Changing how your business stores data is complicated, especially with new technology. However, embracing technological advancements like cloud-based data storage is beneficial for the proper management of your fleet.
You’ll save not only space but also limit paperwork, which requires a lot of time and energy organizing. Cloud-based systems enable secure storage of records and convenient access.
With access to accurate data, tracking fuel consumption, maintenance expenses, and repairs becomes a seamless activity. If your business is using vehicle management systems already, make sure to keep your records updated.
3. Utilize telematics for fleet management
Apart from tracking assets on transit, telematics provides numerous benefits when utilized correctly. Since this feature entails the use of the Internet of Things, it helps you understand your network devices better.
Knowing how tracking systems and other tech elements in cars work, you can improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.
Telematics also provides reliable data that gives insights about driver behavior, vehicle performance, and fuel consumption.
From the data collected, you can quickly determine if your drivers need the training to improve performance. You can also monitor the trips that cost a lot of money and decide whether they are beneficial or seek other cost-efficient options.
Telematics also allows you the opportunity to enjoy real-time connectivity with drivers and vehicles on the road. You can trace truck locations and real-time events like speeding, idling, emergency repairs, and drivers’ behavior on your smartphones.
This gives you the ability to optimize route planning, track and reduce fuel expenses, organize vehicle maintenance, and monitor distance covered.
4. Total costs of ownership
Fleet management presents a set of challenges, but the most complicated task is tracking fleet costs. Failure to manage transport expenses affects the business profit margins and productivity levels.
Learning how to control fleet costs is fundamental for increased productivity. If you are facing problems calculating fleet expenses, probably it’s because you are using manual spreadsheets. It would be best if you utilize fleet management software to get an accurate figure of fleet ownership.
With the right software, you can track and manage fuel expenses, calculate drivers’ costs, compare metrics, and improve fleet asset management.
5. Prioritize repairs and maintenance
If one of your company cars is out of service due to damages, your business suffers substantial financial losses. It is even worse to let drivers use damaged vehicles.
You increase the risk of accidents, which leads to financial difficulties, not to mention legal implications. Consider prioritizing regular automobile repair and maintenance to reduce road risks as well as costs.
There are simple yet effective techniques for maintaining a fleet in working conditions you can incorporate in your company to enhance productivity.
First, check that you are driving the right trucks or vans based on your business. Then create a maintenance checklist that aligns with the specifications set by the vehicles’ manufacturer.
6. Organize a proper schedule
When creating a maintenance schedule, make sure to involve your driver and mechanic. These professionals will provide tactics that help reduce downtime. Remember to inform your drivers who they should communicate with regarding car maintenance or when a vehicle malfunctions while on transit.
Also, take advantage of technology that predicts preventative maintenance and creates a repair schedule to help you stay on track and eliminate costly repairs or replacements.
7. Don’t overlook fleet insurance
Many small business owners underestimate the importance of fleet insurance because they assume that general business insurance covers for company vehicles in the event of an accident. But that is not always the case. It is upon you to search for the right insurance policy designed for company cars.
Consider asking your insurance agent to guide you through the variety of options available. Investing in fleet insurance gives you peace of mind that in the event of a mishap on the road, your drivers are protected against financial difficulties. You will also have peace that clients will receive compensation for goods lost, damaged, or stolen.
When managing a fleet, it is advisable to prioritize safety over profit. If you focus a lot on earning high returns, you will most likely over-utilize drivers and overlook vehicle maintenance.
This results in equipment breaking down frequently, and drivers’ performance declines, increasing the risk of road hazards. Instead of spending massive amounts on repair, fines, or vehicle replacement, pay attention to safety.
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Ali Nott is a writer who is interested in business and finance.