Managing your business’s fleet can be a complex endeavor. Many business owners opt to forego running their fleet and outsource their transport needs to delivery companies.
However, there are benefits to having your own delivery trucks compared to trusting another business to complete deliveries for you. For one, you have greater control over the quality of service. Also, you might save some costs, especially if you have an efficient fleet.
Here are six quick tips for efficient fleet management.
Use an online fleet management system to track the whereabouts of your vehicles, calculate how long each trip is expected to take, and see the shortest or quickest routes available.
With this information, you can plan optimized routes for your drivers, so they make deliveries faster. This saves time, reduces fuel usage, and improves customer satisfaction due to quick deliveries.
Prioritize Preventative Maintenance
Never wait until a vehicle is down to get it to the service center. This will lead to downtime, delayed deliveries, and lost productivity. Schedule regular maintenance services for your vehicles so they undergo general inspection and safety checks to keep them performing optimally.
Preventative maintenance allows you to identify any issues before they escalate, allowing you to fix them on time and avoid more costly repairs down the road. Also, when your vehicles receive regular maintenance, their various components will last longer, giving you more value.
Set Down Policies and Procedures
Who has clearance to operate the vehicles? What activities should the vehicles be used for? What should drivers do in case of an accident?
Leaving any vagueness around such issues makes it hard to get maximum value from your fleet. Write down a set of policies and procedures that everyone at the company should know regarding using the vehicles.
Specify the responsibilities of each party involved in the fleet’s operation, and provide guidelines on proper action when various issues arise. This rids any room for confusion and streamlines fleet management.
Use Fuel Cards for Efficient Fuel Usage Tracking
Going through tens or hundreds of receipts to calculate fuel spending and prepare reports can be time-consuming and tiring. Save yourself the hassle by having your drivers use fuel cards to pay for gas.
A fuel card functions like a credit card, but it’s only used to buy gas. Every purchase gets recorded on a digital statement where you can easily track spending.
There’s no better way to get a clear picture of your fleets’ fuel spending. A fuel card also allows you to enjoy discounts and rewards that reduce your overall fuel expenditure.
There are two main types of fuel cards; an all-brand card which drivers can use at any fuel station, and a single brand fuel card they can only use at a single fuel station.
Fortunately for you, there are several fuel card providers you can use today to improve your fuel spending and tracking. When choosing a provider, consider what benefits they offer and whether they’re suitable for your business.
Create a Comprehensive Budget
Having a detailed budget is crucial for any department of your business, including your fleet. Create a comprehensive budget catering to running, maintenance, and emergency repair costs. Proper budgeting ensures that you never have to idle your vehicles because you’re short on capital.
Optimize Fleet Size
Before buying or renting vehicles for your fleet, determine how many your business needs. If you get more vehicles than required, you’ll end up under-utilizing them, which keeps you from getting the most value out of them.
If you settle for a fleet size that’s too small for your operations, you’ll have a hard time honoring deliveries. This paves the way for customer dissatisfaction and keeps you from maximizing your profits. Therefore, take time to carefully analyze the transport demands in your business before acquiring your fleet.