The biggest motivation for any fleet manager is to reduce costs. There are many different variables that the fleet manager needs to control – people, vehicles, fuel and compliance for example – and these can all lead to a negative cost impact if they are not properly managed.
As well as the business focusing on having proper, dedicated fleet management, there may need to be an investment in infrastructure and new technology, but in essence, here are ten top tips to save money quickly through fleet management.
1. Plan refuelling
Fuel is obviously a very necessary cost and whilst the type of vehicle the business uses can have an influence on fuel costs, you can also control these costs better through fleet management. So plan when vehicles should refuel and programme this into journeys in an efficient manner, avoid drivers refuelling anywhere, particularly motorway services where you will pay a premium. Consider fuel card systems where you pay a more competitive price that is linked to wholesale fuel markets.
2. Train drivers to understand efficient driving
If drivers know how their habits and behaviours influence driving costs it can cut these costs dramatically, so educate drivers about harsh accelerating, idling, hard braking, over-use of air conditioning, ignoring maintenance issues, inflating tyres and carrying unnecessary loads. All of these factors can be improved to help save fleet costs.
3. Cut down on physical travel
In 2021 people are well accustomed to the practice of cutting down on physical visits and adopting the use of technology to carry out communications. Of course delivering goods and services will always need some physical travel, but an audit of the organisation’s operations can reduce corporate travel and assess what is critical and what can be done remotely. As well as reducing fuel and maintenance costs, the business will also gain in admin costs and a more efficient use of people.
4. Fleet insurance
However large or small your fleet of vehicles is, it will always be beneficial to arrange a whole fleet insurance deal rather than manage a series of individual deals for each vehicle. A comprehensive insurance deal to cover the complete fleet should result in lower premiums, and should also mean less paperwork and administration time for the fleet manager.
5. Fleet maintenance
As above, negotiating fleet maintenance deals with one source is much easier and much cheaper for the business. This will be slightly more difficult, because vehicles will be different types and different ages, but it is possible to have multiple vehicles serviced in one visit to save labour costs and downtime.
6. Do you have the right vehicles?
Are you having to make multiple drops because your vehicle isn’t big enough? Are you visiting customers in a large van that usually stays empty? Are you using a small city car to travel long distances? You should audit your vehicles to assess whether you are using the right vehicles for the right jobs, in terms of fuel efficiency, insurance and depreciation of the vehicles, and downsize or upgrade accordingly.
7. Understand tax
As well as road tax, you need to understand the costs and implications of Vehicle Excise Duty, Company Car Tax and capital allowances. You should also understand what grey fleet is, and the tax implications of employees using their own vehicles.
8. Reduce downtime
The fleet manager should have a keen eye on operations to ensure journeys are efficient and ‘dead time’ is avoided. So can vehicles collect something on the way back from delivering? Can a driver make two visits whilst out rather than one? Reducing downtime also involves service and maintenance and route planning to avoid breakdowns and traffic jams.
9. GPS systems
These are an essential tool to the fleet manager as they enable you to track driver behaviour, plan routes and avoid traffic jams, plan efficient drops and visits and refuel efficiently. This will all lead to lower costs and happier customers. Furthermore, GPS telematics systems produce lots of real-time data which you can use to analyse performance and make key strategic decisions.
10. Replace frequently
Monitoring the age, condition and performance of vehicles and knowing when to replace them can reduce costs relating to fuel efficiency, service and maintenance, insurance and depreciation. You should be aware of the benefits of leasing vehicles and the different funding methods available to benefit the business, and you should also be aware of new technology and developments such as electric vehicles, which mean newer vehicles could run more efficiently for the business.
Are you looking to save money on your fleet management? Contact Total Motion today.