The efficient management of a fleet of company vehicles is a complex operation that fully falls within the number of strategic activities of a company. Today for companies, obtaining marginal savings through careful monitoring of the vehicle fleet often guarantees overall more than interesting earnings.
But what are the priorities not to be overlooked to set up a virtuous management of the company car fleet? With some years of experience in the use of car fleet management solutions, we can say that we have gained some expertise in the field: let’s see together some suggestions drawn from our experience.
1. Consolidate management
Forget scattered spreadsheets or local applications that collect important but difficult to share and analyze data. Today the technological standards have evolved so much that they allow all data from different sources to be collected in a single solution. Supplier invoices (rental companies, fuel, maintenance), information on vehicles and drivers, equipment and spare parts.
Collecting and reconciling all this data can be difficult when the vehicle fleet reaches a certain size. The exercise is even more complex for large companies, when it is necessary to manage different assignment and / or charge-back centers between subsidiaries.
Consolidating and centralizing data with the help of an integrated information system accessible via the web is now the standard in managing complex data, allowing better control and optimization of fleet costs through analysis and reporting tools for all monitoring activities available for all branches and / or agencies. Again, based on our long experience, we can recommend you to use gantt chart software. This is a kind of software that can help you in maintaining your project management, so that you can save your resources.
2. Check the mileage
A precise mileage record is essential for managing fuel budgets. Mileage is a variable cost that fluctuates constantly, but it is also a controllable cost, which in the case of a large fleet can have significant effects on the operating budget. With fuel that can represent between 20% and 30% of the cost of a vehicle for its entire duration, careful control of mileage and consumption can lead to significant savings.
Therefore, it is recommended that companies monitor both the distance traveled by vehicles and the quantities of fuel consumed. By analyzing these two variables simultaneously, we obtain a much more accurate panorama than studying only one of these parameters. This allows you to better understand driving behavior, identify possible improvements and offer tailored training for your employees that allows real ROI (Return On Investment).
3. Plan the number of vehicles
The larger the fleet size, the more relevant the fleet management costs will be. Is it not possible to reduce the number of vehicles without negatively impacting the level of service for users?
Indeed yes, by setting a more sustainable mobility policy that encourages the sharing of vehicles between different users. To this end, the company’s Car Sharing and Car Pooling policies are the subject of increasing attention by companies that manage an important vehicle fleet.
Needless to say, information technology once again offers tools capable of managing even highly complex scenarios, optimizing the management of vehicle availability and their sharing in the company.
4. Schedule maintenance
The use and conditions of vehicles and other equipment are fundamental for the sustainability of the fleet’s assets. Defining and maintaining a clear control policy are indispensable activities for the protection of company assets, also helping to maintain a useful history in the protection in the event of a complaint or litigation relating to security obligations.
Involving employees and informing them with periodic notifications helps to promote the standards of good management of vehicle fleet maintenance. If misunderstandings or questions remain, do not hesitate to put in place adequate training that will remind you of the basics on this topic and, finally, restore confidence to the employees.
5. Outsource some activities
Some fleet monitoring activities (such as supplier data integration, reporting or fines management) can become tedious and time consuming tasks for the fleet manager. By collaborating with a partner who supports these activities, the manager can spend more time on activities with high added value, such as:
– Analysis and optimization of costs and fleet data;
– Research, comparison and negotiation of suppliers;
– Tax optimization;
– Manage the relationship with drivers and implement effective car policies in reducing management costs.
Here, in a nutshell, the priorities for any effective vehicle fleet management policy. Of course, each company has its own particularities; needs that always recommend a personal ‘declination’ of these few considerations.
This is why we need to invest a lot of our energy in choosing a modular and customizable software solution, capable of adapting to the most diverse business realities but always providing a set of tools capable of supporting management in the optimal management of an important asset such as the company’s vehicle fleet.