Fleet management still requires maintaining your fleet, whether they are rental cars or delivery trucks. And technology is bringing major changes to the industry, whether it is telematics reporting dangerous driving or GPS letting you know where your missing vehicle is. Changing customer expectations and legislation are changing the way business is done, too. All of this means many people are operating based on an obsolete view of the industry. Here are three ways companies get fleet management wrong.
Thinking the Technology That You Need is Hard to Install and Maintain
You may want to know when your delivery drivers or rental car customers are driving dangerously. A bumper sticker that says call us if this driver is behaving badly doesn’t give you all the information you need. Only a telematics device that tracks speed, location and braking patterns gives you a continuous, unbiased analysis of how each driver is performing. There are fleet managers who don’t go for the technology despite how it could save on their insurance premiums, wear and tear on vehicles, and even fuel efficiency because they think it is hard to install or difficult to maintain. However, that’s not true.
Fleet telematics companies like EnVue Telematics, for instance, have easy to install solutions that can go into almost any vehicle, and fleet managers have an easy to use interface for looking at data in aggregate and on a case by case basis. Your organization will get much more accurate information, and you could improve driver productivity by reducing their need to log things. You’ll still need to verify that the information going into the system is accurate, but the effort required to do so is reduced, as well. For example, verifying that someone followed their assigned route is done through a few mouse clicks, while asking why they took the side road takes a few minutes.
Failing to Utilize Technology to Meet Tightening Environmental Standards
Fleet managers are in a bind. They’re under pressure to reduce fuel use, both to save money and meet ever stricter environmental regulations. On the other hand, they’re also asked to achieve this without spending a lot of money.
The solution is to maximize the life of your vehicles while minimizing their fuel consumption. Telematics systems allow you to identify drivers who are idling more than they should, or accelerating and decelerating so much that it kills fuel efficiency. If you already have company policies in place to minimize fuel use, this data allows you to enforce the rules and save fuel. You can use route planning, too, to both deliver products and people faster and minimize fuel consumption.
Neglecting Driver Training
Driver training isn’t an inconvenience. It should be seen as an investment in your people and your business. Driver training results in fewer accidents, lower fuel consumption and less wear and tear on vehicles.
Furthermore, you have to have a plan to train new hires in the company’s procedures and keep everyone else up to date with changing rules. Good communication is the first step, but ensuring that everyone knows about the new technology going into vehicles and how it is used will go much farther. Ensuring they know the incentives for doing well may improve performance too.
The major misconceptions about fleet management get in the way of solutions for the biggest problems the industry faces. Address these misconceptions head on, and you could dramatically improve fleet performance.