In the age of modern technology, there are new and exciting ways to effectively manage and improve a fleets performance. However, investing in different gadgets and other pieces of technology will not ensure success, unless you pair it with a management style that works. To marry these two aspects together, here are 5 tips for effective fleet management:
Establish your 3 P’s: purpose, policy, and processes.
Every structure needs a good foundation. Without a solid and level foundation, a building will collapse no matter how good and high quality construction materials are. This concept also applies in fleet management. Before anything else, make sure that you’ve established your purpose, policy, and processes. Answer the following questions:
- What is the purpose of operating the fleet?
- How is the policy structured? This includes a list of vehicles that will be used, driver permits, etc.
- What processes are needed to support the policy and to deliver expected outcomes? (This includes servicing and maintenance facilities, fuel sources, reporting processes, vehicle tracking devices, etc.)
Create an open line of communication with drivers.
A fleet is only as good as its drivers. Therefore, you need to ensure that each driver is well informed about your purpose, policy, and processes. There should be clear measurements on how performance will be monitored and assessed. In times of emergencies, the drivers should know the standard operating procedure and have a direct line to call. It is also imperative that you let them know that they can come to you with any concerns they may have, so that they remain transparent with you.
Analyze and evaluate regularly.
Although your three P’s set the foundation for fleet management, you should be open to any changes that are necessary to maintain an effective and efficient operation. As a manager, you have to analyze the available information, evaluate issues and identify points of improvement. Use your measurement standards to pinpoint individuals that may not be performing within the norm. You should also recognize special circumstances, that are contributing to variations in performance. Once you’ve collected all the data you need, you need to prioritize changes that will give the most significant payback. Whether that is by increased performance or through cost-cutting, use your data and analysis to come to the best business decision.
Update policies and processes if necessary.
Through your analysis, you may recognize new problems in your policies and processes. Update them if necessary to make sure that the overall business operation continues to run smoothly.
Develop an understanding of your fleet.
As much as data and analysis are required to be an effective fleet manager, it also needs a little bit of intuition and familiarity on your part. Through experience you will develop an understanding of your fleet, which will make pinpointing problems and creating solutions that much easier. However, you will need to learn to balance both analysis and intuition. Too much analysis may cause delays in problem solving, while too much intuition may lead to mistakes.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to effectively manage your fleet, ensuring consistent business success.