What are some of the top causes of lost fleet manager productivity?
Fleet managers often wear multiple hats and are required to juggle several projects at once. Plus, instead of outsourcing fleet administrative tasks – like registration, fuel cards, invoicing, driver expenses, quoting and ordering – we have found that too often fleet managers are left to tackle them on their own. All these responsibilities leave fleet managers with little or no time to focus on strategies for enhancing their overall fleet operations and customer service.
When we talk to new prospects, we often find that they are not aware of all the available fleet resources and fleet management support systems that can save them time and hassles. As a result, they lack the right technology and fleet expert partnerships that can keep them on top of fleet best practices and innovations and provide them with actionable fleet data, reporting and insights in a streamlined, quickly-digestible format.
What are some ways that fleet managers can combat these issues and increase productivity?
The most efficient way for fleet managers to increase their productivity is by outsourcing their time-consuming administrative tasks, like registration, fuel cards, invoicing, driver expenses, quoting and ordering. It’s been our experience that when we take on a company’s fleet administrative tasks and other day-to-day responsibilities, we’re told how our services save the company time and money by streamlining processes, cutting fuel costs and driver expenses, lowering acquisition prices, shortening vehicle ordering and delivery times and avoiding late fees, expired registrations and violations. Fleet managers tell us that our services give them peace of mind and free up their time to concentrate on big picture plans for maximizing safety, driver satisfaction and retention and customer service and satisfaction.
In the area of expense management, productivity can be increased by automating the flow of fleet expenses and tracking them through a single-source invoicing platform that delivers concise monthly reports.
Implementing services like telematics can identify high-idling vehicles that increase fuel and maintenance costs.
To get a quicker, comprehensive assessment of their fleet to identify areas that need attention, fleet managers can work with fleet expert partners, like Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, who have the knowledge, resources and technology to provide industry and vehicle benchmark data that impacts vehicle depreciation, maintenance expenses and fuel consumption.
What are some of the top causes of lost fleet driver productivity?
When fleet vehicles aren’t up and running, neither are their drivers. Things like accidents, breakdowns and mechanical issues that require repairs incur costly downtime that inhibits drivers from doing their jobs and serving customers. In turn this hurts revenue, driver satisfaction and customer satisfaction.
Tedious tasks that are not directly related to the job divert the driver’s time and focus from getting the job done and keeping customers happy. These tasks include:
If a work truck or van is not appropriately designed and equipped for the job – as is often the case with rental vehicles – it makes it difficult for the driver to efficiently and fully serve a customer’s needs. When we work with a new client, too often we find that they have not been advised properly on selecting the correct type of vehicle and upfitting to effectively support the job at hand.
What are some ways fleet drivers can increase productivity?
When drivers stay on top of getting their vehicles maintained regularly, it helps to prevent breakdowns, major costly repairs and downtime. Implementing a monitored telematics and analytics solution, like AlbertIQ, that evaluates vehicle health and catches mechanical issues before they become serious problems, will let drivers know when maintenance is required. With a mobile, user-friendly system in place, like our Overdrive app, drivers can easily receive notification and alerts from AlbertIQ anywhere they are and take the necessary proactive measures.
Monitoring vehicle and driver behavior with GPS tracking and other systems like AlbertIQ can help ensure drivers are driving safely and complying with company guidelines, work schedules and designated routes.
Upfitting a work truck or van with equipment like racks, bins, shelves, drawers, ladder storage, ramps and other items – with the help of expert truck engineers like our team at Mike Albert – helps the driver get the job done more efficiently and safely.
What are some of the top causes of lost vehicle productivity – anything specific to work trucks or vocational trucks (Class 1-7) are appreciated?
Not having a system in place that monitors a vehicle’s health and when, where and how long it is driven can allow unseen issues to escalate into hazardous and costly problems like excessive wear and tear, breakdowns and accidents.
Too often we find that companies do not have a strategic plan for replacing aging vehicles in their fleet. Instead they keep vehicles beyond their productive life and run them into the ground. This usually results in rising maintenance and repair costs, a higher risk of breakdowns and downtime, and diminished reliability and safety. On top of that, newer vehicles are overused to compensate for the downtime of older vehicles, accelerating the wear and tear on newer vehicles.
Aging fleet vehicles that are well-worn in appearance and prone to breakdowns, run the risk of missing customer appointments, underdelivering on customer service, and tarnishing the company’s image.
If a vehicle is not specified correctly to meet the demands of the job, the vehicle will likely be overtaxed. Or, if the vehicle is more than is needed for the job, it may incur excess fuel and other operating costs.
What are some ways that fleet managers can increase vehicle productivity?
Since vehicles do not have an unlimited useful life, instead of running them into the ground, the more cost-effective and safer solution is to implement a vehicle replacement strategy. With the help of fleet lifecycle experts, like we have at Mike Albert Fleet, fleet managers can forecast the optimal time to remarket each vehicle and budget for its replacement. By identifying a specific mileage band for each aging vehicle that pinpoints when it should be cycled out of the fleet, fleet managers can decrease operating costs and prevent downtime.
Working with a seasoned team of truck engineers, like you’ll find at Mike Albert, fleet managers can be sure that each vehicle is specified to the right size and configuration for the job to maximize productivity and cost-efficiency. It’s also important to upfit work trucks and vans with the proper equipment to enhance the safety of the truck and make it easier and safer for the driver to use on the job.
Predictive and regular vehicle maintenance can improve performance, lower fuel costs, fend off major repairs and downtime, and help retain a higher resale value. Fleet managers tell us that when they utilize our telematics program, maintenance management program and AlbertIQ analytics platform, their total cost of ownership decreases significantly and their drivers are happier driving healthier vehicles.
Beyond a means of transportation that enables you to generate revenue and serve customers, a fleet vehicle can also serve as a source of advertising for a company simply by branding it with a professional vehicle wrap.
What does this all mean in the end?
With so much on their plate, it’s difficult for fleet managers to execute all the ways of maximizing productivity on their own. When fleet managers turn to us to help them with their heavy load of responsibilities, they recover the time to focus on big picture fleet enhancements and customer service – it’s important to keep in mind that a company’s main purpose for having a fleet of vehicles and drivers is to serve customers. At Mike Albert, we help fleet managers focus on managing that purpose.
We find that the best way to help fleet managers improve productivity is by taking a wholistic view of their fleet and providing a comprehensive line of services that enable them to:
- Acquire the right vehicles for the job
- Upfit the vehicles with the right equipment for the job
- Maintain the health and resale value of their vehicles
- Lower maintenance and repair costs
- Lower fuel costs
- Improve tracking and reporting
- Increase safety and compliance
- Simplify expense management
- Streamline registration management
- Simplify toll management