What is vehicle fleet management?
Vehicle fleet management is a series of complex tasks that keep a business's transportation vehicles productive and generating revenue. When a fleet is managed correctly, then the cost to operate is reduced, drivers are safe, and customers are happy. Fleet management tasks require heavy adminstrative and analytic skillsets as well as comprehensive knowledge of the automotive industry. Often times, organizations can outsource these tasks to an experienced partner.
We talked to Dean Kinzer, Manager of Services and Operations for Bancsource, a national ATM business. He defines 'What is vehicle fleet management?' and details his experience working with Mike Albert Fleet Solutions.
He discusses how the Mike Albert fleet pros have helped relieve his heavy burden of managing, equipping, maintaining and remarketing a jumble of 250 company vehicles—giving him and his team more time and energy to spend on boosting sales.
We asked Dean about vehicle fleet management
“When I first was handed a fleet, instantly I had a level 10 panic attack.
There is a great deal of pressure placed on fleet managers to reduce the total cost of ownership, enforce driver safety policies, minimize risks and increase productivity. From how a company handles tolls, to how they handle scheduled maintenance and even when to trade in or sell off a vehicle—fleet managers have more on their plate than they could ever handle alone.
Vehicle fleets managers' responsibilities include:
In order to ensure driver safety, fleet managers need to be able to analyze driver performance to combat risky driving and job-related accidents; help drivers avoid accidents whenever possible; identify common accident types as well as repeat offenders; change routes based on time of day and specific locations; and offer training to drivers for accident prevention.
Knowing what vehicles are required, negotiating with manufacturers and scheduling the right upfit is a key element to maintaining a healthy fleet. To reduce costs, fleet managers have to be well aware of how to acquire the right vehicles for the type of job the vehicle has to do, the weight it will carry, and the conditions it will navigate.
On the flip side, it’s important for vehicle fleets to get peak remarketing value. Managing a vehicle’s condition, controlling the sales channel, and gauging the timing of the sale all rests on the fleet managers shoulders.
Management of fuel programs
Fuel is typically one of the top expenses in a fleet budget. When it comes down to it, it’s up to the fleet manager to help control this cost. And that only comes from data and access. Whether managing a preferred fuel network or fleet card program, fleet managers need to know that they’ve negotiated a good deal with suppliers that keep their fleet’s cost per mile low.
Preventive maintenance is vital to the health of vehicle fleets and the best way to keep drivers on the road and on the clock. Managing policies based on vehicle type, job and geography minimizes wear and tear, saves repair costs and helps with future resale value.
Fleet data monitoring Monitoring data through telematics is a must have for vehicle fleets. Fleet leaders can and should know where every vehicle is at any given moment. They can also monitor how that vehicle is being treated. Typically they will measure performance in areas such as idling, fuel consumption, and braking.
Managing compliance Keeping up-to-date with legislation changes and new regulations allows fleet managers to avoid heavy fines. Industries that involve hazardous materials, food and beverage or heavy loads are often subject to more specific DOT compliance regulations.
Mike Albert stepped in to support Dean in the areas he needed. Assuring that he was not buried in toll fees, maintenance bills and details. Today, Dean has a team of experts at Mike Albert focused on keeping his fleet running.
(Today) We have the right number of vehicles at the right mileage. With the right equipment inside, to properly service—not only our customers—but our internal stakeholders and external stakeholders.
So what is fleet management? You could define vehicle fleet management as finding the perfect partner. Managing a relationship with a team of experts that live and breathe fleet. This way, you can rely on experts in maintenance, telematics, compliance and all the other pieces of the puzzle. Dean defines vehicle fleet management as:
Fleet management is taking all of the problems that go in to owning 200 vehicles and making them seem effortless. That allows us, the fleet management customer, to have conversations about other things that are important. Which is, making more sales, getting more equipment under contract, and not worrying about whether I should sell a vehicle at this point or get something maintained. Mike Albert is handling something that is very problematic for a company that's not involved in fleet and making it a solution for us.”
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