Every company that deals with work vehicles needs fleet management – an administrative approach that helps companies coordinate and organize work vehicles. Reducing costs, improving efficiency and providing compliance with governmental regulations is the name of the game here. Fleet management is used by every company type, from oil and gas delivery and utilities to couriers, repair and service industry businesses, in order to ensure safety, responsible vehicle use and to enable real-time tracking. Here are some basics of the world of fleet management.
Training and education
First of all, let’s discuss what you actually need in order to become a fleet manager. For starters, you will probably need an associate’s degree, as well as several years of experience in the transportation industry. Naturally, you also need to be more than familiar, proficient even, with all the industry’s concepts, procedures and practices. For instance, a bachelor’s degree in accounting or logistics can be of particular benefit in order to move up within a company.
Dealing with profit and loss
This is the exact reason why a degree in accounting can be of huge benefit to an aspiring fleet manager: this role is also set with the task of maximizing profits, while keeping the costs low. Accounting software is one of the main tools for this type of a professional – it is essential in collecting and recording data, and this makes up for half of the job for a fleet manager.
Believe it or not, fleet management starts with the vehicle purchase process. Just like you would with a personal vehicle, you should come up with an extensive list of vehicles that suit your needs and purposes and start comparing them. Some might cost little, but may turn out to be huge spenders, while others may be expensive, but mostly owing to quality hardware and software, meaning that they will save you a ton of maintenance money in the long run. Choosing the fleet vehicles carefully is the first step of proper fleet management.
Speaking of maintenance, we should mention that, where it is more than advised for your private vehicles, it’s more than obligatory for your company fleet. Why? Well, in order to make all the necessary profits efficiently and seamlessly, all company vehicles need to maintain peak operating conditions. This means regular checkups (even by employees, before and after usage), and maybe even coming up with your own in-house service center with employed specialists and mechanics, depending on how big a role vehicles play in your business.
By far the biggest on-the-road expense for your fleet is fuel. As such, it needs to be closely monitored at all times – there is no wiggle room for letting the drivers abuse the company fuel budget. One way to monitor this aspect of fleet management is by comparing the company’s fleet fuel purchases to the real-time vehicle locations in order – this a simple way to verify fuel usage. A quality GPS tracking device can make fleet management much, much easier, plus it can serve as a moral motivator that discourages the drivers from abusing company resources.
Speaking of motivation, a fleet manager isn’t responsible solely for managing everything related to vehicles – they are in charge of the drivers, too! It is your job to make sure that everyone remains motivated and on the same page. Organize frequent meetings, come up with in-detail charts with regards to the drivers’ performances and make sure that they’re focused on helping your company thrive.
The job of a fleet manager is an extensive one: everything from choosing the actual vehicles, dealing with profits and loss in the vehicle department to monitoring maintenance, fuel spending, and even managing personnel is in the job description of this profession. It’s a vastly important job with a lot of responsibility.