Effective fleet management for non-fleet managers
Are you a fleet manager? No? Think again. If you’ve ever sent an employee out in a company vehicle, or if a member of your team drops off a parcel on the way home, they are acting for your company and this activity falls under your risk assessment policies. If you’ve sent an employee out on such a task, you’ve inadvertently become a fleet manager.
When this happens, you need to begin considering the implications of managing staff and vehicles. For example:
- Do the employees hold valid driving licenses?
- Is the vehicle adequately insured?
- Is the vehicle in good working order and does it have a valid MOT certificate?
- If employees go out on the road for any reason, you need to have the relevant policies, procedures and training in place to protect both your staff and your business.
But where to start managing a fleet? Here are just some of the things you will need to do:
In collaboration with your health and safety and HR manager/s, produce policies and procedures to protect both employees and the business.
- Log all of your driver’s details and driving license details.
- Log all of your company vehicles – registration date, registration number, VIN etc.
- Ensure all company vehicles are insured.
- Keep a record of all maintenance requirements for vehicles, including servicing and MOT dates and records.
- If staff are using their own vehicles, obtain details of business insurance cover.
- Keep a day to day log of when employees use vehicles, including specific dates/times, mileage and fuel use.
- Regularly check vehicles for damage and log accordingly.
In order to save time and money, you may wish to invest into a fleet management software system which will automate many tasks and allow you to concentrate on the more strategic activities.
The benefits of a fleet management system
- Locate vehicles and drivers
GPS tracking is the most basic function of a fleet management system, showing you live vehicle locations and the direction/s in which they are travelling. This allows to you check that vehicles are being used for the journeys that you have authorised.
- Utilise Fleet
Installing vehicle telematics systems and navigation devices will allow you to provide drivers with optimum route information, thereby increasing productivity and potentially reducing fuel usage.
- Improve driving standards and safety
A fleet management system allows you to monitor drivers’ performance and behaviours, by logging events such as speeding, harsh braking and idling times. These issues can be managed early and as part of ongoing training programmes.
- Improve customer response times
If you know exactly where your fleet vehicles are, you can respond to clients with accurate arrival times much quicker. You can also dispatch the closest vehicle to a customer, thereby significantly reducing response times and improving efficiency.
- Reduce fuel costs
Being able to access detailed reports on fuel consumption can help you to cut these costs through better driver training and devising more economical routes.
- Maintain regular maintenance schedules for your fleet
Having all vehicle maintenance schedules within one system allows you to proactively arrange replacement vehicles without losing any downtime. Keeping vehicles regularly maintained improves productivity and efficiency and reduces the chance of breakdown.
- Theft prevention
Currently in the UK, a vehicle is stolen approximately every 6 minutes. Can your business afford to lose a vehicle? Vehicle tracking systems can alert you when a vehicle is moved out of hours or away from a particular area, allowing you to alert the authorities and recover your asset quickly.
If you would like more information and advice on telematics technologies and fleet management systems for your business, get in touch with us today. We are a leading transport consultancy and work closely with industry-leading partners such as Webfleet Solutions (formerly TomTom Telematics), MaxOptra and FleetCheck.