Managing your fleet effectively is essential to ensuring you know exactly how your fleet is operating, which in turn can help you to see where improvements could be made to streamline your operations, keep down costs, save time and increase safety levels. In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the metrics that every fleet manager should be tracking in order to optimise your operation.
According to Company Bug, business mileage is the largest single expense for businesses in the UK, with over 2 million employees making mileage claims for a total of 10 billion business miles every year. Low fuel efficiency can result in higher fuel costs and increased emissions, so keeping track of your fuel efficiency is essential for any fleet manager.
Having a system in place that provides you with the best metrics for monitoring your fuel efficiency can help you to significantly reduce costs. Fleet tracking is an incredibly useful tool that allows you to keep an eye on your vehicles at any given time and detailed journey reports.
Driving style can have a significant impact on your fuel efficiency. According to Confused.com, for every minute spent idle, you could be burning between 1.077 to 2.13 ounces of fuel, adding up to roughly half a gallon of fuel every year. Additionally, drivers who accelerate and brake harshly and quickly use much more fuel than those who drive smoothly. Luckily, with Fleetsmart tracking devices, you can monitor driver behavior and identify where improvements to driving style could be made.
Fleetsmart vehicle tracking provides real-time GPS updates, routing, vehicle reports and journey replay which can be used to review driver behaviour. Inefficient driving leads to loss of money, so ensuring your drivers aren’t making unnecessary stops, idling for too long or being heavy on the brakes and accelerator is key to keeping costs down.
With the information received about your drivers’ behavior and habits, you can give your drivers extra training, where needed, to improve their driving style and, in turn, improve fuel efficiency. According to the Energy Saving Trust, through increased vehicle utilisation, operating costs can fall by 10% every year and fuel use by 15%.
The safety of your drivers and everyone else on the road should be your number one priority but unfortunately, not all training and regulations can prepare drivers for what may happen whilst on the job. Thankfully, Fleetsmart’s vehicle tracking allows you to see where your drivers are at all times, offering what may be the only source of information if all other means of communication are lost.
Journey Replay can also be used to identify when drivers aren’t driving safely , allowing you to take the required disciplinary measures or extra training to reduce the risk of accidents. Vehicle tracking also frequently acts as a deterrent to drivers who may be inclined to speed, making them behave more responsibly and improving safety.
Time and Productivity
Making sure your fleet is working productively is an essential part of managing your fleet, as an unproductive fleet can cost your business time and money that adds up in the long run. Through increased productivity it is estimated that operating costs can fall by 10% every year and fuel use by 15%. There are a number of ways in which you can save time and boost productivity through vehicle tracking. These include better route planning and cutting the paperwork.
Plan Better Routes
Fleetsmart vehicle tracking uses a tool called Advanced Mapping which allows fleet managers to plot journeys on a map, ensuring their drivers are taking the quickest routes possible and aren’t wasting time (and therefore money) by taking longer routes. You can also make sure your drivers are sticking to these routes via live updates that will notify you as soon as a vehicle comes off its set course.
You are also able to use GPS tracking to divert drivers via a less busy route in the event of a traffic queue or accident ahead, saving time that would otherwise be spent queuing in traffic, particularly if they don’t know the area well enough to navigate it themselves.
Cut the Paperwork
When managing a fleet, there are often a lot of tedious administration tasks that take up valuable time and money. With Fleetsmart, you can reduce the number of these tasks and make them simpler and quicker through the use of vehicle reports that store lots of useful information on a database.
For example, when drivers are given a job, they are usually given a timesheet or form to fill in about their journey, including start and end times, breaks and fuel stops. Drivers sometimes forget to fill this in or leave it until they get back into the office to complete, by which time they cannot remember the correct information and may provide incorrect times. By using Fleetsmart’s reports, you can be sure that your driver reports are complete and far more accurate.
One of the most important metrics to keep an eye on is the total cost of your vehicles. If you currently have old, inefficient vehicles which cost a lot in repairs, fuel and insurance, it is worth considering replacing them to help save money and reduce your business’ carbon footprint.
If your vehicles have a low MPG, this may indicate that your drivers could be driving more efficiently or that your vehicles are in need of a replacement. When looking to replace old vehicles, you should consider more than just the purchase price. In some cases, you may purchase a lower priced vehicle that actually costs more in the long run due to maintenance, fuel consumption, tax and insurance. Check out our list of the best fleet vehicles on the market based on size, cost, features and efficiency.