There are many businesses for which a company fleet of vehicles is nothing short of essential. Larger trade businesses rely on vehicle fleets to deliver staff and equipment to various projects, while local retail businesses can use a small fleet to provide transport for deliveries and commutes alike.
But running a fleet of vehicles can be expensive – not in the least due to the initial costs of purchasing or financing. Those costs to business can balloon over time, though, if the cars in a fleet are not managed properly. Why are fleet management systems so important, and how should you approach it?
The Importance of Fleet Management
There are three principal reasons for which direct management of your own company fleet is crucial. The first, and most important by far, is safety. Poor fleet management can lead to serious car issues presenting themselves, which present a risk to the employees that use them.
There is also a serious cost element, relating to the proper repair and maintenance of your fleet. The longer an issue is left, the more it will cost a business; certain engine issues can decrease fuel economy over time, and the cost for significant repairs to a broken-down vehicle extends to lost business and wasted wage costs.
Lastly, there is an efficiency element to consider. Reduced fuel economy has a knock-on effect on the overall carbon footprint of your business, which can have a negative impact on your business’ PR. Sustainability measures are a net positive, and correctly managing your fleet – both in terms of maintenance and journey efficiency – can ensure you meet targets.
Managing Your Fleet
Set a Vehicle Policy
A standard fleet vehicle policy can be rolled up into your employees’ terms of employment, ensuring that cars are treated and handled to a specific standard. The right policy can ensure vehicles stay in better shape for longer, and reduce the likelihood of wasteful usage.
Choose Efficient Vehicles
The government has a Plug-In Grant that businesses can access, to subsidise the acquisition of up to 1000 plug-in electric vehicles each year. Utilising this grant shrewdly can ensure you obtain an energy-efficient fleet without spending beyond your business’ means.
Without proper oversight in relation to vehicle condition and maintenance, you will find vehicles in your fleet deteriorating quickly; you will also find the cost of repairs significant, as maintenance would only occur in the event of a major breakdown or incident.
As such, a regular and comprehensive vehicle maintenance programme should be instituted, to allow in-house examination of vehicles and to ensure that problems are caught before they develop. This regular maintenance programme would also standardise the administration of legal compliance, allow you to book MOTs online for each vehicle as part of a strict schedule.
There are two elements you should include in your fleet maintenance plan: reporting and routine inspection. Whenever an employee uses a vehicle, any faults they notice should be recorded after use. These will enable designated maintenance staff to follow up quickly. On top of this, scheduled vehicle inspections should be planned to ensure every car is up to standard.