Fleet management, stripped down to the essentials, comes down to getting the most from every resource to keep your fleet moving, on time and on budget—all while helping your organization turn a profit and keeping the powers that be off your back.
Sounds easy, right? If that didn’t make you laugh or force you into a deep eye roll then you don’t work in fleet management.
Fleet management is complicated, messy—and often times—requires that you prove that your day-to-day operations are worth the budgetary expense. The hard reality that many fleet managers face is that most higher up decision makers have little insight into what a fleet manager does.
But how do you have those conversations with your organization’s key decision-makers? How do you both show and talk about your fleet’s daily, weekly and monthly wins. In this post, we’ll talk about a few ways you can prove your fleet’s value to your executive leadership.
1. Bring detailed reports to monthly budget meetings
Those anxiety-inducing monthly budget meetings are your chance to prove your fleet’s worth . In a perfect world, there is an equitable exchange between your fleet and the budget gatekeepers within your organization: you make sure fleet vehicles stay on the road and within budget, and your fleet’s executives give you what you need to keep your employees happy and motivated to do their jobs well (i.e. a bigger fleet budget).
According to The Fiscal Survey of States, government fleet budgets grew by more than 4.5 percent in 2015. The survey also showed that 61 percent of government fleet managers saw an increase in fleet-related budgetary spending.
This means that the burden of proof is on you to show leadership how you have streamlined fleet operations. The good news is that it’s tough to dispute well captured and analyzed fleet data. After number crunching, the data can almost speak for itself when proving your fleet’s inherent value, often resulting in more resources and a greater budget.
2. Show off your maintenance talent
While we can debate preventive maintenance processes, the proper certifications and everything in between, one fact remains: your maintenance techs are your fleet’s lifeblood.
Reducing your vehicle downtime rate comes down to having a strong maintenance process in place. While this isn’t a big revelation for many fleet managers, it’s an essential selling point when talking to your organization’s budget decision makers. Why? Most of your fleet’s overseeing executives have no real understanding of how essential your maintenance team is to saving big on unplanned repairs.
A few maintenance numbers to report on:
How maintenance certification impacts productivity - Studies show over and over again that certified technicians result in higher productivity and dramatically reduced turnover. A large OEM study by ASE showed that certified maintenance technicians were 18 percent more productive than non-certified technicians.
Wrench time data - Showing off your shop’s wrench time rate shows the balance (or imbalance) of each technician’s workload. This is where a powerful fleet management software solution comes in handy. You can easily streamline your work order process to include detailed reports on your shop’s wrench time. This will help you answer mission-critical questions like, how long do vehicles stay in the shop? Do we need to outsource maintenance? What resources do we need to further optimize our maintenance process?
3. Prove the efficacy of your driver safety initiatives
Fleet-related accidents make up a huge profit loss margin for organizations of all sizes. A study by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that fleet-related accidents result in $871 billion in revenue loss every year.
Showing that you have your driver safety program under control goes a long way to calm the concerns of your executive management team. This all starts with implementing a strong fleet safety program that should also include a driver cell phone policy. This will help mitigate one of the largest contributors to fleet-related accidents, distracted driving.
Another huge aspect of managing the impact of driver safety on your fleet’s bottom line is properly monitoring driver behaviors. While you can’t control every risky behavior your drivers engage in, simply monitoring and using intelligent GPS tracking technology can make significant strides toward minimizing distracted driving-related incidents.