Understanding the Cost Factors of Fleet Management (Part Six)

To be a better fleet manager, you need to understand four major cost factors of your fleet. In this post, we'll wrap up our six-part series!

Missed Part Five? Read it now!

fleet cost factors

A wrap up

Beginning a formal maintenance and fleet program (or trying to fine-tune a maintenance and fleet program) is not an easy process but is achievable if it is looked at first from a broad perspective.

The broad perspective will help you evaluate where your program has been and where it is now with no judgments regarding successes or failures. If you have been gathering costs over a period of time, then a simple evaluation of costs and their makeup will give you a new starting point.

The cost of any specific fleet is unique to its use.

Comparisons to other fleets are helpful but do not indicate how your fleet should function. Once you have done a broad evaluation, then and only then, should you look critically at each cost factor.

Keep an open mind when you begin the critical view. Understand that the previous administration may have been less than diligent when recording costs and their application to specific vehicles.

Spend time evaluating.

If any evaluation shows a highly skewed cost for one vehicle or an extraordinarily low cost for another vehicle, focus your efforts on evaluating how that cost was determined. You may find a “lemon” that needs to be replaced and you may find drivers that need to be retrained or rewarded.

Once you have developed your starting point for each vehicle, consistency and daily record keeping is necessary to continually track fleet costs.

Success takes time.

Even the most successful business owners did not wake up one morning and say “I’m going to be in X business and become fully functional and knowledgeable of that business in just one day.” It took many days, months, even years to become successful.

A person who takes on fleet management may not know one vehicle from another at the beginning. Do not be intimidated by the knowledge someone else professes or the criticism you may receive. Stay the course, learn a little bit each day and before long your journey as a fleet manager will be well on its way.

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Post Contributor: Jim Russell, Fleet Management Consultant

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