When running a fleet operation, managers have to consider everything from the status of their inventory, to budgets, to the skill levels of their staff members.
The bigger the fleet, the more complicated running the day-to-day logistics becomes. This can lead to mistakes. Ultimately, these errors can cost the operation money and time, in addition to causing frustration for managers and employees.
Take a look at five costly mistakes fleet managers can make, and how you can prevent them.
Poor Route Planning
Inefficient routes can cost fleets money through wasted fuel and delayed schedules. Taking drivers on bad routes can lead to congestion or construction, causing them to use fuel while idling in traffic. Poor route planning can also lead to drivers falling behind schedule, which can result in late deliveries.
Planning routes allows operations to choose the quickest and most efficient paths. Managers can use GPS technology to track routes and make modifications throughout a driver’s trip to avoid potential traffic or delays. This can lead to fuel and time savings.
Fleet operations have large and diverse staffs, from drivers to technicians to parts managers, and more. Failing to properly communicate to each employee can result in mixed messages on priorities and operation goals. Not having all staff members on the same page can decrease productivity and the overall efficiency of the fleet, resulting in more labor and less output. This can also lead to staff turnover.
To increase communication throughout the operation, managers should consider holding regular all-staff meetings. This allows the team to review high-level items, priorities, goals and other news and events employees should be informed of. Holding one-on-one meetings between workers and their managers also helps encourage feedback and open communication. Making sure each staff member is aware of the company’s priorities and knows his or her voice is heard can help increase productivity and profits.
It’s not uncommon for inaccurate reporting to occur within an organization. However, if fleet managers use that data for operation projections, then it could be a costly mistake.
Common reporting mistakes can include technicians entering planned time versus the actual time a task took, and staff members misreporting overtime hours or labor. If these errors are not corrected, managers can forecast for the wrong amount of labor throughout the rest of the year.
Other reporting inaccuracies could also lead to a breach in warranties and claims, as well as other important legal documents.
One way to help solve this problem is by using fleet management software. This keeps work orders organized and makes it easy for staff members to enter labor hours and other time on the clock. It also keeps vehicle history, warranty and claim information on file. Managers can then pull reports on this data to help inform projections for their operation.
With so many skilled positions needed to run a fleet operation, staffs need to be properly trained and certified. If fleet managers assume their staff is more skilled than it is, then mistakes – both costly and dangerous – could occur.
Fleet managers should ensure all staff members’ licenses and certifications are up-to-date. Fleet operations might also consider creating their own training program and enforcing that all employees participate in it before being allowed on the job. Fleet managers also need to ensure employees are seeking on-going training to keep up with new technology and new skills.
Falling Behind in Preventative Maintenance
When operations fall behind schedule on preventative maintenance, the results can be costly. PM is meant to perform routine checks on vehicles to identify and repair minor issues before they become larger. Vehicle breakdowns and downtime can be expensive for operations.
One way fleet operations can keep vehicles on-schedule for PM is by using fleet management software. The system can help track when vehicles are due for preventative maintenance and alert operations to ensure services are performed.
To learn more about how fleet management software can help your operation save money, contact us today to request a free trial.