5 Outcomes Fleet Consultants Can Deliver for Your Fleet Operation
You might have expected you’d spend most of your time as a fleet manager lost in operational logistics—maintenance schedules, inspection records, transportation logs, licenses and registrations, insurance and compliance docs, etc. Little did you know that on top of all that, you’d have people demanding to know the total fiscal impact of your fleet and how you plan to reduce your operation’s carbon footprint by 2030.
Upper management expects a lot from you. You’re charged with managing every vehicle in the fleet, owning the budget, tracking and optimizing total fleet performance, identifying issues before they happen, and ensuring fleet success.
Successfully managing a fleet today takes a lot of resources. We’re talking about more than just vehicles, parts, and technicians. Some of the objectives you’re faced with likely need outside expertise.
The Secret Fleet Management Resource You Didn’t Know You Need
Enter fleet management consultants—a smart fleet manager’s secret to success.
If the idea of a consultant inspires the same feeling of dread as an IRS auditor, we get it. Government officials have long been notorious for sending in consultants when they’re concerned over fleet costs, service levels, or management strategies.
But fleet management consultants can be one of your most powerful resources. Their job is to deliver insights that help optimize fleet performance. They provide expert advice on key areas like compliance, safety and reliability, budgeting, asset tracking, operations and infrastructure, and more.
The Role of a Fleet Management Consultant
Fleet managers turn to consultants to fill talent gaps, augment strategic planning, analyze performance data, and develop creative solutions that solve fleet problems.
Consulting services including things like:
- Conduct fleet operation assessments against key performance indicators.
- Build fleet staffing plans that identify the right technician and support staff requirements. Some consultants even offer staff augmentation services.
- Develop multi-year fleet replacement forecasts.
- Conduct right-sizing studies to determine the best fleet size and composition to serve your community.
- Create technology roadmaps to automate key aspects of your fleet operations.
- Develop sustainability plans to transition to electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
- Establish comprehensive fleet policies and procedure manuals.
- Plan and design fleet maintenance facilities.
If you’re struggling with a problem, process, or personnel issue, it might be time to hire a fleet management consultant.
5 Benefits of Working with a Fleet Consultant
Investing in consulting services can pay off in multiple ways. You’ll gain quantifiable outcomes like cost reduction on top of more subjective benefits like getting all your stakeholders to agree on a strategy.
1. Gain stakeholder alignment.
Chances are, you have multiple stakeholders to appeal to. It can be hard to get their collective buy-in.
Fleet consultants are great at getting stakeholders on the same page. Objective third parties can help build credibility for your ideas and champion your strategies. Look at a consultant as an ally in your corner who can tell your decision-makers the same thing you’ve been telling them all along.
2. Increase efficiency.
Resource efficiency is one of the core pillars of fleet success. It’s about more than just minimizing expenses. It’s also about maximizing the use of resources by:
- optimizing fleet size and composition or asset mix
- managing vehicle utilization and leveraging shared resources
- maximizing shop productivity
- reducing vehicle idle time and fuel consumption,
- and minimizing the total cost of ownership.
New to the four pillars of fleet success? Learn how they can transform your operation in the Fleet Success Playbook. > Get your copy here.
3. Reduce fleet costs.
Fleet consultants are experts at finding ways to cut fleet costs without sacrificing performance. So if you’re facing a directive to reduce fleet costs pronto, a consultant should be your go-to resource.
A consultant will dig into your operations to find innovative ways to reduce fleet costs. One tried and true approach they’re apt to recommend is a well-planned preventive (PM) maintenance program.
Think about it. Unexpected maintenance leads to exponentially higher costs.
Take a wheel bearing, for instance.
- If a technician finds a bad wheel bearing during a preventive maintenance check, it’s a $20 part.
- If the truck breaks down because of that same wheel bearing, after downtime and towing fees, it adds up to about $400.
- But if that truck winds up getting into an accident when the wheel bearing goes out, it costs you $16,000.
4. Improve safety and reliability.
Fleet consultants can address concerns around fleet safety and reliability. In addition to PM programs, they may also tap into strategies like:
- renewal planning
- developing a fleet safety management plan
- shop safety initiatives
- operator/driver training needs
- technologies that complement or enhance your safety initiatives
5. Better manage risk and ensure compliance.
You might also bring in a fleet consultant to address risk and compliance issues. They can review your inspection practices, inspect and evaluate your fleet assets, set up a communication loop between drivers and technicians, and make sure your fleet is compliant with Department of Transportation mandates. They’ll likely recommend implementing an eDVIR solution so you can maintain compliance effortlessly once the initial work is done.
Ready to Add a Fleet Consultant to Your Fleet Success Playbook?
If you’re ready to tap into the expertise of industry veterans with decades of experience, the fleet experts at RTA are happy to connect. Let’s get started with a complete KPI assessment to make sure your fleet is on the road to fleet success.
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