Fleet management is a constant balancing act of spending to improve operations and finding ways to cut costs in order to keep your business profitable. While it may feel counterintuitive to spend when your fleet budget is already struggling, getting experts on board is the best way to get things back on track.
Let’s be honest, the fleet industry is not an easy game and the costs are daunting, even for seasoned professionals. The past few years have seen certain costs rise beyond reasonable expectations and many companies have suffered.
Those who rely on fleets for the transport of goods, company vehicles, or even heavy equipment had to get extremely creative to keep their fleets running and viable. The good news, however, is that the fleet industry is used to constant fluctuation and adapting is something we do well.
As a result, there has been a noticeable increase in businesses looking to either outsource their fleet operations or bring experts on board to help reduce costs. This is a positive trend because managing a fleet in-house is risky with many hidden costs such as:
Inaccurate logbook control
Whether it’s done manually or via a digital system, you need oversight to ensure entries are done on time and are accurate. A simple typo can throw out a vehicle’s mileage by hundreds of kilometres and if this isn’t picked up quickly it can have costly effects in the long run.
The risk of fuel fraud is always there, but the increase in fuel cost means your risk of fuel fraud is much higher.
If you’re running a vehicle telematics system you need to ensure it’s regularly updated and calibrated to suit your fleet needs. Inaccurate data could be costing you hundreds of thousands of rands per year.
Due to the sheer amount of admin and data collection required to run a successful fleet, the risk for human error is high. An in-house fleet controller will need assistance with all the admin and also to double-check all data in order to minimise errors. This means additional resources must be allocated to in-house fleet management if you want to keep things running smoothly. Even then, human error can’t be entirely eliminated and an accurate audit will show where you are bleeding money.
It’s not a one-person job
The reality is that we now have the technology to manage all fleet aspects from the exact amount of fuel used to identifying routes that cost more than they earn. And no company can expect a single fleet manager to keep track of everything. This kind of cost savings can only be achieved by implementing automated fleet tracking and management systems.
In order to say you are running a truly efficient fleet, you constantly need to monitor all aspects of your fleet, for example:
- Tyre wear - you’re spending more on fuel for every worn or incorrectly inflated tyre on your fleet.
- Vehicle maintenance - in addition to regular services, you need to do regular maintenance that includes everything from keeping the interior in good condition to ensuring all lights and switches work correctly.
- Vehicle downtime - accident damage catches everyone off-guard, but if you have a reliable fleet partner you can ensure that deadlines are still met and that you don’t lose any income due to vehicle downtime.
- Best practice - by running your fleet in-house you run the risk of missing out on cost-saving developments in the fleet industry. If you only catch on a year later, you have missed 12 months where you could have saved on fleet costs.
- Better deals - a fleet partner will have access to better deals on insurance, fuel rebates, and vehicle purchase/lease pricing. It is literally our job to find you the most cost-effective solutions.
The above are just a few examples of how you can improve your fleet operations by partnering with an expert fleet management company. The investment you make by outsourcing to professionals will reduce your overall fleet costs. It’s worth it.
A good reputation saves money
If there’s anything we’ve learned from the age of social media it’s that one incident or person can cause big damage to your business reputation. Running a safe and secure fleet not only reduces the costs of fleet expenses but it lowers your risk of brand reputation damage.
Think of how many times you have seen a branded truck or company car drive irresponsibly. Now imagine that it’s your company name and that someone loads a video of the vehicle onto social media–it’s a brand reputation nightmare, especially if it results in a serious incident.
The best solution is driver training and monitoring driver behaviour. Driver training is a core part of keeping your fleet costs under control. Your vehicles are your biggest expense and your drivers are responsible for taking care of these vehicles when they’re out on the road. An untrained driver can cause plenty of damage, tyre wear, and exorbitant fuel costs.
A good point to remember is that not all driver training is equal. If you hire new drivers, find out what training they have received and where. Spending money on driver training and refresher courses is a solid investment in your fleet and you will reap the benefits down the line.
Give your business a boost
When you consider all the moving parts mentioned above it quickly becomes clear why in-house fleet management costs more than outsourcing. If fleet management isn’t your core business it’s close to impossible to spot all the risks and inefficiencies.
So, no matter the size of your fleet or the scope of your business, partnering with experts will always save you money.