We repeatedly emphasise just how busy fleet managers are, and we are consistently highlighting their many responsibilities. In order to manage a fleet and perform their daily tasks effectively the person in charge needs assets; and it goes without saying that one of the main assets in any company, whose business is focussed around driving, are obviously the drivers. Needless to say, it is important to find drivers who are reliable, in possession of the necessary requirements as well as productive.
While some tasks involved in a driver’s day-to-day job don’t have a significant influence on productivity and there isn´t anything that can necessarily be done on the driver´s behalf in order to improve this, it is different where other tasks or duties are concerned as driver input can really make a difference in terms of saving time and costs.
Let´s have a look at three sound ways to improve driver productivity.
Having proper vehicle maintenance
Drivers often view the daily checks or weekly checks, for which they are responsible, as over impacting on their working time. The truth is that they have great importance by positively influencing productivity: preventing unnecessary downtime (optimising time in the long run), drawing attention to potential fleet issues as well as keeping vehicles roadworthy.
Use of technology
The use of telematics—often feared by fleet drivers as a bit of a “big brother”—can actually save in time and productivity, for instance, by helping in the planning of better routes and assisting drivers in reporting on maintenance/fuel (even automating these processes without the need for any input). Features that locate the nearest vehicle to a location, for example, help in finding the most suitable driver to reach a precise place; this enables customer service in providing more accurate dispatch times.
Improving driver engagement
Improving driver engagement, in whatever way, invariably boosts productivity. Involving drivers in decisions, communicating with them, scheduling appropriate refresher courses or training, having a reward programme or setting up drivers´ competitions are all strategies that will improve driver involvement inside a company and, ultimately, their productivity.