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Eleonora Malacarne


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4 more fleet management KPIs your fleet should capture

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 21, 2019 9:04:00 AM

4 more fleet management KPIs your fleet should capture

In the latest chapter of our A-Z series of fleet management we dealt with ‘K’ for Key Performance Indicators that are typical in fleet management. With this follow-up article we want to focus once again on KPIs by adding some more into the mix that are not directly connected to financial aspects but do have an impact on your fleet budget.

#1 – Productivity. Any utility that provides insight into how much a vehicle is used is clearly valuable, but it is definitely essential for those who manage a fleet to also gain insight into actual productivity. There are a number of parameters you can apply in order to measure the productivity of your fleet, some examples include journeys and job completion, time spent on site and the activity of your vehicles in general. If you are able to track these metrics you can see whether it is possible to squeeze more out of your fleet, minimise waste and even improve on deadlines and deliveries.

#2 – Safety. Thanks to technology today it is possible to collect different metrics that can be used to improve the safety profile of drivers, the overall safety of the fleet as well as use the safety alerts to adequately train and advise drivers on ecodriving and safe practices. Fleet managers can generally have access in real time to this type of data so that it can be addressed quickly with scope for rapid improvements.

Some of the KPIs related to fleet safety that can usually be tracked by fleet management systems are speeding, rapid acceleration, harsh braking and harsh cornering. These appear to be not only the unsafest driving behaviours but also those that consume more fuel. When talking about driver behaviour there is another metric, idling, that is also generally measurable and really avoidable just by sensitising drivers to the costs of this habit.

#3 – Incidents frequency. Something that is associated with safety—the more accidents the company has, the greater the expense and the lower (most likely) the level of safety. Why accidents? Why not just the costs related to them? This isn’t to say the latter should be ignored. There are costs related to accidents that go far beyond just the cost of repair or the net loss when a vehicle is totalled. However, using this metric is simple, and provides a bigger picture of how efficient, for example, a fleet safety program is.

#4 – Fuel economy. Fleets cannot simply skip over the tracking of fuel economy as it is probably the top expense that motivates fleet directors into constantly seeking out reductions, which is also essential to minimise environmental impact. Also related to fuel economy—you can look at the consumption of your vehicles in either mpg or l/100km, double-check purchases carried out by drivers and establish targets in order to gradually lower consumption so long as your drivers avoid certain driving styles.

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Topics: Fleet Management, GPS & Tracking

Fleet management Key Performance Indicators: chapter “K” in our A-Z series

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 19, 2019 9:01:00 AM

Fleet management Key Performance Indicators: chapter “K” in our A-Z series

In the latest chapter in our A-Z of fleet management, we’re looking at “K” for Key Performance Indicators or KPIs.

What are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?

KPIs are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is in achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to track performance measures.

Why establish KPIs?

If we start to measure KPIs, not only in fleets but in any type of business, we have a very good idea as to how well our business is faring and whether there is scope for corrections or improvements. The important thing is to establish KPIs that are measurable, actionable and obviously meaningful for our business sector. When it comes to fleets and vehicles, we may well be privileging KPIs that are irrelevant for other types of businesses.

What KPIs are specific to fleet management?

When dealing with fleets, the KPIs will have to tell us how well your fleet and vehicles are performing. We often tend to imagine KPIs as something merely related to strictly financial aspects of a fleet—for example, we think about costs—when we should regard a fleet holistically and consider how all aspects ultimately contribute to a successful operation. When it comes down to it, there is so much you can do to improve your fleet operation—not just purely to do with cost cutting—that might not be explicitly evident in financial KPIs. In this blog post we will cover some of them.

Meaningful fleet management KPIs

As we mentioned previously, there are KPIs that impact on the bottom line of your fleet and company but are not overtly classified as costs. Let’s look at two of them.

  • Utilization: this key performance indicator provides information on the amount of time your vehicles are actively being used. Apart from tracking vehicles—surely the optimum way to check how much a vehicle is utilized—you can make a random calculation by taking the yearly working hours and comparing them with the hours a particular vehicle is actively working to check if it is overused, underused and if it is worth holding on to or selling. The over or underutilization can depend on a number of factors such as your workforce and its possible downtime, a vehicle that is only used for a particular purpose, ongoing maintenance that might make a vehicle unavailable or unclear workflow within your organisation.

  • Vehicle inspection completion: addressing maintenance issues in a swift way is essential for any fleet; and complying with preventative checks before your vehicles’ journeys is not only a way to potentially eliminate downtime and increase utilization, but is a legal requirement itself. If you have a process that actively promotes and implements vehicle checks, measuring their actual accomplishment, you will see whether there is scope to improve your processes and therefore realise the benefits.


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Topics: Fleet Management

Why spring cleaning is not merely a household task: your fleet will be thankful

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 14, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Why spring cleaning is not merely a household task: your fleet will be thankful

It seems, on the calendar at least, that spring 2019 will soon be here. And, as often happens, the longer the days become, the more prone we feel to change, to renew habits and to get started with the annual ritual of spring-cleaning.

It might seem to you that this task is just a household tradition with origins in a long forgotten religious custom, but the general idea can still be applied to fleet management. With this post we want you to consider spring cleaning from the fleet manager’s perspective and we’d also like to offer you a few ideas along those lines—this is the perfect opportunity to tackle aspects of your fleet that might require a bit of sprucing-up...

#1 – Spring-cleaning (literally). You probably have a process already in place whereby you have your vehicles washed and cleaned on a regular basis, though in winter they are more likely to suffer from the weather. A clean vehicle runs better, is treated better, and represents your company image better. If you haven’t done so, organize a plan to get all of your vehicles thoroughly cleaned with the help of your team. Have them check also that nothing unnecessary is stored inside the vehicle as it does not just demonstrate untidiness, but can become a hazard when the vehicle is driven.

#2 – Tidying up. Take advantage of the spring-cleaning spirit to tackle any small repair that might be needed. If there is any small thing that needs to be tidied up in the depot or in your workshop or office, then now is the time to address it. You might even find some Marie Kondo-like inspiration is good for your business in general. We don’t want to be too obsessive, but when you have a tidy, clean space, your mind functions better. When we say small repair... we are not actually referring to your vehicles, as you should already have some sort of process for regular checks that shouldn’t ignore a defect, even if minimal, for the purposes of safety and compliance.

#3 – Paperwork and spring-cleaning. This is slightly off the general theme but still related to spring-cleaning. If you are among those who rely on paper-based vehicle checks, we are not about to tell you to throw them away—you should always keep records safe for compliance purposes—but why not have a look at different methods than those which simply attract dust or use up too much physical space? If you are stuck with an ever-growing pile of paperwork, then the time has probably come to consider digital walk-around checks, and you are more than welcome to give our trial program a go.

#4 – The spring-cleaning attitude. There is nothing as dangerous as claiming that just because you have always done things in a certain way, you should continue to do so. If you want to expand your business, you should welcome innovation and outside-the-box thinking. If you are looking into new ways of doing things but have never been brave enough, or told yourself you never had the time to look into alternative methods, why not take this opportunity to tap into the very spirit of spring-cleaning by clearing out some of the stale old practices holding your business back. And if you need any pointers, we are more than happy to help.



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Topics: Fleet Management

Brexit consequences for Irish hauliers: insights from 2019 Transport Manager

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 12, 2019 9:01:00 AM

Brexit consequences for Irish hauliers insights from 2019 Transport Manager

With the clock ticking remorsefully toward the 29th of March, experts start to figure out the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the transport and logistics sector in both the UK and Ireland and also the remaining EU member states. The pressing concerns of the eventual withdrawal have prompted intense discussions, and hypotheses have been proffered by experts as to the possible areas of pain for the transport and logistics sector in the forthcoming weeks.

Looking at it from the Irish point of view, the most recent Transport Manager event held on March 5th of last year and traditionally organised by the FTAI in Enfield was dominated by Brexit. After greeting various operators, the FTAI general manager, Aidan Flynn, began the event by advising them to keep planning for a no-deal eventuality, to work with their peers and customers and enhance collaborative relationships, as there are still so many unknowns and unpredictable outcomes.

Two main concerns, as the deadline looms ever closer, are the possible delays and the possible consequences deriving from them, such as road blockages or tailbacks. When it comes to border delays under the current arrangement, transporting goods is relatively straightforward, but once Brexit kicks in, deliveries that were taking from one to three days could take from four to five. According to data shared by the FTAI, custom documents could soar from the current average of 1.7 million per year to the astounding figure of 20 million. Revenue officers might not be in significant force during the first few weeks following the 29th, and it will be very difficult for those in the haulage industry to be ready and compliant with this aspect. Helen McEntee TD., Minister for EU Affairs, who intervened at the event, offered some comforting words to assure operators that the Irish Government is working around the clock in preparation of the consequences and ensuring that the relevant information is readily available.

With regards to possible delays, Flynn has also called upon the government to provide more details of plans for facilities and parking that might serve drivers caught up in tailbacks generated by Brexit and argued that, because the UK is a distribution centre for food and retail in Ireland, if checks are reinforced in anticipation of the ‘third country’ border arrangements that will inevitably happen between Ireland and the UK, there will be serious difficulties and congestion. There is no rapid solution.

Meanwhile, in the UK new research published last week has suggested that the UK’s logistic sector itself will suffer a £6.7 billion reduction in economic output (around 7.8 billion euros).


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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts

Van/LCV market in 2019: what is the current status?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 7, 2019 9:05:00 AM

Van/LCV market in 2019: what is the current status

The light commercial vehicle market had its ups and downs in 2018, especially towards the end of the year: during some months sales rose, while in others they fell, which led the used LCV market to enjoy great success.

Regarding the UK market, the fluctuating trend can be attributed to a number of reasons: the uncertainty as to whether there will be a no-deal Brexit is affecting the confidence of buyers, the introduction of the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) for light commercial vehicles in 2019 is another, and the introduction of Ultra-low emission zone and clean air zones throughout UK is also a factor.

The LCV market in Ireland followed a similar trend in 2018, with positive sales in some months and negative in others, compared with the previous year. According to the official statistics of the Irish Motor Industry, the months of September, November and December registered a decrease in new LCV registrations of 12.53%, 1.72% and 9.72% respectively.

So how has the LCV market performed during the first months of 2019 in Ireland and the UK?

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the new van market in the UK has seen an 8.6% uptick in January 2019 based on figures released in mid-February. More than 22,000 new vans and pickups were introduced to UK roads in the first month of the year, an increase of 1,761 compared with January 2018. The positive result was not a complete surprise as something of a bounce-back was half expected after such a poor sales performance in the previous month of December.

In Ireland, according to numbers made public by the IMS, LCV registrations in January totalled 5,647, a decrease of 16.38% when compared to January 2018 (6,753).

According to Mike Hawes, the chief executive of SMMT, so long as the post-Brexit future remains uncertain, we should expect trends to fluctuate over the coming months as the EU negotiations pan out and the UK parliament votes on the various proposals. Political and economic stability is generally necessary for businesses to invest in new vehicles, and a big part of this stability resides in the ability of the UK government and the EU to formulate a deal before the Brexit deadline.

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Topics: News, Stats & Facts

Can advanced driver assistance systems be a source of distracted driving?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Mar 5, 2019 9:02:00 AM

  Can advanced driver assistance systems be a source of distracted driving

Advanced driver assistance systems have been created to make vehicles safer and enhance human driving. ADAS, as they are known, were developed to reduce road fatalities by minimising human error. Some of them include adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance systems and driver drowsiness detection systems. There have often been discussions as to whether some of these continually modified applications are really necessary, with current research only fuelling the debate.

IAM RoadSmart, a UK charity that educates drivers and creates greater sensitivity to the importance of road safety, recently issued a whitepaper on the challenges and solutions of distracted driving, examining the following factors: the wandering minds of drivers (making them more prone to inattention), the trend of “nomophobia” (the fear of being out of mobile phone contact) is common among business drivers and the four forms of driver distraction —mental, visual, manual and audible.

According to the IAM publication, ADAS might tempt us into inattention while driving and take back control at a later point. The increased sophistication of this type of technology was obviously meant to improve safety, but an unexpected consequence is this lack of vigilance and the added attention required for drivers to address ADAS technology alerts or features while driving.

In 2017, according to the UK department of transport, 4639 casualties were attributed to in-vehicle distractions. Autonomous vehicles are still far from the finished article that is supposed to make our lives safer and easier.

According to IAM, fleet policies and correct training might help drivers adequately prepare for the use of ADAS technologies so they can fully realise all the advantages in a way that makes sense and is legal. A robust company structure able to educate drivers and detect risky behaviour can definitely help leverage advanced safety technology. If you wish to furnish your team with a sound fleet policy, have a look at our sample. You can use it to update your team’s current policy or contact us if you want to get started with a comprehensive system able to detect risks within your fleet.


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Topics: fleet safety

Driving at night: help your drivers to stay safe in the dark

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 28, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Driving at night: help your drivers to stay safe in the dark

When we think about fleets and staff who are expected to drive as part of a night shift, we automatically assume they are the only drivers working in the hours of darkness; but the truth is that during the winter, many drivers working regular hours will be operating, at least in part, at night or in darkness.

If driving already represents a risky activity, night driving increases the risks for a number of reasons: there is not only the darkness to contend with and decreased visibility of course, but also the fact that at night we are more likely to feel drowsy or sleepy. This isn’t just because some drivers might have worked during the day, but also because the body never completely adapts to the nocturnal pattern even if sleep is taken during the day.

It has been estimated that driving at night is three times riskier than driving during the day. Despite night shift drivers accounting for 3% of the workforce, driving at night or in the dark is dangerous for everyone as 40% of crashes happen at night despite less drivers being on the road.

What then can drivers do to minimise the risks and have a safer journey if they have to drive in the dark or at night?

Here we summarised four points you might want to share with your driving team.

  1. Everyone else’s day is your night time. If you are working on night shifts, it is important you get at least eight hours of sleep before you start working. Getting proper rest is important; while it might take some time to adjust if it is your first time working a night shift, it helps to sleep in a dark room and avoid people coming in or any other type of interruptions.

  2. Make sure you see and are seen—essential during the day and especially at night. Make sure your vehicle can be seen and lights are working properly when driving during the hours of darkness to ensure full visibility; but this also applies when stationary or parking by the road. Make sure you don’t skip eye tests (something you should do if you are a driver, even if you do not usually work at night).

  3. Increase your safety distance. Around 90% of a driver’s reaction ability relies on vision, and visibility decreases dramatically when operating at night. Not only that, it also seems harder to judge the distance between vehicles at night, plus people tend to drive more erratically. If you increase your safety distance, you have an increased margin in which to react if anything unpredictable happens.

  4. Adapt for changing weather. Winter weather can further reduce visibility and make things more challenging. Ensure vehicles are adequately prepared and tyres are at the optimal pressure to guarantee the best grip on the road surface. Your vehicle should be clean, both on the inside and the outside; with worse road conditions, and even snow in some areas, a windscreen gets dirty quickly and reduces your visibility.


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Topics: Road Safety, fleet safety

The A-Z fleet management series: J for Journey planning

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 26, 2019 9:05:00 AM

  The A-Z fleet management series: J for Journey planning

Planning the journeys your drivers have to carry out is part of daily life for a fleet manager, especially if your drivers have to undertake multiple journeys because their work is comprised of deliveries or customers visits scheduled during working time. It definitely makes sense then to include J for Journey planning in our A-Z series of fleet management.

Optimizing routes and devoting time to journey planning (but not nearly as much as you think if relying on great fleet management software) has a lot of benefits that fall outside of the mere increased efficiency of drivers and routes. Here we would like to cover some of the benefits you can attain thanks to accurate journey planning:

  1. Customer success. By planning the journeys your vehicles are going to take, you will be able to meet customer deadlines and deliveries, and communicate a more precise time range for them, all contributing to customer satisfaction.

  2. Minimised spend. If you carefully plan your drivers’ journey, you will make sure time will not be wasted and designated routes will be followed closely without meandering into pointless diversions that can be a distraction and/or increase fuel expenditure.

  3. Safe reach. Planning the routes of your drivers means a safer journey, as usually the clearest, most trouble free and efficient routes are preferable.

  4. Driver hours compliance. If you carefully plan the journey for your drivers, you will be able to predict when the necessary breaks have to be taken and provide a realistic schedule for your team, preventing fatigue and meeting the legal requirements regarding driving hours.

  5. Avoid risks. If you are able to plan for the journeys of your driver and assign routes, you can check if there might be potential problems (traffic, weather, particular road hazards) and find an alternative plan or a solution in advance.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to get proper journey planning and the benefits are undeniable in terms of safety and keeping your fleet budget on target. If you need some help, don’t hesitate to get in touch and talk with us.


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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet management technology

New fleet safety and sustainable fleet management campaign: Global Fleet Champions

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 21, 2019 9:02:00 PM

New fleet safety and sustainable fleet management campaign: Global Fleet Champions

A considerable percentage of the 1.3 million yearly road deaths involve vehicles driven for work. Sustainable driving—with the emissions targets that have to be met and the focus of world governments on reducing pollution—is somewhere all drivers, including those driving professionally and their employers, should be heading.

Global Fleet Champions, a new campaign cantered on fleet safety and sustainable fleet management, has recently kicked off to sensitise the relevant parties to the importance of safety when driving for work and also the environmental impact. The thrust of the campaign, promoted by Brake, a road safety charity based in the UK, is to help reduce road incidents and pollution through the promotion of best practices, that will eventually not only help the efficiency of professional drivers and their companies but also improve road safety overall. Becoming a Global Fleet Champion is a matter of calling for safe and healthy fleet policies that can benefit businesses and all other road users. Responsible organisations put these concepts into practice to secure continuous improvements for their businesses and communities.

According to the Global Fleet Champions initiative, there are five pillars around which fleets should focus:

  1. Vehicle procurement and maintenance: Global Fleet Champions should make sure this important area becomes a focal point—properly and regularly maintained vehicles have a positive impact on drivers, fleets and road users’ safety and reduces environmental damage.

  2. Community outreach: Global Fleet Champions should work at a local level to promote safe and eco-friendly driving, both at company level and beyond.

  3. Incident analysis and intervention: Global Fleet Champions should focus on post-incident management prioritising safety and trying to analyse the causes leading to such incidents, in order to establish corrective actions and prevent similar eventualities.

  4. Journey routing and modal choice: routing as an integral part of work practices held by Global Fleet Champions can help reduce risks along with the carbon footprint.

  5. Driver behaviourKeeping tabs on driving style helps fleet drivers and other road users stay safe on the road.

The Global Fleet Champions website is offering a collection of resources that help fleets promote safe and eco-friendly driving, concluding with a section dedicated to online and offline events on fleet safety and fleet management essentials.


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Topics: ecodriving, fleet safety

Vehicle defect reporting: 33% of company car drivers are overlooking it

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 19, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Vehicle defect reporting 33 per cent of company car drivers are overlooking it

Vehicle defect reporting is key to fleets being able to tackle issues in a timely manner — i.e., before a minor issue turns into a major one. Even the smallest looking flaws can soon develop into something that can cause a vehicle to breakdown, become not compliant, affect fuel consumption efficiency or reduce its lifespan.

In a well-managed fleet, vehicle damages should be reported as quickly as possible, so that the possibility of breakdown is minimised, the vehicles are kept in a roadworthy condition and maintenance expense is kept to the minimum necessary. But according to a survey recently published by Venson, a provider of compliance and fleet services, there is still quite a high number of company car drivers who are still failing to report damages—not only in a timely fashion, but who are actually not reporting them at all.

According to the study carried out by Venson, around 33% of the company car drivers interviewed would not bother reporting minor damage to their employer. What is especially alarming about this figure is that the same question was put to company car drivers in 2017 and the figure was 17% of those interviewed, so the statistic has doubled in a year or so.

The survey published by Venson a few days ago also yielded other disappointing results as it seems drivers feel uninvolved in, or not responsible for, the maintenance and condition of the vehicles they drive. Over half (57%) of the interviewed view servicing as the sole responsibility of their employer, when drivers should in fact be doing simple maintenance checks and flagging issues. It is actually part of the legal obligations of fleet managers to have a system able to record and rectify vehicle defects or carry out servicing to keep vehicles safe as they are considered workplaces, and that inevitably involves the honest cooperation of their drivers. The mistaken habit of company drivers shrugging off their responsibilities, even though they are putting themselves at risk, was highlighted by the large percentage who admitted this in the 2015 Venson survey.

Moreover, 24% of the company car drivers interviewed admit they ignore dashboard warning lights and 43% of the participants do not top up water coolants: this attitude can compromise safety and lead to breakdowns which are a source of higher maintenance costs in the long run that could have easily been prevented if these types of issues were dealt with in good time.

It seems to be vital for companies to keep sensitising their drivers about the importance of vehicle checks and inspections. The risks to safety are extremely high, but an irresponsible attitude can also result in maintenance bills rocketing or vehicles being stopped on the roadside and not being allowed to continue their journey for being non-compliant.

Having a system that is simplifying the process of regular vehicle checks would go a long way to solving the issue; an issue that it is probably not just down to a lack of responsibility on behalf of the drivers, but also caused by the absence of a sound process for defect reporting, or one that is inefficient and time consuming. Call us if you want to get started with a fast and errorless vehicle defect reporting system—or get a free trial now.

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet compliance

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