Every fleet operator, whether a fleet manager or a company owner that is acting as director of the fleet, knows just how important it is to get SMR (Service, Maintenance and Repair) right for a number of reasons: from global safety to compliance, from fuel savings to global savings.
If you are able to save money on your annual SMR spend, it will of course give you additional resources to be used for other fleet needs and expand your business, but be careful, this does not mean you should fall into the temptation of slipping into unsafe practices as a method to make “savings”. You never have to compromise on safety and compliance or quality of your service, and saving on SMR costs does not mean lowering maintenance interventions, in terms of frequency, by default. There are actually a few strategies that you can implement to lower your annual SMR costs, and you will probably see the difference very soon after their deployment. Let’s have a look at what they are!
#1 - Carefully examine vehicle choice—nothing is right per se or by default, but the right vehicle for your fleet or company is the one that meets your job’s requirements according to the operating conditions. This means you should probably not choose what your drivers would like to have as a matter of course, though they would still need to be educated on how to deal with a valuable company asset like a vehicle. Checking out warranty period before selecting a vehicle can also make the difference in terms of costs, as well as looking at maintenance packages that might be included for that same vehicle, if compatible with your desired maintenance system (not necessarily your current one).
#2 - Evaluate different options before choosing a maintenance vendor—again, there is no one-size-fits-all approach with fleets; the challenge is rather more in finding what works best for your company and process. Some fleets rely extensively on franchises or have external maintenance contractors, while for others it is better to stick to a group of different suppliers in order to get better value for money. According to recent numbers, 82% of SME fleets declare that they do not get any discount from their maintenance suppliers. This should probably encourage fleets to look into different maintenance options, decreasing their maintenance needs with regular vehicle inspections and better SMR strategies, in order to monitor the overall health of their fleets and identify patterns to safeguard against future issues.
#3 - Driver management—getting to know dangerous driving patterns that might impact on SMR costs through fleet data and making your drivers know that they have a duty of care to look after their vehicle and are responsible for risk management is also part of the secret. Vehicle manufacturer recommendations about maintenance intervals should be followed and well known by drivers as well as vehicle features and warning dashboard lights, in a way that drivers respond swiftly when necessary and lights are not ignored until something inevitably worse happens.
#4 - Using fleet maintenance software—65% of SMEs admitted they manually approve all SMR work and do not have a digitalised system in place to take care of fleet maintenance. Having such a tool can help fleet managers keep track of SMR costs, make forecasts for future costs and act on a savings strategy point of view. Using fleet maintenance software is no longer a prerogative of big fleets, our options are definitely accessible and you will never go back to manual work after you try our solutions. Contact us for a demo or a free trial of our maintenance and compliance software to learn more.