Time for the latest chapter in our fleet management series. This time we are looking into something as simple and essential as questions. The role of fleet manager is certainly not one that could simply be defined as carrying out a series of repetitive tasks, or, perhaps more explicitly, the vocation of someone who remains complacent and does the same things he/she has always been doing—especially if they have not been especially successful in the operation of their fleet. If you want the best for your fleet, employees and business, you need to be a person with a degree of restlessness and a proactive attitude, always looking to improve your team.
If that sounds like you—and we firmly believe it should—have a look at this list of questions (hence, Q for Questions) that we think may very well pop into your head from time to time.... Would you add any other queries to the list?
#1 – I’m thinking about making wiser use of my time, in which areas should I focus most attention? This may appear like a trivial question at first, but is actually an extremely important one! If you are in any way unsure about this, it most likely means you don’t know where to begin; it might be that you do not have full insight into your fleet operation or cannot see the bigger picture or the overall performance of drivers and vehicles. If you are able to keep tabs on every single aspect of your fleet (and you can if you have the valuable technology available at your disposal), we are sure that prioritising your time efficiently would come automatically.
#2 – How can I make sure vehicles and drivers are safe? If you are a fleet manager, you know just how important it is to keep staff and assets safe—moreover, it is also something you are legally obliged to do. The how starts at the base: if your company has a culture which is firmly grounded on safety and legal compliance, half of the job is already done. But being a great communicator and helping your staff with training sessions and updates on the latest safety changes or on new regulations coming into force is also essential to keep them informed and the fleet compliant. Last, but not least, automating processes for vehicle checks and providing feedback on driver behaviour could really help you protect your business from a safety point of view.
#3 – How do I reduce accidents? Whether you’re running a fleet with a handful of vehicles or a thousand, you obviously want to minimise the number of accidents. This starts with driver screening but continues with clear policy and communication between fleet managers and drivers. If you are unfortunate enough to have experienced accidents, analyse what went wrong and establish actions to avoid repeating your mistakes and coach your team on the primary causes of accidents (speeding, dangerous driving ...). It’s for them and for everyone, not just the business...
#4 – How can I grow the business and the fleet? There are such a lot of actions you can take in order to expand your fleet operation: everything starts with the observation of driver status and, following from that, what can be done to improve the current situation and then there is the gathering of real and reliable information (not just guesswork). Is there money to be saved by using fuel efficient driving techniques or in the effective relocation of any vehicle so that funds are made available for other important aspects of the operation?
Sometimes, great and efficient fleet management starts from asking the right questions (preferably at the right moment)—it doesn’t demonstrate that you don’t know how to solve problems, but rather points you in the right direction and towards prioritising tasks and assigning the correct importance to every aspect in a much wiser use of your time.
If there are some questions you have regarding your fleet and would like some help with, please let us know in the comments—on those and the ones cited here, you can request the help of our experts.