One of the words most commonly associated with the fleet manager role is “multitasking”; and I am not afraid to admit to having used it many, many times when trying to sum up the role of those responsible for the daily demands of operating a fleet.
The fleet manager role encompasses such a great deal of responsibilities that it is often combined with, or takes on, other roles; or it could be the case that the person who has the normal daily responsibilities of a fleet manager in a big organisation might also be the owner or director of the company.
But what are those roles whose skills or responsibilities are often borrowed or even covered exclusively by fleet managers?
Fleet managers not only have to take part in the recruiting process for drivers, but also have to make sure there is ongoing, fluid written and oral communication with drivers especially, but also with other team members regarding processes, ideas and tasks to be completed.
A part of the productive process of businesses, that use driving and its own vehicles, involves journeys or deliveries that need to be completed on time, with vehicles running smoothly and drivers being responsible. That part is firmly in the hands of the fleet manager.
Costs and working—sometimes on a shoestring budget—is the fleet manager’s bread and butter. And often it comes down to having to justify costs such as for a vehicle replacement or some investment in new technology. You know, in the latter case, it might well be that it isn’t actually spending the money: however, if you make the right decision, the results will pay for themselves...
A fleet manager is not a mechanic but definitely needs to have input in the decision-making process when it comes to selecting a maintenance vendor, or, in the choice between an in-house or an external maintenance provider—he will be partly responsible for costs, efficiency and its development.
5. Company owner
In companies where the fleet operation is the primary source of income, such as in transport, logistics etc., the fleet manager might feel a responsibility as strong as if he were the owner. And with regards to the actual company owner and their responsibilities in small fleets, as discussed in the past, it might really be the case that the owner/fleet manager assumes all the tasks and commitments we have been dealing with up till now.
What do you think about the role of the fleet manager? Is this list complete? What more skills would a fleet manager need to have?