Running a fleet of vehicles will consume a reasonable amount of resources for just about any business. Without some controls in place it is likely that costs will almost run away with themselves. Running a cost efficient fleet of vehicles will have a positive effect on your organisations bottom line. Of course this is easier said than done as there are many things that can get in the way of this actually happening.
This article will take a closer look at four separate areas that can benefit you in helping you to keep your fleet costs at a minimum.
Most organisations find that the best place to start is in the area of vehicle policy. Ensuring that you have the right mix of vehicles available will help to enable your business to reduce costs. Be careful though as your fleet policy is likely to be a very emotive subject amongst employees. If handled wrongly it can lead to a set of disgruntled workers.
Another effective area is to take a close look at contract efficiency. Taking time out to analyse contract terms and mileages will provide important useful information. This can be a highly effective way to maximise residual values for your fleet, whilst at the same time it can help to reduce on-going maintenance costs.
Dishing out free fuel to employees is definitely a bad thing to do. The sad reality is that there really isn't such a thing as totally "free fuel" any longer. Employees that are in receipt of this fuel will end up paying benefit in kind taxation. Very often this can be more than the actual value of the fuel received.
Many drivers are actually unaware of the tax implications; however, with the aid of a well put together leaflet or e-mail campaign you will be able to raise understanding. Once again it is sensible to double check the motivational impact that this type of message could deliver.
If your business runs a large fleet of vehicles then it can be difficult to keep track of them. As a result of this it is likely that some of them will be driven by personnel who aren't authorised to use them. If this situation is dealt with then over time it can lead to significant expense.
Sometimes a gentle reminder about vehicle policy could well do the trick here. However, there will be occasions when you might want to go further than this. If a sterner message is needed then installing a tracking system might well be the answer.
This can be a great way of understanding the exact usage of each of your vehicles. Don't forget this isn't only restricted to passenger cars; if you run a fleet of vans or heavy vehicles then commercial vehicle tracking or plant tracking is likely to help.
Statistics show that not only is unauthorised usage a major problem when it comes to fuel costs, but it also tends to result in an increase in insurance claims. Getting to grips with unauthorised vehicle usage can be one of the most important things that any fleet owner can do.
Minor knocks and bumps are an inevitable part of running any size of fleet. However, over time these all translate into costs for your business. Keeping a central log of all accidents, no matter how small they are, can help to determine if there are any trends that require closer attention.
When these statistics are checked most fleet operators find that the majority of all damage is caused by a small percentage of drivers. It is perhaps important to remember that it is not just the cost of repair that negatively impacts your profitability as sick days combined with an increase in insurance premiums will also play a part.
Calvin Ford is a writer who understands the issues that can arise when managing a fleet. He recommends instigating some kind of plant tracking system into your business model to help prevent unauthorised use and to manage the costs of your fleet better.