What is Fleet Management?
Almost every business in Canada and elsewhere depends on vehicles to get goods, services, and people to customers and business partners. And many of those businesses must therefore oversee the deployment and maintenance of multiple vehicles, as well as the roles and tasks of those who operate them. If yours is such a business, congratulations – you’re also responsible for what’s known as fleet management.
So what exactly is fleet management? A closer look at some relevant definitions will help explain why fleet management is important, and offer clues for achieving successful fleet management at your business.
Fleet Management: Some Definitions
Wikipedia tells us “fleet management” is the management of:
- Commercial motor vehicles such as cars, vans, trucks, specialist vehicles (such as mobile construction machinery), and trailers
- Private vehicles used for work purposes (sometimes referred to as ‘the grey fleet’)
- Aviation machinery such as aircraft (planes and helicopters)
- Rail cars
Fleet management is a lot more than keeping vehicles fueled and in good condition, according to that same Wikipedia article. Fleet management enables companies “to remove or minimize the risks associated with vehicle investment, improving efficiency, productivity and reducing their overall transportation and staff costs, [while] providing 100% compliance with government legislation.”
How does fleet management deliver these and other benefits? By combining, consolidating, and helping fleet managers optimize several critical functions. These range from vehicle tracking and remote diagnostics to financing, insurance, maintenance, and management of driver behavior, health, and safety.
Getting any element of fleet management wrong can impose significant financial, operational, and reputational penalties on your business. In contrast, excellent fleet management can deliver benefits in all three of these areas. It can even help your business recruit and retain the “best and brightest” drivers and fleet management teams. So fleet management matters to every business that uses vehicles to do business.
Fleet Management: What You Need to Succeed
Given all the important, challenging functions that make up fleet management, you need a range of resources to get it right. Make sure fleet management at your business includes, at minimum, the elements listed here.
A complete vehicle inventory. You can’t manage it if you don’t know about it. And vehicles can easily be moved, which can challenge the accuracy of your inventory. Nonetheless, a complete, accurate, and up-to-date inventory of all the vehicles your business owns, leases, and rents is an essential first step toward success with fleet management.
GPS tracking for all vehicles. Once you know what you have, you need to be able to keep track of that entire inventory. Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking technology is proven and widely used by citizens, businesses, and governments around the world. Its combination of availability, affordability, manageability, and ubiquity is unmatched. Ensure that every corporate vehicle is equipped with GPS tracking to maximize the success of fleet management at your business.
The best available fleet management team. Fleet management is too important to be left to any but the most skilled and experienced people you can find. Experience with other companies in your primary lines of business is an added strength.
Formal, documented, and consistently enforced policies. These are must-haves if your fleet management is to be executed consistently at your business. Those policies must be both comprehensive and detailed. At minimum, your fleet management policies should address how drivers should and should not drive, personal use of corporate vehicles, business use of personal vehicles, vehicle lease and purchase financing, and fuel management.
Great technologies. You need more than GPS tracking management to succeed with fleet management. You also need the best available technologies for measuring and tracking fuel consumption and managing vehicle maintenance. Your fleet management technologies ,must also use or integrate seamlessly with those your business uses to manage supplier contracts, hiring and human resource (HR) management, and tracking and reporting of financial information.
Fleet Management: Don’t Go It Alone
It is highly unlikely that fleet management is a primary line of business at your company. But it is incredibly important to your business’ operations. So fleet management deserves at least as much commitment as any other resource critical to your business.
Fortunately, your business need not find, recruit, hire, and support its own full-time staff of fleet management efforts. Expert help is readily and affordably available.
Want to know how RAM Tracking helps more than 6,500 customers manage more than 60,000 GPS vehicle tracking systems accurately and economically? Contact us today.