There was a time when running a business fleet was a fairly straightforward endeavour - but not so much anymore. In 2021, the role of Fleet Manager is a multifaceted one and, in this article, we’ll take a look at the five main ways in which this important job has changed. So, what is fleet management?
Tapping into the tech
As with pretty much everything else, fleets these days rely heavily on technology such as telematics which help to improve safety and security, monitor driver performance and keep costs such as insurance premiums as low as possible. Using this multi-faceted technology helps companies like Rideshur with risk management, claims and insurance all in one as well as all fleet and driver information. Today’s Fleet Manager very much needs to be conversant with this technology as well as being able to train employees to use and understand it.
Hitting the right notes
The fleet is one of the biggest expenses for businesses and, as such, there’s always a certain amount of pressure to make cost savings wherever possible. Part of the evolution of the Fleet Manager involves a responsibility for financial aspects of the day to day running of the fleet. This can include financial analysis, tax calculations, procurement and the negotiation of insurance premiums.
Letter of the law
Governance of our roads and our vehicles becomes ever more complicated - and for Fleet Managers, this means having to put on a legal hat occasionally. Modern fleets run up against a number of legal issues including speeding, traffic incidents and parking fines and, the modern manager needs to know his or her way around these in order to ensure that the fleet is being run safely and within the law.
A changing environment
It used to be that the most important thing for a Fleet Manager was to grab vehicles with optimum horsepower at the lowest cost possible. This is now a thing of the past as we work together to hit the target of reducing C02 emissions by 40% by the year 2030, for Fleet Managers, this means that green fleet management is a priority. This can include the procurement of low emission vehicles with more efficient fuel consumption and a reduction in road risk and vehicle maintenance. In 2021, consumers actively seek companies that do their bit for the environment and so, sustainability is a hot topic for businesses in every sector.
The Personal Touch
Although a business may have a human resources department to deal with payroll and disciplinary issues, most Fleet Managers are now expected to integrate some human resource tasks into their role. These tasks will generally involve day to day management of drivers, time-keeping and troubleshooting.
On any given day, a Fleet Manager may be responsible for:
- Purchasing and maintaining vehicles for deliveries and staff use
- Running cost effectiveness tests to determine whether vehicles should be leased or bought
- Driver recruitment
- Developing and managing efficient driver schedules
- Registering and licensing of vehicles
- Cost cutting logistics
- Developing strategies for greater fuel efficiency
- Maintaining detailed records for the servicing and inspection of vehicles
- Ensuring compliance with Department of Transport regulations
- Scheduling regular vehicle maintenance to ensure operational efficiency
- Ensuring strict servicing and maintenance schedules to minimise downtime
- Monitoring driver behaviour and ensuring a high level of customer service
- Analysing data to increase business operational efficiency
- Utilising and monitoring GPS systems
- Making sure that the company fleet insurance is the best available
Often a complex and fast paced role, requirements for Fleet Managers will usually include a degree in logistics or accounting, logistics experience, an analytical mindset and outstanding organisational skills. The running of the business’s fleet impacts on every department of the company and, quite literally, keeps it moving forward.