Running a successful business is all about watching your pennies. It is basic math. You can’t have more money going out than is coming in. A profitable business is like a well-oiled machine, in which all of the parts work together to make the whole machine operate smoothly. Most owners pay close attention to the financial, accounting, and customer service departments. These are obvious areas to scrutinize for efficiency when looking to save money. What about fleet services and fleet management? Even the smallest tweaks to your fleet management will increase the overall efficiency of your business.
Investing in fleet maintenance and services will save your business money and increase your bottom line. Let’s take a look at 7 services available to keep your fleet operating at maximum efficiency.
Fleet Service Technicians on Staff Versus a Full-Service Shop
Having a technician on staff to tend to your fleet certainly offers benefits such as providing a quicker turnaround when it comes to routine maintenance and generalized repairs. Fleets often have many different kinds of vehicles to meet different job requirements. Technicians on staff may not be able to deal with specialized repairs. This isn’t necessarily due to a lack of experience, but rather the need for special tools, which are not needed on a regular basis and too costly to keep on site. Having technicians on staff as well as a relationship with a qualified full-service automotive shop will give you the best of both worlds.
Preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding larger mechanical issues. Every vehicle in your fleet should visit the mechanic for regular maintenance. Service includes but is not limited to an oil change, tire rotation, and fluids check. Your mechanic should also check the condition of each vehicle’s belts, spark plugs, brake pads and rotors, and windshield wipers. The professional will alert you to any current and upcoming mechanical issues. For instance, the mechanic may assess that your brake pads are thick enough to safely operate the vehicle, and when they might need to be replaced.
GPS Trackers as Part of Fleet Services & Management
Unfortunately, one of the most common problems companies experience is the improper use of company vehicles. With GPS trackers, management can keep track of the location of every vehicle. Management can also keep track of speeding, improper use, and the time spent at each stop. Having access to real-time data keeps each driver accountable for their actions when they are out in the field.
Your fleet’s security is important. GPS trackers increase the security of your fleet and have the ability to track a stolen vehicle virtually anywhere in the world.
Data reports on each vehicle also allow management to analyze and identify areas in which changes can be made to increase productivity and efficiency for the company.
Inevitably while your drivers are on the road, they will need to purchase fuel for their vehicles. The question arises as to the best way to handle this predicament. Most employees are not in favour of paying for fuel out of their pocket and then waiting for reimbursement. Employees carry the burden of keeping up with receipts and turning them into their supervisor. Management, on the other hand, has to deal with a mountain of paperwork when it comes to processing fuel receipts.
Utilizing fuel cards for your fleet offers a myriad of benefits for your company. You have the ability to assign a different fuel card to each vehicle if you wish with specific permissions for each driver. Each driver will have a PIN so that you are able to see who made which fuel purchases. Using software, management is able to analyze and keep track of the amount of fuel used by each vehicle and where improvements can be made. This type of fuel-purchasing system is widely popular for its convenience, efficiency, and ability to keep track of the chain of responsibility.
Software for Centralized Fleet Management
Inspections as part of fleet services are important in order to stay in fleet compliance. Utilizing software to keep track of vehicles makes it easier for your drivers to conduct daily inspections and report necessary repairs. Thanks to technological advances, managers can now use software to keep up with all of their vehicles in one place. Drivers can conduct inspections with the touch of a button on their smartphones remotely. There is no longer the need to bring each vehicle to a central location for inspection.
If a driver discovers an issue with their vehicle, they are able to electronically submit a work order. The owner or manager can receive all data and work orders on every single vehicle in the fleet. This makes it easy to schedule routine maintenance, repairs and detect areas which could use improvement.
Fleet Vehicle Customization
In certain industries, customization is required in order for your fleet vehicles to meet the needs of the job. You may think it wise to use the vehicle as it is. However, doing so can cost you money in the long run because it will take your employees longer to get a job done. The type of customization your fleet vehicles need will depend on their intended use. Common customizations include ladder racks, towing accessories, tool boxes, and back racks. Cargo management solutions are also available as well as special lighting.
It is better to spend the money upfront and provide employees with the tools to complete the job efficiently. This will save your employees time which in turn saves your company money and prevents unnecessary safety hazards.
Having a technician on-site to tend to your fleet vehicles is very beneficial and will mean your vehicles are out of commission for a shorter period of time. Often times, acquiring the necessary parts is the most time-consuming aspect of vehicle repair and maintenance. Developing a relationship with a reputable heavy duty automotive shop for parts supply and even delivery will save your technician a great deal of time and hassle, and make for a quicker turnaround.
Overdrive understands time is money and every minute a vehicle in your fleet is down is money lost. With years of experience servicing and repairing fleet vehicles, we work hard to keep you moving. Contact us today to book an appointment!