Top Fleet Management Best Practices
Knowing and employing fleet best practices is important because best practices help fleets navigate change in the most effective ways possible in our new transportation reality. Best practices can teach you:
- Top ways to reduce fleet costs (they may not be what you think!)
- Ways to streamline manual and time-intensive processes
- Dealing with human factors: collecting customer feedback, overcoming objections to sharing vehicles, reducing risky driving behaviors, and more
Do you employ fleet management best practices? Review our Top 10 checklist and find out.
Have fleet policy.
Having rules in place that ensure the safety and efficiency of your fleet can also save a lot of money. Even one policy that is communicated and enforced consistently can reduce costs significantly over time. A robust FMIS will automatically require employees and internal customers to acknowledge the policy as they interact with the system and inform staff when the policy changes. For more on fleet policy, download our Fleet Policy e-book.
Enforce and communicate your fleet policy automatically.
It’s not good enough to just have a fleet policy, you need to be communicating and enforcing it consistently. One fleet we know of saved $750,000 by having a policy about not using high octane fuels. One State cut their total mileage in half, saving millions of dollars, by instituting a policy regarding personal use of official vehicles. Want to know who? Call us, we’ll tell you the whole story.
Rely on fleet technology.
Believe it or not, even with all the technology available today we still see many fleets who manage their fleets manually using spreadsheets and email. This makes getting reliable fleet data for decision making nearly impossible. Your fleet management information system should collect all relevant fleet data and make it easy for you to make right-sizing decisions. Pro tip: when choosing a FMIS, be sure that you have complete access and ownership of your data because not all vendors will make your data available if you decide to use a different fleet system in the future.
Share vehicles and right size.
Is your fleet right-sized? The definition of a right-sized fleet is: having the right quantities and types of vehicles available at the right location, and at the right time. If you're not sure if you have the right vehicle count, using utilization data to eliminate or redeploy underused vehicles can reduce annual fleet costs by $3,500-$6,000 per vehicle per year. Sharing vehicles is the most effective means of increasing vehicle utilization and driving down costs. With an automated vehicle sharing system such as FleetCommander, you can offer online reservations and self-service motor pools that make sharing vehicles easy and efficient. Checking out a vehicle is as simple as picking up a boarding pass in an airport. For more on how this works, request a demo here.
Curtail personal mileage reimbursement.
Use of personal vehicles for business use when shared vehicles are available is a waste, and reimbursement costs add up quickly. For more on how one County addressed this issue and cut mileage reimbursement costs by more than 60%, read this blog.
Manage timely preventive maintenance.
We all know that well maintained vehicles operate more safely and cost less. Your FMIS should be able give you a clear picture of the maintenance costs and schedules required to keep up with this all-important aspect of fleet management.
Collect fleet data.
You don’t have to collect dozens of types of fleet operating and financial data all at once. We recommend you start with one critical bit of data and then continue to expand over time, perhaps good, clean odometer data. Your data should be timely, accurate, and defensible. Your FMIS should do this for you and help you avoid errors.
Understand your fleet financial situation.
Develop fleet budgets and track against them regularly. Without a plan, it's hard to gauge your progress and set meaningful and achievable goals. By developing a vehicle replacement plan, you'll be able to document and justify replacing older, high-cost units with more cost effective and safer units.
Learn and grow professionally.
Seek any certifications you can. We encourage you to attend industry events, participate in educational webinars, and read current fleet news and articles. Check out our resources page, it’s a great place to start. Read this great blog post by the City of Austin’s fleet manager about how becoming a NAFA-certified fleet specialist helped his career.
Celebrate your successes!
Whether you are proud of your new motor pool, achieved a targeted utilization rate, or just added an electric plug-in vehicle to your fleet, celebrate it and let people know. Celebrating these sorts of things keeps the positive momentum going for further success in the future.