These days businesses are looking for an edge in everything they do. Business as usual disappeared during the pandemic, as the economic world was rocked by closures, cutbacks and severe supply chain shortages. The labor force had to suddenly work from home most of the time, and the world of logistics faced shortages of both equipment and personnel. Serving your customers became an even more challenging task in such difficult times. When the pandemic finally started to die down, business owners and fleet managers hoped things would return to normal.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. Employees found themselves reconsidering their lifestyle and career choices, and the great resignation began. Supply chain shortages persisted, and much needed goods were stuck on freighters waiting outside ports. Inflation, especially severe jumps in fuel costs, further complicated fleet operations and triggered budgetary concerns. If this sounds all too familiar to you and you’re struggling to keep the doors of your business open, the following are four techniques to improve your fleet management and keep things running smoothly.
Reduce Your Fuel Costs
The meteoric rise in fuel costs has decimated fleet management budgets. Some organizations have reported going through their entire annual fuel budget by mid-year. In order to keep operations going and to help ensure company profitability, operating efficiently and trimming fuel costs is key. Fleet management systems combined with GPS tracking can help reduce costly behaviors that adversely affect fuel consumption. With the right systems, you’ll be able to monitor driver and vehicle performance, and focus attention on elements such as vehicle and truck idling time and overly fast acceleration.
Improve Driver Safety
Driver and vehicle safety has always been a key concern for fleet managers. With company budgets under pressure from soaring costs and inflation, keeping accident-free is an even more critical priority. Dashboard cameras can provide fleet managers with a cost-effective window into what’s happening in each of their vehicles. By installing a dash cam, you can help reduce accidents and encourage improved driver behavior. These devices will also provide a record of what is happening when your trucks are on the road, and can be used to help deter and prevent false claims against your drivers and company.
Control Your Maintenance Costs
During the peak of the pandemic, the availability of new vehicles plummeted due to chip shortages and other supply chain issues. As a result of this development, new vehicles were priced well above sticker and were not a good investment. Companies quickly realized that keeping their existing vehicles on the road was a necessity. Overall costs of maintenance have been increasing by about 30% a year. By taking a proactive approach to preventive maintenance, you can help reduce the frequency of unexpected repairs and keep your trucks and vehicles running longer. With careful tracking, you can schedule maintenance based on engine use hours rather than calendar day service intervals.
Optimize Your Routes
Another way to reduce your fuel and operating costs as well as to effectively manage stress is to use fleet management systems that can help you optimize your vehicle routes. By increasing your efficiency you’ll be able to get more deliveries completed in shorter time windows. When you use a fleet system with GPS tracking, you can also get real time visibility of where each vehicle is located and when the next expected delivery time is. This will allow you to improve customer service by sending real time delivery updates to customers who are relying on your logistical expertise to keep their business running.