Fleet Managers’ Survival Guide
In today’s tough economic economy, fleet managers face many stressful challenges from budgets being slashed to a greater demand on their drivers and fleet vehicles. For fleet managers to survive, they need to try to look for an upside in the down economy and learn to manage their stress.
Stress must be managed because it is extremely easy to become overwhelmed with fewer resources and greater responsibilities. If stress is not managed, it can lead to health issues, burnout and diminished job performance.
Lean On Your Vendors
Many vendors such as fleet management companies, specialty equipment manufactures and OEM representatives can provide additional assistance and knowledge that can make a fleet manager’s job a little easier. Often times there is no extra charge for the assistance these vendors provide.
Demonstrate The Value Of Your Fleet
Senior management often view their fleet department as a necessary cost center that doesn’t create a tangible value for the business. This misconception results in their fleet department becoming the primary target when budget cuts roll around
Fleet managers can help prevent this initial impulse by making the fleet department more visible to the business’ senior management. A good way to do this is to provide a regular report to management demonstrating the fleet’s impact on the business. Include important factors such as total vehicles, miles driven, cost per mile, fuel usage and the amount of money saved on fuel and operating cost.
Fleet managers must be knowledgeable and effective in many areas including contract negotiation, effective communication, crisis management, staff motivation, policy development and cost reduction. Fleet managers must be competent in all areas; however, it is helpful for them to specialize and become an expert in two or three areas.
Leverage Your Technology
Technology can be a fleet manager’s “best friend” when leveraged properly. Many fleet managers lean heavily on mobile devices such as laptops, iPhones, tablets or smartphones. These devices allow fleet managers to work from anywhere, manage drivers, and stay connected
In addition, GPS fleet management systems can really be a valuable tool for all fleet managers. These systems can be used to make fleet operations more visible, reduce fleet operating costs, manage driver behavior, organize fleet preventative maintenance, improve productivity and measure performance