Challenges Facing Commercial Fleets
Friday, July 29, 2016
Managing commercial fleet isn’t that different than any business in a few crucial ways: you’re bound by external costs, you’re subject to market volatility, you’re required to adopt policies that may increase costs, you have to factor in the costs of protecting your workers, and you’re always looking for new ways to improve efficiency and productivity of your workers. Which shouldn’t make the fact that implementing cost-reduction initiatives, reacting to fuel price volatility, planning for costs of greening their operations, ensuring fleet safety, and increasing productivity are the top challenges facing any commercial fleet owner.
Every business owner faces the pressure of reducing costs, but a fleet manager may have an impossible goal when they’re subject to ever-changing fuel prices, up one week, down the next. Another factor in cost reduction initiatives is the increasing costs of vehicle acquisition. While manufacturers are producing vehicles with improved safety standards and better fuel efficiency, those improvements cost money and fleet managers are feeling it.
One unique challenge facing fleet managers is driver safety. While there are plenty of businesses that have to plan for and implement safety measures to protect employees (the construction industry is a great example), there aren’t a whole lot that have the particular dangers that a driver faces, with the exception of other vehicle operators like pilots and train engineers. What fleet managers try to mitigate is preventable accidents. Being able to lower accident rates not only improves driver moral, it also helps reduce other costs such as insurance rates. Some companies are investing in driver training and others are creating improved safety training materials.
Industries across the nation are adopting environmental practices in response to a growing public concern about the effects climate change will have on the planet. From incorporating smaller cylinder engines into their fleets to purchasing hybrid vehicles, green practices are becoming the norm. While the intentions behind these changes are good, they can also be costly, which is why it can be a challenge for fleet managers to implement them successfully.
Some of the challenges facing fleet managers may be temporary but others are here for the long haul. No matter what the market is doing or what the latest sustainability initiative brings, fleet managers will always have to keep an eye on increasing productivity. Today the focus on improving efficiency is often found in technology. Programs that allow planners to find better routes are now being used to decrease fraud and improve safety, which also adds to better productivity numbers.
No matter what challenges you face as a fleet manager, you can rest assured that when you need maintenance, Fleet Care has your back. We put the needs of our clients first, with quick turnaround and reasonable rates. Call us first when you need regular maintenance or emergency repair—we’ll keep your fleet on the road.