Habits of successful fleet managers
Fleet managers face a lot of challenges within their day-to-day responsibilities, like:
- Information overload
- Data integration among software systems
- Asset utilization and uptime
- Driver recruitment, training, and retention
- Driver safety and productivity
- Fleet expenses, like fuel, maintenance, vehicle replacements, and personnel
- Growing revenue and getting ROI out of tools and tech
- State and federal regulations
Fortunately, many of today’s fleet technology and tools can help overcome them and turn them into opportunities for success. But fleet managers can also adopt some habits that make these challenges easier to tackle and improve their productivity and fleet’s efficiency.
Read up on the 7 habits and best practices effective fleet managers use to reduce costs, streamline operations, and enable the potential of your drivers, yourself, and your fleet.
1. Set goals
Whether you want to optimize your fleet, enhance your fleet’s safety culture, or lower fuel or operating costs, you have to set goals in order to know if you’re making progress in your fleet’s operations. Align your drivers’ goals with your company goals to keep everyone committed and on track. If your organization’s goal is to improve safety, you should set goals for drivers to improve their driver scorecards or be accident-free for a set amount of time.
You’ll also need to have a good understanding of your fleet’s KPIs and current benchmarks, like safety and compliance metrics, driver behaviors, average costs, utilization, and so on.
2. Be available, accessible, and accountable
Everyone in the fleet needs to be a team player, but especially the fleet manager if they want to lead by example. Share your knowledge, engage your employees, request feedback and honest communication, and hold yourself accountable for change within your organization.
3. Be flexible
Expect the unexpected – it’s an adage that is definitely applicable to fleet management. Successful fleet managers have to be flexible and willing to adapt to last-minute changes and understand that everyone is human and things will always come up. It’s much easier to be flexible and keep employees happy and productive than to be inflexible and hiring new drivers all the time.
4. Empower your employees
Empower your employees for more accountability and to let them grow and take on new responsibility within your fleet. Create safety committees, training councils, or any other organized group you feel your employees would benefit from. This could also include a mentorship program to pass down knowledge, host trainings, and provide more value to your fleet’s career paths.
5. Develop an efficient fleet
Much like setting goals, you should also take time to evaluate your fleet’s efficiency and identify areas of opportunity for improvements. This could be as simple as making your vehicles more efficient by reducing their idle RPM to make them more fuel efficient, or it could be investing in new safety technology and tools to improve multiple areas of your fleet.
6. Invest in the right tools and tech
Successful fleet managers embrace technology and prepare to adjust their operations to adapt to new tools and tech. Fleet management is an evolving industry and those that are open to new ways of doing things will be more successful in the long run. Make sure the tools and tech are right for your fleet, its size, and your vehicles and provides a valuable ROI – don’t invest just to invest.
7. Use your data
The most effective fleets rely on making data-driven decisions to solve their problems. Most telematics solutions offer customization in how your dashboard is set up so you can have the most important data and reports at your fingertips, and keep an eye on those data sets day after day.
Interested in learning more about setting yourself and your fleet up for success in 2020? Catch our webinar recording on four key areas to optimize in Q4 to get the most out of your fleet's technology, find hidden savings in your fleet, and keep your drivers safe and productive. View the recording now!