04 March 2020
Habits of effective fleet managers
Whether a fleet manager has been in the position for two years or two
decades, there’s always more to learn. The role of the fleet manager has
changed dramatically over the years, away from a sole focus on scheduling to a
remit that covers everything from fleet expenses and data analysis, to
sustainability and compliance.
In smaller businesses, a fleet manager may also
have to take on the additional responsibilities of office and/or service
management, so there’s plenty to keep on top of.
Developing particular working practices can make the changeable nature
of fleet management easier to navigate. So, besides maintaining relevant
industry knowledge and experience, what are the habits fleet managers should
A fleet manager acts as a font of knowledge for virtually every
stakeholder in a logistics business, from the drivers to the clients, the
business owners to the financial team. As such, it’s important that they have
the agility and insight to communicate effectively with each of these parties, verbally
and in writing, taking into account their varying interests and priorities.
They must be as comfortable reviewing planned routes with drivers as they are
proposing a cost reduction strategy to a board of directors.
Each party will require different data and operational information, but
it’s down to the fleet manager to extract and send whatever they need from a central repository, such as that which supports an Electronic
Proof of Delivery (EPOD) system, often remotely and in real time.
to affect change
In today’s cost-centric world, a large chunk of any fleet manager’s time
will be spent looking for ways to save money. Of course, a logistical operation
comes with unavoidable overheads, but a savvy fleet manager will seek not only
the big cost savings, such as procuring the most cost-effective vehicles, but
also the smaller tweaks that can stretch a budget incrementally over time.
This kind of iterative cost-cutting is made possible by digging into
operational data and using it to prove a business case for change. For example,
through an EPOD solution and integrated telematics technology, a fleet manager could monitor idling time
across their fleet, to see whether incentivising drivers to turn off their
engines after 30 seconds stationary could reduce fuel consumption and engine
wear and tear.
When you consider that idling for just 10 seconds wastes more fuel than
restarting an engine, it becomes clear that being able to track the amount of
idling happening across a fleet and rewarding better driving behaviours could
be a significant money saver.
ahead of compliance requirements
While much of a fleet manager’s responsibilities means looking inward at
the operational performance of their business, they also need to keep an eye on
what’s going on in the wider logistics industry. It’s vital to be aware of
legislative changes that will impact the sector, such as the prospect of the first fuel duty hike in a decade as part of this month’s Budget, and anticipate
what this could mean in practical terms.
It’s also crucial that fleet managers stay up to date with industry
standards of compliance, and that they can prove this compliance in the event
of an audit. Conformity with government regulations, such as driver’s hours of
service requirements enforced by the DVSA, is far easier to demonstrate with an
EPOD system in place, which stores electronic timesheets and reminders for
vehicle safety checks.
fleet management best practice with EPOD
The most effective fleet managers know that the secret to operational
efficiency is to rely on the support and digital infrastructure of an EPOD
solution. There are plenty of plates to keep spinning, but a specially designed
logistics management system like PODStar can take the strain out of fleet
management. Get in touch with us
today to find out more.