If you are operating a fleet of any size, you know the costs involved can be quite high. Not only are those vans or trucks super-expensive but the cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs can be quite steep. Then there are drivers to pay and often warehouse staff that is part of what it takes to operate a fleet in some situations. If you have found that the cost of operating your fleet is not providing the ROI you had planned, there are ways to keep operating costs manageable.
Depend More on Technology
Advances in technology have proven to be some of the most cost-effective ways to operate a business of any kind. However, when it comes to operating a fleet in which vehicles are often out on the road, it is vital to be in continual communication with the drivers as well as the vehicles themselves. Start with a platform like Fleetio that offers literally everything from GPS tracking to maintenance, routing, dispatching, compliance, and even risk management. While each of those services are, in themselves, ways to track and reduce costs, Fleetio can be the hub through which all those services can be managed from a central location.
Regular Inspection, Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles
Working from that central hub, you can be advised when it’s time to inspect each vehicle in the fleet. An alert can be sent out so that vehicles are brought in for service at required times. Any time a part is repaired or replaced, it is logged into the app. Instead of reading that sticker on the windshield that gives the mileage necessary for the next flushing and changing of fluids to be completed, the app advises you when that time is about to arrive. Through timely maintenance, servicing, and repairing of the vehicles in your fleet, you will find that they get better mileage and are less prone to breaking down on the road, another costly event.
An Eye on Safety
Another way in which to keep operational costs low is to ensure that your drivers are well-trained in safety. Every at-fault accident can lead to higher insurance premiums and even some not-at-fault or shared-fault accidents can give rise to higher insurance costs. With ongoing safety training, you will find that your drivers have fewer accidents, which in turn, may even give you a break in insurance costs for every predetermined period your company goes accident-free.
Here we refer to the oft-quoted words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Although he was referring to preventing a multitude of fires plaguing Philadelphia in 1736, it is commonly coopted today in situations just like seeking cost reduction on fleet operations. It most often costs more to fix problems once they occur than to make a small investment in an effort to prevent them. Technology is at the heart of prevention because it provides one central platform where literally every aspect of fleet operations can be tracked and analyzed.