Formulating a management plan to oversee the proper implementation of Fleet Cards will not only help you to execute a smooth transition, it can also assist Fleet Managers to improve their bottom line.
Fleet Managers have several means at their disposal for reducing operational expenses, which can be a challenging task in a climate where fuel prices continuously fluctuate. As important as the management of fuel consumption is to minimizing costs, the task requires a more holistic approach. Opportunities to improve fleet-wide efficiency may be lost, if, for example, the features and capabilities of Fleet Cards are not fully researched and understood. There are a number of recommended tools and strategies outlined in this paper to support optimum fleet management.
Establish Program Objectives
Defining a set of clear objectives is an effective practice that greatly assists managers to focus on achieving the goals of the program. It can also provide guidance for a number of decisions or determinations, such as how to implement new policies, whether adjustments to vehicle usage or driver behaviour are needed or simply knowing what data to track.
Examples of Program Objectives:
- Improve overall fleet efficiency and productivity
- Lower monthly fuel costs
- Take advantage of available discounts and tax credits
- Analyse vehicle life-cycles to minimize maintenance costs
- Identify and reduce fraudulent spending
Build a Comprehensive Fleet Profile
This exercise requires the gathering of all existing and historical information available on fleet operations, so that a Fleet Profile may be created. A potential format to follow is outlined below:
- Vehicles – size of fleet; type of vehicles; how they are used
- Fleet Ops – routes serviced; location of fleet; operating hours
- Mileage – weekly, monthly and yearly figures
- Drivers – number of drivers; vehicle access of each driver
- Fuel – tools used for tracking and monitoring costs; control mechanisms used; fuel target costs vs. actual costs; alternative fuel vehicles and their refuelling stations
- Compliance – any tracking information used for regulatory or compliance purposes
- Maintenance – frequency of vehicle services