Is your business one of the over 241,000 local trucking businesses in the United States? If yes, you certainly own a fleet of vehicles, be it vans or trucks.
You don’t even have to be in the trucking industry to have a fleet. If you run a manufacturing company, for instance, you could procure a fleet of vehicles to distribute your products across the country.
Regardless of the nature of your company, one thing is clear: you need a proper fleet management strategy.
But first off, what is fleet management? What fleet management challenges do businesses face?
Keep reading for deeper insight.
What Is Fleet Management?
Fleet management is the process of managing all vehicles and automobile equipment used for commercial purposes. This includes everything from vans to business, trucks, trailers, forklifts, rail cars, and the like.
When you run a business that owns a fleet, you quickly realize that the fleet is a capital-intensive asset. You need lots of money to acquire the fleet and keep it running optimally. The goal of fleet management is to ensure an organization is using its fleet efficiently and cost-effectively.
In theory, fleet management sounds easy. In practice, however, it’s anything but. Organizations face a host of fleet management challenges. The most common are fleshed out below.
Keeping Fleet Costs Low
It’s costs money to keep your fleet on the road or in service. You need to fuel the fleet, hire drivers and maintenance specialists, and pay for storage if you’re renting a garage.
What’s more, some of these costs are beyond your control. For example, if the cost of gas or diesel increases significantly, there’s nothing you can do to lower the cost. You just have to dig deeper into your pockets to fuel the fleet and keep it in the service.
If you’re a fleet manager, it’s your job to find creative ways to cut fleet costs. An effective solution is ensuring the fleet is well serviced and maintained. Contracting an auto repair service provider to keep a full-time eye on the fleet goes a long way.
Go electric or stick with petrol/diesel vehicles? Go autonomous or stick with drivers behind the wheel? These are some of the questions fleet managers are grappling with.
Although electric and autonomous vehicles aren’t in service today, they’re surely coming. Fleet modernization isn’t going to come on the cheap, but it promises significantly lower running costs.
Which way to go?
Although sticking with the old guard is the more sensible decision, eventually almost everything bends in the direction of disruptive technology.
Vehicles depreciate, some at a faster rate than others. Depreciation lowers the value of your fleet and, consequently, your business. It’s for this reason managing fleet depreciation is one of the biggest challenges facing fleet managers.
Of course, one way to reduce depreciation is to keep your fleet in good condition, but you need to find other ways too.
Overcome the Challenges of Fleet Management
If you were asking, “What is fleet management?” you now have a clear picture of what it is. You also know some of the most common fleet management challenges, as well as what you can do to address them.
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