4 must-know fleet management tips for small businesses
The right knowledge is key to successful, safe fleet operations. And it’s even more vital for a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) that oversees a mobile workforce.
With the daily decisions and stresses that come with running a smaller business, it’s easy for fleet costs to get out of control, unchecked driver behaviour to cause accidents and admin headaches, and hidden vehicle issues to sprout up and threaten your company.
The takeaway: do not wait to learn the essentials of fleet risk management for safeguarding your drivers and minimising costs. An outsourced provider such as SurePlan can truly help address this urgent task.
But in the meantime, here are some of the most important fleet risk management tips for securing your fleet straight away.
1. Solidify policies and procedures for safe driving
The right driver policies and procedures make all the difference to a fleet. A policy that hones in on driver safety, in particular, can be very effective in reducing fleet risk.
It’s your responsibility to ensure your drivers are fully competent in handling your fleet vehicles. Your policy should require drivers to be licensed, remain in good standing, and be broadly educated in road safety.
Vehicle-related matters are also relevant. Your policy should:
- Outline the steps for servicing and maintaining vehicles;
- Instruct drivers on how to access funds for refuelling;
- And detail reporting procedures drivers should use in the event of road incidents.
By laying out expectations for vehicle maintenance, good driving behaviour, and general operating procedures, you’ll eliminate confusion, improve communication, and go very far in protecting your drivers.
2. Make sure your vehicles are roadworthy
Every single vehicle should pass the roadworthiness test. That means being proactive about vehicle servicing and accurate record-keeping.
Ensure all fleet vehicles, including ‘grey fleet’ vehicles owned by employees, are fit for their commercial purpose. Then, establish a preventive maintenance programme. Be sure to record service dates, as well as any and all procedures completed by service providers.
3. Focus on compliance to keep fleet costs at a minimum
Unexpected costs can arise without complete control and oversight of your fleet. Many of these costs stem from a lack of compliance.
New Zealand’s Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) stipulates that a business has the primary responsibility for ensuring employee health and safety. For a small fleet, vehicle maintenance checks, a safe driving policy, and driver supervision all play a key role.
Without those elements in place, vehicle downtime, road incidents, and driver injuries are more likely to occur and cause your costs to skyrocket. SurePlan can help minimise your fleet costs by ensuring compliance in every area that matters.
4. Have a roadmap for continuous fleet improvement as an SME
Any small business that hopes to succeed should strive for continual improvement. A key focus of such efforts should be your fleet.
Start by developing some fleet-related key performance indicators (KPIs) such as fuel costs, mileage, and amount of time without incidents. Then, track every metric both by driver and vehicle.
This approach will immediately reveal opportunities for improvement. You will see which drivers are most at-risk and in need of remedial driver training, and which vehicles are candidates for deeper servicing or replacement.
Running a fleet for a small business takes intense focus on the right things. And as a small business owner, there is only so much time in the day. Make your next step a smart one and outsource your fleet risk management. Your mobile workforce must be protected, and SurePlan are here to ensure that happens...for the long-term success of your business.
Topics: Fleet Risk Management