09 June 2017

Cut your fleet expenses down to size with TouchStar’s five steps to success  

There’s no doubt about it, being a fleet manager is one of the toughest jobs going when it comes to spinning the multiple plates of managing time, costs and people.   Fleet managers are always exceptionally busy, but sometimes even when they are fully on top of their duties there still may be opportunities to improve their business. But these opportunities are often hard to identify or, in some cases, hidden completely.   Efficiency is the name of the game. But driving efficiency can take many forms. It could be cutting down on fuel wastage, giving your drivers additional training on efficiency techniques, keeping better track of work schedules and wages or even investing in new technology to automate processes.   With that in mind, here’s our top five tips for cutting down fleet expenses.  

Go digital  

Although technology has been generally embraced across all industries in the UK, there are still many individual processes that are carried out manually.   Having to deal with stacks of paper reports or relying on hand written notes often leads to much slower processing of information. What’s more, manual processes are much more susceptible to errors.   Automated systems are now available make entering data much simpler and quicker, and cloud-based systems can offer managers a real-time view of what is going on in the business.   That kind of insight can make all the difference when it comes to driving efficiency and improving the management of your business.  

Develop your drivers  

Putting new processes in place is one thing, but understanding your drivers – their strengths and weaknesses – can often reveal opportunities to improve in ways that you may not have thought.   Idling is often a key culprit, such as drivers perhaps eating lunch in their vehicle with the air con on – and therefore the engine running too. But idling includes any activity that means the engine is running while the vehicle is not in motion, so consider this carefully as it could be costing you money like a hole in your pocket.   But this shouldn’t be about catching drivers out, it should be a process to help them become better, safer drivers. New telematics systems can help to identify issues like harsh acceleration and breaking, which may not only lead to dangerous driving but also add significant wear to a vehicle.  

Don’t neglect your vehicles  

Vehicles can be a major drain on resources, and maintaining them properly – as well as dealing with unexpected mechanical issues – often becomes a costly concern.   But it’s not all doom and gloom. The latest fleet management solutions can record vehicle details, allow drivers to enter daily checks, add service requirements and automatically send alerts when action needs to be taken to ensure your fleet is running at optimal efficiency.  

Back yourself with facts

One of the key enablers to improve efficiency is to have reliable reports with accurate information that you can have confidence in.   For example, if your staff are filling out paper reports after completing a job then you may make decisions based on their data, which may not be accurate.   The latest fleet management solutions can include GPS time stamps so that managers can see exactly how much time was spent in any location, ensuring that customers are billed correctly and future estimates will be accurate.   This data can also help to deal efficiently with any disputes.  

Optimise, optimise, optimise!  

Driving efficiency is a journey, as there’s always another step that can be taken. Once you have taken care of some of the larger issues, there are often many smaller changes that can be made that, when added together, can still have a major impact.   Route scheduling is a good example. GPS tracking systems can certainly be a great driver of efficiency, but it also opens further opportunity to calculate fastest routes, fuel usage, better scheduling and arrival time notification alerts.  

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