Does Your Fleet Need Professional Help?
The symptoms of an unhealthy fleet aren’t always obvious
And, as with our own health, it’s easy to ignore any little niggles and pain points that do exist, hoping that they’re nothing serious and that they’ll clear up by themselves if we look the other way.
In this post we take a look at some of the signs that an organisation’s fleet might not be in the very best of health and highlight how professional fleet management help can turn it around.
Is your organisation in the fleet size ‘danger zone’?
It’s a fact of the company car and van market that there are a huge number of providers clamouring to serve the small business fleet; ready to provide cheap quotes on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis, very much as they would for private, non-fleet, customers. At the other end of town there are the very large contract hire providers, willing to play the long game to educate and woo the very large corporates in the hope of an invitation to their next fleet tender.
For those managing fleets in the middle of these two groups it can feel a little like you’ve been forgotten. While avoiding the constant harassment of sales and marketing teams might have some upside, it also means that those managing mid-size fleets could be out of the loop in terms of best practice, as well as missing out on the very latest methods for reducing fleet costs.
‘Our fleet person is drowning, help!’
Very small fleets don’t require a great deal of management and it’s perfectly possible to tack ‘fleet management’ responsibilities onto another role. But, it’s surprising how few vehicles it takes for the burden to become really significant.
As the business and the number of vehicles grow, fleet administration becomes more and more time consuming, until other commitments become lost in a sea of urgent driver requests, maintenance schedules, renewal quotes and other administrative tasks. This means that your business suffers.
The fleet seems to be running fine, best leave it alone.
There’s a very understandable temptation to not try to fix something which doesn’t appear broken. But if the running of your fleet, and in particular your vehicle acquisition methods, haven’t been reviewed for some time there’s a very high chance that you’ll be paying too much.
The same is true for all of those important ancillary services such as maintenance, accident management, short-term rental and fuel management. What’s critical here is that you have a robust method for calculating the whole life cost of all the vehicles on fleet, and this does take a degree of expertise to get right.
Ensuring adequate support for drivers is also a key area as organisations increasingly need to focus on employee satisfaction. Having help in dealing with driver queries and providing guidance throughout the vehicle lifecycle can remove a considerable demand on valuable time.
‘Most of our drivers take cash – it’s much simpler.’
Simple it may be, but if drivers are using their own vehicles for business journeys then the organisation is open to a wide range of risks. Are the vehicles being used fit for purpose and are they adequately maintained? Do the drivers have the correct type of insurance and are their licences valid?
In the event of an incident, these questions will all be raised, and the organisation will need to prove that it did everything in its power to ensure the safety of the driver and other road users. Without some robust processes in place, it’s very easy for errors and omissions to creep in, leaving the organisation at heightened risk.
‘We don’t need a fleet policy or management system.’
Nobody loves policies, but there comes a point where a well-designed set of rules becomes essential for a fleet. From preventing drivers becoming disgruntled because their peers got a better car than them, to ensuring the safety of vehicles on the road and keeping control of fleet costs – the fleet policy can be the fleet manager’s best friend. But if you don’t have one, it can be daunting to know where to start and easy to push to the bottom of the to-do list.
In a similar way, multiple spreadsheets and calendar reminders will get you so far in staying on top of vehicle and driver administration, but without an integrated fleet management system it’s very easy to forget important items, and you’ll be missing out on vital insight into how the fleet is performing.
So, what’s the solution?
If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, then it could be time to seek professional help. Whether this is supporting a fleet manager, or someone in another role who has taken responsibility for the organisation’s vehicles, a good fleet management partner will tailor their services to focus on your business’ key needs and keep your drivers happy. By doing this, you only need to pay for the specific areas of assistance that you require and nothing else.
Better still, the savings that are possible through reduced vehicle costs will usually far outweigh any expenditure on fleet management services.
You should expect a fleet management partner’s services to include:
- Fleet strategy advice and policy development
- A fully integrated fleet management and reporting system
- Driver support and helplines
- Provision of wide range of vehicle funding options
- Vehicle acquisition and disposal services
- Vehicle maintenance and servicing
- Short and medium-term vehicle rental
- Accident and risk management services
- Administration facilities covering: Road Fund Licences, fines, foreign travel, licence checking, cherished plate transfers etc.
- Management and risk reduction services for the grey fleet
- Vehicle logistics including reallocation, delivery and storage
- Fuel management
- Fully outsourced fleet management
Too good to be true?
Less administration, happier employees, lower risk and reduced cost might sound too good to be true, but CLM has been delivering exactly that to clients for over 35 years.
We pride ourselves on doing things differently to help our clients optimise their fleet performance and keep drivers on the road. Here are just a couple of examples of how CLM’s specialist services save clients’ money every day.
Smartpanel Fleet Funding
Smartpanel delivers a panel of vehicle funders to quote for each new vehicle you require. This creates competition between suppliers and delivers the best price without you having to shop around. Smartpanel saves, on average, £870 over a vehicle’s three-year lease contract. Even with a relatively small fleet, this can add up to tens of thousands of pounds.
To learn more about Smartpanel funding click here.
Modern cars and vans require very little maintenance during their first few years on the road. But maintenance-inclusive contract hire means you pay for services that probably won’t be required during this low-risk period.
With Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Maintenance, you get all of the advantages of managed vehicle maintenance but only pay for any work that’s actually required. Our servicing partners never begin work without authorisation and our experts will even help to prepare detailed budgets so you can plan for likely expenditure over the life of the vehicle. PAYG saves clients an average of just over £800 per vehicle contract.
To learn more about PAYG maintenance click here.
Would you like to know more?
If you think your fleet would benefit from some professional help, then contact us for a no-obligation discussion.
And if you would like to read more about CLM’s fleet management services click here.