How To Make Sure You Can Trust Your Fleet Management Provider
Outsourcing your fleet management to a specialist fleet management provider could potentially remove unnecessary stresses internally, leaving your staff with room to concentrate on the day-to-day management of your business. But leaving the ins and outs of your fleet to an external fleet management company means putting your trust in it completely, and because you’re likely to enter into a long-term professional relationship with your outsourced fleet management provider, how do you make sure that it is the right fit for your requirements?
Consider the following when choosing your outsourced fleet management service providers, for an honest, professional relationship that will benefit your company.
We’ve also put together a detailed guide on The Essentials of Outsourcing, helping you to get it right first time.
Do Your Research
If you require assistance with the management of your business fleet, the likelihood is that you will inevitably need assistance with fleet cost management too. In order for you to be able to trust an external provider, you need to know that they are a financially stable enterprise. If the fleet management company is a limited company, consider obtaining a credit report or getting bankers’ references to ascertain whether they will be a reliable partner to work with. At this early stage in your professional relationship, you may also want to access references or testimonials from previous clients that have worked with the fleet management provider you’re considering. Do they deliver on their promises according to their customers’ references? If the reviews don’t quite add up, you may want to consider other options.
Establish Lines of Communication
Having a good understanding of how regularly you will hear from your account manager will be vital to ensuring that your fleet management company is not only contactable when you need them, but gives you the added reassurance that your account is being closely monitored – even in your absence. Understanding how your fleet is being managed will give you a better understanding of how this relationship will work, as well as if the lines of communication are completely open, should you need information at the drop of a hat or require support with administration.
The ability to visit your external fleet management provider will give you much better insight as to how exactly your business is being prioritised. If possible, set up an appointment to review progress and monitor costs or organise a visit to their office to assess the quality of their systems and their procedures. Does their system allow you access to information whenever you need it? And do they operate in real time? If permissible, set up a trial with their systems before signing on the dotted line. That way, you know that their procedures are compatible with yours before entering into a long-term contract.
Set up a service level agreement (SLA) in order to clearly lay out the outsourced fleet management provider’s contractual obligations, as well as your responsibilities to them. This will help to define the services that your outsourced supplier is obliged to carry out under the terms of the contract, as well as setting expectations right from the start of the relationship. Make sure you have the option to adjust the SLA to align with updates that may need to be considered over time to streamline all fleet management processes, internally and externally.
Choosing from a large selection of vehicle fleet management companies can be a daunting task, and one where simply opting for the cheapest quote is not always the best choice. Choosing an external provider properly fits with your requirements (cost included) is a much better way of making sure you can trust their promises to provide you with a trustworthy service. Although a large task from the outset, being able to commit to a trustworthy fleet management provider will benefit your business in the long run.
Looking for an honest and experienced fleet management provider? Contact CLM for further advice on how we can help you with a fully outsourced fleet solution.