In the world of business delivery, no job is so integral success as that of a fleet manager. While a successful fleet is made of up of great drivers, mechanics, and higher management professionals, the role of the fleet manager is central to keeping operations running smoothly, tracking progress, keeping records, and bringing jobs in below budget day after day. But fleet management isn’t just about the numbers. Whether they’re saving the company money by investing in fleet fueling cards from WatchCard or researching the newest innovations in GPS tracking for a stronger, more controlled fleet, each manager is doing their best to make the company more efficient and reliable day by day. If you’re not sure what the job of fleet manager entails, here’s a helpful breakdown of the role from record-keeping to driver training.
Balancing the Books
When it comes to adding up the numbers, fleet managers are an integral part of the process. Not only are fleet managers held accountable for keeping track of profits and budgeting. They’re responsible for finding any possible way to save the company money, whether it’s through greener cars, smarter maintenance, or reduced fuel costs. While it might not sound difficult, this is a task that requires a huge amount of precision. Fleet managers need to know how much they’re spending on gas and maintenance down to the penny. Figuring out how to cut down even a few dollars on gas per car per day or increase the number of jobs per day by one or two can mean thousands of dollars saved per year. When it comes to figuring out just how much money a fleet needs to survive, fleet managers know exactly what’s needed and what it’s needed for.
Fleet managers can find big long-term savings by picking the right cars to replace old or damaged models. When a fleet is expanding or needs a replacement vehicle or two, a fleet manager is in charge of choosing the most fuel-efficient and cost-effective car for the job. This means that fleet managers need to be up on their research when it comes to the best, sturdiest cars on the market. They have to know exactly how they’re going to make up the cost through fuel savings and longevity. A fleet manager is also responsible for leasing new cars for more temporary fleet needs, as well as selling off a car that can’t be used anymore. Knowing the market value, specs, and ratings of each car on the market has to be hard-wired into every great fleet manager if they’re going to make the best purchases for the team.
One of the most important parts of a fleet manager’s job is keeping drivers in line. That doesn’t just mean making sure they get the job done on time. It means using GPS tracking to ensure they use the best route, researching technology that will help guide and correct drivers to help them make safe, efficient choices on the road, and educating them about what the fleet sees as responsible driving. If a driver isn’t up to snuff, or if some bad habits show up on their record, it’s up to the fleet manager to help correct and train them to do a better, more efficient job. When a fleet manager is able to train drivers in a consistent manner, they’re better able to predict yearly costs and set an appropriate budget for the fleet.
With the help of the right technology, fleet managers can easily retrieve information that tracks the progress of each driver per day and per job. These records can help fleet managers figure out how to effectively use or train a certain driver. They can also help the manager create new incentives or company-wide changes. Tracking performance and keeping track of maintenance scheduling allows the fleet manager to do a better job of seeing where there are possible gaps in performance, where additional savings can be found, and how different cars are performing on the road. This won’t just help to keep driver behavior consistent. It will help with new vehicle acquisitions and provide a reliable set of data for higher management to learn from.
A great fleet manager doesn’t wait for cars to break down on the road before getting them serviced. Part of a fleet manager’s job involves finding the right technology to help them figure out when a car is due for basic maintenance as well as when a car isn’t performing up to standard. Using this information, fleet managers can schedule preventative maintenance and car to keep cars on the road longer without any issues or emergency repairs.