Managing a Global Fleet Made Easy

Managing a fleet of vehicles is about far more than just keeping deliveries and collections on time and making sure that you have drivers who know where they’re going. The role of the manager is also to maintain the positive relationship with drivers, customers and clients, wherever they are in the world, which can be particularly difficult when your first languages are different.

The difficulty from an administrative perspective comes around the end of each month when the managers of the fleet are required to provide detailed reports on the progress of the work specified in the contract. It’s vital that all information relating to the global fleet of vehicles is delivered sufficiently, including any relevant statistics and financial figures that may be questioned, along with any justification, to make sure that the relationship remains intact.

Reporting systems are available to help make this a simpler task than having to do it manually, something that is particularly time-consuming and just another headache for the managers of the fleet who already have enough on their plates trying to keep the vehicles on the road and making sure that appointment times are met by the drivers.

When it comes to managing the drivers, telematics are proving to be particularly beneficial. For those unaware, or thinking about incorporating them into their own fleets, telematics work just like satellite navigation systems in that they use satellites to monitor the location of the driver, only that rather than directing them to their destination they report back a series of detailed information to the depot which can then be used to analyse a variety of factors.

One such piece of analysis might relate to the fuel consumed over the course of a particular journey. By studying the telemetry, the fleet manager can monitor how fast the driver was going, (highs, lows and average speed for the journey), and then put that information up against the total distance to try and work out exactly how economical that particular journey was.

When fuel prices are continuously rising, journeys are becoming more expensive so finding out if there are cheaper ways of completing a similar trip in the future will be beneficial to the whole business. It may be as simple as traffic hold-ups reduced the average speed and made the journey less fuel efficient, and next time a different route might be suggested; or, it could just be that the driver was accelerating for long periods when driving in a more economical way could be just as effective in terms of arrival time and fuel consumption.

Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason