It takes teamwork to run a fleet, including drivers, technicians, office staff, fleet managers, and executives. Fleet managers find themselves somewhere in the middle of their organization’s hierarchy. They are accountable to the executives and manage fleet operations. It’s becoming increasingly important for fleet managers to collaborate effectively with the cross-functional teams in their organization. The future success of fleet management lies heavily in collaboration.
Why Fleet Managers Need to Collaborate
The role of a fleet manager is complex. Fleet managers have more regulations, mandates, and environmental and safety concerns to manage than ever before. To maximize organizational performance, fleet managers need to collaborate efficiently with other teams in their company.
Fleet managers are intricate in communicating information throughout their organization. When employees must wait for the fleet manager to share information, efficiency suffers. Fleet managers also possess the power to influence the communication of others rather than operating in silos. Improved collaboration among fleet managers and other teams can reduce or eliminate information bottlenecks and supercharge a fleet’s efficiency.
Numerous studies prove that inefficient communication permeates the workplace and leads to low morale. A 2017 study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) concluded that high-performance organizations are up to five and a half times more likely to incentivize collaboration than lower-performing organizations. A Salesforce 2012 survey taken of over 1,400 employees, executives, and educators found that 86% believe insufficient collaboration or ineffective communication are the root causes of their workplace failures. Moreover, a 2017 survey by Visix found that 39% of employees think their organization does not collaborate enough.
How Managers Can Supercharge Team Collaboration
For a fleet manager to be successful at collaboration, they must learn the requirements and complexities of managers’ decision-making processes throughout various departments. Successful collaboration involves stepping into someone else’s shoes and understanding things from their perspective. Another essential part of decision-making in a modern fleet consists of analyzing data. Successful fleets today are information powerhouses that collect data on all aspects of their performance. Collaboration in sharing this data and having it readily accessible to all team members helps managers improve their fleets’ efficiency.
Case Study: Successful Team Collaboration
Barry Lowry, Fleet Manager at LabCorp (which operates a fleet of over 4,300 vehicles), recently spoke with Fleet Response about collaboration. On the topic of his fleet’s safety policy, he said, it “…represents ideas of both fleet and risk management together… We have MVR checks, safety classes, a points-accrual policy. We partner closely with risk management on all those decisions.” Collaborating on policies in advance and with different teams can prevent issues. It helps to include all stakeholders in the decision-making process, as Lowry did with his fleet’s safety policy. Collaboration ensures that everyone’s voice is heard so that the team can make its best collective decisions.
Lowry also explained the difficulties of collaboration. He said, “The challenge is that we’re still two separate departments. There comes a time when you have diverging interests in whatever process you’re addressing.” However, Lowry has found a way to collaborate by building a good rapport with his teams to overcome departmental differences and work together to solve problems.
Lowry said the secret to working well with others is listening to their needs. “The key in collaborating is making sure that you’re addressing the needs when they need to be addressed…you’re working together with others to put together a case that says, ‘We’re seeing this happen and we want to get out in front of it,’” he said.
Team Collaboration Tools
Despite its benefits, collaboration doesn’t always go smoothly for fleet managers. The process can lead to errors and inefficiencies if you aren’t using the right tools. All the effort you put into collaboration will be wasted if you don’t have the proper infrastructure and support.
Fleet managers today have access to countless digital team collaboration tools. Successful fleet management involves seamless collaboration and good communication. As a fleet manager, you can use these digital tools to better understand and support your team’s operations. For example, when reporting productivity and operational expenses to management, fleet managers can generate reports quickly and easily with fleet management software. They can access real-time data, making collaboration with superiors easier for fleet managers.
Maintenance and repairs are significant expenses for fleets. For preventative maintenance to work, a collaboration between fleet managers, drivers, and maintenance workers is mandatory. Fleet management software allows for seamless communication regarding vehicle maintenance and repairs. Many platforms offer support for all employee levels, allowing every team member to view the data they need. Sharing access to the same data keeps everyone connected and improves collaboration.
The Power of Teamwork
Fleet managers who implement collaboration strengthen their organizations. In the future, as fleets adopt more technology to improve their operations, collaboration will continue to be highly important for fleets. Team collaboration tools, such as fleet management software, can be used by fleet managers to improve communication and cooperation across different departments. Azuga’s Field Service Management Software is one of the best cross-functional software solutions on the market. Learn how to improve your business operations, increase collaboration and boost morale today.