The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that businesses function forever. It has changed how people shop and employers operate and has introduced new challenges to fleets while exacerbating existing ones. This has affected fleets across all industries all over the world. Fleets need to develop a new fleet management strategy to overcome these challenges, or they will be struggling for many years to come. What strategies should fleets be trying in these unprecedented times? This article will outline the challenges that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss solutions that fleets can explore to combat them.
What Are The Issues Fleets Are Facing?
The economy was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and industries across the board were affected. Without people shopping in person, many stores and restaurants that fleets worked with had to shut their doors, leaving these fleets with less money coming in. FleetNews found that the average fleet manager lost 20 working days (four working weeks) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even worse, they expect that 40% of fleets expect their number of cars to decrease over the next 12 months, and this was measured in March 2021, a year after the pandemic started. It will take a long time for fleets to recover from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19, and they will have to look for ways to save money or change directions to make up for these losses.
Shopping is facing a significant shift to online. Of course, during the pandemic, online shopping was the only option. Still, customers are finding they prefer the convenience and comfort of shopping directly from their homes, even for necessities like groceries. Shoppers often expect to be able to track their goods on their way to their homes. Many customers won’t order items that they can’t track online, instead choosing other options that offer this feature. For example, Amazon will often tell customers how many stops away their packages are, giving them an estimate down to the minute of when their package will arrive. This degree of tracking can be more challenging for smaller businesses to match, making competition with these big companies nearly impossible.
What Solutions are Available?
Seek Out Cost Control Measures
There are many ways that fleets can save money with all of the technology that is available today. For example, route optimization software can help fleets save significantly on fuel costs. It can also keep more vehicles out on the road, so more jobs get done faster. Safety features that you may already have, like telematics and dashcams, can result in insurance discounts—another way to cut costs. Fleet management software, in general, streamlines operations and makes your fleet run much more smoothly, eliminating mistakes that cost your fleet money.
Take Advantage of Technology
Technology like fleet tracking can help you manage customer expectations. You can view your vehicles' locations in real-time and set up your system to alert customers when their driver gets close. Fleet tracking also prevents theft of vehicles and increases the likelihood of recovery if vehicles do get stolen. Fleet tracking is an immensely useful tool that you can use to combat the challenges of COVID-19 if you aren’t already.
Improve Employee Experience
Employees have had a rough time this year, just like businesses, and it’s vital to make sure they feel satisfied and appreciated in their jobs. Creating a comfortable environment for drivers at the workplace, implementing programs like driver rewards, and improving driver safety are good first steps to ensure drivers feel appreciated and welcome when they come to work. Nobody can afford to lose drivers with the ongoing driver shortage, so it’s an excellent time to boost your employees.
Keep Vehicles Maintained
The worst thing that can happen when your business is finally up and running at full capacity after COVID-19 again is a vehicle breakdown that slows everything down. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of vehicle maintenance with maintenance alerts and scheduled maintenance that keeps your vehicle in top shape. Vehicles left unmaintained often have significant problems that are costly to repair and keep them off the road for extended periods. If you regularly fix minor issues, you won’t run into that problem.
The COVID-19 pandemic is like nothing businesses have ever faced before, but it is something that businesses can survive. If you take these steps to stay in shape, your fleet should come out on the other side of this intact in a couple of years. Azuga offers technology solutions that will help you accomplish the goals in this article and more.