It's critical to choose the right fleet management company. These companies are in charge of keeping your fleet safe on the road and improving work efficiency. Having an unreliable or untrustworthy company can cause higher accident rates, turnover rates, skyrocketing fuel costs, inefficient maintenance processes.
What is a Fleet Management Company
A fleet management company oversees fleet maintenance and performance to increase productivity, ensure fleet safety, and reduce fuel costs. The process of fleet management is an administrative approach that enables companies to coordinate with fleet vehicles to improve efficiency, ensure compliance with government regulations, and reduce vehicle costs. Fleet management can also help by monitoring driver behavior and recording mechanical diagnostics. A company's fleet management software gives fleet managers the ability to track their vehicles from a central location. The software can also ensure proper vehicle use, safety, work breaks, and driver behavior. About 55% of fleets reported a reduction in fuel costs, and 42% noticed fewer accidents due to telematics.
How to Choose a Fleet Management Company
Long term goals: Always consider what the long term goals of the fleet management company is. Since you're looking for a long-term partnership, it's best to consider if they will be the right fit. Find out if their owner plans to retire or sell the business anytime soon. Also, do they plan on changing their business model or adding any significant features to their services? Try to get an honest assessment of their goals and where they are moving in their business to see if they are compatible with your fleet.
Service-match: Note down all of the services your fleet will need and the types of vehicles in your existing inventory. Make sure to ask if their technicians have experience with the services and vehicles that you're looking for.
Insurance coverage: Figure out the specifics of what their insurance will and will not cover. Ideally, the fleet management company should at least cover any vandalized or stolen vehicles. Additionally, see if they can cover any damages to assets from a fire or natural disaster. By knowing this, you can prepare for emergencies when they arise.
Customer service: A successful fleet management partnership hinges on the communication between the two parties. When outsourcing your fleet, you want to ensure you have multiple ways of contacting them. It's best to know if they can provide you with an account manager or a primary point of contact to handle your fleet. Additionally, you want to make sure they can provide adequate training to your team. They should guide you on how to use their GPS platform to track your fleet. The fleet management company should be able to provide real-time updates with the software and stay ahead of its competitors by offering cutting-edge technology. Apps like Fleetio and Verizon connect help fleet managers, drivers, and technicals to manage vehicles from acquisition to disposal from any device. Also, they display your costs and profitability of your fleet.
Testimonials or references: A reputable company should have testimonials and references they can provide. Ask if they can provide some testimonials or contact any of their previous clients to check their quality of service, and their experience working with them. Also, consider checking third party review sites to get an accurate estimation of their work. Check their experience level to see how long they have been in business for. Preferably, the company has at least 5 to 10 years of experience.
Labor and parts policy: Ask about their labor and parts policy to see if you have any protection for faulty parts. If the installation did not work, will they provide a full warranty on their parts and services? Similar to the insurance, find out exactly what their policy entails and what does it exclude.
Turnaround time for maintenance services: Vehicles in your fleet that are down for maintenance can hamper your productivity and workflow. Make sure that you can contact them immediately and find out their exact turnaround time for fixing these issues. You can then plan for how long any maintenance vehicles will be out of order.
Backup automotive parts: Find out if their company has any spare parts in their storage facility. If they do, they will likely complete repairs much faster than order or have parts shipped to their facility.
Financing options: Most companies have a set budget for their fleet. Therefore, you need to ensure that the costs of their services fall within your budget. It's best to see if they offer any payment plans or leasing options for their services. Get quotations from a variety of fleet companies to ensure that you choose a company that is reliable and falls within your designated price range.
Benefits of a Fleet Management Company
Additional jobs: Once you know exactly where your fleets are located, and how much time is left on each job, you can assign more jobs, and projects for existing and new drivers. This means more profits for your company.
Better fuel efficiency: Fleet management solutions analyze each driver's behavior, such as idle times, driving speeds, and refueling costs. From there, companies can optimize their refueling choices, enforce good driving behavior to help reduce costs.
Improve safety: With a fleet management company, they can analyze behaviors, patterns, and habits of a driver. With the data, you can make informed decisions by bringing attention to inefficient and dangerous behaviors. Also, you may enact policies to promote safe defensive driving habits.
Upgrade in insurance benefits: Insurance companies will offer your company additional financial incentives like discounts, and better insurance plans for your fleet. Usually, if they see that you work with a fleet management company or use a telematics software like Fleetio, they will be more generous on insurance benefits for your vehicles. Typically insurance companies will look at your utilization of these fleet management systems, active monitoring initiatives, and implemented safety policies.
The most important aspect to consider when partnering with an individual fleet management company is whether they can provide a quality return on investment. It won't matter how good your relationship is with a business unless they can continue to bring in profits to your bottom line. Outsourcing your fleet management shouldn't be taken lightly. It's a crucial aspect of your business and requires you to trust the business you're working with. If you're looking for an affordable, customizable, and easy to use GPS software, check out Azuga fleet telematics system.