A few years ago, most fleet management challenges surrounded rising maintenance and vehicle acquisition costs. While these issues are still relevant today, recent changes in the industry mean that there are even more problems to address. The following is a round-up of 5 common fleet management headaches faced by drivers and managers in 2017.
Decreasing preventable accident rates and related repair and liability costs presents another challenge for fleet managers in 2017. Safety is now a major focus for fleet managers, with many dedicating a significant amount of time to creating and implementing driver safety programs. While they can be time-consuming, driver safety initiatives play a huge part in reducing accident rates and minimizing liability exposure.
Driver Hiring and Retention
Recent adjustments to DOT compliance regulations have resulted in a shortage of fleet drivers in the workforce. Today, companies have to hire more drivers to do the same amount of work. To complicate matters even further, in some places more drivers are retiring than are entering the industry. This has resulted in a scramble for the few drivers available. This situation calls for strategies that will improve driver retention and reduce training costs.
Fluctuating Fuel Prices
The seemingly-endless fuel price swings are difficult to forecast, making the creation of a standardized fuel cost management strategy incredibly difficult. In response to this, some fleet managers have been switching to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles to cut down on their overall fuel expenses. While this often comes with some high vehicle acquisition and maintenance costs, the reduction in fuel expenses is often worth the upgrade.
Vehicle depreciation affects both businesses and consumers, with many struggling to maintain the value of vehicles that won’t offer any significant return on investment. One of the best ways to maintain vehicle resale value is by creating a comprehensive, fleet-wide vehicle maintenance program. Making sure regular preventative and reparative maintenance is a priority for everyone on staff goes a long way toward keeping a fleet’s bottom line healthy.
Reducing fleet costs is a constant and complicated struggle for fleet managers everywhere. No matter how big or small the fleet, cutting costs isn’t easy—operational expenses like driver reimbursements, procurement and lifecycle costs, and vehicle maintenance fees can all fluctuate wildly at any given time. If they’re serious about reducing costs, fleet managers can create a budget detailing the costs they can control and see where reductions can be made.
The modern world presents an endless list of fleet management challenges that businesses are tasked with overcoming. However, having a thorough understanding of the budget and priorities of their organization can help fleet managers tackle these issues.