Fleet Management System (FMS) is critical for a cost effective and efficient fleet management operation. Whether it is a commercial off the shelf or an in-house system, a FMS can help you reduce paperwork and costs. It is the most efficient way to maintain fleet records so information can be routinely analyzed and delivered to meet any reporting requirements you may have in a timely manner. A FMS can manage your inventory, maintenance and fuel programs including preventive maintenance, replacement cycles, safety and accident program, driver records, and disposal program. You can maintain data on a vehicle from the moment it is acquired until it is time for disposing of it. This historical data can be used to monitor the lifecycle of a vehicle and establish guidelines for its maintenance and utilization. There are many fleet software applications and functions available. When evaluating your needs, make sure that the FMS you select is compatible with other systems within your organization. Funding should be set aside each year for system upgrades as new reporting requirements and missions that may evolve over the years.
These are just some examples of fleet management bad habits to look for when reviewing your fleet operations. An efficient fleet management program can be achieved by reviewing your entire fleet operations. You should analyze your fleet operations to ensure you have the required types and numbers of vehicles needed to meet your organiation's mission. You should also have written policies and mechanisms in place to meet any mission changes your organization may have in a timely manner. Some organizations may be downsizing, but others, such as security organizations, may be increasing their fleet sizes. You should evaluate your fleet periodically to ensure that proper use and full utilization are maintained. Many “targets of opportunity” exist for reducing fleet costs, for example:
The fleet manager should have established clear objectives/goals for your operation? The organization should have written policies and procedures for fleet management including manuals, driver guides, and handbooks. Internal controls should be in place for managing the fleet. Fleets may be centralized or decentralized, depending on the nature of the operations. It's important to conduct driver satisfaction surveys and gather the results to fine-tune the fleet management system.
You should determine what is the goal of your safety program. The goal could be to reduce the number of crashes each year and minimize the expenses associated with crashes. The expenses associated with motor vehicle crashes not only include the vehicle repairs, but also the vehicle downtime and personnel time spent on managing the repairs and reporting requirements.
Fleet Safety Program
Fleet Safety is becoming an increasingly important factor in fleet management programs. Your fleet safety program should include a:
Fleet Management has evolved over the years as a profession. Fleet Managers have complex activities and responsibilities within fleet management that require more knowledge and comprehension then ever before. It is not just a “motorpool” anymore. A comprehensive study of your fleet operations will help you gain a better understanding of your operations and give you a forum for highlighting your best fleet practices and recognizing opportunities for improvement. System audits are designed designed to help recognize those areas where you can reduce your fleet costs and if necessary downsize your fleet. Your fleet program will be successful in “rightsizing” your fleet if you have written polices and procedures for effective and efficient fleet management, are able to manage your fleet with a fleet management system, and are able to keep your drivers and field personnel abreast of the latest polices and procedures in your fleet program.
Source: Adapted from the Federal Fleet Management Desk Reference
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