Taylor Smith, Executive Chronicles | Almost every business needs to move products around in a fast and safe manner. Depending on the size of the business, the number of products and where the products are being shipped to – organizing the fleet of vehicles can be a complicated and costly endeavor.
Fleet management deals with all aspects of transporting goods. It has a pivotal role in behind the scenes operations of running a business. A company reputation is very much at stake if the goods aren’t delivered on time and entrusting someone with moving your products is the same as entrusting them with all your money.
Choosing the vehicles
The first major decision of a fleet manager is choosing the vehicles that are best suited for the job. This isn’t as simple as it seems because there are a lot of variables to consider. Some forms of transportation are much less expensive than others and it’s important to save money, especially for small businesses.
The type of products that are transported also affects what vehicle you should use. A fleet manager needs to decide between delivering the shipment as fast as possible and delivering large quantities for a smaller price.
For large businesses, that have a lot of vehicles and scheduled shipments, keeping track of maintenance could help avoid technical difficulties and stress that comes with them. Vehicles tend to break down and this often happens at the worst possible moment, when some large delivery is due.
Fleet management should create a system which keeps track of all the vehicles without letting any of them break down when they’re needed the most. Vehicles are usually ranked by how well maintained they are, so only the best are used in times of emergency.
There’s always a certain level of risk when it comes to long distance shipping, for both the companies and the customers. There needs to be some trust between the two while the cargo is on the way. This is where fleet tracking comes in handy and makes things easier for everyone.
It uses modern GPS technology to let everyone involved know where the vehicles are at any given moment. This becomes especially useful if there’s something wrong with the vehicle. That way, the repair crew could arrive as soon as possible and the shipment can be taken over by another vehicle.
Drivers are usually the weakest link in the goods transport chain. This is partly because the driver needs to be properly trained and sufficiently experienced in order perform at their best and partly because driving is exhausting work and accidents are bound to happen every now and then.
On the other hand, vehicle idling can cost a company a lot of money in the long run. Fleet managers should also serve as HRs and find the best and most reliable drivers, based on their past performance. Software solutions that track everything inside the vehicle and vehicle itself could help with this greatly.
This industry is heavily regulated for a number of reasons. It affects a lot of different companies and if something goes wrong, vehicles could become safety hazards for both the people and the environment.
Acquiring licenses for drivers, vehicles, and the company as a whole is necessary. Some of these are local and based on where the company is located, while others need to comply with national or even global standards depending on shipping routes and shipment locations.
Fleet management has a uniquely important role for companies that need to transport a lot of goods and it deals with all the aspects of the transport.