• August 26, 2020

  • Simon Naylor

  • Fleet News

Why do so many businesses spend thousands each year on vehicles, but place so little value on looking after them? Companies that highly value their investment, see a corresponding amount of care and attention from users and stakeholders. Those with no programme or plan, risk costs running away from them.

There is a direct correlation between the value placed on fleet management and costs associated with running vehicles. If you simply hand out keys, or fail to hold drivers accountable for their vehicles, bills will likely be larger than they need to be. Fleet costs can quickly escalate when there is inadequate care and attention paid to supply and management. The investments made into your vehicle fleet are significant so surely the resource should be properly looked after?

Vehicle related expenditure is often second only to payroll, on the list of a company’s costs, and includes rental costs, lease invoices, fuel bills, damage repairs, maintenance, tyres, insurance and many more. Running costs of your fleet, no matter its size will be significant for the business. So the business should ask itself: Are adequate measures in place to manage them? Do we value the fleet? Who looks after it? If the answer is that fleet management in your business is a “bolt-on” to another role, or it’s handled by untrained staff, then costs will be an issue. Many companies hand fleet around like a hot potato. No one wants it so someone handles it for a couple of years, then the merry-go-round turns again.

Given the cost of keeping fleet moving, why don’t look after it better? Savings can be significant when you have a professional programme in place. Sensible decisions on what vehicles are procured, efficient management of supply chains, reduced downtimes and fewer vehicles off road, all lead to cost reduction. As Emily Tozer of Wessex Fleet explains: “Sometimes we get called too late! Costs are already out of control and reeling them back in is hard. However, significant savings are achievable where businesses are open to a cultural change. It’s easy to put a plan in place, but far harder to stick to it. There needs to be a commitment. Often an independent Fleet Management company can be more effective in solving the problem.”

The care and attention shown to your fleet should match the size of the investment your business has made in it. A programme needs to be in place. Fleet Management is not expensive. Professionals can make it look easy. Savings will follow if it is managed and valued in the same way as other areas of your business.