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A few simple tips to reduce fleet expenses

Fleet operators are faced with hidden, expensive and sometimes needless costs on a daily basis. Fleetmatics has compiled nine tips to help deal with this.

1. Stop paying for hours not worked

You only bill your customers for hours that are true – and it should be the same with your staff – only paying for hours worked that are true.

If you use manual timesheets, record the hours of your staff. If your timesheets aren’t accurate, even by small increments, you’re simply giving away money that should be going into your own pocket.

Essentially, your profit is tied to an honour system with your staff and any slight deviations in time never really work in your favour.

Staff rounding up their hours on a regular basis can mean significant extra costs for you. Even an extra 15 minutes, here and there, across an entire fleet, can take its toll on your bottom line.

  1. Stop paying for fuel wastage

Do your drivers use your company vehicle and your company fuel to run personal errands after hours?

Consider possibly how much company fuel your staff waste on personal trips. This adds wear and tear to your vehicle.

As a fleet owner, fuel can be an enormous and ever fluctuating cost, and one that’s hard to control or predict. Without GPS tracking in each of your vehicles, there’s simply no way for you to know if a driver is using your company vehicle after hours while you’re paying for the fuel.

  1. Don’t be fooled by fuel card abuse

Fuel cards can be a very convenient and easy way to manage your fleet’s fuel purchases. However, with no ability to accurately verify fuel transactions against company vehicles, there is potential for abuse.

While you may trust your individual drivers, in reality, you have very little knowledge about which vehicle the fuel was purchased for, and you don’t know if the fuel purchased was actually pumped into a personal vehicle.

Regrettably, fuel theft and fuel card abuse does happen often. Fuel card integration with a fleet management system can help eliminate fuel card abuse. You can identify if the fuel pumped into the vehicle exceeded the tank of the assigned vehicle, or even if the company vehicle wasn’t at the pump at the time the fuel card was used.

  1. Change bad habits

Do you know how well (or how poorly) your individual drivers perform on the roads? Poor driving habits, such as excessive idling, speeding, and quick acceleration, all waste significant amounts of fuel. Sitting in a vehicle with the engine and the air conditioning running during lunch breaks can waste fuel. The extra fuel required by wasted engine time, poor driving, and the excess wear and tear on your vehicles, quickly adds up.

  1. Service your vehicles regularly

Depreciating vehicle values and everyday wear and tear can weigh heavily on your bottom line. While vehicles are expensive to maintain, unexpected mechanical issues and premature replacement costs can be much greater long term.

The more you look after your fleet, the less it will cost you in the long run. This means you need regular maintenance and servicing. However, staying up to date with your fleet’s maintenance and service requirements can be a time consuming and potentially costly exercise.

If you don’t have fleet management software in place, you could be incurring considerable and unnecessary costs over time.

  1.  Take note of outdated and overpriced manual processes

When it comes to day-to-day operations, tiring manual processes can be time consuming, and unnecessarily. Just imagine how much extra time you or a member of your team would have if you didn’t need to check your staff’s handwritten timesheets and then enter their hours into a payroll system.

Manual systems also have no real checks and balances. Imagine if you were able to determine via a simple alert in a cloud-based system if a company vehicle was being used after hours, or which drivers were wasting the most fuel.

By switching to a more automated system you’ll have far more time to focus on what’s important: managing and growing your business.

  1. A to B

When it comes to getting from A to B, are your drivers following the quickest and most efficient route?

To ensure your fleet is operating as efficiently as possible, a reliable GPS fleet tracking system can add enormous value. It can help you ensure that the fastest route that requires the least amount of fuel can be quickly and easily identified.

With accurate information at your fingertips, you can also provide your customers with more accurate information regarding arrival times for particular jobs.

  1. Don’t short change yourself

Staff may carelessly complete job sheets, not accounting for the accurate start and finish times. So, when it comes to billing your customers, you are simply relying on the times your staff has submitted.

These times may be rounded down or they may even be missing hours that you haven’t billed your customer for. With GPS tracking, you can verify start and finish times. This ensures that you charge customers for additional hours your staff have worked on site. Also, if a customer disputes a bill, you have accurate data to support your case.

  1. Timing is everything

As a business owner, time is precious. Yet, how much time do you and your team currently waste running the same reports, building the same graphs or creating the same tables?

As a business owner, it’s important to look for ways to streamline and simplify these everyday activities, as well as providing you with much greater levels of insight into your fleet.

You should look into software that can help you to get through administrative tasks much faster, and with far less hassle which you can have at your fingertips.

The more time you spend focused on the administrative aspects of your fleet management, the less time and money you have to focus on the bigger picture.

 

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