Outsource Your Fleet Management
Clay Johnson, CTO - May 13, 2019
Outsourced fleet management solutions are fast becoming the norm across industries of all size. But to truly understand why, it's important to explore all the facets of the job itself. Just googling the title "Fleet Manager" will bring up a wealth of pages featuring lengthy job descriptions focused on vehicle acquisition, fuel management, vehicle maintenance, driver and vehicle health and safety, and compliance with company and government regulations. It is truly a full-time job! Especially considering the consequences a poorly managed fleet can visit upon your business.
With a wealth of industry knowledge in fleet management, business leasing, and personal leasing, Carlease is the easiest way to lease and manage your vehicles - and we love sharing our years of experience. In this article, we'll discuss what goes into a successful fleet management solution, the potential downsides of a poorly managed fleet, and why outsourcing your fleet's management may be the best decision you make for your business.
What does a successful fleet management solution look like?
As a quick overview, fleet management refers to the combination of applications, tools, and technology used to help businesses maintain good working order of their commercial vehicles - ranging from heavy-duty trucks and buses to fleets of luxury executive vehicles. A successful fleet management solution uses these tools to maximize efficiency and profitability, all while mitigating the associated risks of operating a fleet.
But managing a pool of commercial-use vehicles can be challenging even at the best of times. And for small businesses with limited resources, it's often a role that gets overlooked to the detriment of all. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way! Where businesses might not have the resources to hire a full-time fleet manager, Carlease is here and ready to help. Let's break it down even further into five key management areas and discuss the risks associated with each:
While vehicle acquisition is a step frequently found at the start of your fleet’s lifecycle, it plays a far greater role than just securing the vehicles your company needs to get the job done. Businesses need to ask the right questions in order to maximize efficiency. What image does your company wish to project? Which vehicles will help your team be most effective? Which vehicles offer the best cash flow for your company? When should your vehicles be replaced to maximize employee performance and end of lease capital? Does your company need the ability to quickly scale your fleet up or down? Knowing the answer to these questions will make this step a whole lot easier.
And it comes as no surprise that one of the biggest risks of a poorly planned vehicle acquisition strategy is loss of time and money. Without prior planning, your company could lease vehicles that depreciate too rapidly, have poor resale value, or don't perform up to your needs or expectations. Depending on the size of the fleet, vehicle acquisition itself can be a full-time job. Working with an experienced fleet management company like Carlease takes the worry out of vehicle acquisition. Our business leasing experts know which vehicles are right for your needs, and can walk you through the pros and cons of each make, model and trim with a focus on resale value and end of lease options.
At the end of 2017, a staggering figure came to light - 89% of companies overpay on car allowance, fuel costs, or reimbursements for their employees. While this figure has since improved as more and more business turn to technology backed fuel solutions, without a well-planned fuel management system in place, your business and your fleet could suffer. Whether through outright fraud and negligence or because of well-intentioned mistakes, these incidents cause businesses to bleed money, and inefficient fuel programs are often at the root of these issues.
While there are many options available to you in 2019, there is one that's gaining in popularity for it's ease of use and ability to monitor - fuel cards.
Fuel cards are essentially corporate credit cards used exclusively for gas, but they offer a far greater level of transparency and security for your drivers and business than typical corporate cards. Drivers enter their unique ID for every transaction so your business is able to monitor expenses on an individual basis, in real time. Most fuel cards also let you set a spending limit, greatly reducing overspend and fuel fraud. Much like traditional corporate cards, fuel cards also offer incentives and rewards points, increasing the savings potential of your business. This is yet another benefit of outsourcing your fleet management to Carlease. We will source and provide you with the fuel card program that's right for your business, and help you set up an online monitoring portal for 100% transparency in your spending.
As anyone who's ever owned or leased a vehicle knows, maintenance costs are inevitable. Especially when you're working your fleet hard to get the job done. Accidents happen, wear and tear on your fleet grows exponentially over time, and most businesses can't afford to have their fleet vehicles out of commission for longer than a day. That's why it's so important to have a responsive maintenance solution available to your fleet operators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
But how do you find a solution that's transparent? Merchants Fleet raises a valid concern, "Labor rates and availability, price of parts, and the impact of new technologies will all show up in your bottom line but are [often] out of your control." With new advancements in vehicle maintenance technology and a number of outsourcing options available to your business, maintenance doesn't need to be a financial sinkhole. Depending on the size of your fleet, hiring a dedicated maintenance specialist or crew is prohibitively expensive and out of the question. Working with Carlease to outsource your maintenance needs isn't. We provide every vehicle operator with a driver kit that includes the number to a responsive and transparent 24 hour/7 day a week maintenance team designed to keep your drivers on the road and your vehicles in top working order.
Driver and Vehicle Health and Safety:
Going hand in hand with vehicle maintenance is driver and vehicle health/safety. The safer your drivers are behind the wheel, and less maintenance your vehicles will need, ultimately leading to lower costs, better insurance rates, improved fuel efficiency, and less wear and tear on your vehicles - resulting in a higher "end of life" resale value. But you can't be in every car with every driver, so how can your business reasonably monitor its fleet from a distance?
Using GPS and a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics, telematics is a method of recording vehicles digitally. This advanced fleet management tool can track and record everything from vehicle speed and fuel use, to tire pressure and GPS location. Are your drivers speeding? Filling up on gas when the vehicle is not in use? Has there been an accident? With Telematics, your company can get a detailed picture of your fleet operators’ driving habits and pinpoint areas for improvement. Be as precise is you'd like with minute by minute updates on your vehicle's location and "health". Many companies now integrate vehicle maintenance and fuel card programs into their telematic offerings as well, making fleet management outsourcing smoother and more efficient than ever. Interested in how telematics can improve your fleet? Reach out to the business leasing experts at Carlease.
There are dozens of regulatory standards stipulated by just as many Health, Safety and Transportation oversight boards. It’s important to know which rules apply to you and your business based on industry, fleet size, and vehicle use. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to hefty fines, sidelining your fleet and even your business. If your company doesn't have a dedicated fleet manager, it can be hard to filter through each and every rule to determine which apply, not to mention expensive and time consuming. Working with an experienced fleet management company like Carlease gives you the peace of mind to focus on your business's goals while we handle the regulations - keeping you vehicles on the road and compliant.
Yet another reason why an outsourced fleet management company makes (dollars and) sense!
A case for outsourcing your fleet management:
Unless you’re an organization with a significant fleet of vehicles, outsourcing your fleet management solution will quickly add up to time and money saved. Not to mention that outsourcing leads to measurable, increased efficiencies by freeing up critical personnel to focus on core business tasks rather than diverting in-house resources. With an expert fleet management company at your back, you can work easy knowing that 100% of their focus is on keeping your fleet compliant, cost-efficient and in top working order.
Still not convinced outsourcing is the best option? Reach out to Carlease's business leasing experts today and find out how easy, fast and painless the fleet leasing process can be.
Our business leasing experts combine extensive research, personal support, and easy vehicle selection help you make an informed decision - all from the comfort of your home or office! When you’ve picked the right vehicles and customized lease plan for your business, our agents will source the best financing options and arrange delivery of your fleet right to your door, saving you hours of time and aggravation at the dealership and saving your business money.