You don’t need us to tell you that large enterprise companies with hundreds of vehicles and that cover vast areas can be extremely challenging to manage. While every fleet manager and company is unique, the macroeconomic and political environment and changing regulations mean there are some universal challenges fleet managers can expect to face in 2019.
But we’re not here to make you dread the year ahead. We also have some potential solutions to the problems you’re likely to face to make the next 12 months a success for you and your business.
1. Driver safety
Problem: One concern that will always appear at the top of fleet managers’ lists is ensuring the safety of their drivers. Sadly, accidents are an inevitability of life on the road. Even the safest drivers can be involved in accidents through no fault of their own, whether it’s due to freak weather conditions which are becoming all the more common or the error or another road user. With the risks ever present, it’s essential you do everything you can to make sure your drivers adhere to all the relevant regulations. For example, one survey of fleet managers found that a quarter of all commercial UK drivers are breaching rest and fatigue guidelines.
Solution: Using technology to track and enforce the behaviour of your drivers is central to improving their safety. If you currently leave breaks to the drivers’ discretion then we recommend investing in tracking systems now. For many fleet managers, in-cab cameras that monitor drivers are a step too far, but they have been proven to reduce accidents by up to 80 percent in some fleets and bring down insurance premiums too.
2. Fuel price volatility
Problem: With prices at the pumps already sky high and Brexit uncertainty set to drive them to record levels, fleet managers will face a period of unrivalled volatility. Fuel accounts for up to 35 percent of the costs of organisations with large fleets, so there’s little room to absorb higher costs without making cutbacks.
Solution: Anticipating the fluctuations in fuel price using the latest forecasts and predictions can help to reduce the price you pay over the short-term. However, for sustained price hikes, the only option is to reduce overall consumption. A fuel management system can help you monitor how fuel is used at each step of the process and where inefficient driving, idling and accidental spillages are having an effect. Being able to see the impact of decisions in real-time can reduce fuel consumption and wastage to save you money.
3. Adhering to fleet cleaning solutions
Problem: Any business that washes vehicles as part of a business activity is responsible for the effluent and run-off that can damage the environment and pollute rivers, streams and groundwater. Dirt, brake dust and oil are all pollutants, while the cleaning agents themselves can poison river life. For that reason, whether you’re cleaning one vehicle or responsible for a large fleet, you must arrange for the collection and disposal of the effluent to prevent pollution. There is also the problem of ensuring that the fleet is cleaned in a timely and efficient manner, ideally during downtime so as not to decrease the amount of time the fleet can be on the road, and that fleet cleaning can be managed digitally to ensure a uniformly-clean fleet.
Solution: There’s a wide range of requirements you must meet to stay on the right side of the law. However, there is a much simpler alternative. Dropless provides waterless fleet cleaning services that use non-hazardous and eco-friendly nano solutions. The result is a waterless wash that produces zero runoff and saves up to 300 litres of water per vehicle. In regard to the problem of ensuring efficient fleet cleaning, Dropless’s digital cleaning solution also allows you to book cleans at whatever time works for the fleet manager. This digital addition to fleet cleaning and monitoring can reduce operations cost and eliminate any inefficiencies in maintaining a clean fleet.
Transport yourself confidently into 2019
With so many challenges out there, never underestimate the importance of doing the small things well. For example, switching to waterless fleet cleaning services is one simple step you can take to make your business more sustainable and efficient over the coming year.