Did you get to the end of another month and sigh when you reviewed your fleet operating costs? It’s a constant area of focus (and stress)—how to maintain costs while keeping service levels up where they need to be.
We work with fleet managers on a regular basis, most of whom are continually looking for ways to control costs. Yet with all that focus, it’s surprising that many are not able to recognize opportunity right in front of them. Aside from cutting vehicles or staff directly, many of the areas for savings are hidden behind other categories.
We offer the following list as real-world examples where fleet managers are successfully reducing monthly costs. How many of these items could apply to your fleet?
- Stop Drivers from Traveling to Unauthorized Locations
We’ve documented that as many as 84% of fleet drivers are using their fleet vehicles to drive to unauthorized locations, such as their homes, or fast-food restaurants or shopping areas. While this doesn’t look like a major concern at first, consider adding up all those extra miles and you’ll see the expenses add up just as quickly. Every mile adds to your monthly fuel costs.
- Tell Drivers Not to Sit Idling Between Stops
A quick stop in mid-route is not uncommon. It’s often more efficient to pause in a parking lot or designated location rather than return to home base. Yet this can also introduce higher fuel costs when drivers sit idling in their vehicles while waiting for the next leg of their trip—especially on those hot summer days with the air conditioning running. Costs from this (and other) wasted fuel can be as much as an extra $60 per vehicle, per month!
- Use Optimal Routes to Minimize Travel Distance
The shortest distance between two points is… (you know the rest). Shortest is the most efficient, and when it comes to miles traveled, it’s also the least expensive. Giving thought to optimizing routes can contribute to monthly vehicle costs from fuel and maintenance costs.
- Reduce Wear and Tear on Vehicles
Maintenance costs add up quickly when vehicles are not treated with care. Drivers making hard stops, sudden starts, and otherwise aggressive driving maneuvers en route have a detrimental impact on the health of your vehicles. This means more time in the repair shop and higher maintenance and repair costs to keep the vehicles running smoothly. A little education and oversight here will go a long way.
- Cut Accidents
If you ask most fleet managers, you’ll hear them say that safety is a key ingredient for their drivers and consumers. Safety is ultimately in the hands of your drivers which is why education and coaching are a must. When drivers stay safe, your consumers stay safe—and you reduce the number of accidents. And beyond the obvious human safety factor, vehicle repair costs from accidents also are reduced. Improving safety drives these reduced costs.
- Cut Fines and Speeding Infractions
Another benefit from safety is not having to pay speeding tickets and traffic violations. Do you know which of your drivers most offend in this area? Focusing on fixing this will have short term benefits, and help contribute to a safer environment for both driver and consumers—a winning prospect.
- Reduce Your Insurance Premiums
When you address the other six items in our list, you’ll also be improving your track record for safety and reliability. How does this help? Talk to your insurance broker about how you are managing and monitoring your fleet and your drivers. Share your reports showing reduced accidents, speeding infractions, miles traveled and vehicle repairs. Use this as leverage to drive the discussion for reduced insurance premiums.
Opportunity for cost savings from your fleet is found in many areas within arm’s reach. Don’t let another budget report cause you to shake your head at your significant (and often rising) fleet operating costs. Take action today on at least a few of these items and you should see the same good results as we’re hearing from other fleet managers like you.
Don’t know how to get started? Orion specializes in helping fleet managers achieve cost savings in these areas. We’ll work side-by-side with you to guide you through a 3-month program that begins addressing these common areas in your fleet.
Click here to learn about our unique approach.