Fuel, maintenance, servicing and vehicle purchases are all the big ticket items in fleet management. But what about the smaller, more niche areas? What about the additional costs and time that is taken up by e-Tag management or driver training? Here’s how to forecast for these costs.
So often in fleet management we see situations where the big ticket items are allocated budgets yet the more marginal costs are forgotten. This can cause serious problems as some, like e-tags can bring surprise bills if not forecasted for correctly.
Be it driver training or training on a new fleet management software system it’s inevitable that training is part of fleet management. New ideas, procedures and systems come into the industry all the time and ignoring training can be an opportunity missed. Fleet managers need to be honest about the level of training which will be required in any given year. New recruits must also be considered here also.
Communicating and rewarding
Keeping drivers up to date on current priorities is important and extra funds and material may be needed to achieve this. This will involve extra time, additional printing costs and perhaps even a small fund to reward drivers who exceed targets. As frustrating as seeing this money leave your budget may be it still needs to be done. Ignoring communication and rewards can cost far more than a small sum spent in the area.
These, like other areas of regular expenditure, need to be tracked continuously carefully. Unwatched these costs can provide nasty surprises. The best advice here is to provide well considered usage rules on the use of company e-Tags and monitor e-Tag reports to understand if the rules are being adhered to. It can also be helpful to review driver e-Tag history and track the total spend against previous years.
The up to date and accurate registration of vehicles is an area which can turn into a paperwork headache if not managed properly. It can also be a huge risk for a company if it has unregistered vehicles. For this reason a lot of firms will leave this area to fleet leasing and management companies. The stress involved with staying up to date can be an inefficient use of company time and can divert attention away from more pressing matters.
Focusing all your time on one or two activities in a varied job is never a particularly good idea. This is no different for fleet managers. Focusing all available time on fuel or vehicle purchasing can take attention away from other key areas. This can cause problems as a large number of the areas overlap and ignoring them can cause problems for the big ticket items. In the end fleet managers need to stay aware of their goals. In this sense opportunities for achievement should be sought everywhere, not just under the fuel cap.