If you’re ready to start on a great new career path with tons of opportunities to grow and thrive, managing a delivery fleet is a great choice. You’ll be able to oversee a crew of professionals while helping a business increase savings and improve its reputation for great customer service, all while learning about ways to create a great, streamlined fleet. Getting into a fleet management is a great way to build excellent organizational skills and business savvy. It’s also an extremely stressful and fast-paced job requiring a lot of skilled coordination and excellent communication skills. If you feel that business fleet management is right for you, here are a few basic principles to consider before starting your new career.
Get on Top of Organization
The first thing you’ll need to bring to your new job is a high capacity for organization. As a fleet manager, you won’t just be responsible for the comings and goings of your drivers. In addition to tracking each job and making sure things run smoothly en route, you’ll be in charge of monitoring driver safety, keeping on top of vehicle maintenance and fuel costs, dealing with customer service, compiling data at the end of each trip and making notes for improvement, implementing safety training, keeping drivers and cars IFTA complaint, and making sure your company is staying within budget at the end of each quarter. If that sounds like a lot of responsibility, it is. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming as long as you have the right organizational skills and the right tools. Using a tracking app that can make a lot of these things second nature is a perfect way to save stress and free yourself up to focus on the parts of the job that require more one-on-one communication and attention to detail, like driver safety training and customer service.
Learn About Compliance and Driver Safety
If you’re coming from a different managerial background, there are a few things that are specific to the job that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with. The first of these are compliance laws, which are set up by the government to ensure that your drivers and vehicles are operating safely on the road. Not paying attention to IFTA compliance protocol could mean saddling your company with a hefty fine and a warning. Paying attention to driver safety is just as important. If your drivers aren’t being safe on the road, not only are they endangering their own lives, they’re putting your company’s reputation at stake. Too many infractions can lead to a suspended trucker authority which will be devastating. Making sure you have the right technology in place to monitor driver behavior and train new employees will help you create a safer, more successful fleet.
Keep Fuel Costs Low
A huge part of your job is making sure your company stays within budget each quarter. The best way to do this is to make sure you’re not overspending where you don’t have to. Even though gas prices constantly fluctuate and it might not seem like you can have too much control over fuel spending from trip to trip, there are plenty of ways to make sure you’re not overspending in the long term. Whether you choose a WatchCard fleet card to cut gas costs or start switching out older vehicles for green cars, you’ll need to keep finding ways to save your company gas over time. Using a fuel card will help you pay a base price for the entire year no matter what happens with gas prices. It will also limit the control your drivers have to overspend on gas from trip to trip. Fleets that invest in fleet fueling cards tend to save upwards of 4,000 a year on gas per vehicle, allowing fleet managers to invest that cash in other parts of the business.
Be a Great Communicator
Setting up an open line of communication with your drivers is the best way to make sure you stay ahead of problems on the road. Not only should you be monitoring each driver per ride, you should be setting up regular check-in sessions to make sure your drivers are staying safe, improving, and feeling contented in their jobs. If you make your office a place where workers can come in and honestly voice a problem or complaint, you’ll never be in the dark about issues between drivers or personal problems that could be getting in the way of your fleet’s success.
Keep Beating Your Best Score
As a great fleet manager, your goal isn’t just to stay consistent from year to year. Ideally, you should be trying to best yourself when it comes to improving safety scores, cutting down on costs, and keeping your workers happy. If you have the right technology, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep trying to master the tricks of the trade and doing a better job each passing year.