If you’re responsible for running a vehicle fleet then it’s a fair bet that the rising cost of fuel and the long, long wait for new vehicles right now has you focussed on your fleet policy.
If that’s the case, then here are a couple of questions for you: Is your fleet policy a formal written document with procedures and regulations, or an “all in my head” type of affair; and secondly, is it a living document that changes as circumstances change or is it just set and forget?
In a rapidly changing business world, it makes sense to create a document that codifies the size and use of your fleet. Who in your business will use it, and how?
The best-managed fleets have a written fleet policy and stick to it but they also change, and adapt regularly, in order to stay in tune with the business environment. While there are plenty of factors that you can control in your business, some of them are completely uncontrollable, like the Covid-19 pandemic, the rising cost of fuel and the difficulty of obtaining new vehicles for example.
Though there are other changes that also require a policy response. Technology is one of them.
Years ago, when mobile phones first became available, using them behind the wheel became an important safety issue.
A responsive fleet policy would have prohibited their use while driving, and mandated Bluetooth technology instead, when that became available.
Similarly, a policy focused on driver safety might ensure that safety features such as lane departure warning systems are always switched on in fleet vehicles (even if they can be frustrating).
Your fleet policy should be considered a vital part of your business’s cost control strategies, especially in a time of rising costs all round.
The best way to manage fleet costs is to cut them out before they occur, rather than playing catch-up when things threaten to go “pear-shaped” and out of control.
Policies about who gets to drive which company vehicles, and when, as well as salary packaging agreements offering novated leases for your employees, are just a couple of examples of controlling costs before they get out of hand.
While developing your fleet policy is important, it’s also vital that you communicate that policy to your drivers and managers.
They need to know the rules about the vehicles they drive, how they’re expected to drive them, and what happens when they don’t comply with these rules.
With that in mind it makes sense to tell new employees about these policies and procedures when they join the business; during their orientation.
When it comes to your staff and fleet policy it’s important to ensure their involvement too, because evaluating and developing fleet policy is best thought of as a collaborative effort.
That means seeking out the views of all your internal stakeholders, including human resources, risk management, procurement, OHS and others, on all the issues that need addressing.
The employees who drive your vehicles will always be at the “pointy end” of your fleet policy, so it may be worthwhile to establish a driver focus group, with a rotating membership, to inform future fleet policy, and let you know what’s working, what isn’t, and what could be done better. That will also help to secure their involvement and support of your fleet policy and ensure that no important details are left out.
As always Fleetcare remains your best business partner when it comes to managing your fleet, and we’re always available with the perfect fleet solution for your business, and always just a phone call away on 134 333 whenever you need help or advice.