A Brief Introduction to the World of Fleet Management

This important role of a Fleet Manager might seem an easy one to understand but there is more to it than first meets the eye. To be in charge of a fleet of vehicles several specific skills are required, and anyone taking on the role will need to have the confidence to make crucial decisions that affect the whole company and every part of the supply chain.

For anyone considering this career path, in a nutshell, here is what the role entails.

The Importance of the Fleet Manager

As with any industry, the basic principle of this role is effective management, but there are particular assets required in a person in charge of a transport related task force – including courier work. This is because of the specific challenges he or she will face when working to generate company growth.

Maintenance Management

Taking care and keeping on top of the maintenance of a number of vehicles is an essential part of the job. If a van or other vehicle is out of action, the company can lose potential earnings. Some companies manage their maintenance in-house while others choose to outsource it, but whatever you decide to do, you need to be aware of exactly what is happening with every asset involved in the business. Time is of the essence when something is out of action, so you need to make sure things are fixed quickly and efficiently. You also have to stay aware of maintenance costs that amount to a major part of your total expenses.

Fleet maintenance software can help with monitoring the upkeep of assets and keeping up to date with asset servicing requirements.

Organising a preventative maintenance schedule is another key part to the role and it will help you stay ahead of the game when maintenance is due. A service schedule helps you limit the potential for assets to be out of action and also helps you stay on top of related spending.

Managing Costs

This is an integral part of any management role and the relevant skills need to be acquired quickly if you are going to be successful in your career. One of the biggest costs to fleet companies is fuel, and with drivers constantly on the road doing courier work, it is paramount to keep a track of on-going costs.

There are different telematics devices on the market that can help you determine the fuel cost per mile, calculate your entire fleet fuel cost, and also help anticipate future costs. These devices also provide you with other diagnostic information and, if you integrate the data with a fleet management software system, your calculations can be done for you. Fleet fuel cards can also be incorporated into the system, allowing you to access and track expenses information automatically.

Taking care of a fleet of vehicles can be a hugely satisfying job but if you are considering a career in the courier work industry you need to be aware of some of the key issues you are going to face, such as the ones explained above. Other tasks you will regularly need to carry out include implementing vehicle depreciation strategies and producing fleet reports. Certain skills are required to manage these issues and if you feel you could rise to the challenge, then managing a team drivers could certainly be the career path for you.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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Author: Desiree Michels