Grow your business, not your vehicle costs
Wednesday, September 14, 2016/
How is it possible to grow and evolve a business, while managing a number of vehicles? A growing business can be considered as a successful operation. However, as you grow, so do your overheads. Some are inevitable. Some can be minimised, while some produce a return on investment, which can help offset the initial cost.
One such cost is around running vehicles. As a small business owner, you may have already invested a significant amount of money to get mobile workers, sales teams or delivery drivers on the road, and the costs don’t stop there.
Petrol is often cited as one of the highest costs associated with running vehicles. Heavy traffic further exacerbates the problem, with fuel going to waste when vehicles are idle. In fact, TomTom’s Traffic Index measuring worldwide congestion has found drivers spend, on average, an extra 24 minutes stuck in traffic every day in our cities.
That’s 24 minutes of wasted employee time, additional fuel consumption and, 24 minutes you’re never going to get back.
Add registration, insurance, maintenance and vehicle depreciation to the mix, and you would be forgiven for not taking into account the true cost of running a vehicle.
But what if you could turn your fleet into a profit centre, whilst reducing vehicle running costs?
How can you control vehicle running costs?
The simplest way to reduce running costs is to drive fewer kilometres. By ensuring drivers take the quickest route, take advantage of live traffic information and cut unnecessary journeys, businesses can save fuel, increase productivity and minimise vehicle maintenance.
Additionally, mobile workers will be able to strengthen links with customers by providing accurate ETAs and use those extra workable hours to fit more jobs into the day.
It’s no secret that a person’s driving style can significantly impact vehicle performance, wear and tear, and petrol consumption. If your drivers are more careful on the road, it can help protect vehicles from unnecessary damage, save on insurance costs and reduce fuel consumption.
Putting a ‘racing driver’ in a vehicle may get you from A to B as quickly as humanly possible and fit more appointments into the day, but at what cost? More petrol will be consumed, the vehicle will require more maintenance or repair, and those speeding tickets and driving infringements will soon start to add up.
There are also substantial cost benefits associated with logging vehicle usage. By easily distinguishing between business and private mileage for your mobile workforce, you can clarify tax liabilities and improve HR practice.
As an example, Lefand Services – a building management company – implemented a safe driving policy and training on driver behaviour, which helped them save over $12,000 in fuel and associated vehicle costs.
How insights from fleet management software can overcome these speed bumps to growth
Regardless of the size or nature of your vehicle fleet, there are a variety of benefits available through the effective use of fleet management solutions.
Every driver movement is followed in real-time enabling businesses to establish faster and more accurate timeframes. Better route planning means a driver’s working day can be fully utilised to maximise customer visits.
And, if drivers receive real-time feedback on their driving behaviour, there will be less risk of damage to vehicles, resulting in lower insurance premiums.
Set-up or installation costs are often viewed as the major barrier for businesses looking to take advantage of such efficiencies, but in reality, your initial investment can reap rewards within a relatively short period of time.
Greater visibility and control over your mobile assets can slash operating costs, boost employee productivity and develop lasting relationships with customers.
By implementing fleet management software, businesses can reveal all manner of insights into the performance of their mobile workforce, as well as automate some of the tedious administrative tasks.