We talk to many organizations that want to start a motor pool -- but there is much more to launching a successful motor pool operation than picking a solution and implementing it. What does it take start an efficient car sharing initiative? Here are some of the key factors recommended by our fleet experts that can increase the likelihood of your organization’s success.
- Understand where you can reduce costs and improve efficiencies. We estimate that fleets spend $3-$6K per vehicle per year to keep a vehicle in the fleet. These include lease and depreciation costs, maintenance expenses, parking spaces, insurance, tags, and other related costs. There’s a significant amount of administrative time spent manually managing vehicles, communicating with drivers, keeping records on spreadsheets, generating reports, and responding to audits. Also, take a look at how much your fleet is spending in personal vehicle usage reimbursement. Some fleets spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually! Agile Fleet can help quantify the savings and ROI you can expect – just request a Fleet Savings Assessment from us– it’s free.
- Find a champion within your organization and get buy-in from upper management and stakeholders. For upper management, communicate the savings and efficiencies your organization can expect to achieve by creating a motor pool. For drivers and other stakeholders, explain how the changes will affect them positively. Reassure people that there will be sufficient resources to help them, and that reserving and accessing a vehicle will be as easy as getting a boarding pass in an airport.
- Communicate organizational changes positively with drivers and stakeholders. For example, a mandate such as “We must reduce our fleet by 15% by January 1. All staff will lose their vehicles and are now required to use a shared fleet,” will most likely be met with opposition. Instead, consider saying, “We are going to implement a new system that will reduce the age of the fleet from 12 years to 5 years, give you access to more types of vehicles, and you can reserve them online around the clock.” Communicate all the positive reasons for sharing vehicles and how people will benefit. Such an approach has a much higher chance of being viewed positively than the first one.
- Draft policies and make sure you have a way to communicate and enforce them. If you tell people to share, you need policies to support your initiative so people understand what rules to follow. Many policies have a significant impact on cost reduction, such as mandating when it is acceptable to use a personal vehicle versus a shared vehicle. We recommend you start by creating a list of policy areas that make sense for your organization. A good FMIS like FleetCommander can automatically communicate your policies every time a vehicle reservation is made. For sample policies, consult industry organizations, and download vendor resources and e-guides such as these.
- Prove the concept first. If you have a large organization, consider rolling out the initial system to one or two sites first. Closely monitor the solution, and make adjustments as needed. Then, roll out to other sites while communicating all the great things you’ve already achieved. We have several reference customers who have done this successfully, if you would like contact information, ask us.
- Learn from others' success! Access our case studies and read interviews in our blog to learn how others have been able to successfully launch an automated motor pool. Check out our case study on Forsyth County, NC below.