When you're talking about saving money, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit in department fleets. It’s in those little mini-pools that are spread out within the departments. These vehicles are not assigned to anyone within the department, but they are shared only among the employees within that department.
Sharing within a department
Start by offering FleetCommander to departments to make sharing easier. Create a site for the department, and add vehicles to that site. You can establish one or more site administrators. And, unless it is desired, these site administrators will not be able to see what is going on at the other sites within FleetCommander.
Once a department starts making sharing easier, they can go one step further and look at the assigned vehicles within its department. Many times, these assigned vehicles are not being used as often as presumed. For example, this is a story from one of our customer’s sites:
The district fleet manager wanted to put his boss’ assigned vehicle into the motor pool. The boss objected because he thought he used his vehicle quite often. The fleet manager convinced him to do an experiment whereby he put the boss’ assigned vehicle in the motor pool and had him check it out each time the boss would need it. Using the access group capability in FleetCommander, the vehicle could only be checked out by the boss. After a few weeks, they were both astonished at how little the boss was actually using the vehicle. Now, that vehicle is permanently in the motor pool and is available to everyone - even the boss.
Sharing between departments
One reason why you might want one department to see another department’s motor pool is to promote sharing between the sites. For example, there could be an agreement between department motor pools that are located close to each other - within several miles. If one runs out of pool vehicles, they would have permission from the other sites to grab a vehicle. This increases the efficiency of the fleet.
To gain the greatest efficiencies, get co-located departments to combine their pools. For example, there are many departments that are located in the same building. They each have their own fleets and mini-pools. Typically, one department will run out of vehicles, but the other departments will not share their vehicles with other departments because of the “I paid for them and you can’t use them” mentality. But at some point in time, those other departments will be in the same situation: they’ll run out of vehicles, too.
If multiple departments were to combine their pools into a single one, they would most likely not run out of vehicles again. In fact, the number of vehicles in the combined pool would probably decrease significantly – we’ve seen over a 30% reduction. All of the departments would have access to more vehicles and, probably, more types of vehicles. Our estimates show that departments can save annually between $3,000 to as much as $8,000 per vehicle eliminated from the pool. Savings that can add up really fast.
To sweeten the pot further, a fleet department could offer to provide vehicles for the motor pool for all of the departments at that location. The departments will no longer have to pay to lease the vehicles. They would only pay for the daily use of the motor pool vehicles as they use them.
Yes, there will always be reasons that users need assigned vehicles, but departments can save a significant amount of money by vehicles that are underutilized. We recommend collecting the data and evaluating the utilization of all vehicles to know for sure. Many drivers of assigned vehicles will give you every possible justification for why they need their assigned vehicle. However, once you are armed with utilization numbers you don't have to go with a gut feeling. So, if your drivers insist they need their assigned vehicles, check our e-book: How to Deal with Driver Objections to Motor Pool.
What do you think?
What do you think about sharing within and between departments? Have you had any success? As always, we welcome your feedback and stories. Sharing your ideas and comments below only helps build our community and network of information.