Do you want to right-size your fleet? Right-sizing is a continuous initiative focused on ensuring you have the right quantity and the right class of vehicles available at the right locations - at the right time. What do you need to right-size your fleet? Here are the five key components we recommend:
- A project champion. A project champion is a fleet-focused person that can help drive your initiative throughout the organization. They are focused on fleet metrics. They understand how to analyze utilization statistics and how to make vehicle count and composition changes based on the data. They also understand the many benefits of right-sizing and of sharing vehicles, and the savings that can be achieved by doing so. They understand why sharing vehicles can oftentimes be better for fleet drivers, and how to communicate that positive message throughout the organization. If you are reading this, it’s possible you are the type of person that could be your project champion, or you know someone who is.
- Metrics. Having metrics upon which to base your fleet count and composition changes are crucial to right-sizing. The end game is getting metrics that are objective, timely, show trends, and ultimately show what you are looking for. People come to us and ask, “How do I quantify our vehicle utilization and prove that vehicles are being used if I don’t have the data to back it up?” The answer is you probably have at least some data. Many fleets at a minimum have odometer and fuel burn data to start with. Having any metric is better than no metrics, and the key is getting started with a baseline number and adding benchmarks. (For more about how to measure utilization when you don’t have technology, check out this blog.)
- Policy that supports right-sizing. If your policies support right-sizing, they keep your continuous effort going strong behind the scenes with little effort. One state government’s policy requires that the lowest-cost transportation always be used for official business. With an efficiently run motor pool in place, the state made it easy for their employees to access and use the most cost-effective vehicle to do their jobs. Their policy also dictates minimum utilization thresholds for access to 1:1 assigned vehicles, prohibits personal use of official vehicles, strictly limits personal vehicle use for official business, and keeps tabs on driver’s license status. All these policies and many more support right-sizing and should be used as the backbone of your initiative. And when policies are communicated and enforced via an automated system like FleetCommander, accountability is tracked and compliance is easy and consistent.
- Strong partners. Leveraging feedback from the people you are serving is an important aspect of your initiative. Actively soliciting driver opinions throughout the process is important not only for continuous improvement but also to build confidence and get buy-in within your organization. Having partners such as reliable outside rental sources for unique vehicle requests (special vehicle classes or different locations) are also important. And of course, having a strong technology vendor partner is vital to your right-sizing success as well.
- Accessible, innovative technology vendor. Having the right technology partner is an essential key to your right-sizing initiative. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your vendor. Does your technology partner invest in their clients' success by dedicating resources and staff to it? Do they consistently offer educational opportunities such as webinars, articles, white papers etc. to help advance the best practices of their clients? Are they respected within the industry and are they considered subject matter experts? Does your technology partner have live employees answering your phone calls or do they only offer video or knowledge base support? Has your technology partner deployed a solution within an organization that is similar to yours with references to share? Some of these nuances can mean the difference between a technology partner dedicated to your success and one that is simply selling a one-size-fits-all solution. Having the right technology partner can make the difference between a right-sizing project that soars and one that never gets off the ground at all.
If you want to learn more about how Agile Fleet can help you identify all five of these key ingredients for your right-sizing effort, set up a consultation with our fleet experts today.