As someone in the fleet business, you operate in a highly dynamic industry. There are a number of factors that come into play:
- Strict regulatory oversight
- Changes in the physical environment
- Political factors
- Technological progress
So on and so forth.
In order to succeed, you must know to think on your feet while ensuring the perfect execution of your orders.
No cakewalk, this!
We have often heard it said,
The only thing constant in life is change.
As a fleet manager, you intuitively know this rings true for your industry.
I could bet that nearly all of your strategies are constantly updated with the changing tides of politics, economics, and technology.
Yet there could be one thing that may have skipped your mind – a modern fleet maintenance strategy.
Fleet maintenance is a crucial part of what you do, and hence, it is all the more important that you build a solid maintenance strategy that keeps you way ahead of your nearest rivals.
But first, let us understand what fleet maintenance really is.
Fleet maintenance is nothing but the process of keeping your vehicles in a good condition so they are safe and can be kept running for longer.
Sounds fairly simple, doesn’t it?
And yet, your business could take a big hit if you do not develop a solid maintenance strategy. Keep in mind –
- Poorly maintained vehicles are a huge safety risk that can put the lives of people in grave danger
- You can run into some serious trouble with the authorities
- The increased emissions from neglected vehicles are bad for the environment and can even get you at loggerheads with regulatory bodies
- It can result in added costs for your business
- It could mean poor customer service resulting in dissatisfied customers
However, building a strong, modern fleet maintenance strategy that does wonders for your business is not as hard as it may sound.
We have prepared a list to guide you in developing your maintenance strategy. Read on to find out:
Building a relationship with your maintenance provider
The quality of fleet maintenance largely depends on the service of your provider. It is, therefore, crucial that you build a relationship of trust with your provider so that you can have the best that they have to offer.
Everyone appreciates a relationship that goes beyond mere business transactions. Your simple gestures, kind words, and basic hospitality go a long way in creating a sense of warmth and comfort in communication.
- Try to build a relationship through long-term association with your provider
- Ensure that you constantly communicate with him/her and state your requirements and/or challenges you may be facing
- Keep meeting your maintenance provider regularly and make a note of any challenges they may be facing or support they may require, and act on it immediately
Better your approach by becoming tech-savvy
Technology can be a huge boon in fleet maintenance. There has been an explosion of software catering to the fleet management industry – ranging from GPS vehicle tracking to IFTA calculator.
There are, similarly, plenty of software that can perform a range of tasks such as:
- Send you an alert and/or email notification when maintenance is due
- Warn you beforehand about the fast approaching warranty expiry date
- Help organize a list of repairs or replacements needed for your fleet
It always helps to adopt the latest tech so you do not end up behind the curve, which can prove to be disastrous for your business later in the future.
- Avail the services of a tech consultant to help you zero in on the right maintenance software given your business needs/goals
- Customize the software to suit your business
- Train your team members who will use the software on all of its features to make the most out of what the software has to offer
Learn from the best in the industry
The internet has enabled nearly everyone to learn just about anything under the sun. So why not put this vast knowledge to good use by learning about the best fleet maintenance strategies for your business?
Learning opportunities abound in the internet age, and you now have some highly reputed institutes offering comprehensive courses on fleet management.
If taking up a full-fledged course isn’t to your taste, you can still research the prevalent industry practices to gain a fair idea of what other businesses have been up to.
- Taking up a full-fledged course in fleet management from a recognized industry has the added advantage of earning a certificate that can really add to your credentials
- At all times, ensure that the sites you browse and the sources that have been used are reliable
- Keep learning by communicating with people and showing up at trade fairs as much as possible
Plan in advance
What’s most important is that you think from a long-term perspective. After all, you are in the game for the long haul, isn’t it?
Implement what is called a Preventive Maintenance Program, which is proven to be highly efficient and saves you a lot of money.
With data analytics and machine learning, you can study usage patterns in order to make better-informed decisions that may not have been possible earlier.
- Study the specifications of each vehicle so that you have a fair idea of the maintenance required
- Do not rely on others’ technical expertize but work on your knowledge as much as you can
- Consult those whose advice you trust to make better decisions
Keep in mind that there are no perfect fleet management solutions or a one-size-fits-all solution to any of the challenges that fleet managers face.
It all boils down to learning, adapting to change, and improvising. That is what great business leaders do.
Building a good fleet maintenance strategy is a complex task, but in the end, only you know what is best for your business.
The above-listed tips are meant to guide you in the right direction. By keeping these points in mind, you can truly build an enviable maintenance strategy that not only grows your business but also keeps you away from needless stress.
With this, go forth, and may success be yours!