How The Little Things Matter: Reducing Labour Costs in Fleet Management

The weekend just went by and most of my weekends include a lot of networking. In such networking events conversations start about anything from current affairs to the exhausting schedules that profession involves. As a fleet manager it is very common for me to get reminded of work and various fleet related aspects. This is a common occurrence when I hail car -as-a-services, it helps me reflect. Needless to say, we have all had those cab rides that left us hanging onto dear life, hoping that we make our destination on time. It is quite interesting, however, to address the intricacies involved in becoming a “good” cab driver. Not only are the customer reviews critical to their rating, fleet managers around the world are taking massive leaps towards ensuring a disciplined schedule to cab drivers’ daily routes in order to reduce labour costs and increase efficiency.

The foundations for such an intricate system are laid by creating a schedule that involves the least amount of idling, and the most efficient routes possible for every driver from his first trip in the morning to his last to the night. By implementing planned and accurate routes for all drivers, fleets refine dispatch schedules and minimize path coverages to augment cost effectiveness of every driver. Drivers signing out for a snooze, taking extra time for lunch or falsifying records is in the past, with telematics overshadowing every other aspect of monitoring and evaluation. Drivers now have to be privy to a series of different reports that encompass every aspect from objective driver safety to consolidated efficiency reports. Time management allows drivers to efficiently maintain a radius that is conducive to their general area of operation, and also inhibits excessively aggressive driving by sustaining average distances to an optimum level.

Nowadays, fleet managers are provided access to reports that consider behavioural patterns of drivers on daily basis. These patterns are recorded, analyzed, and evaluated over time. By providing data regarding start to end journey of a vehicle, extra usage of vehicle apart from working hours, odd hours movement of vehicles, and reducing the total distance travelled, fleet managers gain an overarching perspective of how every driver operates in the larger system of the fleet. Such reports can also provide fleet managers with insights into how they must manage their insurance premiums for ever driver and vehicle by providing better premiums for drivers that have higher overall ratings. Not only this, one can also avail the details of vehicle breakdowns by regularly maintaining the vehicle and thereby, be aware of the flaws in the vehicle and get it regularly serviced, so as to avoid any roadside interruption, which is the worst nightmare for the driver as well as for the enterprise’s value for time and money.

By maintaining such a keen eye over each driver, the output per vehicle for the company also increases. With fewer overheads to worry about, drivers concentrate on getting more jobs in lesser time, reducing the labour cost for the firm and increasing revenue per vehicle. Not only do such solutions keep drivers satisfied, they garner better dispatching as well as greater client appreciation which is often reflected in the reviews of the individual driver as well as the enterprise. Telematics can also provide information about the condition and output of the vehicle, which directly relates to cost. Fleet managers must establish a culture and practice of regular maintenance and servicing of vehicles, which if not done, adds up to 5% of the original cost per vehicle.

What we observe as patterns apropos fleet managers is the intense scrutiny that they provide in assessing efficiency, and finding novel ways and means to increase efficiency and reduce labour cost. Enterprises like cartrack.com provide such comprehensive services in fleet management and telematics that every variable of a driver’s behaviour is recorded, analyzed and evaluated. This not only helps drives feel guided and supported, it also helps improve their performance and rating over time, making their services more worthwhile over a course of time. By provision of pool services and shared routes, fleet managers can also reduce the number of seats that go empty in a car on a daily average. Pool services work on permitting single drivers to cover specific areas in specific time slots in order to reduce the number of idle vehicles, while distributing time slots amongst drivers that operate in those areas. Such innovative measures go a long way in mitigating the labour costs that are incurred by enterprises that provide large scale services. It could be worthwhile engaging in a conversation with the drivers from your fleet. It can help gain fruitful insight into the practices that they follow. Not only does this help make these private services more efficient, it also possesses an efficacious value for those people that are the building blocks of such services.

Busy weekends filled with networking events spark conversations on current affairs and the demands of our professions.