From overseeing fleet vehicles’ maintenance and inspections to planning and purchasing vehicles, there are many responsibilities bestowed upon fleet managers. Thanks to automation, this list would have been otherwise an elongated one with numerous, monotonous tasks. Here, you can find the details about the role of a fleet supervisor.
If you’re wondering who precisely a fleet manager is, he/she is a primary stakeholder at a fleet leasing and management company, responsible for managing the fleet vehicles and fleet drivers, along with supervising deliveries and pick-ups.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous other responsibilities associated with fleet managers, and here are some of them briefly explained.
1. Vehicle Maintenance
Poorly maintained vehicles can spoil the reputation of a fleet service provider. One of the most significant roles of fleet supervisors is to ensure the vehicles are at their peak conditions and poses no threat to the system.
Even a single failed order due to vehicle breakdown can force a client to revoke the contract with a company. Likewise, ignoring the service dates of vehicles can worsen the wear and tear and can even destroy vehicles, to the extent that they are deemed to be irreparable.
With fleet vehicles that may extend to hundreds or thousands in number, keeping track of each vehicle’s service dates can be an arduous task. Fortunately, automation in the form of fleet management software programs can assist managers with timely reminders.
Timely maintenance will minimize downtimes and will ensure operational efficiency. Managers must also make sure that servicing specific vehicles won’t affect fleet operations.
2. Vehicle Acquisition
A fleet service provider is as good as the vehicles it owns. Choosing the right set of vehicles will enable fleet businesses to attract better-paying clients – hence, fleet supervisors are responsible for making the right vehicle purchase decisions.
At a particular juncture, a company may not be in a prestigious position to buy new vehicles. In such instances, managers must take efforts to rent or lease vehicles that are on par with the company’s needs. It is also a fleet manager’s responsibility to foresee the company’s future needs and make acquisition decisions accordingly.
The vehicles chosen must have an appreciable operational life span and must have an excellent fuel economy. And once the vehicles reach the end of their operating life, fleet managers must also help with remarketing and reselling them.
3. Recruiting Quality Drivers
Just like vehicle acquisition, fleet supervisors are responsible for hiring talents that can improve the efficiency of the fleet services. With the industry facing an exponential decline in qualified drivers, recruitment can get a bit tedious for managers.
Along with recruiting drivers, managers must make sure they are trained to follow healthy driving habits. Also, it is the responsibility of a manager to monitor the routes taken by the drivers, which is made possible by fleet management software programs.
It is also crucial to note that the managers are responsible for ensuring that the vehicles, drivers, and most importantly, the consignments are safe. Managers are also liable for preventing and solving disputes among drivers.
4. Managing Schedules
A fleet service provider will have to deal with multiple clients at a time. This means that fleet managers must judiciously schedule and assign fleet drivers, in such a manner that all customers get equal treatment in the process.
With automation, managing schedules is a breeze as managers can oversee the time taken for consignments to reach their destinations or monitor whether there is any hold-up.
Fleet supervisor must also plan to fully utilize their fleet resources – meaning, if a vehicle is returning empty after a delivery, managers must see to it whether it can be assigned with other tasks. An ideal fleet manager will help in generating efficient schedules for profit maximization.
5. Cost Control
From compensating the drivers to repairing the fleet vehicles, there are several expenses a fleet service provider will have to incur. If not properly managed, these expenses can lead the company to suffer irretrievable losses.
Before automation, fleet managers would have required to prepare reports by manually tracking down each expense and calculating them. This would have been a tiresome task and would have consumed a considerable amount of their time.
Now, with ai on the road, fleet managers can get ahold of automated reports that will include the fuel efficiency of vehicles, ROI of drivers, and almost every measurable metric. Additionally, automation helps managers with budgeting. Automation allows managers to take into account existing fuel stocks and expected delivery requirements to avoid any wastage.
6. Driver Behavior Monitoring
Even if managers follow a strict screening process to recruit qualified drivers, there will undoubtedly be numerous discrepancies, which can affect the overall performance of the fleet service. One example is the poor driving habits drivers may adopt while at work.
Poor driving behavior can spoil the entire reputation of a business and can even lead to accidents. In worst cases, drivers may also flee with company property, leaving managers entirely helpless.
Fortuitously, telematics makes it possible for managers to track vehicle locations. The latest innovations like wireless dash cam enable managers to monitor drivers’ road behavior in real-time and alert them if they drive erratically.
7. Record Keeping
Fleet supervisor must also collect, inspect, and store the driving licenses of fleet drivers to make sure that they are qualified. Otherwise, this can lead to significant revenue losses due to violations.
Fleet managers are also responsible for registering and licensing each vehicle and also ensuring that they adhere to the State’s safety norms. Fleet vehicles will also require up to date commercial auto insurances, to secure the drivers and consignments.
Similarly, managers are also responsible for filing IFTA tax as fleet vehicles will be making multiple inter-state trips. This process can be made easier with the help of fleet management software programs.
All in all, fleet management is a lucrative career – yet it will require an individual to have the audacity to manage multiple tasks effectively. Nevertheless, by updating with changing industry trends and continually upskilling, fleet managers will be able to help companies manage their fleet vehicles efficiently.