During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, reviewing mobility options, reducing operating costs and keeping drivers safe have been of critical importance for fleets. Sue Branston, Country Head for Fleet Logistics UK and Ireland, identifies five top tips to help fleet operators manage their fleets more effectively.
Review the powertrain mix and assess whether you can you adopt EVs earlier than planned. At the same time, review driver profiles to identify early adopters to trial mobility budgets and build different scenarios considering current use and future needs.
Gather data on how commutes and business journeys now look for different locations – such as urban areas where walking and cycling have been adopted. Build the case for change looking at financial aspects, CSR, and carbon emissions, and review the market to see what solutions are out there for each city/country and learn from other countries.
More reliance on working from home will undoubtedly affect the contract and type of vehicles chosen. There may be major savings to be had from re-writing contracts based on accurate actual mileages for each driver, given that many will now be doing fewer business miles than previously. This is particularly relevant to fleets still writing contracts on benchmark parameters.
During the restrictions that many areas now face, more vehicles will be off the road, meaning this year’s mileage may be even further reduced. Businesses should carefully identify those under-mileage drivers and the contracts that can be re-written, as the savings can be considerable.
Early terminations incur a penalty charge so should be avoided if at all possible. If no other solution can be found, vehicles should be returned as close to the end of their contracts to minimise the charges. Investigate re-allocating or swapping vehicles to different parts of the business, or between drivers, to avoid these potentially punitive charges.
Fleets should ask their leasing company supplier for informal or formal vehicle contract extensions, rather than returning vehicles at the end of contract and replacing them. Leasing companies are ready to offer support to both their business and personal clients.
It is important to ensure that vehicles are maintained, serviced and MOT’d for driver and public safety, and in line with manufacturer warranties to preserve cove. With the Government extending the MOT deadlines this year by six months, this aspect has never been more important, as despite Coronavirus, vehicles must still be kept in a roadworthy condition.
Businesses should set up reminders to ensure those drivers that require servicing or MOTs to be carried out when normalcy return actually have the work completed. This will ensure they meet their duty of care obligations in ensuring their vehicles are fit for purpose and warranties remain unaffected.
Sue Branston said there were still many challenges facing businesses across Europe.
“The complexity of operating a fleet is increasing all the time, and businesses need to consider whether they feel confident in tackling these challenges themselves.
“Or do they feel that it makes sense to consider the advantages of getting advice from an independent fleet management partner, with the knowledge and experience to help guide them through these unprecedented and challenging times.
“We are focused on using our knowledge and experience to support our clients strategically during the current uncertainty and the benefits are realised in the bottom line by their business,” she added.