Market Trends

Fleet Cost Control Starts with the Company Driver

November 29, 2005

by Mike Antich

Here are 9 suggestions.
1. When developing or re-evaluating fleet policy, solicit the participation of all affected departments, such as sales, administration, purchasing, and accounting, along with all vehicle user groups. Involving all relevant parties in the decision-making process will increase the likelihood of their buy-in and support of fleet policies. 2. Make fleet policy easily accessible by drivers and managers by posting it on the company intranet. 3. Your fleet policy manual should be a living document that is updated annually. As changes occur within your company, revise your procedures to reflect these changes. Likewise, eliminate those policies that have become out-dated. What was right yesterday may not be right today. Also, as part of your annual fleet policy review, you should survey your drivers to give them an opportunity to express their opinions or dissatisfaction about fleet policies that govern them.
4. Set aside time at company meetings to make fleet policy presentations to drivers and managers. Also, conduct teleconferences with drivers who work at regional offices. Use these meetings to reemphasize the importance of policy and cost control. Talk with drivers and supervisors whenever possible, especially when they are gathered at sales meetings or new-employee orientation.5. Develop a summarized fleet policy pocket manual that drivers can keep in the glove compartment of their vehicle. The booklet contains the most important general policies, while the entire fleet policy is maintained online on the company intranet. However, if you adopt this method, it is crucial to keep the booklet updated. 6. Send periodic e-mails or voicemail messages to drivers on specific fleet policy reminders; in particular, on those issues that have higher-than-normal incidents. Also, cc the driver’s supervisor on important items or those supervisors who have drivers that were not within policy. 7. Issue a fleet policy summary sheet with gas cards when they are distributed to drivers. This helps reinforce policy to drivers. 8. Create a newsletter to mail or e-mailed to company drivers to promote awareness of fleet policies by providing helpful suggestions on driver safety, vehicle care, and other topics. Likewise, use the company intranet for similar effect. Post information cost savings information and suggestions on the driver Web site, such as maintenance and fuel savings ideas.9. Leave a weekly or monthly message on your voice-mail greeting advising drivers of new policies and reminders. Another way to communicate fleet policy changes is to use paycheck stuffers.Control Costs Before They Occur
By establishing the fleet policies up front for expense control and by making a concerted effort to ensure they are uppermost in the minds of your drivers, you will reap substantial cost savings. A fleet manager needs to use every method available: memo, e-mail, newsletter, phone, and word of mouth to continuously reinforce fleet vehicle policy. However, to accomplish this, you need to communicate, communicate, and communicate. In fleet management, there is no such thing as over-communication. Let me know what you think.[email protected]

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