Businesses have faced unprecedented times and if we’re going to survive into the future, then more aggressive and vigilant attention has to be paid to financial management and ultimately cash flow.
It’s quite a tightrope at the best of times because while you want to ensure operational efficiency, you also can’t be too tight-fisted, or your operating capital will dry up.
One of the biggest areas the medium-sized businesses have to keep a tight lid on is minimizing the costs of fleet management and logistics. Often, these two important parts of any business go hand in hand, and that’s where it can get a little confusing.
But concentrating on at least one element of your logistics operations, fleet management, can save you big time in the short and long term.
We’re going to help you discover how.
Now, there are several elements that all businesses need to consider when wanting to be successful and remain competitive, but the one that is probably the most important is keeping an eye on your finances. If you’re in the business of selling products that form part of a supply chain along the logistics line, then fleet management is going to be one of your top priorities.
While many companies choose to outsource this function, for some it makes more sense to keep these parts of the business in-house. Usually, this happens when you need more direct control over delivery times and collections, or when you’re selling your products across vast distances and need to retain greater control over the quality or cold storage, for example.
But without getting too technical, as each business will have different requirements, in a broad sense; keeping an eye on technological advances that monitor driving styles, distances and frequencies is one way to start getting a thorough grip on your fleet expenses. Other ways include:
- Modifying your driving habits: Inspire responsibly and speed-conscious driving by your drivers. Driving courses that teach your drivers how to accelerate properly and take on hills and steep drives all add up over time.
- Manage the weight and size of deliveries vs your vehicle capacity: big loads equal big vehicles. It couldn’t be more simple than that. So many resources are wasted by sending unnecessarily large trucks to deliver small loads – and vice versa. Sending a small truck to deliver a big heavy load is going to place unnecessary strain on the vehicle’s capabilities and could lead to expensive damage besides.
- Keep up to date on vehicle maintenance: never exceed the recommended service or maintenance schedules and always have your vehicles maintained by properly accredited and qualified service centers.
- Select the appropriate fleet: If you don’t mean to own your vehicles outright (and even if you do), do some research to determine what kind of fleet makes the most sense for your business. For example, if you provide towing or rescue services in rural areas, you’ll want the appropriate vehicle for the terrain. You’ll also want to make sure that each of your vehicles contains the correct information for your drivers if they in turn need some rescuing.
Ford provides an amazing range of trucks and pick-ups that can be easily modified for small to medium-sized businesses, so check them out. Also, make sure that your Ford fleet has access to Ford factory shop manuals, just in case.
We can’t cover all of the elements that effective fleet management requires in this post, but this guide should give you a solid base from where to start.
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