Having a strategy is only productive if it is followed and its action measured. That’s where setting fleet performance indicators and having methods to measure them are paramount.
Fleet performance indicators can vary from business to business, however some key KPIs you can measure are:
- Vehicle utilisation rate– Are you maximising the utilisation of your vehicles or are vehicles sitting idle and unused? You can set a rate that works for your fleet based on actionable telematics data and insights.
- Vehicle downtime – The number of days lost due to maintenance and repairs, or off road due to other issues (for example: missed drivers licence renewals).
- Fleet Productivity – Time spent on jobs and travel time can measure productivity and be optimised with telematics job scheduling and routing.
- Fuel economy and efficiency– Do differing fuels impact cost? Does driving behaviour such as speeding and idling impact cost? Are you measuring fuel economy parameters with a telematics solution?
- Driver behaviour– Braking, idling, speeding, incidents, infringements and accidents; anything that impact fleet and occupant safety, and saves lives is crucial
- Fleet safety – The number of accidents/incidents involving the fleet can be managed and mitigated with the right strategy and tools in place.
Setting out the key performance indicators you will measure your fleet strategy and fleet performance against helps to identify whether the size of your fleet is optimum. It will also highlight any underlying issues like the right vehicle types, improper scheduling and routing that could be impacting your fleet’s performance and return on investment (ROI).
Compliance indicators are important in ensuring your fleet is meeting key policies. This includes monitoring accidents, vehicle defects and failures.
It also makes good business sense to manage operational and cost factors, such as:
- Fuel usage to identify inappropriate fuel use and help with future vehicle type selection and employee training
- Maintenance cost per vehicle which can be used to investigate whether certain vehicles are costing more and haven’t met the requirements set out in your fleet management strategy.
There are other factors to consider too:
- Can trips be grouped together or merged? Doing so cuts costs and reduces risk, as the less time spent on the road, the less wear and tear on the vehicle, and the less risk of collisions or OH&S issues
- What about fringe benefit tax – how is this monitored?
A system should be identified to collect data and assist in managing these considerations. Many organisations rely on fleet management systems to help them with the data to track their KPIs. Having real data and insight into the many factors that impact the performance of a fleet allows fleet managers to create realistic fleet strategy plans.
Allowing your fleet to be in harmony with your business
It’s also important to consider is the fleet management strategy agile enough to respond and pivot when required, especially when managing critical business issues or unprecedented circumstances? For example, in a pandemic such as COVID-19, how can the strategy be quickly altered to ensure it is providing the best framework for the fleet assets to be both managed and used?
This is where data shines. Thanks to the proliferation of connected telematics devices, the status of fleet vehicles can be monitored in real time. Key information such as vehicle use time, average trip times, geolocation information, vehicle breakdown information and lifecycle system changes can all be managed by cost-effective digital fleet management systems.
This means that if a business has to change course, it’s fleet management system can act as a two-way system. It can feed into the overarching strategy by showing the clear costs and revenue generated by the vehicles. This data can be modelled to show the effect of variation without the hassle of going through bundles of daily paperwork. All that is required is for a strong strategy that outlines the objectives, considerations and use of the fleet vehicles, and a fleet management system that monitors the key performance indicators.
Remember: planning is key
A solid, up to date and measurable strategy remains the key. Everything else – from the procurement to the monitoring – comes from what is outlined in the strategy. Get that right, and you’re planning to succeed.
A fleet management strategy checklist:
- Preparation – What will the strategy achieve?
- Context – How does it align to the business’ objectives?
- Fleet lifecycle plan – How will the fleet be managed from procurement to disposal?
- Performance – How will the strategy be measured? What key performance indicators will the strategy be measured against?
- Relevance – Keep it relevant and up-to-date. Use the data to continuously streamline and optimise.