The beginning of a new year is a great time to do some housekeeping and get all your ducks in a row, so your business runs smoothly and optimally throughout the year. One of those ducks is fleet management.
Good fleet management will ensure that your vehicles can support your revenue generation activities, but this requires some careful planning.
So, here are our top tips to get your business fleet in shape for 2022.
1. Factor your fleet into your growth plans
Due to supply chain issues that arose in the mayhem of the pandemic, new vehicles will be hard to come by in 2022. If you rely on trucks or vans for deliveries or operations and your business is growing fast, not having enough vehicles could put the brakes on your growth.
Working out the numbers ahead of time so you can order new equipment early may save you some sleepless nights down the line.
2. Do you really need to own the cars?
Nowadays, ownership isn’t the only option for vehicles (or other equipment) for your business. There are many ways to access cars besides purchasing.
Carshare is great for a day or a week. Car rental can be cost-effective for a month. Car subscriptions are available if you need the car for longer than a month but less than three years. These options may prove more viable than putting much-needed funds into new vehicles.
3. Use technology to manage a fleet of pool cars
If your employees need work vehicles across varied times, a pool car fleet may work well for your business. Technology has made these easier to manage with online booking systems, digital key cabinets and electronic records. Even if you don’t use them all the time, they are often cheaper than paying employees to use their own cars – and come with less risk.
4. Consider buying an electric vehicle
The NSW Government has introduced several incentives to encourage businesses to adopt electric vehicles (EVs) into their fleets. These incentives make EVs cheaper to buy or offer subsidies to offset the ownership costs that are currently higher than combustion engine vehicles. You can also apply for assistance to install charging infrastructure, which could attract potential clients to your business even if you don’t buy an EV.
5. Route planning
Do you know how much you spent on tolls in 2021? In NSW, road tolls are becoming a significant portion of fleet budgets. The reduction in travel time when crossing Sydney in peak hour might outweigh the cost, but outside of peak times, route planning to avoid tolls could save your business a considerable amount of money. Set a challenge for your team to see how much money you can save.
6. Manage your grey fleet risk
Employees using their personal cars for work can be advantageous for your business, but there are risks to consider. If a person performs a work task in their own car for your business, the car becomes a workplace and you need to ensure that it meets the required safety standards.
If this isn’t possible, it’s a good idea to reconsider asking staff to drive their cars for work purposes.
7. Breakdown cover
Are all your vehicles covered? Breakdowns cost your business time and money, so take the time to double-check every vehicle is covered.
8. Turn your vehicles into mobile billboards
Vehicle signage is popular with small businesses with limited budgets for advertising. You can make the most of your owned assets by branding vehicles for existing and potential customers to increase visibility on the road.
9. Keep your drivers’ skills up to date
Successful business owners often note that people are the key to their success. So, if driving is part of their job, it’s a good idea to invest in road safety training.
Cars may still look the same but the technology has changed rapidly in the last five years and the road rules are always being updated. A training plan at the start of the year is a great way to keep the team engaged and safe on the road.
10. Budget for running costs
Avoid bill shock when you take a car in for a service. Set a budget for your running costs and accrue the money every month. This is what large companies do when they lease vehicles to ensure that the monthly cost remains the same during the life of the vehicle. It alleviates the big hit to your cash flow come service time and lets you focus on generating revenue.
As with all things business, a little initial planning can go a long way to ensuring long-term, consistent success and avoiding nasty surprises or roadblocks. If you get your fleet duck in its line now, you’re in good stead for a cruisier 2022.