In lean and difficult economic conditions, cities look to reduce operating costs, including their fleet budgets. According to Networkfleet.com, effective Fleet Management techniques decrease spending without sacrificing employees or the quality of the operation. Reducing fleet costs are a challenging undertaking requiring cities to look for ways to meet consumer needs more efficiently and economically. In fact, budget reductions do not always translate into expense reductions. If the pressing goal is to cut the budget, fleet managers should focus on this goal and not be overly idealistic. For that reason, profits achievable with a minimum amount of effort should be addressed first.
- Clean up fleet inventory. It is simpler to eliminate vehicles from the fleet than employees. Furthermore, disposing of under-utilized vehicles generates immediate cash. Thorough analysis of equipment and vehicle utilization can yield fleet size reductions of up to 20 percent.
- Reconcile estimated and actual costs. The comparison of actual and budgeted costs can reveal that cutting the fleet budget without impinging on actual spending level is doable because certain accounts, such as contingency funds, exceed costs.
- Manage demand for fleet services. Cities should engage customers to review the types and quantities of services they currently value and the impact, if any, that contemplated cutbacks would have. Streamlining business processes by reducing paper-based, labor intensive practices provides a reduction in costs with the application of simple technology capabilities.
- Manage workflow. A significant cause of inefficiency in internal fleet management is poor work planning and scheduling. Policies such as those that require appointments for service work increase efficiency and operating costs, and also improve customer satisfaction.
- Outsource and focus on the core mission. Fleet management benefits from substantial technological improvements with the potential to deliver more management information at the disposal of fleet professionals than ever before. However, these same developments have led many fleet organizations to immerse themselves in database administration and other facets of data processing, diverting attention, resources, and support from their core mission of managing vehicles. Fleet organization can reduce costs by outsourcing these functions to a managed service provider.
City fleet management is not a straightforward task. Nevertheless, there are several small changes that fleet operators can make to ensure a considerable return on investment. Many cities are facing enormous budget shortfalls, and management first reduces staff when it comes to budget reductions. As many cities struggle to lower costs, GPS fleet tracking systems can help determine the optimal size of its fleet. Fleet managers can quickly and easily gain valuable insight into where money can be found without cutting personnel by monitoring critical vehicle data. Taking vehicles off the road is an excellent idea for any city. Not only does it diminish costs, but also it reduces harmful vehicle emissions and reduces its negative environmental impact.