There are lots of great ways to manage a business fleet, and most of them require the same set of management skills: Great organization, excellent problem-solving skills, and an ability to step in and predict future issues for the company and the fleet. However, for fleet managers who want to go above and beyond the standard level of excellence, there are a few important distinctions to be aware of. If you’re interested in being the best fleet manager you can be, you’ll want to pay close attention to these surprising habits of extremely successful fleet managers all across the world.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Downsize
While it might seem tempting for fleet managers who have implemented an extremely successful, streamlined system to keep adding to their fleet, this is actually a common mistake. Knowing your strength is always a great asset to successful management. Knowing your limitations is an even great one. When fleet managers expand too quickly or without putting enough thought into it, they often run into trouble. Just because a certain system works well with a small business or limited fleet doesn’t mean it will be able to extend to a larger enterprise. That is, it might work out well with the proper training and implementation, but taking on a huge expansion is a lot for any manager to take on. Sometimes it pays to keep a fleet smaller if it means keeping productivity and accountability higher.
2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Fleet managers have to take on all kinds of responsibilities, many of them unexpected. While it pays to be excellent at all aspects of the job, such as putting out fires, streamlining safety practices, and monitoring customer satisfaction, it also can take away from a fleet manager’s productivity to be worrying about every single thing at once. Having trusted workers around to whom you can delegate a certain number of tasks is essential for keeping organized and prioritizing the real issues. No one can do everything at once, and no one is expected to. Investing in fleet tracking software is also a great way to take certain tasks off your plate. When everything is automatically checked and regulated via an online system, quality control becomes much easier and more intuitive.
3. Invest in the Long Term
Keeping track of savings is a huge part of a fleet manager’s job. Even if the savings don’t seem apparent from day to day, a great manager will always have their eye on the bottom line. There are a number of great ways to invest in the future while saving thousands of dollars each year for your fleet. Tracking software has been known to greatly increase fleet productivity and regulate quality, and investing in green energy is another way that has proven incredibly successful when it comes to saving money and impressing clients. It’s also a great idea to invest in fuel cards. If you buy from a trusted company, such as Quarles fleet fuel cards, you’ll be able to seamlessly fill up your fleet at locations all across the country without worrying about unexpected price hikes or unforeseen issues, and the amount of savings you’ll see per year will be well worth it.
4. Be Aware of Customer Needs
The customer may always be right, but more importantly, the customer should always be happy. When you go out of your way to check up on each job and be sure of customer satisfaction, you’re building long-lasting relationships that will ensure the success of your business in the coming years. Keeping up with a customer’s changing needs and desires is a basic practice for businesses. As a manager, it’s even more important to convey to your employees that each customer must be put first at all times. Let’s say a job comes in sloppy, incomplete, or in any other way unsatisfactory. In that case, you’re risking the continued success of your business.
5. Seek Out Change
Risk is a part of any successful operation. As new technologies pop up along with new ways to save on gas or invest in green energy, a truly innovative fleet manager should be able to spend some time considering the risk of investing in something new that will increase a fleet’s potential for the future. Just as every business needs to grow and change, every fleet needs to make sure it’s keeping up with the times and staying aware of the best and most efficient business practices available to them.