Get to grips with efficient fleet management
Optimised fleet management is a question of hard cash. The perfect solution for minimising the fleet with the same transport volume is our lightweight chassis concept. The innovative lightweight construction also increases the vehicle's useful weight.
The key components of sustainable fleet management
Modern, efficiency-based fleet management relates to many (cost) factors. The key aspects include controlling distances, route planning, fleet maintenance, vehicle maintenance, vehicle servicing as well as damage management. On top of this, there are factors involved which are only indirectly linked to the vehicle fleet, but are however relevant to the associated costs. This includes, for instance, the efficiency of loading and unloading processes as well as the workload of personnel. An holistic approach to fleet management by means of a well equipped vehicle fleet, is able to boost employee motivation and decrease downtime. The only way of gaining a comprehensive overview of the cost structure is by considering both the direct and indirect factors. Our fleet guide provides you with tips and tricks to keep your costs to a minimum. One essential yet often overlooked aspect of fleet management is the ratio of the fleet size to the available load capacity and utilisation of the load volume. In these areas in particular there is scope to optimise fleet management.
Why operate six vehicles when five are enough?
Permanently reducing fleet costs Optimised fleet management is essential for fleet operators. The obvious solution is to minimise the fleet and hence reduce the costs. The perfect solution for maintaining the transport volume of the fleet while reducing the operating costs is our lightweight chassis concept in combination with a box body. Thanks to the innovative lightweight design, the remaining useful capacity per vehicle after deducting the weight of cab, driver, chassis, fuel and body is increased. A larger weight of goods can thus be transported per vehicle.
But not only a higher payload ensures optimised fleet management. The useful volume per vehicle is also of great importance. A box vehicle with a useful volume of 20.3 m³ can deliver more transport volume at one time than a van with a useful volume of 15 m³. Furthermore, fleet operators profit from the lower loading edges of the low-frame chassis that contributes to greater comfort during loading and unloading, and to shorter loading times. That increases the efficiency of the fleet.
Tips and Tricks for Fleet Optimisation
Fleet management is more than just vehicle management. The tasks include the right choice of vehicles and the determination of direct and indirect costs. The priority is thereby always logistical efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the company.
The most effective way of economic optimisation of the commercial vehicle fleet is a comprehensive analysis of the life-cycle costs – also known as “Total Cost of Ownership” (TCO). The assessment of all the operating costs quickly reveals where savings potentials exist. In view of the large number of different TCO analysis models, it is important to decide in favour of one model from the beginning. Only then can comparison values be collected. Here are the most important points that should be covered by the analysis:
The right vehicle fleet
Efficient fleet management continually optimises the number of vehicles required, resulting in considerable savings potential. In doing so, it is absolutely essential to ensure optimum load of the available vehicles, for which fleet management also considers the possible payload per vehicle. AL-KO lightweight chassis help to increase the payload and therefore create potential to lower the number of vehicles required. The vehicle weight saved allows an increase in payload of up to 150 kg. Such special chassis with optimised dimensions also increase the load volume. That also has a positive influence on the number of vehicles required. If you are planning to buy a new transporter, there are therefore four main aspects to be considered in terms of fleet management: Load capacity, useful volume, purchase price and operating costs. Depending on the requirements, a decision has to be taken between box vehicle, refrigerated box vehicle, sales vehicle or platform vehicle.
The direct costs
The direct costs include purchase price or leasing costs for vehicles, fuel costs, costs for hardware, software and IT infrastructure, administrative processes and general management costs. Salaries, rent, electricity and insurances are also included here by fleet management.
The indirect costs
The indirect costs are sometimes only inadequately recognised or minimised in the case of fleet management. They tend to result from unused potential that is linked to the fleet. These include the costs of data management, non-availability/failure of IT systems necessary for work, further training and training. Indirect costs in relation to the fleet may also be incurred due to downtimes if employees are not able to work due to being overworked/stressed and insufficiently ergonomic working conditions. Thanks to a low base or low frame chassis, fleet management is able to contribute towards reducing the load for employees on a long-term basis. What’s more, it is not only employees who benefit, but company resources too.
Demand-oriented chassis dimensions and the resulting elimination of the tail lift optimise the vehicle bodies and thus increase the load volume. That reduces the number of vehicles and drivers required. An additional longer-term benefit is that in the light of an expected sharp growth in the 3.5 tonne vehicle class, this contributes to alleviating the shortage of drivers.
In order to prevent each vehicle having to be insured individually, it is well worth obtaining fleet insurance offers. In this case, the third-party liability insurance of all the vehicles is classified in the same no-claims class. Fully comprehensive insurance is recommended in the first few years with new vehicles.
Software-based evaluation of GPS data and vehicle routes opens up a great deal of savings potential to fleet management. Software and geo location allow vehicles to be recorded and tracked. It quickly becomes clear where kilometres can be saved and synergies created. Fleet management should get employees involved in this process from the very beginning. Caution is called for when it comes to choosing the software, server or cloud provider due to data privacy reasons.
The trend in fleet management is towards outsourcing. The cooperation with external service providers allows the fleet manager to concentrate on the key aspects and functions of the company. IT and communications processes and infrastructures are then provided and maintained by service providers. Transparency and effectiveness can be increased by means of clearly defined services. A careful choice of service provider is essential for successful outsourcing, because ultimately the fleet manager places himself in a position of dependence.
In addition to the economic optimisation, the fleet can also be improved from an ecological perspective. There are plenty of reasons for this. On the one hand, simple methods allow the company’s ecological footprint to be reduced, and on the other hand this strengthens customer links and new customers can be won – because sustainability is playing an ever more important role.
The easiest route to CO² optimisation is the choice of low-consumption vehicles and minimisation of the number of vehicles required. For this purpose, ecological safety training courses can be held to reduce fuel consumption. And anyone thinking of not emitting exhaust gases into the environment should think about investing in electric transporters.
A company needs water – and plenty of it. As most fleets are located on large premises, water tanks can be easily installed there. And anyone who is put off by their appearance, is able to build underground water tanks. The water can be used outstandingly for the washing of the vehicle fleet. Furthermore, the use of eco-friendly cleaning products is recommended for washing vehicles and work clothes.
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AL-KO is the specialist for lightweight chassis. We offer an innovative concept for more loading capacity, maximum flexibility of the dimensions, a lower loading edge and improved efficiency thanks to a low tare weight.