The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the global economy into a deep crisis. Businesses that rely on fleet vehicles have gone through a major shake-up, especially in terms of logistics and sales.
Finding business and keeping employees safe and productive while remaining profitable are critical challenges that most fleet-based businesses have had to deal with. There's no doubt challenging times still lay ahead, even as businesses continue counting their losses.
The future may be uncertain, but the best businesses can do is plan and prepare for recovery. To start you off, here are five ways of overcoming fleet challenges in a post-COVID-19 world.
1. Tighten Cost Control Measures
Following the lock-downs and restrictions imposed to guarantee people's safety, fleet-based businesses have suffered huge losses. Certainly and sadly so, businesses will continue experiencing financial constraints until the economy stabilizes. You may need to tighten your cost control measures to minimize your expenses in order to remain afloat. As you may not be able to reduce the fixed costs, work at ensuring you keep your variable costs at the minimum.
For instance, with fleet management software, you can control fuel costs (which is a major expense) through route optimization. The software can help you increase efficiency and save fuel costs by identifying the best route and the nearest vehicle to dispatch.
Overall, optimizing operations and sticking to the budget will help you keep the costs down.
2. Leverage Technology
With uncertain times ahead, inefficiency and low productivity can destroy your business. The Fleet management business has benefited immensely from the wave of technological advancements. There are numerous automation tools out there that you can bank on to increase your systems' efficiency and monitor your resources for increased productivity.
Consider automating your data entry and reporting if you haven't. For instance, if you normally use fuel cards, you can easily integrate the data into your fleet management software, like Fleetio, to monitor spending and reconciliation.
Similarly, devices like telematics can help you track the fleet closely to ensure the drivers are sticking to the assigned routes. Leveraging these tools will help your business maximize its resources and cut down inefficiencies even as you recover.
3. Step-Up Vehicle Maintenance
As you forge into the post-COVID-19 future, you'll fare better if you focus on minimizing setbacks and keeping the business operations at their optimal level. One way of achieving this is by stepping-up your vehicle maintenance. In addition to the regular inspection, ensure you're conducting preventive maintenance.
Fitting the fleet with a monitoring device, like IoT sensors, can also be helpful as you endeavor to stay on top of your fleet maintenance. Driver behavior, like reckless driving, is directly related to increased maintenance needs. Using relevant tracking devices can provide insight into the drivers' behavior and inform appropriate managerial action.
4. Improve Staff Welfare
Human capital is the backbone of any business. The pandemic has affected businesses and individuals equally. While a few strategic interventions may help many fleet-based businesses overcome the challenges in the post-COVID-19 world, people may require a little more attention to bounce back and be productive.
Uncertainty is causing untold anxiety in people, so you may need to pay extra attention to your staff than you used to. Work at creating a homey environment for those working on-site, and offer better working terms for everyone. You can also partner with other companies for employee exchange programs whenever your business has a downtime.
Having such measures in place will give your employees confidence and enhance their sense of well-being. This will go a long way in boosting their productivity, which is good for business.
5. Prepare for Shifting Customer Demands
The pandemic has hit everyone across the board; businesses and customers alike. As you strategize on how to face the future, your customers are coming up with ways of adjusting and adapting to the new business realities.
Be flexible and welcome any changes that the post-COVID-19 world will throw your way. But above all, prepare for shifting customer demands. Have strategies in place to handle a deep as well as a surge in demand, or anything in between. What's important is to keep your business afloat while serving your client's best interests.
The post-COVID-19 world is uncertain for fleet-based businesses and all businesses in general. But those that anticipate the challenges thereof and strategize on ways of overcoming them have better chances of staying afloat. Work at optimizing your business operations by monitoring your costs, leveraging technology, taking good care of the human capital, and preparing for shifting customer needs. This will give you an edge over the tough times ahead.
At Wilmar, we pride ourselves on a proven track record of providing personalized fleet management. If you need help managing your fleet or would like to hire a well-maintained fleet, contact us today.