Regardless of the size of your fleet, successfully managing a fleet can be quite a tedious task. There are several activities to take care of and an equal number of challenges that one needs to overcome. However, issues relating to the safety and maintenance of vehicles are bound to crop up at some point.
In this context, having a reliable fleet tracking software could be the panacea to your fleet management woes. Without it, it is easy to slip into unproductive routines, ill-planned routes, inordinate delays, overlapped schedules, high operating costs, and accidents.
For example, look at this article that highlights the importance of effective fleet management. In addition to fleet management software, another way to effectively manage a fleet involves monitoring the drivers’ performance. Naturally, their experience is one of the most defining aspects of effective fleet management.
Here are a few tips on how you can successfully operate a fleet by improving the driver experience:
1. Improve Route Productivity
Maximizing the route performance and resource utility is one of the greatest advantages of successful fleet management. Real-time monitoring of traffic situation external route conditions will smoothen the driver’s performance.
A driver who can achieve the most in the minimum number of trips would naturally be happier and more motivated. The sense of accomplishment will boost their productivity and help them take up more trips that will be optimized.
For the company, the driver will be spending less time wasting mileage and more time delivering results. Overall, it will reduce transportation costs and boost productivity.
2. Enhance Route Efficiency
Route efficiency depends on the historical route data along with real-time data. Route optimization makes changes in the driver’s route due to weather, traffic, and other factors that can possibly delay the delivery and have a domino effect. Using historical data, fleet managers can analyze areas that caused disruptions or delays and the underlying reason behind it.
Upon concatenating both the findings, the fleet manager can plan highly efficient routes that will reduce the operational costs of the fleet. Since the driver no longer has to spend time finding diversions and alternatives, they can focus on their primary responsibility – driving.
3. Focus on Driver and Fleet Safety
Fleet managers educate the drivers on the emphasis of safety. Having a proactive stance on safety will make it an organizational mandate that will ensure that the drivers are compliant. You can start by conducting safety training regularly where the drivers are rewarded for their participation.
Safety education programs could cover everything related to safety, ranging from safe driving practices to maintaining the vehicle. Sharing tips as simple as reminding the drivers to put on the seat belts may help inculcate safe practices.
In addition to having a safety drill during the on-boarding process, companies should also invest in safety equipment, such as first aid kits, flashlights, food and water, blanket, and emergency flares. Ensuring that all vehicles are well-stocked could help save lives. Furthermore, in this manner, the company can display how serious it is in ensuring driver safety.
When drivers begin to understand the importance of safety from an individual and organizational perspective, they will be more mindful while on the road.
4. Streamline Inspection and Maintenance
Drivers often find inspections and maintenance activities to be time-consuming and taxing. In this respect, the problem gets tougher when you use obsolete methods such as filling paper inspection forms. Streamlining this process makes it less likely for them to get reckless with the inspections or cut corners just so that they can get back on the road.
An easier inspection process and maintenance schedule can make it simpler for them to focus on the tasks at hand. One of the best ways to improve fleet management and boost driver experience is by going paperless and leveraging the power of technology.
Alternatively, several fleet management software comes equipped with driver management systems that can ensure that your drivers are regularly dealing with routine matters.
5. Track and Monitor Data
Leveraging data to monitor driver behavior, route maps, and fuel usage could help with higher productivity and fleet management. But how does it affect the driver experience?
Fleet monitoring contributes to the Hawthorne effect. The Hawthorne effect is a managerial strategy that attracts a reaction wherein individuals change their bad or poor behavior as a response to being observed. As a result, companies can enjoy greater integrity and higher efficiency.
Drivers who are aware that their location is being tracked using GPS devices will stick to the planned routes. Similarly, those who know that the fuel gauge is being monitored will help in maintaining fuel-efficiency. Most importantly, drivers who are careless while on the road will follow safe driving practices so as not to get called upon by the administration.
Gradually, these conscious choices will help them become better drivers and enhance their skills and capabilities.
6. Define Best Practices
In some cases, companies must take the lead and define driver policies, safety standards, and best practices to ensure that the drivers adhere to them. Moreover, businesses must strictly enforce these policies and regulations not only to avoid mishaps or lapses but also to prevent them from emerging as financial liabilities.
The enforcement of the policies may not cause an overnight change but will set the standards for the drivers. At the same time, it is crucial to educate the drivers that these rules are put in place for their benefit so that they conform to them. Once the drivers understand that you care about their well-being, they would be more transparent in their actions and transactions.
Data plays a vital role in defining the driver behavior and managing fleet. It can help with risk analysis, identification of training requirements, better compliance, and development of effective procedures and policies.
Hence, fleet managers can make use of fleet management or driver management software to monitor the overall performance, productivity, and costs of operation. Enhancing driver experience helps companies in meeting their short-term and long-term goals.
With greater driver satisfaction, you will not only draw in profits but also enjoy better company image and reputation.