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21 fleet management tips for 2021
So. Welcome to 2021. What’s on your agenda this year?
I can’t deny that we are moving through a difficult, troubling and complex time with a virus that is impacting all our lives, both on a personal and a business level. But with a vaccination programme starting to roll out, there is great hope that we can put COVID-19 firmly behind us in 2021.
Nevertheless, the pandemic has accelerated so many trends at almost warp-like speed that it will cause fundamental changes to the way fleets are managed. Indeed, what is expected from a fleet.
New ways of working, increased digitalisation, technology in fast-forward mode are part of the changing working landscape that now envelops us. And, I think it should be added, all for the good.
But for fleet managers there’s possibly a bewildering number of items on the ‘to do’ list as companies reassess what they want from employees, re-evaluate their position on sustainability, and ultimately reorganise to survive in a post-COVID world.
So how is your fleet set up? Is it positioned to take advantage of electrification? Or is it stuck in the slow lane of doing things the 2020 way?
To provide some context to the issues facing fleets in 2021, I’ve assembled 21 tips, thoughts and action points for you to consider. So here goes.
21 fleet management tips
- Go electric.
- If you can’t go electric, go ultra low emission.
- If you can’t go ultra low emission yet, start planning your transition to an electrified fleet – the deadline is 2030.
- What are your options for fleet replacement if the electric vehicles (EVs) you want are subject to extended waiting times? You will need stop-gap plans in place (lease extension, short term lease, and so on).
- Post lockdown 3.0, are your fleet requirements still the same?
- What’s changed? Will drivers cover so many miles in the future? Or will they cover more?
- How will some of the emerging new technologies, particularly around hybrids, affect your fleet decisions? Are you able to adapt quickly? What’s the cost of not moving quickly?
- Have you considered how your fleet remobilises once the coronavirus vaccine is more widely available by early summer?
- Do you have a duty of care programme mapped out as drivers return to the wheel?
- What’s the condition of your fleet maintenance programme? Has this been kept up to date or idled? Think about planning and booking ahead: service bays will be busier than normal with potentially fewer staff to meet demand due to coronavirus isolation rules.
- The case for leasing is getting stronger all the time, especially as changes to capital allowances on company-purchased cars reduces this April (source Budget 2020: overview of tax legislation and rates, 2.15). In which case, have you taken advantage of our panel of fleet funders to obtain the most competitive fleet lease agreement?
- Are you still basing your fleet fleet allocation programme on rental rates? Now’s the time to change to whole life costs to take advantage of the benefits provided by EVs.
- Are you reviewing cash takers? Should they be coming back into company cars and taking advantage of rock bottom company car rates?
- Thinking about sustainability, how does your fleet measure up on the green scale?
- It might seem counterintuitive at the moment, given the advice to not use public transport, but how does mobility-as-a-service feature in your fleet programme? Younger employees might not see the value in a company car, but may well want provision of a mobility allowance as part of their remuneration package.
- Would a driver safety training programme be worthwhile after such a period of fleet inactivity?
- Are you still using excel spreadsheets to manage your fleet? In this digital age, talk to us about using e-Fleet and managing your vehicles in real time.
- If any of your employees are still accepting ‘free fuel’, re-evaluate the benefit with them: in the majority of cases it should be discontinued as there is no benefit, only more tax to pay. Do this before 31 March and the beginning of the new tax year.
- Make it your business to deliver continuous improvement: keep measuring, analysing, and improving fleet metrics.
- Keep communicating – with so many staff remote working, constant communication has never been more essential, not only to drivers but to management too.
- Finally, be ready to embrace change. Because the world’s not stopping here.
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