What Makes A Great Fleet Manager?
At the heart of every successful fleet is a successful fleet manager. There’s a lot of debate and discussion lately over how fleets should operate, how drivers should be monitored and what the greatest challenges in the industry currently consist of. However, before any of this can be addressed one needs to think about the man or woman who’s taking fundamental responsibility for fleet operations. Here are the qualities that, in our opinion, make a great fleet manager.
Adaptability: Fleet managers and decision-makers are at the heart of an industry that is changing at a rapid pace. Whether it’s the now inevitable transition from the combustion engine to EVs, the uncertainty around BiK or Brexit and a host of new technologies, there’s an enormous amount to understand and tackle. In other words, it’s no good getting comfortable. A great fleet manager is consistently adapting to new challenges, not only within the context of their business but also the industry as a whole. They don’t get comfy and keep up with the latest trends.
Goal-Oriented: A great fleet manager doesn’t seek to simply keep things running (as important as that is), he or she is consistently working towards continuous improvement. This means identifying areas that can be reformed or even revolutionised. Just as the manager needs to adapt, so does the fleet as a whole. Fuel costs should be reduced, driver turn over improved upon and safety figures regularly scrutinised. In short, there’s always something that can be worked on.
Clear Communication: One thing most fleet managers can often improve upon is how effectively they communicate, not only with the rest of their business but also with drivers themselves. Effective communication isn’t simply a question of delegating tasks and responsibilities, it’s about engagement. Consistent, clear and motivating communication is a fundamental ingredient in ensuring employees within the fleet are aware of their own responsibilities and targets and, fundamentally, why they should take them seriously. But remember, it’s a two-way street. Communication is as much about listening as it is speaking.
Know Your Company As A Whole: The fleet isn’t a separate entity to the rest of the business, it’s an organ within a body. The fleet industry is challenging and complex, but a great fleet manager knows the character and strategy of the business as a whole. What is the long-term plan, what are its ethics and core practices? This concerns fleet as much as any other department. It’s your task to ensure that the fleet reflects the rest of the business and positively.
Have A Passion For All Things Automotive: Fleet managers spend a lot of time around cars and commercial vehicles. They talk about them, purchase them and basically spend all day dealing with them. It’s a major help, then, if they enjoy everything about them. A great fleet manager has a passion for cars, the technology behind them and car manufacturing. They read the magazines, watch the TV series and spend a lot of time out on the roads themselves. Why? Because it’s passion that drives success. If you don’t enjoy something it’s going to be exceptionally hard to become motivated, even harder to motivate other people and members of staff.
Autoserve’s Fleet Card costs just £10 a vehicle per month. With over 16,000 approved garages, a 24/7 support service and a host of cost-saving offers, we can keep your fleet moving and operational. Call one of our professional Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 for more details.