Spiking fuel prices. Lingering supply chain disruptions. Ongoing challenges with driver recruitment and retention. In running a fleet, you’ve confronted more than your fair share of issues in 2022. And as you look towards 2023, you likely see your business facing similar issues in the coming year.
Tackling these complexities requires both short-term and long-term thinking. While you need to manage situations as they arise, you also want to set your future fleet up for sustainable success. That’s what this article is all about: optimising your fleet for stability and profitability in the long run. The four actions below can help you develop a future-proofing strategy that fits your fleet.
4 future-proofing actions for fleets
1. Refine your data management
Today’s fleet operates in a data-driven world. Information about your fleet’s operations is one of your most important business assets. Vehicle data is especially crucial to running a fleet efficiently and profitably. You can’t identify where to cut costs or operate more sustainably, for example, without visibility on vehicle location, fuel consumption, mileage and driver behaviour. With the rapid pace of business in mind, how can you ensure you’re making the most of your fleet’s valuable data?
Spreadsheets can’t handle the volume or speed of data that competitive fleets rely on to improve working processes and grow their customer base. An integrated data management system enables quick insights, the key to responding to evolving circumstances. A high-quality telematics solution gives you easy access—and control—over real-time and historical vehicle data, with the tools and features to use it effectively. An integrated system centralises your business data—all your fleet information is accessible in one account (no more shuffling through spreadsheets!). Now may be a good time to evaluate your data management tools. Outdated, disparate systems are a hurdle to greater efficiency.
2. Simplify workflows with digital tools
Apps can make it easier to manage your fleet’s workforce. Webfleet’s Work App and Vehicle Check are prime examples. Both mobile apps facilitate smooth planning and communication.
Work App is a digital task master for drivers. By using the app, they can stay on top of jobs and register their personal/business trips. Need to send urgent order instructions? Your driver will never miss your updates with push notifications. Assign vehicles per availability or let drivers assign vehicles to themselves. Do you hire freelancers or contractors? Work App allows you to repurpose your Webfleet subscription for new drivers and vehicles.
Daily walkarounds are essential to maintaining roadworthy vehicles. But paper-based inspections can be a real hassle. You don’t get updated on vehicle status or defects. You don’t know whether walkaround checks are complete. Within the Vehicle Check app, drivers open your company’s checklist, do the check, sign it off and send it. If a driver hits the road without submitting their checklist, you’ll get an alert. Roadside inspections are a breeze: Drivers have quick access to prior checklists. From planning your daily schedule to communicating with your team on the road, digital tools can optimise your fleet’s workflows. Future-proof your fleet in 2023 by eliminating paperwork hassles and compliance stresses.
3. Move ahead with electrification
The days of internal combustion engine (ICE) are nearing an end. Every new HGV in the UK will be zero emission by 2040. In the EU, emissions standards will get increasingly stricter from 2025 to 2030. Busy cities like Amsterdam already prohibit heavy diesel vehicles from entering their centres. A future-proofed fleet is one with a fleet electrification strategy.
A lot goes into developing the right electrification strategy for your fleet. You need to consider how to achieve business goals while maximising savings and minimising downtime. Then there’s figuring out how to ready your fleet for the switch, from procuring electric vehicles (EVs) to training staff on new technology and managing EV charging times. Webfleet customers can use our Fleet Electrification Report to determine the best time to replace their ICE vehicles with EVs. For transport fleets, companies like Volta can streamline the transition with Truck-as-a-Service, or TaaS. TaaS features end-to-end services like vehicle maintenance and charging infrastructure, which can make the electrification journey simpler and more cost-effective.
4. Leverage technology
It’s no exaggeration to say that fleet management is a juggling act. If you’re running a fleet, you’ve constantly got your eye on costs, compliance, safety, maintenance schedules and asset security. This was tough enough in the pre-COVID world to do. Uncertainty is clearly the new business reality, and analogue tools weren’t built to handle our unprecedented challenges.
Whether we’re talking about decarbonisation or retaining qualified drivers, fleets must transform their operations to thrive. Embracing technology offers a path forward. The right solutions can help fleets future-proof their business by automating processes and slashing costs. The question is, how do you know which combination of tools will serve your business best? We recommend going with a single-platform fleet management solution. A comprehensive fleet management platform will provide everything needed to run your fleet, all from one cloud-based account. Using a features-rich fleet management platform can bring cost savings by helping you avoid compliance violations, safety risks and unplanned downtime. With the right platform, you can pull custom reports and analyse operational data with a click or two inside your account.
Get your fleet ready for the future
Looking for the most sensible tools in a single package? Webfleet’s smart bundles include our fleet management software with the highest-performing hardware. Our bundles are designed for truck/bus, LCV/car and mixed fleets—just pick the package that suits your business goals.
Not sure which solution is right for your business? We’re always happy to help. Request a free consultation with one of our specialists today.