Innovative Strategies for the road ahead.

Making the best of the available time: Country Fleet Manager

Has your fleet operations significantly decreased in light of the coronavirus? With the limited day-to-day operation, you may have some time on your hands. 

You can use this downtime as an opportunity to improve your fleet management in many different ways. Fleet Forum has provided a list for you. 

We hope this list inspires you in these challenging times. If you need some help implementing or you have more ideas, please leave a comment below.

Conduct a fleet management self-assessment 

This is the perfect time to step back and ask yourself the question "How professional are my fleet management practices?". You can use the Humanitarian Fleet Management Standards to:

  • Critically reflect how the fleet management function is performing
  • Make a baseline of your operation
  • Develop the plan to make improvements 

Get your preventive maintenance in order

  • You can perform a proper (supervised and documented) vehicle inspection by drivers on all your vehicles. Check out the Vehicle checklist and fault recording form for inspiration
  • Prepare repair work orders and order items as required. 
  • Check service due records. If any vehicles can have service done now, then plan to do so, even if ahead of scheduled mileage. 

Update and analyse your monthly data collection report

Is your monthly fleet management report allowing you to get an in-depth insight into your fleet performance? This is the perfect time to review the report template and make changes to it. You can use the sample data collection report as an example. 

If you do already have data, then use the time to analyse the data. For example, you could examine Fuel performance. We suggest you pull together and analyse fuel consumption performance. Look at the ideal rates set per type of vehicle. Check if there a variance between ideal and actual. Where there is, then do some troubleshooting.

Engage and build the capacity of your drivers

If you have more time on your hand, then perhaps your drivers do as well? There are many activities you can engage them, either face-to-face or remotely, depending on the lockdown conditions in your context: 

  1. If you don't already have one, set up a Whatsapp group to stay connected with them
  2. Build the capacity of your drivers through training. On Driver's Seat, you can find a series of trainings
  3. Sign up for the Driver Recognition Programme. The Qualifying Rounds are taking place from April to July. These rounds are administered remotely. It might even be an opportune time if drivers have more time on their hands (due to reduction in missions). 

Upskill yourself

It's very difficult to invest time in our own skills when we are meeting the transport needs of our programmes. With the reduction in activities, we have uninterrupted time to focus, strengthen our skills and be ready to go back to the office with new ideas and methodologies. Fleet Forum is offering all fleet managers two capacity building activities:

Keep an eye out on our website and social media channels for updates.

Build and maintain your relationship with your suppliers

It is very likely that your supplier is also on lockdown. Even though we are dependent on our suppliers, we often get caught up in the day-to-day working and don't take time to converse with our suppliers. Being on lockdown gives you the time to engage with them virtually, discuss how you both go through this period, have feedback sessions, discuss where you can both improve. 

For tracking and systems users: Learn how to make maximum use 

GPS hardware & security: You can perform a planned and deliberate test of all panic buttons. Check if all the devices triggered a notification and if the right people were notified. Take out your response plan and determine if it needs to be updated. The panic button should work at all times and the management of your organisation should have a clear course of action in the event a panic button is activated. 

Fleet management system 

  • Clean up your asset list: check and update all fleet asset records, making sure that those recorded in the system are the same as what is on the ground. Ask yourself "are all fleet assets recorded in the system? (incl. motos, generators, trailers?; 
  • Do the same for your drivers and staff list. Are all drivers and staff that drive recorded in the system? Do all driver have valid driving permits? Do all fleet and non-fleet persons that need access have access? 
  • Take a demo or training on how to best use the system. Many of the system suppliers offer online videos and trainings to learn how to use the system. Contact them and see if you can take training. You might learn some new tips which you can use once the operation picks up again. 

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