How to be an Efficient Fleet Manager?

Some years ago, honest, anonymous job assessments were invited from managers of fleets in the mid- to large-size in the commercial and public sector organizations, and the responses, featured in this post on Automotive Fleet, were shocking. Responses ranged from senior managements being “clueless,” to fleet management being viewed as “necessary evil.”

Despite this, the job outlook for fleet managers continues to be favorable, with the average professional making $80,000 a year, reports The Balance. I have been a part of a major logistics company in the U.S. for the last 12 years, and have learned the ropes of the job from the veterans themselves. I still believe with a little innovation, willingness to adapt to new platforms, and on-job experience, fleet management can once again be a highly rewarding profession.

Develop a Sense of Driver Management

It is high time someone said it, because without efficient driver management, a company can easily lose a lot of money. Good fleet managers will always start with assessing the satisfaction of a company’s drivers. Technology is an integral part of driver management now, so, for instance, installing electronic logging devices can make it a lot smoother. Do not forget to monitor driver performance as well.

Hone your Technical Skills

I and a lot of my own fleet manager friends have worked our way up, initially starting out with vehicle diagnostics and even repair. For me, I believe that has been the biggest advantage, because fleet management, nowadays, involves a lot of communication, administration, and metrics. Getting in-house training for basic vehicle technology isn’t available, so get your hands dirty whenever there’s a chance. There is intelligent advice to be had from colleagues with garage work behind them and fleet-minded dealers.

Work on your Communication and Writing Skills

The advantage with those without a traditional background is that they bring diversity to the table, including great personnel and office management skills. The role requires one to take over a number of responsibilities, and communication is a major part of it. Fleet managers have to deal with drivers, suppliers, senior executives, and law enforcement, and hence have to be clear, brief, and persuasive in their communication. A Fleet Financials post talks about why good writing skills raise a fleet manager’s desirability.

Work on Accounting/Financial Abilities

This continues from my point on technical skills, since fleet management and accounting go back a long way. Develop an understanding of the job’s financial aspects, and grab any training opportunity with both hands. Combining accounting and technology for fleet management has turned out to be a brilliant idea. Last year, I introduced Xclerator by Key Software Systems in our operations, allowing us to not only make customer invoicing easy, but print checks quickly, and sending across billing data in a format desirable to the clients.

Embrace Information Technology

Being a fleet manager doesn’t mean one know programming, but IT has penetrated our lives in a big way today. I learned operating basic programs and automated reporting software a long while ago, and that worked in my favor. If you’re only just starting out, practice making presentations using PowerPoint.

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Software and Design Enthusiast, Entrepreneur

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Fredrick Carter

Fredrick Carter

Software and Design Enthusiast, Entrepreneur

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