Cost control will be key for fleets in 2012, says Mycompanyfleet
1 Fuel management
Despite the postponement of the planned 3ppl rise this month, fuel prices look set to go still higher this year, making this the single most important area for fleet attention. For many companies, this will mean controlling fuel costs and cutting business miles.
One way of achieving this is through the use of fuel cards, integrated within a fleet management system and linked to the use of exception reporting to highlight those drivers who are exceeding pre-agreed spending parameters.
The use of fuel management software, such as Mycompanyfleet’s "fuel optimiser", which identifies the most fuel-efficient cars and vans from all major motor manufacturers, can also help fleet managers select the right mix for the fleet. Fuel cost reports of existing fleet models can then be produced to flag up the best and worst performers, showing which vehicles and drivers are the most expensive for the company to operate.
2 Data entry
Fleet managers can reduce administration costs and time by the use of modern fleet management systems that allow data input from third parties, including drivers, leasing companies and other suppliers.
Fleet management systems, like Mycompanyfleet’s FleetAcumen, can integrate with the back-office of leasing companies, for example, avoiding the need for time-consuming double-keying of data. Key information such as monthly vehicle contract hire rates can be integrated seamlessly within the company system without the need for manual intervention, saving both time and money.
3 P11D reporting
Compiling P11D reports for HMRC – potentially one of the most onerous tasks facing fleet managers – can be turned into a straightforward automated process by the use of the latest software systems, says Mycompanyfleet. The firm’s Assessa system fully automates the P11D reporting process, saving fleet managers huge time, effort and money.
Assessa, which can be either integrated or stand-alone functionality, has been designed to complete statutory returns with the minimum of effort and avoid the risk of penalties for late or incorrect submissions. With P11D reporting needing to be completed for the end of the tax year in April, now has never been a better time to consider automating this key HMRC requirement.
4 Vehicle utilisation
Fleet managers can cut vehicle hire costs through better utilisation of vehicles already on the fleet. Vehicles that are freed up when employees leave through redundancy or natural wastage can often be unused for days, sometimes weeks, before they are re-allocated or returned to the vehicle supplier.
By using a fleet management system to log and pinpoint the location of all vehicles, the firm says it's possible to keep a much closer control of the whereabouts of vehicles across different sites at various locations.
The system can be pre-set to flag up when vehicles become free within the business, allowing the fleet manager to take the appropriate action to re-allocate vehicles as quickly and effectively as possible, so avoiding expensive extra hire charges.
5 Fleet servicing
By utilising up-to-date vehicle information including mileage details, the latest generation of fleet management software systems can flag up those vehicles due for servicing well in advance of their allotted service intervals.
This ensures that service intervals are not missed, which would invalidate vehicle warranties, and that the fleet does not face the potential for expensive corrective maintenance bills.
Jon Tandy, business development manager at Mycompanyfleet (Inset), said: 'Given the economic forecasts, the major focus for fleet operators this year will, without doubt, be cost control.
'However, by using the latest fleet management software systems, businesses can achieve real cost savings, increased efficiencies and improved performance across their vehicle fleets. It is not unusual to make savings of 10-15% of total fleet operating costs by employing the right level of functionality in the areas we have identified,' he added.