What is a fleet manager and do you need one?

The first part of our series was an introduction to fleet management, an essential concept for any business owner with vehicles. Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to make some strategic decisions: to hire or not to hire a dedicated fleet manager for your business? That is the question.

It can be challenging to discern whether getting an in-house fleet manager will be a worthy investment or a needless extravagance, especially if costs are a concern. We’ll help you break down why SMEs are probably better off implementing a robust, high-quality fleet management system. 

What does a fleet manager do? 

A fleet manager keeps your fleet running day-to-day in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. This includes acquiring and organising the fleet according to your business requirements, advising the business owner on funding and compliance, ensuring that vehicles are well-maintained and road-safe, monitoring and correcting driver behaviour on the road; and making sure that your drivers have a valid local driving licence and appropriate employment contracts. 

All in all, the fleet manager focuses on the myriad of details needed to seamlessly operate your fleet, freeing you up to do the work you started your business to do.

Where fleet managers come in handy

Fleet managers make valuable additions to your team if you have a large fleet of say, over 80 vehicles. With all the details that require oversight, managing a fleet is a considerable undertaking, no matter its size. Imagine how much more daunting the task becomes with each vehicle you add to your fleet. It would be virtually impossible for you alone to keep abreast of all your fleet data and make informed business decisions. You’ll need an extra pair of eyes and for that, you’ll need a specialist whose entire expertise rests on their knowledge of fleet management.

Hiring a fleet manager is also a sound strategy if your business grows in size and locations. You will need someone with knowledge of territories beyond your borders to manage the regulatory and compliance rules in unfamiliar environments, as well as the daily operations in warehouses beyond your reach. Also, if you require specialised equipment to run your growing fleet, a fleet manager would have the skills to oversee and maintain that equipment. 

Why you can be your own fleet manager

However, if you own far fewer vehicles, your priorities will be entirely different. Costs are probably more of a consideration and if you have a good fleet management system, taking care of your entire fleet is much easier, less time-consuming, and more cost-efficient than expanding your headcount just to manage about 10 or so vehicles. 

Many fleet management systems are designed to perform complex duties without requiring their users to acquire a second degree or any additional expertise. With the right solution, you’ll be able to keep track of your vehicles, view and manage your fuel costs, keep abreast of your invoices without needing to do paperwork, and set limits and controls over how much your drivers spend. In addition, many fleet management systems can be paired with telematics solutions, which grant you a bird’s eye view into your own diagnostics, routing, and driver data. You’ll easily discern whether your driver is idling, speeding, making hard stops, or engaging in any other problematic behaviour on easy-to-read dashboards. 

With all the data at your fingertips, you’re empowered to take full control over your fleet management and make the actionable decisions that will future-proof your fleet.

The fleet manager you can take with you

When we said that you could become your own fleet manager, it wasn’t just talk. Shell Fleet App empowers you to do just that by eliminating paperwork so you can do the work that matters. Want to know more? Visit our app store or Google Play store and download it today.