Fleet management: How to manage your fleet successfully

Je größer die Flotte, desto höher ist der Bedarf für einen eigenen Flottenmanager

Whether you are a freight forwarder, construction company or municipal fleet, fleet management plays a central role for all companies that have vehicles in their fleet. The focus here is on the organization and management of operational mobility. As one of the biggest cost drivers in the company, the vehicle fleet must also be managed efficiently and costs must be kept under control at all times. At the same time, legal requirements must be complied with, claims must be settled and, under certain circumstances, sustainability goals must be met.

Digital fleet management plays a key role in this: By automating tasks, effort can be minimized, potential savings identified and safety in the fleet increased. In this article, you will learn about the tasks involved in fleet management and how fleet software can relieve the burden.

What does fleet management mean?

The term fleet management refers to the organization and management of a vehicle fleet in a company. On the one hand, this includes the procurement and control of vehicles as well as the planning and organization of maintenance and repairs. The handling of damage, fuel management and the administration of contracts and insurance are also areas of responsibility in fleet management.

In addition, fleet managers must comply with the statutory owner liability obligations. This includes the driver’s license check, the UVV driver training and the UVV vehicle inspection.

The core tasks in fleet management consist of the following:

  • Maximize the efficiency of the fleet
  • control the operating costs
  • Optimize the use of the vehicle
  • increase operational productivity and
  • comply with the legal requirements.

Efficient fleet management means managing the fleet economically and ensuring compliance with legal regulations. In addition, fleet management plays a key role in optimizing operational mobility. A company can increase efficiency and productivity by having a suitable vehicle fleet that meets the requirements and needs of its employees.

What are the goals of fleet management?

One of the main objectives of fleet management is to manage the fleet efficiently and reduce costs. This includes reducing operating costs such as for fuel consumption, maintenance, insurance and vehicle procurement expenses. Through efficient use of resources and cost control, fleet management can help increase the company’s profitability.

Another aim of fleet management is to optimize the fleet with regard to the company’s (mobility) requirements. On the one hand, this includes the right number and type of vehicles to support operations efficiently. It also includes optimizing vehicle utilization and well thought-out route planning in order to minimize empty runs and maximize efficiency.

In addition, more and more companies are setting themselves the goal of promoting environmentally friendly practices and minimizing their ecological footprint. Sustainable fleet management aims to reduce environmentally harmful emissions and therefore relies on more environmentally friendly vehicles and promotes fuel-efficient driving behavior.

What is digital fleet management?

Digital fleet management refers to the use of digital technologies to efficiently manage and control a fleet of vehicles. These include software solutions, telematics and GPS systems, and smartphone apps. They help to optimize fleet organization, collect and analyze data and make well-founded decisions. The digitalization of the fleet enables more efficient, transparent and data-supported management.

Digitales Fuhrparkmanagement sorgt für strukturierte Abläufe und automatisiert Routineaufgaben
Digitales Fuhrparkmanagement

What is fleet software?

Fleet software is a specialized software solution that facilitates the management and organization of vehicles. It is used to record and manage all vehicle and driver data in one place. Comprehensive reporting capabilities provide fleet managers with valuable insights into fleet performance and enable them to make informed decisions to increase efficiency and reduce costs. In most cases, fleet software such as Fleet+ can be supplemented with various add-ons that can be used, for example, to carry out electronic driver’s license checks or driver training in accordance with accident prevention regulations.

Fleet management software Fleet+

Fleet+ fleet software

With our powerful fleet management software Fleet+, you can control your company’s fleet digitally, cost-effectively and transparently.

What are the advantages of a software solution for the fleet?

The use of
fleet software offers numerous advantages
in fleet management. It simplifies the complex processes in the fleet and creates structured workflows, reducing the workload for fleet managers. It also ensures transparency and helps to monitor and reduce costs.

Automation of tasks

Fleet software automates many fleet management tasks that are time-consuming and error-prone in Excel. By digitizing tasks such as data import, calculations, reminders and the creation of reports, it saves valuable time and resources that can be used for the strategic management of the fleet.

Centralization of data

Digital fleet management helps to centrally record and manage all relevant data relating to vehicles and drivers, including vehicle information, maintenance logs, driver data, insurance documents, fuel consumption and much more. This also facilitates access to information for other stakeholders, such as accounting or HR, while maintaining data integrity through individual access permissions.

Reporting and cost control

Software generates reports and analysis based on collected data, such as vehicle usage, fuel consumption, maintenance requirements and operating costs. This makes it possible to identify potential savings in the fleet, optimize operational processes, and make well-founded decisions.

Maintenance management

Digital fleet management can be used to create maintenance and repair schedules, monitor appointments and generate reminders for maintenance work. This ensures that vehicles are kept in optimum condition, downtime is minimized and costly repairs are avoided.

Digital claims management

Digital fleet management also simplifies the handling of claims. In addition to the electronic documentation of damage, software also simplifies the tracking of the damage process – from reporting to repair. Automatic notifications and automated communication between drivers, insurance companies and repair shops speed up claims processing. In addition, the software provides comprehensive reports and analysis to identify loss patterns and take preventive action to reduce losses.

Compliance with the keeper's liability obligations

Digital fleet management also offers appropriate solutions for compliance with the legally prescribed owner liability obligations. The
Checking driving licenses
conveniently via smartphone app while on the move. The driver instruction according to UVV can be carried out flexibly online as an e-learning course, no matter where the driver happens to be. This is not only very convenient for employees, but also relieves fleet managers of time-consuming appointment organization and driver communication. All tests and test results are documented and stored in a traceable manner.

Integration with other systems

A digital solution can be integrated with other business systems, such as accounting software, human resources management, and order management. This allows information to be exchanged seamlessly and processes to be automated to improve the efficiency and accuracy of data collection and processing.

Fuhrparkverantwortlicher nutzt die Vorteile einer einer Software für das Fuhrparkmanagement
Hands of young contemporary office manager over laptop keypad during work over new business project by table

Who is responsible for fleet management in the company?

Responsibility for fleet management can be organized differently in companies. In small and medium-sized companies, employees often take on fleet management tasks in addition to their actual duties, such as purchasing or accounting.

Companies with large fleets typically have a fleet manager as the central person responsible for overall fleet management. In some cases, companies also decide to outsource fleet management to external service providers. What are the advantages and disadvantages of fleet outsourcing, you will learn later in the article.

What are the fleet management tasks?

As mentioned at the beginning, the control of a fleet of vehicles is complex and very versatile. The fleet management tasks range from the procurement of vehicles to appointment management and damage and maintenance management. There are also a number of legal and regulatory requirements that need to be taken into account when organizing a fleet.

Budgeting and cost control

The fleet manager is responsible for budgeting the fleet. Monitors vehicle acquisition, maintenance, repair, insurance, fuel and other expenses. Effective cost control and analysis can achieve savings and make the best use of the budget.

Procurement and fleet planning

Fleet management tasks also include the procurement of vehicles as well as contract negotiations for vehicles, leasing contracts, insurance and other fleet-related services. The key is to negotiate the best terms and contracts that meet the company’s requirements. In addition, it must be decided whether vehicles will be purchased, leased or rented to meet the mobility needs within the company.

In addition, it is the responsibility of the fleet manager to determine the optimal number, types and specifications of vehicles to meet operational requirements . This includes the evaluation of vehicle usage, the analysis of costs and efficiency, and the consideration of environmental aspects.

With the
Easy+ company car configurator
you can digitize the procurement process in fleet management. Based on the stored car policy, drivers can configure their desired vehicle themselves with just a few clicks. The automatic buildability check ensures that the desired company car can be ordered. As a fleet manager, you can then keep an eye on all processes and documents.

Vehicle maintenance and repair

Regular maintenance and repair of the vehicles should ensure that they are ready for use and safe to operate at all times. The fleet manager plans and monitors the maintenance schedule, coordinates workshop appointments and ensures that all vehicles are in perfect technical condition.

Compliance with the keeper's liability obligations

Compliance with owner liability obligations is of great importance and plays a key role in fleet management. For this reason,checking driving licenses, driver training in accordance with accident prevention regulations and accident prevention vehicle inspections are also among the central tasks of fleet management. Failure to comply with the keeper liability obligations may result in legal consequences such as fines, penalties or other sanctions in the event of a claim.

Claims management

Handling damage is also a task in fleet management. Effective claims management aims to process claims quickly and efficiently in order to minimize vehicle downtime and disrupt operations as little as possible. Damage management also includes the planning and implementation of preventive measures to avoid damage.

Fuel management

An important aspect of fleet management is fuel management. The fleet manager monitors fuel consumption and analyzes the data to identify potential savings and derive measures to reduce consumption.

Fuhrparkveranwortliche organisiert das Fuhrparkmanagement mit einer digitalen Lösung
Aged businesswoman typing on pc holds paper prepare report analyzing work results feel satisfied do paperwork use business app online software for data analysis, financier manage firm finances concept

What does Total Cost of Ownership mean in fleet management?

The total cost of ownership (TCO for short) describes the overall costs associated with owning and using vehicles in the fleet. This takes into account not only the acquisition costs, but all expenses incurred over the life of a vehicle. TCO therefore includes all costs around the:

  • Acquisition and financing (such as interest or leasing fees)
  • Ongoing costs for fuel, maintenance, repairs or tire changes
  • Insurances
  • Taxes and fees
  • Depreciation
  • Residual value

A careful analysis of the total cost of ownership shows the true cost of a vehicle in the fleet and helps to make informed decisions. It provides a basis for decision-making when it comes to making the most economical vehicle selection, determining the optimum time for vehicle renewal or planning maintenance strategies.

What role does controlling play in fleet management?

The aim of fleet controlling is to improve the efficiency, profitability and safety of the fleet. This is achieved by making informed decisions based on data and metrics. Fleet controlling therefore involves the collection and analysis of a wide range of data using predefined KPIs, such as vehicle usage, fuel consumption, maintenance costs, insurance costs, accident data, driver behavior and other relevant key figures. By analyzing this data, trends can be identified, performance indicators determined, and deviations from targets identified.

Another central aspect of fleet controlling is the control of costs. This includes monitoring fuel costs, maintenance and repair costs, insurance costs, vehicle acquisition costs, taxes and fees, and other fleet expenses. Effective cost control allows savings potential to be identified and measures to reduce costs to be taken.

In general, Fleet Controlling prepares budgets for fleet operations and monitors actual expenditures against budget. It also includes forecasting future expenditures and planning resources based on anticipated fleet needs.

What are the legal requirements to be observed in the vehicle fleet?

In fleet management, there are a number of legal requirements and official regulations to be observed:

  • The Working Hours Act (ArbZG) regulates the working hours of drivers and contains provisions on driving and rest times, break regulations and maximum working hours for driving personnel in commercial goods and passenger transport.
  • The Occupational Health and SafetyAct (ArbSchG) also applies to fleet management and sets out general requirements for the protection of employees from work-related hazards. It is intended to ensure the safety and health of employees and provides the basis for regular driver instruction in accordance with UVV. This is designed to train drivers in the safe use of company vehicles and how to behave in the event of an accident, and to minimize the risk of accidents. Driver training must be carried out at least once a year.
  • The obligation to check driver’s licenses in the fleet arises from the Road Traffic Act (StVG), which contains provisions on liability in road traffic and regulates aspects such as issuing driver’s licenses, vehicle registration, traffic regulations and sanctions for traffic violations. The licenses of all drivers should be checked at least twice a year.

Digital tools support you in complying with your keeper liability obligations and help you save time and money. With the
electronic driver’s license check
drivers can conveniently scan their driver’s license while on the move. The software reminds you of upcoming and overdue deadlines and all inspection results are archived seamlessly. The
UVV driver training as an e-learning course
is the ideal tool for training drivers flexibly in the safe handling of company vehicles. It doesn’t matter whether they are at home, working from home or on the move. The training content is immediately available and all tests are documented in a verifiable manner.

Webinar Fleet+ and the LapID driver's license check

Thursday, 2024/05/16 – 02:00 PM

Fleet management: in-house vs. outsourcing

The decision as to whether fleet management should be handled in-house or outsourced to an external fleet service provider(fleet management outsourcing) depends on various factors and can vary from company to company. Here are some points that can be considered when making a decision:

Advantages

Inhouse

  • Independence from external service provider and direct influence on workflows and processes
  • Building internal expertise
  • Support through digital fleet solutions

Outsourcing

  • Know-how and better purchasing conditions
  • Increased efficiency as employees focus on core tasks
  • Investments for IT and further training of employees can be minimized

Disadvantages

Inhouse

  • High expenditure of time and resources
  • Difficulty in keeping up with latest technological developments

Outsourcing

  • Often higher costs
  • Loss of internal knowledge and control
  • Dependence on external service provider and less flexibility

Companies often decide to outsource subareas, transferring operational tasks to a fleet service provider while retaining strategic decision-making power within the company. If fleet management is done in-house, digital solutions help organize the vehicles and all related tasks.

Which trend topics should fleet managers keep an eye on?

Fleet managers should keep an eye on certain trending topics. This enables them to adapt their strategies to new developments and better meet the requirements of the changing mobility sector.

Car subscription

In contrast to long-term leasing contracts or vehicle purchases, car subscriptions such as those from Fleethouse often offer a shorter term, sometimes as little as one month. This gives companies the opportunity to flexibly adapt their vehicle fleet to changing requirements, bridge long delivery times for company cars or test the suitability of alternative drive systems for the fleet.

The monthly rate covers all costs including insurance, maintenance and taxes. Only the refueling and charging costs are not included. This enables better cost control and planning capability for fleet management.

Fleethouse Auto Abo

Subscribe to company car?

The all-round worry-free mobility package for your fleet: Subscribe to the right company car with our Fleethouse fleet platform and have it delivered to your desired address. Terms start from as little as one month.

Online procurement

The online procurement of vehicles is also an important topic in fleet management. In recent years, the vehicle procurement process has changed significantly and many fleet managers are increasingly using online platforms to purchase vehicles for their fleet. Fleet managers can thus quickly and efficiently compare a wide range of models, brands and equipment variants, check prices and obtain quotes without having to physically travel to different car dealerships. Our
Easy+ company car configurator
offers you precisely these options.

Online procurement enables fleet managers to handle the entire fleet procurement process electronically, including signing contracts and exchanging documents. This speeds up the process and reduces the administrative burden. Integrations with fleet management software allow procurement data to be seamlessly transferred.

Corporate car sharing

What has already become established in private use is also playing an increasingly important role in vehicle fleets: corporate car sharing can reduce fleet costs. Instead of providing each employee with their own vehicle, vehicles are shared and used as needed. This can reduce the number of vehicles required and increase utilization. This results in savings of up to 30 percent on purchase, insurance, maintenance and servicing.

Carsharing Software CaranoCloud

Complete package for car sharing in your fleet

From vehicle booking and flexible vehicle access to compliance with legal requirements, our corporate car sharing software CaranoCloud lets you manage your pool vehicles efficiently.

Electromobility

Electromobility is becoming increasingly important in fleet management. Many companies are setting targets for the electrification of their fleets and investing in electric vehicles to achieve their sustainability goals and reduce costs.

Although electric vehicles are often still more expensive to purchase than conventional combustion vehicles, they can lead to long-term cost savings in the fleet. Electric vehicles have lower operating costs per mile because electricity is cheaper compared to gasoline or diesel, and maintenance costs are generally lower. In addition, electric vehicles produce no direct emissions and thus contribute to the reduction of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Frequently asked questions about fleet management

How do I become a fleet manager?

There is no legally prescribed training for the profession of fleet manager. A degree in a relevant field such as logistics, business administration or automotive engineering already provides a solid knowledge base for working in fleet management. The qualification as a fleet manager then takes place within the framework of qualified further training. These are offered, for example, by DEKRA, TÜV Rheinland or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Even fleet managers who already hold this position in a company should constantly acquire new knowledge through seminars and further training in order to keep pace with developments in the industry and digital technologies.

What is a Car Policy?

A car policy serves as the company’s own guideline that defines the rules and specifications for the use of company vehicles in the fleet. It determines the conditions of access to company vehicles, vehicle selection, maintenance and repair, fuel management, insurance, accident procedures and other relevant aspects. A car policy is used to define clear guidelines for employees and ensure that vehicle use is in line with corporate objectives and legal requirements in fleet management. In this way, misunderstandings and internal conflicts can be avoided.

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