Opinion

Where next for the TCO?

So you've squeezed your OEM on pricing so much that they're squealing to be given some space to breathe. You've lent hard on your leasing provider, but they've come back and told you there's not a cent to be found anywhere in savings. 

Behaviour behind the wheel has been focused on too.  Heavy footed drivers have got it in the leg.  Fuel efficiency has boosted, but there's no more cash saving to be had here either.  After almost a decade of heavy duty cost cutting there's no longer any such thing as "easy wins" and "low hanging fruit". 

As this financial year begins to draw to a close you can bet your bottom dollar that senior management will come round - once again - and ask how the fleet is going to deliver its next slice of the savings pie.  Are you wondering where to look?  Well, don't worry.  You're not the only one.

There's no need for despair though.   The direction of travel for TCO today is fleet optimisation and smarter working practices.  There's many more ways to slash costs out of the business than just screwing down suppliers.  By getting strategic, understanding how fleets are being used (or perhaps I should say mis-used) and re-configuring business models you too could free up the fleet, save cash and boost your own reputation at the same time.  Does it sound appealing?  If so, then read on.

Okay, here's some startling evidence to get you started.  New research has revealed that almost half of service companies admit that their drivers still turn up at the wrong address.  That's wasted time, wasted fuel, the misuse of an important asset - a vehicle - that could be doing something else and a waste of valuable employee time.  Need I say more?

The study, which was commissioned by TomTom Telematics, found that drivers turning up at the wrong address was a weekly occurrence for five per cent of companies and it happens monthly for a further 43 percent.  Shockingly,  43per cent of those surveyed also admit they have experienced two mobile workers arriving at the same job.    

So what can be done?  Communication and smarter processes is key to avoid these types of costly mistakes, but first of all we need to know that they are happening.  This is where fleet managers can be worth their weight in gold. 

With our warehouses of data we now have the information to unearth saving gems on fleet usage.  So, let's go data mining to unearth inefficiencies in business processes and make them better.  Find them, raise them with stakeholders and senior management and you'll not just change the way the company works, but generate those much needed savings as well. 

Fleet management is increasingly data driven.  So let's make data friend and use it to free up the fleet.  Do that and we'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

 

Authored by: Steven Schoefs