Make 2016 a safe and efficient one with these New Year's fleet resolutions
CHRISTMAS IS DONE AND DUSTED.
The decorations have been stuffed back into the loft, and the turkeys can go forth and gobble in peace.
It’s now the New Year, which means a clean slate and the time to set yourself transformative, character-building and ambitious objectives. Well, at least that is what we all hope for while still flooded with the optimism that January brings.
However, here at MiX Telematics, we want to propel you forward with all the vim and vigour of a finely-tuned turbo diesel-powered HGV. We are not going to be able to assist you on your personal quest to pick up a Nobel Prize and unite the free peoples of the globe, but if you are a fleet decision-maker we can definitely help you achieve more in 2016. Here is a list of common New Year’s Resolutions that may be more relevant to your fleet than you think:
1. Losing weight
The ever-burgeoning midriff is a common target for our newly-focused approach to life, but weight control can also have huge implications for fleet operations.
We know Lewis Hamilton and his fellow F1 drivers will not have indulged in a second helping of Christmas pudding and although we don’t expect the world’s fleet drivers to put the spoon down, the Formula One adage of every kilo counts should be applied to fleet management.
Load capacity and its management are crucial pil-lars of fleet efficiency. A Goodyear Dunlop survey of over 400 European fleet managers found that many operators believe the next few years will be crucial to their long-term survival as they adapt to spiralling fuel costs and ongoing sustainability legislation. Improved logistics was cited as one of the most common ways of mitigating the threats and smoothing the transition, with 44 per cent of fleets stating they have already taken steps to make their deliveries more efficient.
Indeed, 69 per cent of transport and logistics companies believe fuel efficiency and environmental credentials will become the new competitive advantage.
Firms that are more savvy with their loads, or can recalculate delivery routes to make more effective use of their diesel, stand to save much more than a few pounds in 2016.
2. Spend more time with your friends and family
We all want to help restore the work-life balance, but the option of working from home is not exactly one which the fleet driver can pursue. However, there are other reasons for optimism.
GPS technology is now ubiquitous in the transport industry.
Location-based systems and road SatNav already ac-count for all but 0.1 per cent of the €245 billion global navigation satellite system market and by 2020, the majority of vehicles in Europe will be kitted out with at least one GPS device.
People may have already used their shiny new and unwrapped satnavs to navigate their way to the homes of half-forgotten relatives over the Christmas period, but in a fleet setting, route efficiency is vital.
Indeed, according to US Department of Energy figures, even a one per cent optimisation increase would save 30.2 billion gallons of diesel - in just one country. Even fractional improvements would offer fleets noticeable sustainability improvements when scaled up to all vehicles and all journeys.
If you can use technology to help your drivers optimise their routes to avoid traffic, use less fuel and finish their deliveries in a safe and efficient manner, then you can avoid falling foul of EU driver hours rules and help your staff spend no longer than is strictly necessary out on the roads.
3. Self-improvement and personal development
Okay, no-one is asking your fleet drivers to retreat to the top of a mountain and ponder the metaphysical implications of the Euro 6 changes, but self-improvement is a pillar of fleet sustainability.
Your drivers are the element of the business that needs to act upon any changes and improvements you may suggest. Vehicle technology is only as efficient as the person operating it and investment in driver training can have huge holistic benefits to a transport company.
Driver behaviour programmes, which are tailored to the individual by the use of detailed telematics data, can be very motivating and the ideal way for a fleet to instil a philosophy of long-term success that will continue to yield rewards far beyond 2016.
Yet despite this, MiX Telematics’ own research has showed just over a quarter of fleet drivers are given guidelines to encourage good driving behaviour by their employer.
“Be the change you want to see in this world” Mahatma Ghandi
4. Get rich and be more thrifty
Is it time to start cutting your own hair or buy toothpaste in bulk to take advantage of a supermarket offer? Probably not, but with many fleets on the cusp of profitability entering 2016, money needs to be saved wherever possible.
Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are an unnecessary expense. According to UK government statistics, the reported road accidents in 2011 cost an estimated £15.6 billion and numerous studies have showed that fleet drivers are more prone to RTAs than other road users.
You could find that investments in preventative measures such as driver training, vehicle main-tenance and fleet technology, begin to pay for themselves as insurance premiums stabilise, driver downtime is reduced and vehicle acquisition and repair costs are eliminated.
5. Become more tech savvy
Driver and fleet technology is here to stay, so don’t be like your granny was on Boxing Day, asking whereabouts to speak into an iPhone, and find out how you can take advantage of telematics in 2016.
Here at MiX Telematics, we - unsurprisingly - specialise in telematics technology. In 2016, we can provide you with detailed and relevant data on all aspects of fleet safety and sustainability. Driver-specific records of over-speeding, harsh braking and acceleration, over-revving and excessive idling can be used not only to limit current deficiencies, but also build the foundations of future improvements. This telematics data may be the result of powerful technology, but it is very simple to use and can quickly produce detailed fleetwide reports that supplement safety and efficiency objectives.
6. Get a new job - or lots of new jobs
The start of 2016 will see much of the country’s workforce dig out their CVs, embellish their professional achievements and trawl the internet in search of the perfect job. Adopting some of this positive spirit can bring new work to your fleet.
At the end of 2014, it was announced by the Office for National Statistics that annual gross domestic product in the UK, which measures the value of goods and services produced, increased by 1.9 per cent - a figure above consensus pro-jections. Furthermore, there has recently been a confirmation of the UK’s AAA credit rating and a rise in employment figures. The economy is starting to turn the corner and more companies believe they are in a position to expand and look for new business and contracts. Fleets that show they are better alternatives to the competition will be ideally placed to capitalise on this new-found commercial optimism and gain lots of new clients this year.
In the fleet sector, this translates into offering services that are more competitive or more efficient than competitors.
Research shows that seven in ten fleets see fuel efficiency as the primary route to gaining compet-itive advantage and attracting new clients, while GPS technology, telematics and driver training can all instill expense reductions that can be directly passed on to the customer.
7. Become more organised
Tick, tock, tick, tock - there never seems to be enough time. In 2014, there will still be 24 hours a day and seven days in a week, which means that if you want to do more with your time and improve productivity, you need to be organised.
Ask yourself: how organised is your fleet? Are work-loads always evaluated and prepared in advance? Is every journey tracked and as efficient as it can be? Even mundane and necessary processes can be more organised with the right equipment. We can provide you with simple but powerful software tools to help all aspects of fleet management become more streamlined. Just one example is vehicle main-tenance and the rectification process.
VOSA guidelines urge fleet drivers to conduct HGV walkaround tests before every journey. Do your drivers do it? Can you be sure? A simple app on our MiX Rovi device can ensure a comprehensive and thorough check is made every time and furthermore, the detailed results can be transmitted straight back to the depot minimising the time between component problem identification and the rectification of it - saving time and potentially money.
How’s that for organised?
8. Give up drinking
Dry Januarys are a common objective across the UK. It goes without saying that drink-driving is prohibited on the road, but that is hardly a resolution. How about stopping your vehicles from drinking petrol and diesel? Just like an alcohol intake reduction, you’ll find there are healthy benefits to be had.
Fuel prices and trends have a huge impact on fleets. Many transport and logistics companies and bus and coach operators find that fuel is their second most expensive outgoing after staff. Until a time comes when green technology and hybrid fuels are a workable solution to the modern-day fleet, the best way to balance the books is through fuel efficiency.
This year why not draw a line in the sand and be proactive with your fuel expenses, collaborating with MiX Telematics and your drivers to make every millilitre of black gold work as hard as everyone else in your company?
The Energy Saving Trust suggests that simply by driving smarter, the typical UK driver could save be-tween £300 and £350 each year. Imagine what that means for your fleet. We can give you the platform you need to implement a full fuel economy programme and incentive scheme that will see MPGs soar and fuel costs stabilise.
9. Read more books and improve knowledge
The objective to read more books was one of the most popular resolutions for 2013, so you could be behind the competition already. However there is no time like the present to improve and we have the ideal literature for your fleet.
Here at MiX Telematics we want to make 2016 the year in which every fleet can benefit from industry accepted best practice. To do this, not only do we want our fleet consultants to work hand in hand with managers and decision makers across the UK, we want you to benefit from our extensive array of published and downloadable content.
10. Quit smoking
This is a classic resolution. Since people fathomed that sticking a burning hot cylinder of chemicals into your mouth was detrimental to health, they have been trying to quit. Nicotine patches, smoking bans, advertising restrictions, what’s next? European climate change and emissions targets, obviously.
From a fleet perspective, smoking means exhaust emissions and European targets start to get more pertinent this year. There are now only six years to meet Climate Change Act targets. Back in 2008, this set long-term and legally-binding frameworks for the reduction of greenhouse gases in the UK by 34 per cent for the start of 2020 and the UK government knows the transport industry has a critical role in meeting the obligations.
This has many fleets in something of a panic. The Goodyear Dunlop report highlighted that around 15 per cent of fleets believe they could be priced out of business by 2020 due to environmental regulation burdens, while 40 per cent are concerned they cannot afford to invest in new cleaner, but expensive trucks.
If you have been caught unaware, get in touch and we can work alongside you to stop your exhausts smoking and help you meet environmental targets.
To find out how we can help you make 2016 a safe and efficient one contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org