By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Editor, Fleet Management Weekly
Driver safety is the top priority of fleet managers, according to a GE Capital Fleet Services survey conducted at last month’s NAFA I&E. Thirty-five percent of fleet managers identified safety as their main concern, ahead of cost-saving goals (27%), and workforce productivity (22%). Driver safety was also fleet managers’ top concern at the 2013 NAFA I&E.
Nevertheless, 62% of those surveyed said that the main focus of their company’s executive (C-suite) leadership is achieving cost savings. The survey revealed a number of tactics to manage costs: 43% percent of respondents cited vehicle purchasing as the greatest opportunity for savings, followed by managing maintenance expenses (32%), and activating telematics and analytics solutions (22%).
“As fleet managers continue to focus first and foremost on driver safety, they must also concentrate on finding ways to take more cost out of fleet operations,” noted Mark Hayes, GE Capital Fleet Services chief marketing officer. “Increasingly, fleets are utilizing technology tools that address the dual challenges of cost and safety. These include, he said, telematics solutions that alert drivers to potential accidents, intelligent collision alert systems and data analytics that helps predict and manage maintenance costs.”
Added Doug Peters, analytics leader at GE Capital Fleet Services, “More fleet managers are increasingly analyzing data to make cost savings, safety, and productivity decisions based on fleet performance and operations.” The company has recently launched myFleetOffice2, an advanced fleet management and analytics platform that allows decision makers access deeper and more insightful data and analytics.
Additional findings from the survey included:
- Enhancing Productivity: The two biggest areas of focus for enhancing fleet productivity were defining a comprehensive vehicle replacement/cycling plan (30%) and specifying the appropriate vehicle for the job (27%).
- Analytics is Improving Efficiency and Saving Costs: 46% of fleet managers cited improved operational efficiency, with an additional 22% citing cost savings through analytics.
- Alternative Fuels in Use: 32% of fleet managers surveyed stated that alternative fuel vehicles were already in their fleet, with an additional 33% planning to incorporate them within the next two years.