Being fleet managers is no cakewalk. You’re in charge of a whole fleet, and when it’s time to start talking business, you have to deliver when it counts. A slip-up or two are enough to get deliveries derailed and angry customers ringing up. And nobody wants to go through that situation.
Great fleet managers are highly effective and have certain traits that set them apart. They’re different from the ordinary and for good reasons why. The short answer is – time management and being highly efficient.
Here are the top 10 time management skills high-performing fleet managers possess. Get ready to take notes because this will be useful.
Fleet management involves being a jack of many trades. You have to be able to juggle between tasks and switch gears when it matters. From focusing on vehicle maintenance, driver performance, customer satisfaction, and the company’s image, great fleet managers pull off many roles on their own. It’s not easy, but that’s what it takes.
Being able to perform day to day and coordinate between upper-level management and your drivers are a must. A great fleet manager must stay disciplined and be able to execute essential tasks on the go.
Making sure communications and operations run smooth becomes an everyday lifestyle and not just a job.
When you tasked with overseeing the performance of your drivers, there are specific benchmarks you must set. An excellent fleet manager
Will add incentives for drivers who do exceptionally well on the job.
Likewise, penalties must implement for delayed deliveries or missing shipments. It’s tough, but that’s how the world of business and logistics work. You want A-players on your team, and for that, the bar must be set high.
Numbers don’t lie. You’ve heard of this saying before, and it’s true. When it comes to scaling up a business, it starts with the basics – performance. You have to know what’s going on with your logistics chain, and the best way you find that out is by tracking various metrics.
The best fleet managers take into account operational costs, driver behaviour, and use a mix of Ai with telematics systems to collect data. Fleet managers use driver AI software to get real-time data about vehicles and get a peek on how drivers are faring on the road.
If drivers are indulging in reckless driving behaviours or only not performing up to expectations, they get sent alerts automatically through the software. There are various telematics systems available these days but the most popular ones like Samsara’s, use smart AI technology with GPS navigation, networking, and vehicle sensors to send real-time feedback.
There will be times when you’re tested and tried. Great fleet managers had gone through this situation and face moments when they forced to think on their feet. Making quick decisions during critical situations is an important skill. You should be able to prioritize tasks and decide what to do when the heat is there. Drivers will be calling you up or sending emails about their situation. Deciding how to act and if it’s necessary to work based on how the driver responds to replies are all essential elements of crucial decision making.
The IT department could have projects queued up for reviews, and fleet managers have to go through them. The point is, fleet managers should be able to break down what they see in front of them and hone in on what areas need their focus the most. Also, the process of assigning responsibilities to the team and following up on pending tasks, that’s part of their role and time and risk management toolkit as well.
Taking notes may sound like something basic, but it isn’t. Good fleet managers have the habit of taking notes and journaling throughout the day. They’re able to write down in bullet points tasks and summarize what they’re doing.
Notetaking extends to activities such as following up on phone calls, making appointments with the team and keying in points about communications or discussions that happen every day with the team.
Also Read: Fleet Tracking Improves Your Delivery Times
Whether it’s jotting down in a PDA or writing on paper, the ability to commit to schedules and timelines is a must-do time management practice among highly-skilled fleet managers. Fleet management is not an easy job, and we’ll repeat it. But for those who can commit and stay on track, it’s a rewarding career, especially when you see the company’s vision slowly turning into reality thanks to the efforts invested.
There is no need for fleet managers to be involved in every single detail when it comes to interacting with drivers. For example, responding to an email about flat tires or vehicles requiring maintenance are everyday commonalities but not priority tasks. Fleet managers should be able to delegate and assign these responsibilities to staff members and follow up or inquire from time to time. They don’t have to shoulder the whole responsibility and slog away late nights responding to emails. Because that’s not productive and smart fleet managers focus on what’s the highest priority while assigning the rest to members who can handle the legwork or “small details.”
Being able to use time management tools, telematics software, and navigate online dashboards – fleet managers should be able to pull them off. In today’s world of managing huge fleets, it’s impossible to thrive without using technology. And being a person who is open and willing to learn new skills and be adaptive are some of the essential requirements.
Outsourcing may strike fear into the hearts of most fleet managers, but there’s no shame in doing that. But simple tasks like clearing up parking ticket payments, tracking order placements, and any tasks that are repetitive and do not require using in-house resources – these should be outsourced.
These are some essential time management skills or hacks high-grade fleet managers have. You can think of them as trade secrets, but we promise you that they work. All these skills translate into experiences, and it shows in the work that they do.
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