Managing a large fleet of vehicles is hard enough, with employees and expensive equipment needing an ever-vigilant eye. As soon as you involve vehicles privately owned by staff, keeping track of resources can very quickly turn into a headache.
Presenting a win-win scenario to staff is the most critical component to managing “grey fleets” – fleets made up of a combination of business-owned and staff-owned vehicles.
“Companies often just see telematics tools as a means of catching drivers out and meting out penalties,” says Justin Manson, sales director for TomTom Telematics.
“This can quickly break down trust between management and staff, leading to a decline in morale and performance, and pushing away the best talent.
“By changing the focus to training, cost saving and safety, companies achieve their objectives of improving efficiency while maintaining high company morale when asking employees to use their cars for work,” he says.
Fleet management tools make fuel expense claims much quicker and easier for grey fleet drivers. Instead of having to make a manual note of all private and work journeys, telematics systems can automate mileage capture to provide reliable evidence of exactly how many miles were travelled and when.
“Drivers can simply indicate whether a journey is for private or business purposes via their in-car navigation units or smartphones,” Manson says. “When drivers switch to private trip mode, they disable all vehicle tracking to keep private journeys private.”
With such tools, drivers can also add important information such as the purpose of the journey and relevant business contacts.
When driving for business, an in-cab reminder can give employees direct feedback and predictive driving advice and then reports back to them so they can compare the journey with previous ones and with those of their colleagues.
They can see when they braked or accelerated too harshly, drove too fast, or left the engine running too long. Drivers benefit from new, safer driving practices that help extend the lives of their vehicles and reduce stress.
“Communication is vital to ensuring that your grey fleet policy is embraced by drivers, as they will be hesitant to expose their private vehicles at first,” Manson says. “However, by consistently sharing information related to insurance, technology, monitoring and safety, they will see the benefits of telematics over time.
“Integrating the system with a comprehensive maintenance, driver training and safety programme will go a long way towards creating a sense of goodwill, loyalty and ownership with staff,” Manson adds.
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We are all aware of how a reliable team of employees is critical regardless of the volume of your business orders. This is exactly the reason why we need to ensure that headcount is available when needed. The more business picks up, the more the reliability would be put on this particular team and they are all we have.