By Mike Quimby Senior Vice President and General Manager, Element Fleet Management
There’s a lot to be said for being independent. You aren’t influenced or controlled by anyone else and you can do as you please. However, when it comes to independently managed fleets, you may be missing out on crucial support and insight, making it beneficial to work with a fleet management company (FMC).
Let’s explore some typical reasons fleet managers opt not to work with a fleet management company.
For some fleet managers and other executives, there is a feeling of pride about having total control over the company fleet and many see dealing with a FMC as an obstacle. It can be scary to let another organization into the inner circle of your operations, but fleet management companies can help empower fleet managers to do their job more efficiently. For example, working with a FMC provides benchmarking opportunities, offering insight into performance relative to other fleets of a similar size. A fleet manager can see how his or her fleet matches up when they aren’t operating in a bubble.
It’s not all or nothing
You do not have relinquish all management responsibilities to a FMC. When entertaining the idea of hiring a fleet management company, keep in mind most FMCs will work with you to provide customized solutions. If you want to maintain some control but understand where a third-party vendor could provide support, explain this. While managing a fleet from A to Z is what some companies want, it isn’t for everyone and the majority of fleet management providers will work with you to determine the best path forward.
Some company executives may shy away from utilizing a fleet management company because of the associated cost and the mindset that “we can do it better ourselves.” While there is a spend necessary when retaining the services of a FMC, it is important to keep in mind that the services offered can help lower overall costs. Teams at fleet management companies have expertise in vehicle rightsizing, alternative fuels, telematics solutions, and long-standing relationships with OEMs, all of which can add up to significant cost savings for clients.
Thinking beyond trucks
As a fleet manager, you work to ensure your fleet is cost effective and efficient. You likely have a plan in place to manage your cars and trucks. But do you have a similar strategy for other assets in your organization, such as forklifts, pickers, pallet jacks, and other material handling equipment? Often overlooked, these items are just as important to manage as your fleet of vehicles. Many FMCs offer asset management, not just vehicle management.
There are many reasons to shift from an independently managed fleet to working with a fleet management provider, from material handling and automotive expertise to leveraging their relationship with vendors for best pricing.
Are you hesitant about working with a FMC? Leave a comment or send us a tweet, @ElementFleet.
Each month Fleet Management Weekly features insight from Mike Quimby, senior vice president and general manager at Element Fleet Management.