By Ed Smith, President, Agile Fleet
If you are reading this you probably already know that your organization can save tens of thousands – even hundreds of thousands of dollars — by sharing vehicles, reducing unneeded vehicles, and automating fleet management processes. You know that by automating things like vehicle reservations, dispatching, and billing and reporting, your organization can experience incredible time savings (for fleet managers) and convenience (for users of the fleet.) We’ve seen our customers do all these and more.
And in a COVID-19 environment, it’s even more crucial to reduce costs. Budgets are getting cut everywhere. The single most effective way to reduce fleet costs is to reduce unneeded vehicles and share them efficiently. Sharing vehicles allows organizations to revise budgets to eliminate monthly fixed costs for unused vehicles sitting in a parking lot. You can also eliminate replacement costs for unused vehicles, and reduce costs for things such as maintenance, insurance, depreciation, parking, and staff time to manage them, and more.
But if you are just starting to plan your vehicle sharing program, how do you effectively communicate your plan to others? If you are faced with the task of ‘selling” the idea to upper management and other stakeholders, here’s some help from our experts to get the job done–successfully.
First, remember that others are relying on you to tell the entire story behind your project — the good and the bad. In the public sector, for example, your business case could become public record and may come under scrutiny. Even if you have a compelling business case, other competing interests may derail your plans if you are not well prepared. Nothing breaks the cadence in a technology purchase more than a list of unanswered questions.
How do you go about making a business case for fleet management technology within your organization?
If you include these three components, your managers and other decision makers will see solid reasons for adopting new technology. We recommend that you:
- Quantify, articulate, and share your goals
- Anticipate questions
- Clearly communicate the return on investment (ROI)
Let decision makers know you’ve done your homework. Remember, you may not get a second chance to present your case. But what should your written proposal contain? Let’s break it down. Here is a 10-point outline you can adapt for your use when preparing your business case:
- Proposal Statement – this should be a clear, concise description of what you recommend.
- Alignment with Organizational Vision – relate your project to higher organizational objectives, mission, and goals. Use language commonly used in your organization.
- Scope / Alternatives – clearly establish the boundaries of the project.
- Resources – specify the affected resources, before, during and after the project.
- Dependencies – recognize other projects related to this effort.
- Measurable Goals, Targets & Outcomes – include timelines, schedules, and expand on the value that will be achieved for the organization.
- Key Performance Indicators – focus on overall performance of the organization such as improved vehicle utilization, or processes within departments, such as automating reservations or installing self-service motor pool kiosks.
- Risks / Barriers – identify potential risks, along with actions you will take to mitigate them and overcome barriers.
- ROI – clearly quantify the return on investment you expect. (Use our easy return on investment calculator tool – it takes only 2 minutes to complete and you will receive a custom report prepared by fleet experts. See below for the link to request a report.)
- Funding / Contract – investigate a funding contract vehicle. NJPA, GSA, or riding on other contracts are time-saving ways to procure fleet technology.
Luckily, our more than 75 years of experience has taught us that right-sizing and its subsequent successes are generally very repeatable from one fleet to the next. We have helped many fleets prepare their business cases. Let us help you. Start by downloading our free how-to guide with step-by-step instructions on how to make your business case. Or simply call our fleet experts at 408-213-9555 and let us help. As always, reach out to me directly with any questions: email@example.com