Vehicle fleets are an important part of many government agencies, but many are not being managed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Common problems include aging fleets, poor maintenance records, and poor cooperation among fleets belonging to the same agency. With the proper tools, including a nimble GPS fleet tracking platform, government agencies can alleviate these issues and see a real change in their fleet operations.
Fleets are often low priority in public agencies. This is due, in part, to the belief that the fleet vehicles compete with the agency’s mission for funds. Fleets, of course, actually exist to support their agencies, and aging fleets and equipment constitute a real drain on these programs.
Older vehicles cost more to maintain and bring in less money when resold. With a fleet management tool, agencies can keep an eye on their vehicles’ health, make timely vehicle replacements and keep costs down. Fleet managers can make their case for sufficient funding by pointing out the costs of delay and making clear that prompt replacements will actually free up budget space over time.
It’s usually better to perform vehicle maintenance sooner rather than later. Fleet managers can stand up for their vehicles by showing fleet management software data to their colleagues. Tracking vehicles shows unambiguously which parts need replacement and can prevent expensive repair costs. This is especially important in government agencies, which often operate on a tight budget.
Data collection and management are important in other contexts as well. Fuel efficiency and driver safety increase dramatically when managers have access to tracking data and can use telematics as a guide for training and policy development.
Cooperation and leadership
Some agencies have multiple fleets, each with its own budget, facilities, and chain of command. While different tasks often do require different vehicles, agencies can save time and costs by sharing fuel and other resources. Consolidating these functions might require substantial reorganization but will lead to substantial savings. Fleet management software can help ease this transition, helping managers identify fuel usage and inefficiencies.
Fleet managers need to also maintain their authority, denying requests if they cannot be reasonably met. This, too may require some reorganization but will lead to a better-functioning fleet.
Government agency fleets need to be as well-organized and efficient as an independent business. With the proper GPS tracking software, fleet managers can reduce operating and maintenance costs, intelligently allocate resources, and make their vehicles true assets to their agency’s mission.