Controlling costs with a systematic approach

Published in the July 2020 issue of Fleet Affiliation

Sound data and logic should be used when making any decision. Without these components, purchasing and managing a fleet will become costly. Using research and credible and complete data, you are positioned to make the best possible decisions for your organization. The two key decision-making flaws are using unsound logic, and more importantly unreliable data. Sharing ideas with various teams in your organization broadens your perspectives. As we strive for complete understanding, considering different perspectives can complete the big picture and reveal minor (and sometimes costly) details.

Data, a trusted resource
Your decisions will be only as accurate as the data that supports them. The number-one trusted resource should be internal data. If you have positioned your organization well, you should have complete control (and faith) in your historical data. If data inputs represent inaccurate or incomplete information, red flags should be immediately raised and additional analysis performed. Take a step back and begin by forming a plan going forward. Guessing is a risky mistake fleet professionals shouldn’t make. An analysis based on guesses and anecdotal information is much like casino gambling. Every now and then people get lucky; however, the house always wins in the long run.

Plugging the holes
When there are holes in your data, it’s time to develop the patch. It is okay to utilize sample and benchmarking data, but understand the sample pool must be broad and large enough to ensure validity. Take into account working locations (suburban, rural, urban) and split up these sample groups if needed. Finally, if you identified that you did not have complete or accurate information, it’s time to identify why. Going forward with corrected information is not only an exceptional management tool, it is a tool to benchmark operations, make recommendations and suggest changes.

Keeping current
Major chassis manufacturers will share the latest commercial vehicle updates at NTEA’s 2020 Truck Product Conference, scheduled Sept. 22–24. This virtual, three-day event offers insights on upcoming changes to new model work trucks and upfitter integration implications from chassis OEMs.

Additionally, NTEA introduced a special fleet-focused webinar series, presenting a wide array of fleet-centric topics for both novice and advanced fleet professionals. Registration for these webinars is open to the industry. Whether it’s a refresher course or acquiring a new skill, it is important to keep informed and stay abreast of the latest information and tools. Improve your spec’ing process for vehicle efficiency is scheduled August 12, 2020, 11 a.m.-noon EDT. Visit Fleet Webinar Series for a complete list of offerings.

If you would like to discuss this, or other fleet issues with NTEA, contact Chris Lyon, NTEA director of fleet relations.