Cost management with a plan

Published in April 2021 Fleet Affiliation

It is no secret that fleets are expensive - whether it’s acquisitions, fuel or upkeep, associated costs can be significant. Previous articles have discussed educating stakeholders about the importance of a fleet to an organization, as well as obstacles faced by those fleets; this is a first step toward cost management.

Becoming an influencer is the next step. Oftentimes, the fleet team won’t have final authority for carte blanche spending; this is where an influencer would be an important asset. An influencer in this case is someone with the power to affect purchasing decisions due to their authority, knowledge and relationship to an audience. To become an influencer, you must have a history of achieving results. In the era of social media marketing, fleet professionals can adapt and apply strategies into internal and external decision-making … as purchasing decisions are influenced by internal and external factors. To the final decision-makers, cost is a predominant factor on the decision tree.

Going beyond education
A cost management plan is crucial – it is formed by understanding what drives your decision-makers. Often there are several levels of decision-makers within an organization; this can create additional complexity as no two decision-makers have the same evaluation standards. However, math is a nearly universal language understood by most decision-makers. Math - much like data - does not lie. If the final decision comes down to dollars and cents, we have failed to influence. Educating and influencing and go hand-in-hand. By this point you’ve hopefully demonstrated and created a reputation for yourself on mastering your skill. This does not come overnight and can take years of positive past performance, but continually positioning yourself moves the needle along to build credibility as an influencer.

Productivity and cost
We opened with the importance of having a plan and stepping into the limelight as an influencer to drive change. This can be challenging for new fleet professionals and to show results for new technologies that haven’t yet established a track record. This does not mean it’s impossible; it simply requires forward thinking and finesse.

Any successful fleet and organizational operation needs a solid foundation and framework. Bringing costs and productivity to the forefront is a must. Forward and future thinking are also needed. Being mindful of the nature of the work truck industry is also important, as trucks are not mass produced and can carry a long service life. Take the time to do your research, use the best information and your knowledge to make the best possible decision for your organization. 

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