Managing a business’s fleet of vehicles is both complex and time-consuming but the role of ‘fleet manager’ is regularly handed out to people unofficially, with little consideration for their time, skills or knowledge.
In some cases where a company doesn’t have a large enough fleet to justify the costs of a full-time fleet manager, businesses often bolt the duties on to another role or department, such as HR, procurement or health and safety departments.
Accidental fleet managers are the people who have had fleets or business mobility added to their role when they don’t really want it. It could be the Managing Director’s secretary, or it could be the Sales Director who’s been told: ‘The salespeople are your people, therefore, their cars are your responsibility’.
Martin Duddridge, Ideal Autolease
Whether someone was given responsibility for a company’s fleet as a short-term solution or their department was recognised as best-suited to take on the responsibility, accidental fleet managers can — through no fault of their own — cost more in the long-term than outsourcing to a specialist.
Is your company at risk?
When it comes to managing a fleet effectively, every vehicle needs to be fit for purpose and compliant with company policies as well as legal regulations and responsibilities.
“Business owners may not even realise that they’re putting their business at risk by creating accidental fleet managers. But when they do, they’re giving great responsibility to their staff, who often don’t have the skills or knowledge required for the role,” Martin says. “Whatsmore, if the role interferes with the job they were hired for, they’re less likely to be able to fully apply themselves to doing it properly.”
On top of the responsibilities that come with managing a fleet, accidental fleet managers also need to find time to do the job they were hired for – outsourcing to a specialist will give them that time back. While it’s easy for business owners to think they’re saving money by not hiring an expert, it’s important to remember that spreading staff too thin can be more expensive in the long run
By outsourcing to an expert fleet management company, a business’s workforce can concentrate on their day job, which will not only boost their productivity but their morale as well. While it’s not always easy to put a value on morale, if someone were to resign because they felt overworked, or that their skills weren’t being put to good use, it would be a waste of talent and the company would have to spend time and money looking for a replacement.