If the average age of Fleet Managers is over 50, and many have been in the role for 10+ years, how can young people, that are new to fleet, get to know everything quickly? And more importantly, how does an organisations build and keep fleet management knowledge when a Fleet Manager is planning their retirement?
Here’s some ideas to help ensure your fleet will continue to be managed efficiently, effectively and safely as team members change roles and careers.
1. Training and Education:
a. Invest in Training Programs: Invest in comprehensive internal cross-training activities that cover the fundamental tasks involved in the management of the fleet.
b. Online Courses and Certifications: Encourage team members to enroll in relevant online courses and attain certifications related to fleet management such as the IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate.
c. Workshops and Seminars: Attend external ones to gain insights from industry experts such as the Fleet Management Training Days run by IPWEA Fleet.
2. Industry Engagement:
a. Networking: Network with industry professionals, attend conferences, and engage with other companies to learn best practices. The 2024 IPWEA Fleet Conference is being held in Brisbane during March.
b. Partnerships and Collaborations: Partner with experienced Fleet Managers to leverage their expertise and gain insights.
c. Industry Forums and Groups: Participate in online forums, discussion groups, and social media communities related to fleet management. IPWEA Fleet runs webinars that cover a range of fleet topics to help Fleet Managers solve challenges within their fleet.
3. Hiring Experienced Personnel:
a. Recruit Specialists: Hire individuals with experience and recognised qualifications such as the IPWEA Fleet Management Certificate.
b. Consultants: Engage industry experts such as IPWEA Fleet that specialise in fleet management to provide insights and guidance.
c. Mentorship Programs: Implement mentorship programs where experienced personnel guide and train the less experienced staff.
4. Implementing Technology:
a. Fleet Management Software: Use advanced software solutions for real-time tracking, maintenance scheduling, fuel management, etc.
b. Data Analytics: Leverage data analytics to make informed decisions, identify inefficiencies, and optimize fleet performance.
c. Automation: Automate routine tasks to free up time for focusing on strategic fleet management aspects.
5. Learning by Doing:
a. Pilot Programs: Start with small-scale pilot programs to test strategies and approaches before rolling them out across the entire fleet.
b. Performance Metrics: Regularly analyse performance metrics to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes swiftly. Use the Top 10 fleet management KPIs and benchmarks from the IPWEA Fleet Plant and Vehicle Management Manual (PVMM).
c. Feedback Loops: Establish regular feedback loops with drivers, technicians, and other stakeholders to understand the ground-level challenges and address them proactively.
6. Research and Development:
a. Case Studies: Study successful case studies within the industry and adapt the learned strategies to your context.
b. Market Research: Continuously conduct market research to stay abreast of the latest trends, technologies, and practices in fleet management.
c. Innovation: Encourage innovation and the development of new solutions and approaches within the organization.
7. Standardisation and Documentation:
a. Best Practices: Develop and document standardised procedures and best practices for fleet management within the organisation.
b. Knowledge Sharing: Create platforms or channels for knowledge sharing among employees to foster a collaborative learning environment.
c. Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and update the documented procedures based on new learnings and changes in the industry.
8. Customer Interaction:
a. Customer Feedback: Regularly interact with internal customers and collect feedback on fleet services to understand their needs and expectations.
b. Meetings: Hold regular meetings with customers and stakeholders to discuss their requirements and challenges in detail and adapt the services accordingly.
Combining these strategies can help a company build internal knowledge and gain experience in fleet management quickly, fostering an environment of continuous learning and improvement.