10 tips to monitor your municipality assets with fleet optimization
The average city fleet has grown rapidly over the past few decades. Today, 86% of all municipal fleets manage 100 vehicles or more, with nearly one in five managing 1,000-1,999 in rolling stock.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to monitor all city vehicles at once or keep a personal eye on each asset and its condition. Fortunately, technology has provided new solutions that support fleet optimization, many of them applicable to fleets of any size.
Implementing the right techniques into your existing process can help you plan for the future and navigate changing expectations. If you’re looking to invest in fleet optimization, this article will help you make an informed decision.
What is fleet optimization for public organizations?
Fleet optimization refers to the activity of fine-tuning your fleet management process. The ultimate goal is to lower costs, increase efficiency, and eliminate unnecessary downtime. Fleet optimization is multidisciplinary by nature. The best and most efficient execution involves streamlining at least five major processes:
- Fuel management
- Maintenance requests
- Vehicle replacements
- Driver performance
- Driving routes
Keep in mind that fleet optimization is not a one-time job. Streamlining your existing fleet requires intense and ongoing effort and should be considered more of a process than a destination. You may need to acquire multiple tools to ensure lasting fleet optimization, including digital solutions designed for municipal fleets.
Major fleet optimization tips for cities and government bodies
If you want to optimize your government fleet to better serve the public, you need to consider all possible optimizations and identify critical areas for growth.
Here are ten ways to monitor your municipality’s assets through effective fleet optimization, starting with the most practical.
1. Monitor fuel costs
If your primary goal with fleet optimization is to reduce overhead or unnecessary expenditures, start with tracking fuel costs to keep an eye on allocation.
You may also want to focus on training drivers or setting up incentives for fuel conservation. Alternatively, you can install fleet tracking software to see which vehicles (and routes) require the most gas.
2. Track driving routes
Consider optimizing your fleet driving routes to save time, money, and energy. This way, your fleet wastes less gas, emits fewer fossil fuels, and remains productive on daily driving routes.
3. Implement GPS
GPS software is often the first step in building a holistic fleet optimization strategy. Not only can you locate vehicles at the touch of a button, but you can also quickly check the paths that they take to get from Point A to Point B.
If you’re currently using built-in GPS software and want something more holistic, you can always purchase dedicated plans from a cooperative contract.
4. Consider cloud solutions
If you manage a municipal fleet alongside multiple stakeholders, it may be wise to rely on cloud-based solutions to compile the information into a single dashboard. You can access the data on the cloud from whatever device you prefer, then collaborate on specific tasks from an accessible online platform.
5. Track your parts inventory
If a vehicle breaks down or needs a part replaced, do you know where to find the necessary equipment? Can your mechanics access it quickly?
Parts inventory tracking can optimize the process of repairing, replacing, or up-fitting your fleet vehicles. There’s no need to hunt for paper lists or reports; all information is stored on the same digital platform.
6. Evaluate driver performance
The performance of your drivers can make or break the safety of your municipal fleet. A comprehensive monitoring system (like in-cab video) can encourage safe driving habits and minimize distractions from phones, computers, and other devices.
7. Create a single source of truth
You can use fleet tracking software to compile critical information into the same accessible (and cloud-based) location. Using the right solution can help you monitor inventory tracking, supervise fuel costs, and check the number of miles on specific vehicles.
8. Set reminders for preventative maintenance
Do you find it difficult to manage preventative maintenance for all your fleet vehicles? Fleet optimization tools can help you maximize your time with reminders. You can either set up notifications reminding you to schedule warrantied maintenance or push data to your in-house maintenance professionals to get the job done immediately.
9. Rightsize your fleet
Having too many or too few vehicles could have an enormous impact on your municipal fleet. You may need more resources to address community problems quickly or have so many vehicles that their maintenance costs exceed your budget restrictions.
You can use fleet optimization software to rightsize your fleet from the bottom up. Not only can you check overall costs or coverage for a certain vehicle, but you can also make informed decisions about what you might need now and in the future.
10. Look into automation
If you’re not already looking for ways to automate routine or repetitive tasks, you could be wasting dozens, if not hundreds, of unnecessary labor hours. You can use fleet optimization automation to:
- Instantly fill out maintenance request forms
- Alert in-house mechanics of breakdowns or damages
- Make procurement requests with other members of your team
If you want to take advantage of all of these, purchase an all-in-one solution designed specifically for fleet management, including fleet optimization software from a cooperative contract.
How to manage municipal fleet optimization with cooperative contracts
With Sourcewell, you can acquire solutions for fleet optimization through the use of cooperative contracts. It offers hundreds of competitively-evaluated contracts that meet regulatory requirements for thousands of municipalities in the United States.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Economies of scale ensure access to special equipment and reduce your upfront costs.
- Faster procurement timelines avoid the slowdowns of traditional RFPs and speed up the process from nine months to four weeks.
- Access to competitively solicited contracts may ensure compliance for your organization, helping you communicate directly with suppliers if you need to clarify any questions.
If you’re ready to get started, Sourcewell can help. You’re welcome to browse available fleet optimization tools by category or supplier.
See how easy it is to optimize every aspect of your fleet—cut costs and improve safety using Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing program. Streamline the public procurement process by choosing from hundreds of suppliers already on contract. Sourcewell’s procurement experts competitively solicit and award contracts on behalf of 50,000 participating agencies in North America. Check out our contracts here.