Rightsizing government fleets with a vehicle monitoring system

vehicle monitoring system

With rising fuel costs and rapid inflation, the optimization of public fleets matters more than ever. Approximately 52% of fleet managers report reductions in their annual budget, while 36% say that it’s their largest industry concern.

New strategies, including those propelled by telematics, are necessary to overcome this uncertain economic climate. For thousands of government fleet managers nationwide, rightsizing via vehicle monitoring systems is becoming one of the most popular solutions.

But how do you harness monitoring systems for rightsizing? Where can you find possible options for your fleet?

Let’s look at everything that you should know about rightsizing government fleets and how vehicle monitoring systems can help your organization thrive.

What is the rightsizing process for public fleets?

Rightsizing is the process of optimizing an existing fleet to generate greater value. The goal is to streamline operations and reduce unnecessary expenditures caused by too many or too few vehicles.

In order to rightsize their public fleets, managers must engage in one of three activities:

  • Eliminating vehicles: This occurs when there are too many vehicles in your fleet. The vehicles that you choose to eliminate may be too expensive, too run down, or generally underutilized when compared to other vehicles.
  • Adding vehicles: If you’re struggling to accomplish daily tasks with your current fleet, you may need to consider adding new vehicles. These can support your ongoing operations, streamline work activities, and increase productivity despite the steeper upfront costs.
  • Repurposing vehicles: Certain underutilized vehicles may still be useful to your organization if repurposed for a different task. For example, you could send existing vehicles to different departments or up-fit them to serve different needs (like adding a dump body to an existing work vehicle).

Due to the growing availability of vehicle monitoring systems, rightsizing is gaining traction with public fleet managers across North America. In 2021, only 35% of fleet managers said that their fleets increased, while 44% stated that they stayed the same. In the same context, almost one in five (21%) said that their fleet sizes shrank.

Whether your fleet needs to add more vehicles or remove unnecessary models, the proper use of vehicle telematics can help you make informed decisions.

How a vehicle monitoring system can rightsize your fleet

Rightsizing was once a complex process involving a great deal of time and effort. Today’s vehicle monitoring systems have made rightsizing extremely accessible, eliminating complex manual processes and the propensity for human error.

Here’s how you can leverage monitoring systems to support your government fleet.

Report on vehicle metrics

Getting a baseline measurement of your fleet vehicle activity is a great way to decide which vehicles should stay or go. You can use built-in telematics to evaluate fuel, mileage, and productivity, which can help you identify outliers or inefficiencies.

You may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much fuel does the vehicle use?
  • How many miles does it have?
  • Would replacing it with a new vehicle optimize the fleet?

Track maintenance cycles

Vehicle maintenance is one of the largest expenses of any public fleet, especially for those with lower replacement budgets or specific chassis. Vehicle monitoring systems can help you stay abreast of changing numbers and identify certain models with a concerning history of repairs.

Start by asking specific questions to gauge your maintenance costs:

  • What is the lifetime cost of this vehicle?
  • How much could you save by purchasing a newer vehicle?
  • Are the maintenance services (planned and unplanned) worth more than the vehicle itself?

Look at recent performance

Keeping an eye on your vehicle utilization ratio is critical for rightsizing. Vehicles that don’t receive much drive time should be sold, leased, or repurposed for other tasks, while vehicles with a higher-than-average demand should encourage a much-needed purchase.

Set yourself up to make informed decisions by asking the following questions:

  • Which vehicles do you tend to drive more frequently? Which ones rarely see use?
  • How would adding or subtracting certain vehicles affect your productivity?
  • Are your vehicles used frequently throughout the week, or are a few experiencing a great deal of downtime?

Using cooperative contracts to select a vehicle monitoring system

Vehicle monitoring systems are no longer relegated to private fleets or for-profit companies. Today’s government entities across North America can access cutting-edge tools at competitive prices, including the cooperative contracts curated by the team at Sourcewell.

Sourcewell enables school and government institutions to browse competitively solicited contracts for vehicle monitoring systems. Organizations need only follow a three-step process to begin their acquisition journey:

  1. Register your organization online.
  2. Browse competitively solicited contracts.
  3. Connect with the supplier for additional details.

Getting registered with Sourcewell is quick and easy.

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. Sourcewell has been a government-empowering organization since 1978. Check out our contracts here.