The global pandemic has forced all industries to adapt and keep a very careful eye on spending and planning for an uncertain future. If you are looking to mitigate fleet costs there are a number of solutions to consider.
No matter the size or purpose of your fleet, the effects of COVID-19 have most likely pushed up costs and left your business trying to find ways to minimise costs without risking your operations. Below are some options to consider:
1. A change in usage and mileage
Whether you have a specific fleet partner or are managing your fleet in-house, now is the time to review your usage and mileage parameters. If your fleet vehicles are spending more time in the yard or doing less mileage as a result of the pandemic, you could save by revising how your fleet is used.
It’s possible to revise your fleet supplier contract to factor in less mileage and reduced vehicle use, which will bring down management costs. In addition, a reduction in mileage should also translate into savings in terms of fuel, tyres, and overall maintenance.
Go over your fleet operating parameters and see where you can introduce cost-saving measures according to changing needs. Most of these can be temporary and you can gradually ramp up operations as and when needed.
2. Consider downsizing
If your fleet is bleeding money with vehicles standing idle due to COVID-19 restrictions, downsizing is a very valid option. Whether you own or rent it is possible to scale down and make use of pool vehicles (sharing schemes) and the available booking systems available in the market.
Speak to your fleet supplier and see where it makes financial sense to downsize and find alternative solutions that cost less but still keep your business mobile.
This is a fine balance between short-term savings and potential future costs when you need to add to your fleet again. It’s also going to depend on the type of vehicles you have, their age and their purpose. Fleets that are struggling financially, however, really should take this option if it means the difference between saving your company or going out of business.
3. Review your replacement cycle
Pre-COVID-19 fleet vehicle replacement cycles were dependent on maintenance plans and a business ‘rhythm’ that allowed for vehicles to be replaced within certain time frames.
With current financial constraints, as well as limited stock and shipment delays on the OEM side, it is possible to review your vehicle replacement time frame. Many OEMs are more amenable to re-negotiated service and maintenance costs and, in some cases, it could save a lot of money to delay vehicle replacements at the moment.
Again, it is a fine balance between offsetting immediate savings with predicted future costs, but there is a lot of room for cost savings by simply reviewing your current replacement cycle.
The mantra that ‘every fleet is unique’ remains true and, depending on your fleet needs, any or all of the above could be an excellent solution to saving on your current fleet expenses.
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