by Johan van Niekerk, Fleet Solutions Consultant, FleetDomain – part of the Argility Technology Group.

The internationally accepted format of managing a fleet effectively, is that of: Assets; Fleet Operations; Driver and Safety Management. These matters are in turn all inter-related when it comes to determining the total cost of ownership (TCO); cents per kilometre (CPK) or cents per hour attached to any one vehicle.

Let's take an in-depth look at each one

Assets incorporates:

Managing depreciation influencers during the life cycle of a vehicle can result in a significantly improved resale value at the end of the lifecycle of a vehicle in your fleet. Depreciation as a percentage of the retail price is normally estimated to be between 35% and 47%.

Fleet Operations incorporates:

With passenger and light commercial vehicles costs are measured as a percentage (%) of the original retail price. In the case of commercial vehicles same are measured as a % of the net funded value inclusive of accessories and body fitments. It should be noted that values can differ dependant on the operational, or conditions of usage of the vehicle. Controlling these costs and managing change processes to achieve savings will result in an improved TCO.

Having these costs reflected in a Fleet Management Information System (FMIS) and managing the exceptions against stated objectives, will allow the fleet manager to make objective decisions to reduce costs.

Driver, Safety and Risk Management encompasses vehicle plus driver, licence renewals. This also covers company policies managing all aspects of vehicle usage including: drivers; driver training; accident management; GPS/tracking and reporting.
Ensuring that vehicle and driver licences are renewed timeously, safeguards companies against insurance claims not being honoured and possible lawsuits.

Policies governing driver’s eligibility to get behind the wheel of company vehicles; rules around car allowance vehicles; the necessary training required to improve driver quality; vehicle safety procedures – inclusive of COVID dictates - all contribute to a better and improved fleet operation with a subsequent reduction in costs.

It is a fact that: unless the behaviour of a driver can be changed; no savings will be achieved.

Fitting a reputable GPS/tracking unit to fleet vehicles – one that can report on the aspects that cost a fleet owner money such as speeding, harsh braking, excess idling to name just some - will have a direct savings result in fleet operating costs.

Example: reducing speeding; harsh braking and excess idling; will cut maintenance, tyre, and fuel costs. Furthermore, fewer accidents and fines received by driver will have cost reduction benefits.

Accidents and increased vehicle costs have a direct effect on the resale value on termination of a fleet vehicle.

Although the AARTO demerit system and process surrounding same was found to be unconstitutional, the problem of fines received by drivers still exists.

Companies should be aware of the number of fines received by a driver and for what reason.

Example: Drivers receiving fines for speeding can result in more accidents which can become an HR problem with associated increased costs.

It is important to take a holistic view of Fleet Management. Companies operating a fleet need to invest in a proven, tested Fleet Management Information System (FMIS) and a reputable GPS/tracking system supplier. Moreover, driver training needs to be performed by a certified/recognised vendor.

By investing wisely in this way – the business will experience positive changes around safety and risk issues with a definite improvement in return on investment (ROI).

Should you require any additional information, guidance, or training to improve the above fleet management cost contributor’s contact us on:
011 712 1300, email info@fleetdomain.net or visit our website, www.fleetdomain.co.za


Brief Biography: Johan van Niekerk, Fleet Solutions Consultant - FleetDomain

Johan van Niekerk, FleetDomain Consultant

He has 38 years’ experience in fleet management, fleet sales training and consulting. Van Niekerk has a profound understanding of the fleet management industry, including funding options, safety and risk assessment, plus the development of safety, driver and vehicle policies.

Over the years, he has gained experience conducting fleet evaluations and audits, plus providing fleet management training to executive and various levels of management personnel. He has also conducted fleet sales training courses for manufacturers, automotive groups and dealerships.

Van Niekerk places improvement of ROI in corporate enterprises and parastatal organisations through fleet optimisation as his main business objective. He also assists businesses with budget development, scenario analysis, forecasting and ultimately the entire management spectrum of corporate fleets from procurement through to disposal.

Elite Truck Hire – a leading transportation and vehicle leasing organisation with over 35 years’ experience in the sector – launched a search for a specialist fleet management programme that led the company to FleetDomain, a member of the Argility Technology Group.

Elite group CEO, Byron Corcoran, notes they required a solution that could act as the backbone of the growing company, streamline business processes and ultimately allow managers to access reliable data to support fact-based decision-making. “FleetDomain is a fully integrated system that runs our workshops, parts stores and operations for both our ad-hoc truck hire as well as Full Maintenance Leasing divisions. The system includes a fully integrated accounting system and has very comprehensive report generating capabilities,” says Corcoran.

“It was also important that our investment in new software was backed by a financially stable provider with access to excellent development resources to ensure continuity and improvement. The software also needed to provide a robust business process architecture and workflow that would support best practice and make it hard to commit fraud.

“I also wanted a web-based system so that it could be accessed anywhere, anytime and would not necessitate a significant increase in our in-house IT capability. We are a truck rental and leasing company, not an IT shop,” Corcoran says. “It was critical that the software included fully integrated accounting functionality rather than exporting data to a standalone accounting package.

“Since implementation, we have never experienced any adverse system issues – billing has run smoothly without any incidents from day one. From a management perspective, FleetDomain makes it easy to access the information needed to understand not only how the company is doing, but how to manage it better,” says Corcoran.

Designed specifically for the industry, FleetDomain’s software met Elite Truck Hire’s criteria and its implementation has delivered clear benefits to the group. The application is delivered as a service via a web interface, and FleetDomain is responsible for all support and development.

Key benefits that the FleetDomain solution delivers include:

FleetDomain MD, Jai Kalyan, says the relationship with Elite Truck Hire commenced in 2017 when the group first implemented the FleetDomain system to manage its then fleet of over 1 200 vehicles ranging from 0.5-ton LDVs to 14-ton trucks. “Elite later implemented FleetDomain at its Forklift Rental business during July 2019 and quickly realised the benefits of being able to better manage its business on a state-of-the-art fleet management system,” says Kalyan.

He highlights the enduring and successful business relationship with the Elite group. “We work closely with the Elite Truck Hire team to implement software improvements and provide additional value. On that note, we have just launched a complete upgrade of the software that enhances the user experience and provides even better uptime. It also adds new functionality such as graphs and a mobile app. Because the upgrade moves away from proprietary code, it will be much easier for our developer team to enhance the software going forward, ensuring customers like Elite can continue to rely on it as they grow and the market changes,” concludes Kalyan.

Source: IT Web

Elite Truck Hire has been using FleetDomain since 2017 to run its growing rental business. FleetDomain provides the Web-based solution as a service.

About Elite Truck Hire

Elite Truck Hire’s business falls into two broad categories: it hires out a range of trucks on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and also provides full-maintenance leasing for clients who want dedicated vehicles in their own corporate livery but do not want to own or manage them. It has 10 branches around the country, and operates its own in-house workshops, panel-beater, wash bays and fuelling capability.

Business challenge

Elite Truck Hire’s business is complex, and thus visibility across its various operations around SA is important to ensure managers can optimise the use of expensive capital equipment and service fluctuating client requirements. Key to this is understanding client demand patterns to ensure the fleet is distributed optimally to take into account seasonal changes. Another important requirement is the ability to analyse the performance of the fleet in detail in order to prolong the useful life of each vehicle.

When MD Byron Corcoran joined Elite Truck Hire in 2016, he inherited a set of processes that were largely manual, inefficiently supported by an antiquated software program originally designed for workshop management and “customised” over the years. For example, the month-end process involved an enormous amount of work for staff over a short timeframe, and the information was not always accurate. Expensive sales resources were then used to distribute the paper invoices, further impacting overall productivity.

Corcoran immediately embarked on a search for a specialist fleet management program that could act as the backbone of the growing company, streamline business processes and ultimately allow managers to access reliable data to support fact-based decision-making.

It was also important that the new software was backed by a financially stable provider with access to excellent development resources to ensure continuity and improvement. The software also needed to provide a robust business process architecture and workflow that would support best practice and make it hard to commit fraud.

“I also wanted a Web-based system so that it could be accessed anywhere, at any time, and would not necessitate a significant increase in our in-house IT capability. We are a truck rental and leasing company, not an IT shop,” Corcoran says. “It was critical that the software included fully integrated accounting functionality rather than exporting data to a standalone accounting package.”

The solution

Designed specifically for the industry, FleetDomain’s software met the criteria and its implementation has delivered clear benefits to Elite Truck Hire. The application is delivered as a service to Elite Truck Hire via a Web interface, and FleetDomain is responsible for all support and development.

Key benefits the FleetDomain solution delivers to Elite Truck Hire include:

Early fraud detection or revenue leakage. One huge advantage is that the system makes it easier to detect internal fraud and avoid revenue leakage because it uses data from all parts of the business. Suspicious activity can be detected and alerts triggered.

For example, the system matches tracking data from a vehicle against the billing and booking systems to confirm that a legitimate client is using the vehicle and that the correct invoice has been raised. In the event of suspicious activity, the relevant manager is flagged.

Visibility across the entire operation presented graphically. Because the system is Web-based and creates a single repository of all data, managers can easily gain a bird’s eye view of the entire operation based on accurate data. This means it is possible to track all the variables within the business, from the location of vehicles through to branch performance, to name just two.

For example, the system enables a manager to ascertain rapidly whether a client’s requirement for a certain type of vehicle can be met, something that is key to running a successful rental operation.

Dashboards allow managers to keep tabs on the information that matters to them, and the board receives detailed information in a format that makes it easy to analyse. Customised reporting is continually being updated in line with the evolving needs of Elite Truck Hire.

Streamlined business processes. FleetDomain incorporates more than 30 years of experience in fleet management – this intellectual capital in essence creates a best-practice framework for the company.

Because FleetDomain integrates into the back-end systems, it supports end-to-end business processes. For example, a booking on the FleetDomain system will automatically generate an invoice, with all invoices stored in a central, easily accessible depository.

Valuable business intelligence. FleetDomain’s reporting capabilities mean that managers have access to valuable – and reliable – information that can be used to manage the business more effectively. For example, managers can use demand booking history to ensure that vehicles are optimally distributed around the country based on likely demand, or to identify underperforming entities within the group.

The business intelligence generated by the system can also be used to review the operational and business process architecture in order to identify bottlenecks or opportunities for improvement.

“From a management point of view, FleetDomain makes it easy to access the information needed to understand not only how the company is doing, but how to manage it better,” Corcoran says.

Attractive billing model. FleetDomain is billed per vehicle registered on the system. Because billing is not linked to the number of users, the company can add or remove users without unnecessary administration and without having to adjust billing each time staff changes.

“The billing model is just another way of making life easier for our client,” says Jai Kalyan, Managing Director, FleetDomain. “This is a long-term relationship, and we work closely with Elite Truck Hire’s team to improve the software and provide additional value. We are currently working on ways to enhance the levels of automation to gain further efficiencies.”

For more information contact FleetDomain on 011 712 1300 or info@fleetdomain.co.za or visit our website www.fleetdomain.co.za.

Source: IT Web

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