Top challenges facing public-sector fleet managers
Source: FleetAnswers For fleet managers who are in charge of public sector fleets, the demands they face are unique because of the type of fleet they service and the people that fleet serves. Here are some of the challenges unique to public sector fleets.
1. Budgets That Don't Grow
Costs are on the rise as maintenance and fuel continues to get more and more expensive. Yet, in spite of that reality, most service-oriented fleets are not seeing a substantial increase in their budgets. In fact, municipalities, states and even federal governments are quick to cut the budgets to their fleets at a time when increased costs make running a fleet almost impossible.
2. Lack of Funds for Vehicle Replacement
With budgets that don't grow comes another problem for the fleet manager, and that is a lack of funds for vehicle replacement. This means that the fleet management team must find cost-effective ways to keep the vehicles they do have running, because the funds for replacement and the funds for maintenance are non-existent.
3. Demand to Right-Size the Fleet
One of the fastest ways to cut expenses for a fleet is to remove unnecessary vehicles. Fleet right-sizing refers to ensuring that the vehicles the fleet has are the vehicles it needs, without unnecessary, additional vehicles in the fleet that are not helping operations or are too large for the job at hand.
When right-sizing the fleet, one key to keep costs in check is choosing the right vehicles. Keeping those vehicles that have the lowest mileage and are the most effective for the fleet's task at hand has proven to be a strong strategy.
4. Demand to Use Analytics and Telematics to Lower Fuel Costs
One way in which to lower costs is to lower fuel usage. Vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, but fleets are increasingly turning to technology to get the most out of every drop of fuel in their vehicles. Telematics systems are in high demand among municipal service fleets, because they can bring one to two more miles per gallon when used with thoughtful and thorough analytics.
5. Pressure from the Public to Go Green
Unique to the public sector fleet is the push from the voting public, whom the fleet serves, to keep the fleet as environmentally friendly as possible. Yet, the same voting public demands low costs and will not vote for budget increases. Thus, the fleet does not have funds to purchase alternative fuel vehicles, so the demand to "go green" must be met in other ways, such as limiting miles driven or improving the fuel efficiency of the fleet.
Finding ways to meet the demands and expectations of the voting public, all while continuing to perform the task the fleet was given on ever-increasing budgets, is the main job of the public sector fleet manager. By meeting some of these challenges, these management professionals will be able to thrive in a uniquely challenging environment.
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