You are about to acquire a fleet for your company? Then this article was thought of for you.Together, we will study the different elements to consider going on with the fleet procurement process. This small guide will allow you to make your choice serenely. However, it is not limited to future fleet owners: you may also be concerned if you want to expand your current fleet, or if you need to replace some of your obsolete vehicles.
1) Fleet procurement : future fleet owners
a) To buy or not to buy : what is the best option between leasing and buying
The first question you’ll probably ask yourself is this: is it better for you to lease your vehicles, or to buy them? Well, there’s no right answer – it all depends on your needs. Each option has its advantages, but you should consider which ones are best for you. If you plan to change vehicles regularly, leasing is probably more interesting. On the other hand, if you plan to keep the vehicles over time, buying may be more advantageous. This choice also depends on the vehicles you want to use, and many other factors. You may find that some suppliers have poor customer service, and this may be a factor in your choice.
b) The vehicle
Yes, to set up your fleet, you need to define the vehicle(s) your company needs. If you are a carrier, heavy trucks will probably be preferred. If you are a construction expert, you will probably use vans to move construction equipment and tools. Take the time to discuss your needs with the people in your company who will be directly involved in the use of these vehicles.
Your vehicles are not going to drive themselves (maybe one day, but not right away). You must therefore recruit your future drivers. Do not hesitate to be selective in your choices. These people will be responsible for your vehicles. You must therefore trust them completely. Don’t be tempted to take the first person who comes through your door: the selection must be rigorous.
Check out this article to learn more about how to recruit your drivers.
If you already have drivers, don’t hesitate to listen to their opinions, their needs, because once again, you are entrusting your goods to them.
d) The Total Cost of Ownership
You need to calculate the TCO before considering the actual fleet purchase. You can refer to this article to do so, but here are some things to consider :
- Insurance : You will be required to insure your vehicles. So do no’t forget to conduct a rigorous study of the different insurance options and insurers available.
- Fuel costs : Your fleet will consume. On a daily basis. It is therefore important that you establish a consumption @budget. This budget will be re-evaluated after use, since it will be relevant to adapt it to the actual consumption of your fleet.
- Maintenance costs : It is important for you to know what maintenance operations to perform on your fleet: to start with peace of mind, we advise you to set up a preventive maintenance cycle. We have written an article on the interest of setting up such a cycle, so feel free to consult it to know more about the subject.
e) A fleet management software !
Managing your car fleet should not be something complicated. That’s why fleet management software exists!
These fleet management software allow you to save money on your variable expenses (maintenance, fuel…), while making your life easier. Indeed, they allow you to follow your fleet, and the information related to it, in real time. All your documents are centralized to facilitate the follow-up of invoices, consumption… We provide you with detailed reports on the information which interests you, so that you are able to make fast decisions and with impact.
2) Fleet procurement : people expanding their fleet
a) Repeat the previous points :
Clean slate! (well, almost, use the experience gained from managing your first fleet). Indeed, when you want to develop your fleet, you can build on the previous points, which remain relevant. However, you can also build on some additional elements.
b) Your experience :
If you are expanding your fleet, it probably is because your current fleet is no longer sufficient. Before purchasing new vehicles, you can analyze the performance of your current vehicles: are you satisfied with your fleet? Is the brand you use too regularly subject to maintenance?
c) The experience of your drivers :
Drivers know the company’s vehicles. Maybe better than fleet managers. So take their opinion into account: they can provide you with relevant insights into your company’s needs. You can organize this information research in the form of a questionnaire.
d) Your needs :
Why do you want to expand your fleet? Are you using your current fleet to its fullest capacity? What do you expect from these new vehicles? Does the budget you want to allocate to this fleet extension correspond to the estimated TCO of that same extension (to calculate TCO, go to this article)? These are all questions you should ask yourself before placing an order.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. There are many elements to consider when deciding to start a fleet procurement process. Elements that are sometimes specific to each company. However, those mentioned above can help you in your approach, and allow you to see a little more clearly.
To help you, and particularly in the case of a fleet extension, you can rely on our fleet management software. Indeed, we allow you to quickly calculate your TCO per vehicle, and thus to study the performance & profitability of your current vehicles. The advanced analysis of the data collected, via our tags, that we offer gives you the keys to better identify your needs, and the vehicles that best meet them.
However, choosing our fleet management software from your first vehicles is also wise. It will allow you to control your costs (especially variable costs), and improve the lifespan of your vehicles.
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