Top 5 fleet productivity killers

Posted by Andrew Mead

The vast majority of us arrive at to work with every intention of making a sizeable dent in our ever growing to-do list – or even making it disappear entirely. But as we all know, a working day very rarely plays out like that, and we get waylaid by a whole host of challenges between our morning cuppa and home time. 

To help your day run as smoothly as possible, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 fleet productivity killers and how to avoid them. How many are you and your colleagues guilty of?

1. Lack of Planning
It is very common challenge for organisations of all sizes, whether it’s drivers hitting the road without having taken the time to look over the days routes, or office staff sitting down to tackle a task list without properly planning what to tackle first. 

Avoiding this one is simple, create tools and processes for ongoing jobs and reorder that to-do list by type and priority and before you know it you’ll be leaving the office on time, most of the time. As for your drivers, take the time to plan their ideal routes ahead of time and sit back and watch as efficiency rates rise.  

2. Document Management

Nothing hits productivity harder than mismanagement of your files and documents. A lost receipt, misplaced job sheet or a driver turning up to a job with the wrong work instructions not only creates delays but it can also have a damaging impact on your company’s reputation.

A cloud-based fleet management solution can help you to eliminate issues like these by keeping all your vital company documents in one place, helping you to boost efficiency and improve customer service. 

3. Surfing the Internet
This is one that we are all surely guilty of from time to time? The internet has gone a long way to improving the way we work, but there’s no denying it can also be an almighty distraction – that sneezing panda video isn’t going to watch itself after all!

With smartphones allowing us to take the internet with us wherever we go, even drivers can get caught up in web-based time-wasting. It’s important then that you set clear guidelines on personal surfing and keep an eye on any unusual internet activity. If you’ve got a serial slacker in your midst, chances are you’ll find out soon enough – frequent Facebookers are not the most inconspicuous types!

4. Slow Starters

Another one that is a very easy trap to fall into. Many drivers turn up for work on time but spend the first half an hour or so caught up in office chit-chat or spending too long prepping for the day’s journeys. Next thing you know, they’ve hit the road late and are now behind schedule for the rest of the day. 

Combat this by creating a schedule for route preparation – and holding drivers to it. This will see them out on the road on time. 

5. Not Knowing How Time Is Spent
An unregimented day is usually an unproductive one. This is especially true for the types of fleets who perform a variety of different jobs across several locations day-in-and-day-out – quite quickly it becomes very easy to forget how long a driver has spent on each job at each site.

A few minutes of schedule drift here and there soon starts to add up and before you know it you’re unable to accurately account for your drivers’ time. Keep a simple journal of daily activities – or better still, implementing a solution that tracks and reports on driver activity automatically – is an excellent way to spot these areas of slippage and focus on ways of eradicating them altogether. 

Pumping up your productivity

Of course, the vast majority of drivers will always aim to be as efficient and productive as possible, but we are all prone to distractions, and certain bad habits are incredibly easy to fall into. Setting clear and simple guidelines and giving your staff the best tools to do their jobs will, more often than not, result in:

A productive fleet. With productivity killers tamed your efficiency can only improve. 
Happy drivers. A productive driver rewarded with the satisfaction of a job well done – as well as any efficiency incentives you choose to offer – is happy one.  
Happy customers. It’s often said that happier drivers give better service – and great service results in happy customers. 

For more fleet management tips, check out the Fleetmatics blog archive and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. 

By Fleetmatics

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