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What is a fleet?

Apr 17, 2008
When you hear the word fleet, your mind automatically thinks of a large group of ships or transport trucks. But, the truth is, if a company has a vehicle or a group of vehicles they use to conduct their business, then they have a fleet. Furniture stores, moving companies, flower shops, product manufacturers, and places alike have fleets. So, you need to ask yourself: "Do I have a fleet?" Another misconception about fleets, is that they have to be large, but they do not have to be. The dictionary defines a fleet as a group of motor vehicles operating together under the same ownership. These fleet vehicles are all registered in the same name, which is usually that of the business and each vehicle is assigned its own identifier code by the Department of Licensing

The main function of a fleet is to transport goods from one location to the next. They are essential to the business operations of many companies. If we didn't have fleets, many of the products that we buy today would not be available to us. A lot of our most important necessities would not be available for mass consumption, and we would be entirely dependant on finding things locally which would pose a problem since most goods are not manufactured locally. Because of the many different climates in our country, it is impossible to manufacture everything needed locally. Therefore, we depend on the shipment of these items from other areas so that we can have access to a wide variety of goods.

Management of fleets

Fleets are either managed by an outside company or by a fleet manager employed within the business. Managing a fleet is a lot of work because it involves responsibilities such as mapping out the best routes, keeping track of the vehicles via GPS, monitoring repairs and maintenance, reimbursing drivers, keeping track of receipt stacks and reimbursement checks, and more importantly tracking fuel consumption. This is to make sure that the cost of operating the fleet does not have a negative impact on the profits of the business. If it does, then that means that something needs to be done because the cost to ship the product should not be more than the profits to be made from the sale of the good.

There are companies that specialize in providing fleet management software and fleet cards that can make the job of the fleet manager much easier. This software manages the GPS tracking, helps map out the best routes, keeps track of fuel consumption, and looks for any unauthorized charges on fleet fuel cards. The fleet manager is presented with reports on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis that highlights any suspicious activity, and also makes sure that the costs are coming in on budget.

Proper management of a fleet increases the opportunity for higher productivity. That is something very important to a business because high productivity means profitability, and when a large portion of your business is dependent on successful fleet management it's crucial to be operating at maximum productivity.

In the end, it doesn't matter if you're in charge of a large or a small fleet. Every business operates with the goal of making a profit. Therefore, a small fleet needs to be run just as smoothly and as effectively as a large fleet; and a large fleet needs to get the attention to detail that a small fleet does. Fleet cards help fleet businesses run smoothly and efficiently no matter what the size.
About the Author
Fleet cards can help any organization that owns and operates a group of vehicles save money and increase profitability.
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