26th September 2017

There are often many things we do, both personally and within a business, that can be more accurately described as habitual. Often when questioned we can’t remember the reasons or thought process we went through before arriving at our “conclusion” that was the best way forward.

Depending on our “habit” there would have been many factors that will have come into play; saving time, saving money, making life easier, someone recommended it, it was the only solution available - the list goes on.

In a business or work environment, we often seek to develop these habits as an outcome of our policies and procedures. Employees habitually follow the guidelines across several different areas and elements of the business. With new starters being handed the company handbook on their first day to begin this process of understanding.

  • How often do we check and challenge if these processes or policies are still valid?
  • How often do we check that we understand why they are there?
  • What do they achieve or deliver to the business or employee?
  • How often do we check to see if there is a better way?

The validity of some policies is relatively easy to check on face value. For example, the number of days holiday an employee can take varies widely from company to company and across different industries but generally ranges from 4-6 weeks per year. When setting the holiday entitlement, a business will consider and strike a balance between the needs of the business and motivation of the employee, but even something as relatively simple as this should be regularly challenged and reviewed.

 If your business is growing and staff numbers increasing can you increase holidays to enable more time for employees re-energise? Can you reward loyal service with extra holidays or as one organization does; give their employees their birthday as extra days holiday.

So, what are the other areas of a business where policies and procedures may not be as simple and straight forward as a holiday entitlement?

In many businesses, aside from raw materials, the two areas of biggest cost and risk are people and vehicles. Until the day we get fully autonomous vehicles on the road they will always be intrinsically linked.

What fuels your policy around vehicles and drivers in your business? Much will depend on the type of business you operate, the need and purpose of the vehicles and the job role of the drivers. Pun intended!

  • How long has your policy been in place?
  • What is the objective of the policy?
  • What does your policy deliver?
  • Are these objectives still valid to your business today or do you have different needs to accomplish?
  • When did you last review your policy to see if there is a better solution?
  • What is the true cost of your policy, actual cost and hidden cost in terms of productivity and motivation?
  • Do your drivers habitually follow the policy or are you continually chasing them on various aspects of it?
  • What risks are associated with your vehicles and drivers? When were they last assessed?
  • Have you thought about the less obvious risks away from your own vehicles?
  • How do you make sure you’re up to date with all aspects of legislation, best practice and ensuring your vehicles, drivers and business remain within the law?
  • Even if you outsource most of the above elements, when were they last reviewed to ensure they still deliver the best solution for your business?

If you were to accept your renewal quote for your house, pet or car insurance without review or consideration, you would find that over time the cost will have increased significantly and elements of the cover changed; either unnecessary elements added or previously important services removed. Time is often a factor in such matters, auto renewal is quick and efficient but everything goes up in price right?

Not necessarily. Through innovations and technical advances, the true cost of many items and services continues to fall. Our mobile phones are a testament to this fact.

The running and managing of vehicles and drivers within your business should fall under the same review process, this is more prevalent than ever with the rise in autonomous capabilities of many cars with continued debate and advances around traditional and alternative fuels

A simple Fleet Health check would answer all the questions above and make sure the vehicles in your business are fit for purpose, meet all the requirements and objectives you set at the same time of managing your associated risks.

A Fleet Health check will deliver one or more of the following:

  • Underline and confirm that your current policy is delivering everything it needs in terms of cost efficiency, risk reduction and meeting the objectives set.
  • Help you to set the objectives for the running and management of vehicles and drivers in your business.
  • Provide recommendations and framework that will deliver improvements in some or all aspects of vehicles and drivers in your business including:
    • Fleet Objective - how to understand/set the needs of the business around the provision and use of the vehicles and drivers.
    • Fleet Policy - what it looks like, how it delivers and meets the objectives set.
    • Cost Reduction - vehicles are often one of the largest expenses in a business. How to get the best deal and what alternatives are available?
    • Fleet Funding/Sourcing - what is the most appropriate method for your business and employees.
    • Fleet Management - how to effectively and efficiently manage your vehicles. Whether company owned or employee owned.
    • Driver Management - how to keep your drivers safe and legal, regardless of who owns the vehicle they use.
    • Risk Assessment - how to assess and manage risk by highlighting potential areas to reducerisk further.

A Fleet Healthcheck should not cost anything, the provider will naturally be looking for you to adopt some of their products and services because of the recommendations made but equally, there should be no obligation.