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    Remote working fleet managers

    The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shut down most of the country, and all non-essential businesses have either had to close or work from home. Many fleet services are still operating during the lockdown, and they still need to be managed, meaning most fleet management teams are now having to work remotely.

    If you haven't already future-proofed your fleet vehicles with the latest technology and legislation, then you may need to consider purchasing or updating fleet management software and other related tools to keep productivity levels high. It's important that fleet management runs as smoothly as possible from remote locations to limit the number of issues you encounter.

    Adjustments for remote Fleet Management

    Distractions and set-up:

    Remote working will bring many challenges. You will likely be distracted by other items or members of your household which can cause low productivity levels. You're better off, where you can, working in a dedicated area that is quiet and away from those distractions.

    You'll also need to make sure you have the appropriate equipment and WiFi setup to manage the fleet as smoothly as possible. This might involve bringing any work equipment home to allow you to do your job.

    Once you are all set-up, you may need to use new technology and tools to make it easier to communicate with your fleet. You will need to check what systems you have in place; you may consider purchasing or upgrading your existing fleet management software and introduce other tools to help make the remote working transition as smooth as possible.

    Remote working communication tools:

    Mobile phones are the easiest and one of the best ways to stay in constant contact you with your fleet force. Make sure you have good signal to be available for your team at all times.

    Video conferencing tools are an alternative to phone calls and are a popular and easy way to stay in touch with your fleet. Tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams (part of the office 365 pack) allow you to make video calls with multiple people.

    Most of these tools include instant messaging with many useful integrations. Remember, the more you communicate with your fleet, the fewer issues you're likely to have.

    Fleet Management Software for Remote Working

    A seamless fleet management system allows you to set clear expectations and performance standards to ensure your team remains productive and kept up to date. Most fleet management software is compatible with mobile devices. This makes it easier to update on the go, giving you real-time information to ensure everything is running on time and notifies you if there are any issues.

    Fleet management systems allow you to monitor and view up-to-date expenses and fuel usage, so you have full visibility of how your fleet is performing and whether there are any issues you need to address.

    Vehicle Assignment

    Vehicle assignments allow you to schedule vehicles, equipment and track availability and tasks for the day. You can track and monitor utilisation and driver productivity by using a vehicle scheduling tool. This automatically calculates driver hours and gives fleet managers a complete view into schedule insights to stay informed.

    Managing Inspections remotely

    If your vehicles are still on the road, you will need to operate regular vehicle inspections, this helps to monitor the health of your vehicles to prevent breakdowns and accidents. To monitor vehicle inspections, you can use fleet management software which has the functionality to schedule inspections on an easy to use system.

    As face to face meetings and contact is not an option due to Coronavirus, the best way to inspect your vehicles is by video. Drivers can perform electronic daily vehicle inspection reports so you can stay informed of any issues across the fleet in real time. If an accident does occur and it doesn't need police intervention, the best option would be to keep clear of other people and provide the insurance company with photo or video evidence of the damage.

    During the Coronavirus pandemic, you should ensure that your fleet drivers have appropriate hand sanitising products and personal protective equipment (PPE), especially if they are in contact with other people to protect them from contracting or spreading Coronavirus.

    It is worth noting that if your vehicles require new parts or maintenance repairs, many businesses are working on reduced or adjusted hours due to Coronavirus. Although maintenance shops are considered an essential business, due to sickness some will have adapted how they operate.

    Using these remote working tips by introducing new tools into your work life should make operating your fleet management remotely less challenging. To make sure you are covered for working from home, we advise you to check your fleet insurance and business insurance as there may be some changes in the policy. If you require assistance with this, contact our specialist insurance brokers who are here to help.

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