How do you know if your fleet is successful?
It’s a simple question, but it can be difficult to answer. Why? Because it’s hard to define fleet success.
“There isn’t really an industry standard definition of what fleet success means,” Josh Turley said during the first episode of “The Fleet Success Show” podcast.
We’ve been asking around for a while to get input from fleet professionals on how they would define “fleet success,” and we struggled to get feedback.
That’s why we created a podcast dedicated to it. Through this show, the hosts – RTA CEO Josh Turley, former trucking executive Jeff Jenkins and fleet Hall of Famer Steve Saltzgiver -- will define fleet success and discuss ways fleet operations can achieve it.
Listen to “The Fleet Success Show”
“We’ve got enough experience in this room,” Turley said. We’ve seen it all, we’ve done it all, we’ve lived it. … Let’s get [a definition] out there and talk about it.”
The Definition of Fleet Success
First things first, what is “fleet success”? In “Episode 1: Introducing the Fleet Success Show”, the trio defines it as:
Achieving a balanced mastery of stakeholder satisfaction, intentional culture, resource efficiency and risk management in your fleet operation.
If you get these four pillars aligned, it can result in success at your operation.
Living up to the expectations of those who depend on the job you do.
It’s important to first identify who the stakeholders are at your fleet operation. This can be broad, including drivers, technicians, and managers. It can also include others on the roadways who depend on your drivers and vehicles to operate correctly to ensure their own safety.
It also goes deeper. If you have a government fleet, for example, you may be responsible for keeping the squad cars maintained and safe. Without them, the police officers cannot operate the vehicles on the roadways, which puts others in danger if they are not able to get to emergency situations.
This is why it’s so important to identify who is depending on you and your fleet operation to get the job done.
Purposely deciding the type of environment you want at your fleet, and taking ownership to shape that identity.
While almost every workplace will say they have a culture – and in a job posting they might even boast about having a “great” one – it’s important to be intentional with your culture and not end up at one accidentally.
This pillar requires your fleet operation to purposely live out your company’s values. If not, you could end up with a certain company culture unintentionally, based on the types of employees you hire and the atmosphere of your fleet operation.
Having an intentional culture should make your employees happy at work, which then trickles down to how they treat your customers.
In Episode 1, Saltzgiver shared a story from when he was working at Coca Cola. On a work trip he was at a location that didn’t serve Coke products. So, when serving a Coke employee, what did the waitress do? She walked across the street and got him a Diet Coke.
She lived out her company’s culture and it resulted in a happy customer who still remembers the gesture years later.
Making the best use of your two most finite resources – time and money.
This might seem basic, but it’s important to state. At your fleet operation, your two biggest obstacles might be time and money, so you must spend them wisely and take steps to ensure you are not wasting either.
This can include being smart when purchasing new vehicles, when making new hires, and even when deciding what metrics to track at your operation to ensure you are focusing on what’s important.
The proactive process of identifying, assessing, and controlling the threats to your organization and stakeholders.
While you will always have to take some risks at your fleet operation, it’s important to identify these and determine how you can prevent the ones you can.
As Jenkins pointed out, this came up often at the trucking operation he ran. He held meetings with his staff to discuss how the operation could prevent certain problems from happening again and identify what they could have done differently.
“If you prevent one thing, you end up better than you would have been,” Jenkins said.
Dig deeper into the definition of fleet success in the first episode of our podcast, “The Fleet Success Show.” If you like it, subscribe to get future episodes and share the link with your peers!