Fleet management is no small task — especially if you're an SBO doing it all on your own — but it could be the key to keeping your operating expenses in line. Here are tips that can help you stay organized, keep expenses on track and even save money.

Manage Fuel Spending

One simple way to track and save is to get a fuel card, which will allow your small business to purchase fuel and maintenance within a network of authorized dealers. In return, you'll receive certain promotions, discounts and per-gallon rebates.

More importantly, you'll be able to easily manage fuel expenses, track employee use and set up purchase limits for your drivers by using the comprehensive reporting tools and controls that typically come with fuel card services. Plus, with the data in front of you, you'll be in a better position to budget and plan — and implement initiatives to encourage efficiency.

Implement a Preventative Maintenance Schedule

According to fleet management software experts Permit Computer Systems, next to fuel costs, the largest expense in a business's total fleet spend is depreciation. In fact, fuel and depreciation expenses combined can equal up to 70 percent of a company's respective cost categories, making operating your fleet as efficiently as possible critical to maximize your return on investment.

To mitigate the effect of rapid depreciation and the subsequent cost of fleet replacement, implement a preventative maintenance (PM) schedule. Maintenance schedules that include preventative measures, such as oil changes and tire pressure tracking, can maximize fuel efficiency and prevent premature wear. This, in turn, can help you reduce the risk of accidents and lower fleet management costs.

When you are managing a fleet of vehicles, neglecting even one maintenance practice can affect your bottom line. For instance, the U.S. Department of Energy says under-inflated tires can reduce gas mileage by around 0.2 percent for every 1 psi drop. Prevent these issues by using a checklist of routine tasks (such as this one provided by the Kansas Department of Transportation) to ensure important maintenance gets done.

If you have a trusted employee who has been looking for leadership opportunities, asking them to help you with preventative maintenance might be a nice way to hand over the reins. No one can do it alone, and if your employee does a good job of reducing costs, some of the money saved could go toward showing your appreciation.

Tags: Streamlining Operations Operations Management