Are you a fleet manager sitting at your desk wondering how to better streamline your operation? The fact is, when you are managing a trucking fleet, you are basically rushing from one brushfire to another.
You may be trying to figure out how you can be the best fleet manager you can be. Fortunately, there are quick and easy ways to make a difference, for both you and your crew. Take a moment to catch your breath every once in a while and realize that it will all be okay.
There are a number of ways you can ensure you are being the best advocate for your fleet that you can be:
- Provide effective leadership from the top
- Listen to your employees
- Focus on results
- Understand industry trends
- Focus on safety
The fact is, when you do your job well, success is hard to measure, mainly because nothing happens. It’s hard to track the performance of your fleet without something tangible. Fortunately, there is a simple formula you can follow:
If you add focus to leadership and provide a structured program under which they flourish, you’ll get results. Let’s dig a little deeper into exactly what that means.
How to Show True Leadership
Sure, you’re thinking, “I’ve got this, I’ve been managing this fleet long enough to know what’s going on,” and you may be right. But in an ever-changing industry, might you be overly confident?
Sometimes being an effective leader means knowing when an old process or habit has to go the way of the Dodo bird. It may mean you have to throw away your sacred cow. The fact is, truly exceptional leaders don’t have sacred cows. They know when to let humility and recognition of idea gone overpower their base ego need.
True leadership doesn’t let its ego get in the way of a proud moment. This is especially true when working for a motor carrier, no matter the size. From your fleet technicians to your back-office accountants, there are a lot of people to deal with.
Strategically Plan and Innovate
As a fleet manager, being able to strategically plan your initiatives is an essential skill. You need to make sure you are organizing well-constructed plans that optimize all aspects of your supply chain matrix.
Whether you are dealing with vehicle acquisition or truck driver training, you need to be able to make high-level strategic decisions on the fly. Part of making these decisions lies in how well you are able to innovate.
Part of managing a fleet, whether you have two trucks or two-hundred trucks, lies in how well you are able to assess better ways of doing things. Are you using the right suppliers? Are your vehicles meeting the standards you should be setting for them? If you can answer these questions, you may make the grade where innovation is concerned.
Communicate and Play Well with Others
If you don’t communicate well, it will be awfully hard for you to manage your drivers, suppliers, and fellow managers and executives. You need to make sure everyone is on the same page where current progress and future goals are concerned?
Also, it’s important to keep I mind that we can’t all do it on our own. We need to be a team player to be truly effective. There are a lot of links in a fleet’s organizational chain. If you can’t effectively manage each and every one, it will be hard to get the job done.
The fact is, an effective fleet manager is constantly working with everyone in order to optimize performance. Unlike safety managers or training managers, the fleet manager oversees everything, so he or she must be constantly on top of what the team is doing and how to interact with them.
If you want to be an effective fleet manager, keep these solid leadership principles in mind. Without them, you might not be getting the most out of your operation.