SME fleet managers struggling with job juggling

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 16:40
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STRUGGLE: Fifth of fleet managers flagging

More than a fifth of SME managers in charge of fleets up to 50 vehicles are struggling to cope, new research has revealed.

RAC Business Services’ studies have discovered 23% of such fleet bosses are finding their work life hard, given the number of other roles they must perform.

Stress levels, the YouGov survey showed, have reached boiling point, with 49% claiming they were stressed and 6% claiming they were ‘very stressed’.

Nearly all (98%) of those surveyed said they were juggling other jobs alongside their fleet responsibilities.

Such jobs included general management (61%), finances (53%), sales and marketing (40%), HR (40%) and new business development (34%).

“Often, the whole life costs of moving staff around in either company vehicles or grey fleet are difficult to manage with no real tools in the market to facilitate and control this.”

David Aldridge, RAC

A quarter claimed the admin they undertook around the vehicles and drivers had increased in the past year – of these, 28% said it was because they had more vehicles, and 33% claimed it was due to more paperwork.

Out of everyone surveyed, only 8% said the load of fleet admin had decreased compared to 12months ago.

More than a fifth (21%) of the managers who have up to 25 vehicles said that their fleet admin had increased, with three in 10 of these saying it is due to extra paperwork.

Three-quarters (77%) also said they experience problems with employees who use a company vehicle, including dealing with fuel expenses (33%), sorting out insurance (28%) and keeping track of vehicle use (22%).

Managers (84%) who experience problems when dealing with company vehicles, said the main issues were arranging legal requirements (22%), sorting out insurance (16%) and vehicle wear and tear (16%).

The average time being spent on admin is nearly six hours a week, figures revealed, with this rising to nearly nine hours in managers in charge of 10-50 vehicles.

In response to the survey, the RAC are launching a new 24/7 online Business Club platform.

It is aimed at helping businesses address such pressing issues in a more streamlined way.

The software, which has been created by Fleetondemand, includes unified invoicing and a process where full details of business vehicles and drivers can be stored and updated.

It gives members a password and login to access the secure online portal, from which they can manage their fleet.

Online training is provided, backed by a helpline.

David Aldridge, Director at RAC Business Services, said: “Our Business Club platform has been created to provide a solution for this ‘SME fleet’ market, in which the task of managing mobility usually falls under one person’s responsibility.

“Our survey shows that fleet buying and day-to-day tasks form just one of many responsibilities this person may look after in an SME.

“Often, the whole life costs of moving staff around in either company vehicles or grey fleet are difficult to manage with no real tools in the market to facilitate and control this.

“We set out to deliver a solution that is not only a consolidated fleet management tool but also tackles cost reduction through a consolidated e-commerce solution.

“Innovation is at the core of our strategy on Business Club.

“We have worked with Fleetondemand to ensure that the framework allows us to execute changes and new functionality quickly to meet the developing user needs and behaviours.

“This is key to keeping ahead in the market and ensures the product remains innovative and fresh.”

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