New research from Verizon Connect has revealed the substantial impact that government-enforced restrictions and health & safety guidelines, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, has had on UK fleet management businesses.
While many fleet-based businesses were classified as essential throughout the pandemic and were able to continue operations, the majority faced new challenges which impacted efficiency and profitability. 62% of fleet managers said that their supply chains were disrupted as a result of the pandemic, and 51% said they had to make significant cuts to their operational budget.
Almost three in five (58%) said that following health and safety regulations such as social distancing had made the business less efficient and the majority (52%) said that it has been difficult to comply with constantly changing guidance.
On average, fleet managers lost four working weeks (20 days) as a result of the pandemic. 7.5 working days were lost due to staff self-isolating, 6.5 working days lost due to driver sickness or illness and a further 6 working days due to temporary travel restrictions.
Technology played a key role helping fleet managers thrive during the pandemic. Half said they adopted new tools to boost efficiency and 49% said that they would not have maintained business continuity or achieved success without a fleet management solution. One area where fleet management helped was contact tracing, with 52% saying they adopted a fleet management solution to support contact tracing protocols.
Derek Bryan, Vice President, EMEA, Verizon Connect, comments: “Businesses of all shapes and sizes are under the pump as a result of the pandemic. SLAs are getting harder to hit, budgets are shrinking, and regulations are constantly changing. During these difficult times, fleet managers need the right tools that help make their business better and adapt when a spanner is thrown in the works.
“The research shows that fleet management tools are the key to unlocking the best of your business. From aiding with new regulations such as contact tracing, to giving total visibility of vehicles and assets, helping to improve safety and driving efficiency – the right fleet management tool is the key to getting an advantage over the competition and ultimately to survival.”
* Research methodology: The independent research, commissioned by Verizon Connect, was conducted by Censuswide and completed on 23 November, 2020. The findings were generated by interviews conducted with 409 fleet managers and decision makers who operate fleets of between three and 500 vehicles.