By definition, fleet management is the process of organizing, coordinating, and overseeing a fleet of vehicles for a particular organization to ensure they’re well-maintained and used as efficiently as possible.
But as you know, it goes a lot deeper than this. From vehicle acquisition and maintenance to tracking, safety, and driver management, there’s a lot on your plate. And if you want to carve out a successful career in this space – or use it as a launching pad to other career opportunities – you need to be totally dialed in and committed to constant and never-ending improvement.
Embracing the CANI Mindset
CANI is a powerful acronym that stands for Constant And Never-Ending Improvement. It’s built on the belief that the only way to be successful in a rapidly evolving marketplace and career field is to be steadfastly committed to continual growth.
“[CANI] is the idea that nothing is ever finished, or declared perfect; there is always room for improvement,” Ezoic explains. “As we all know, a series of small incremental improvements over time, add up to huge compounded improvements in the long run (after all, wasn’t it Einstein said that compound interest was ‘the eighth wonder of the world’?).”
The winners in our industry make CANI part of their personal and professional ethos – committing to always improving every single day. It should be your goal to do the same.
5 Ways to Improve as a Fleet Manager
With the CANI mindset as the framework for your approach, here are several specific ways you can uplevel your skills and become a more successful fleet manager:
- Improve Your Technical Vehicle Knowledge
Some fleet managers get into this career with an immense amount of vehicle-specific knowledge. Other fleet managers enter the role from a more business-minded angle. But regardless of what your background is, you need technical knowledge and understanding of the vehicles you’re managing.
It’s up to you to have an understanding of the types of vehicles in their fleet, their capabilities, maintenance needs, and overall functioning. This knowledge ensures appropriate vehicle selection, proper maintenance, and operation efficiency.
- Become a Better Communicator
Don’t underestimate the importance of good communication as a fleet manager. It’s one of the most integral elements of becoming a leader in your business.
As a fleet manager, you’re tasked with communicating with a variety of different stakeholders, including drivers, vendors, mechanics, and senior managers. It’s up to you to foster a positive work environment and motivate your team. Clear and consistent communication makes this possible.
- Attend Industry Conferences
One of the fastest ways to improve your skills and knowledge is to put yourself in environments and situations where you can learn from those who are more skilled and knowledgeable than you are in certain areas.
Each year, there are more than a dozen fleet management conferences from companies such as Cetaris, events, in-person gatherings, and virtual summits. It’s a good idea to pick one or two of these events to put on the calendar at the start of the year.
- Embrace Evolving Technology
In the modern era, technology plays a crucial role in fleet management. Familiarity with tools like GPS, telematics, and fleet management software is vital. These technologies help in real-time tracking, maintenance alerts, fuel efficiency optimization, and overall better decision-making. The more skilled you are at using and implementing these tools, the more you’ll get out of them.
- Take Environmental Sustainability Practices Seriously
With growing concerns about environmental sustainability, fleet managers must consider eco-friendly practices. This may include adopting alternative fuels, investing in electric or hybrid vehicles, and implementing policies to reduce emissions and waste. These practices not only align with global sustainability goals but can also offer long-term cost savings.
Most fleet managers don’t spend nearly as much time as they should evaluating and addressing sustainability practices. By making this a priority, you can set yourself apart and gain a competitive advantage over your peers.
Ready, Set, Go!
The onus for improvement is on you. There are plenty of resources, tools, and frameworks available, but you’re the only one who can act upon them. Let this article get you moving in the right direction, but don’t stop there. Commit to that CANI mindset that we discussed in the article and make a decision to never settle for average!