Whether you’re looking to partner with a fleet management company for the first time or want to evaluate your current one, it’s important to know what you should expect from an FMC. Having expectations in place will provide a framework you can use to assess your current or potential new partner. The right FMC will boost your fleet’s productivity and efficiency, saving you time and money.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the services fleet management companies typically offer and what qualities to look for when choosing one for your organization.
What Is a Fleet Management Company?
A fleet management company is a strategic partner that works with businesses to define clear goals and troubleshoot issues within their fleet. They then match you with the services that are best suited to meet your needs and offer the highest ROI.
FMC services include but are not limited to:
- Vehicle factory orders or out of dealer stock acquisitions
- Vehicle specification development
- Fleet leasing
- Maintenance and fuel management
- Telematics and vehicle tracking
- Data capture and interpretation
- Personal mileage reporting
- Management of registration renewals, title transfers, and payment of fines and violations
- Company vehicle policy development
The Differences Between Fleet Management Companies
When thinking about fleet management companies, the first names that come to mind are often large, impersonal, national fleet providers. Once you become a customer with a national provider, they typically assign you to an account management team that coordinates your leases and introduces you to the online fleet management tools the company provides. You will have access to more tools and resources but will still be generally responsible for managing your fleet.
But there are also regional fleet management companies. A regional FMC (like Ewald Fleet Solutions) provides all of the same services as national FMCs, including nationwide capabilities, but we differ in our approach to customer relationships.
At Ewald, the person you interact with during the sales process will remain your point of contact after you sign on for FMC services. Our team takes on a hands-on, “roll-up-your-sleeves” approach to fleet management, managing the day-to-day aspects and decisions about your fleet so you can focus on other business activities.
What Should I Look For in an FMC?
An FMC Should be Relationship Oriented
Like any strong relationship, it is crucial to have clear and open communication with your FMC. You should be able to trust that your FMC is acting in your best interest at all times.
At Ewald Fleet Solutions, we assign every customer a team that is familiar with your specific program and individual business needs. Our customers enjoy access to both our strategic and support teams which provide you with high-quality service.
An FMC Should be Attentive and Responsive
As a busy professional, there will be times when you require prompt information and answers. The last thing you want is to spend precious time following up and chasing a response from your FMC. At Ewald, a common issue we hear when customers come to us from large national providers is that the providers weren’t giving quick or attentive enough responses to their needs.
Our approach is to base our fleet management services on continuing and valuable interaction with you to maintain our agreed course of action.
An FMC Should Provide Actionable Data
Reporting is an essential tool for managing and monitoring your vehicle fleet costs. But converting raw data into actionable reports can be overwhelming and time-consuming. We take pride in providing our customers with concise information, interpreting the data for them in a way that enables them to make informed decisions that benefit their bottom line.
An FMC Should Save You Time
An effective fleet management company will reduce the time and effort you have to spend on your fleet. You’re busy enough as it is, so an FMC should be able to shoulder a good deal of your day-to-day fleet tasks, freeing up more time for you to focus on other priorities.
At Ewald, our client-focused programs reduce the amount of time you need to spend managing your fleet each week while allowing you to maintain control over all the associated cost areas.
An FMC Should be Reliable
You need to be able to rely on your FMC to carry out your fleet program. When it comes to vehicle acquisition, look for an FMC that has adapted to the current environment.
For example, as a result of the semiconductor chip shortage, vehicles are more difficult to acquire right now. To ensure you get the vehicles you need when you need them, choose an FMC that uses a variety of tactics to acquire fleet vehicles. At Ewald, we maintain relationships with a broad network of vehicle manufacturers and dealerships and utilize these relationships to acquire vehicles in creative ways.
Your choice of fleet management partner will impact how efficient and profitable your business will be. There are many FMCs to choose from out there, so knowing what to look for is key as you navigate all your options. Look for companies that prioritize relationships, responsiveness, data sharing, reliability, and saving you time. Such a company can become a long-term partner for your business, optimizing your fleet as your business continues to grow.