Are you responsible for transport and distribution in a manufacturing or retail organisation? Is your company a third-party logistics provider with its own fleet of transport assets? Or are you in charge of a field service company or division, trying to maximise the ROI of your technicians’ vehicles?
Whatever the purpose, if you have responsibility for road-going vehicles, transportation fleet benchmarking can help you answer those difficult questions which continually crop up in your operations meetings … You know, questions like “Are our services competitive?” and “Do we utilise our assets effectively?”
Can You Afford to Miss Out on These 3 Benchmarking Benefits?
As with other aspects of supply chain management, fleet operations can only be improved if performance is measured in the first place. That alone should be enough reason to consider regular transportation fleet benchmarking.
If that’s not sufficient to pique your interest, though, perhaps the following three benefits will persuade you of the value being missed if benchmarking is not on your continuous fleet improvement agenda.
1. Benchmarking Highlights Fleet Management Weaknesses
To speak only of the inability to improve what isn’t measured is to understate the importance of transportation fleet benchmarking.
In reality, if you have never actually compared your transport fleet performance with a peer group, you can’t even know if you need to improve, or if so, where, and by how much.
Transportation fleet benchmarking will show you where your fleet is performing strongly in comparison with your peers and competitors. More to the point, though, it will highlight weaknesses, giving you the opportunity to concentrate efforts where improvement will yield best results.
2. Benchmarking Helps You Prioritise Improvements
Okay, so it’s probably not fair to conclude that you have no idea of your fleet’s performance, even if you don’t regularly practice transportation fleet benchmarking, but here’s the thing. You and your team may have ideas about what needs improving, but without a single, objectively measured version of the truth (which benchmarking will provide); you could easily waste time, money and effort trying to improve the wrong performance elements.
If you practice transportation fleet benchmarking, and do so on a regular basis, you can train a laser focus on the improvements most likely to drive profits and competitive strength.
For example, there would be little point in pursuing fuel consumption reductions in an operation with trucks that cover excessive distances in “empty running”. If you don’t benchmark, you won’t know how you compare with other companies in terms of empty running or fuel consumption.
If you do benchmark, the issues that really matter will be thrown into relief, enabling you to distinguish where improvement is essential and where it would merely be a “nice-to-have.”
3. Gain Visibility into Best Practice
The benefits of transportation fleet benchmarking don’t stop at improving performance visibility. If you choose the right peer group against which to compare your operation, your benchmarking project can extend to solution development. All you have to do is speak with those in your peer group who are bettering your performance.
Many transportation leaders will be happy to share what they are doing to achieve strong performance, provided of course, that they are not competing with your organisation.
Of course, perhaps more so than other supply chain components, what works well for one organisation might be ineffective for another, but at least by looking at what others do differently, you can evaluate if their approach would work for your fleet or not.
Gain More From Your Transportation Fleet
It doesn’t matter what purpose your transportation fleet serves. Whether you own vehicles for your own transport and distribution operation, for hire to paying customers, or as a necessary asset to move field personnel and their equipment around, the performance of your fleet can make a huge difference to margins, profitability and of course, customer service.
Don’t leave your fleet performance to chance. Benchmark your transportation fleet regularly to keep abreast of how performance compares with best-in-class companies.
Given that leading fleet operators have perhaps 50% lower operating costs than laggards, along with vastly superior service, doesn’t it behoove you to know where your fleet stands in the ranks? You might find there’s plenty of money on the table to be had—but if you don’t benchmark, you may never know.