How to Improve your Fleet Procurement Strategy

vehicle tracking costs by fleet size

For many businesses, their vehicle fleet is their lifeblood. Whether it's short-distance delivery, long-haul trucking, or just getting your employees where they need to be – these simply can't be done without a well-oiled fleet of vehicles.

It would stand to reason then, that putting together your fleet is the bread and butter of setting up a business. This process, known as fleet procurement, is certainly an involved one, but is absolutely worth perfecting.

Two of the best things you can do in order to optimise your fleet is invest in a fuel card, and install fleet management software. By clicking those links, you'll be sent to easy-to-sue forms which, when filled out, will offer you multiple quotes for those services based on your business information.

Five Ways to Improve Your Fleet Procurement Strategy

At a glance, the top five ways to perfect your fleet procurement strategy are:

  1. Get input from your drivers or industry connections
  2. Determine the associated costs
  3. Secure a fuel card
  4. Forge good relationships with suppliers
  5. Get fleet tracking software

Let's have a look at what these mean for your business.

1. Get Input from Your Drivers/Others in the Industry

It's easy enough to think of the basics when you're looking at fleet procurement – you'll want petrol, vehicles, and things like tyre pumps – but there are some things you might not consider when looking at fleet procurement. That's where other peoples' experiences can help you out.

Talking to your employees and getting a grasp on what they need is a great place to start. After all, they're spending more time in these vehicles than anyone. Better shelving units for storage, stronger security features – there's a range of elements your employees might like.

If this is your first fleet and you don't have any drivers yet, you might want to ask other business owners in the industry. They'll have been through this process before, so asking them what they learned or what they would have done differently is a great place to start.

2. Determine Costs

The most important thing for any business is its bottom line. Once you've nailed down what you need in a broad sense, it's worth time comparing prices across the market to find the most affordable (but obviously still effective) choice for your business.

This is another area where connections can come in handy. By talking to people in the industry, you can get tips on the best places to buy certain resources, and when prices might be at their lowest.

Of course, newcomers might not have too many connections to flip through, but that's the beauty of the internet. A day or two of solid research will help you get the best prices out there.

3. Secure a Fuel Card

On the topic of cutting costs, there are few easier ways to pinch pennies than to invest in a fuel card. Fuel cards are basically debit cards, topped up with your own funds. What's the point then? Well, any transactions on this card at participating petrol stations will be discounted!

These discounts usually aren't mind-blowing, saving you about 5-10p per gallon. However, over time these savings can add up and end up saving your business a good amount of money on a resource you'll be using daily!

If you're interested in the best fuel cards on the market, we've got you covered. Check out our article on the 5 Best Fuel Cards for UK businesses.

4. Forge Good Relationships with Suppliers

You're likely going to be in this for the long haul, so you'll want to make sure you're on good terms with any providers or stakeholders throughout your fleet procurement process. After all, it's not what you know, it's not who you know – it's who knows you.

Having cordial relationships with the people and organisations in charge of supplying your business with the assets necessary to run an effective fleet can be a huge benefit. Routine orders will happen faster, people will be happier to serve you, and the process will be smoother overall.

5. Get Fleet Tracking Software

This will be one of the last steps when setting up your fleet, but one of the most important, especially if you're particularly focused on efficiency. Fleet tracking software is what it sounds like: a computer system that allows you to keep tabs on your vehicles' locations.

However, your average fleet management system offers far more than just that. You'll be able to track fuel usage, plan optimised delivery routes, and various other functions that can make this software indispensable for those looking to tighten up their fleet.

You wouldn't invest in fleet management until your vehicles were actually on the road, but when that time comes, it's something that can make your fleet as affordable and efficient as possible.

What Is Fleet Procurement?

If you're unfamiliar with the term “fleet procurement,” then allow us to fill you in. On a basic level, the verb “to procure” means “to obtain,” so fleet procurement is the act of obtaining everything you'll need to operate a fleet of vehicles for your business.

This will obviously include the vehicles and resources needed to maintain vehicles (like storage space, fuel, and tools), but, in a broader sense, can branch out to include things like fuel cards, fleet tracking software, and accessories that can improve your drivers' experience.

As with most things business-related, it's best to have a strategy before you dive in, so nailing down a proper fleet procurement plan is key to making sure it's as affordable and efficient as possible.

Next Steps

As a recap, let's look at those five tips again:

Some of those tips are a one-time task, others will need a decent time investment for the entire time you're managing your fleet. To scratch some of the easier tasks off the list, you can nail down a fuel card and fleet tracking software by clicking on those links.

By filling out your business's information on a quick, secure form, you'll receive free, zero-commitment quotes that can help you get the best options for your business.

Duncan Lambden
Duncan Lambden Senior Writer

Duncan (BA in English Textual Studies and Game Design) is an Australian-born writer for Expert Market. His articles focus on ecommerce platforms and business software that allows small businesses to improve their efficiency or reach, with an emphasis on invoice financing and customer relations. He has written for Website Builder Expert and Tech.co, and has been featured in Forbes. In his free time, Duncan loves to deconstruct video games, which means that his loved ones are keenly concerned about the amount of time he spends looking at screens.