Your Quick Guide to Fleet Asset Management

Asset management guide for fleet managers

It’s been an unprecedented few months. Not surprisingly, business leaders are taking a closer look at what they’re spending, why and with what results. In the world of fleet management, the quest to streamline budgets comes down to a simple yet elusive question: How much are we really paying for our assets?

The first step to optimizing your fleet program costs is knowing, with clarity, the total amount you’re spending per asset. Getting to that number is a lot easier said than done—unless you have a high-quality, data-driven asset management program. The best programs provide robust visibility into each asset, from utilization down to the cost per mile. Why does this “full picture” matter? Because what gets measured gets done. And in the case of fleet management, when you know what you’re truly spending per asset, you have the power to optimize it. 

Is your fleet looking to optimize its spending in the COVID-19 era? Are you simply tired of wondering what you’re really spending and making uninformed decisions? Here’s what you need to know about fleet asset management programs.

The qualities of an effective fleet asset management strategy

Your fleet couldn’t operate without safety, fuel and maintenance programs. And you would never think to eliminate your remarketing program. In today’s tech-driven business landscape, asset management is just as critical to your fleet’s success. That’s exactly why a growing number of fleet management partners are including this capability in their solutions offering. 

But what is an asset management program? Asset management programs use data integration to help fleet managers measure, and optimize, the costs of each asset across the lifecycle. The best program will use a single solution to integrate all your asset-related data. This provides a “full picture” of your assets, helping you identify opportunities for cost savings. By pairing these insights with best practices and partnerships, you can maximize value and cost savings across the asset’s lifecycle. Suddenly, you have a clear answer to that elusive question about what you really spend per fleet vehicle.

A single asset management solution

If you’ve ever worked on a team, you already know that silos are bad for productivity. When information is shared with everyone who needs it, it empowers all of us to get the job done faster and better. It’s the same story with data. Too often, data points about an asset are kept in various places, never to be connected to paint the full picture. This quickly leads to line items being labeled as “overhead” rather than what they really are: costs per asset that, with the right strategy, can be optimized. 

Using a single source that integrates all your relevant data is key to providing real visibility. The best asset management solutions connect the dots across all the spend areas associated with a particular asset. This gives you a strong foundation for interpreting the data and making cost-saving optimizations. With the rise of data visualization and mobile dashboards, asset metrics are more accessible than ever—if you know what to do with the data.

(Read our spotlight on fleet management analytics.)

When building your asset management program, choose technology that provides the flexibility needed to integrate multiple sources. Also look for an intuitive interface and a robust reporting tool. By choosing a solution that collects and interprets data from all your existing sources and allows you to define your own KPIs, you’re well on your way to making smarter asset management decisions.

In-depth, measurable KPIs for asset management

Cost per mile. Maintenance costs. These line items typically come to mind when we think about the spending associated with our assets. But KPIs for asset management go much deeper, providing a more accurate benchmark for your spending. When you’re building out your asset management program, or seeking a partner to provide this solution, make sure these KPIs are being consistently measured:

  • Asset utilization
  • Cost per mile
  • Lifecycle decisions
  • Leveraging factory orders and incentives 

When measuring KPIs, identify a few times per year to compare the data points to your projections. This will ensure that your decisions have resulted in the desired impact. And don’t underestimate the importance of smaller decisions. Although the total cost per asset is a critical number, it’s also useful to be able to individually track and analyze the KPIs that go into that total. We’ve found that in many cases, factory orders, incentives and partner programs can help fleets save considerable costs on individual aspects of their asset management. Smaller savings quickly add up to a major bottom-line boost. 

The right fleet asset management partner

To reduce costs and optimize your asset’s value, fleets need a “big picture” approach to all the aspects that go into your total spending per vehicle. For many in-house fleet managers, resources were already stretched thin before the current situation unfolded. This makes it more critical, and cost-effective, than ever to partner with a fleet management provider that can supplement your existing in-house capabilities.

When you’re looking for an asset management partner, prioritize these qualities to ensure your decision will result in ROI:

  • A full-service approach to fleet management, which allows your partner to identify more opportunities for cost savings
  • Strong partnerships in areas like fuel and maintenance, which can help you quickly take action to optimize spending
  • Proven data analytics and integration, which ensures that all essential data points are factored into your cost per asset
  • A transparent approach to sharing and analyzing your asset data so that you always know what you’re spending and where your asset value can be enhanced
  • Robust reporting to showcase the results of your asset management strategy
  • Innovative solutions such as mobile maintenance and fueling
  • Undoubted experience in managing fleets of all sizes and a proactive, engaged leadership team

(Read more about our approach to mobile maintenance and fueling.)

At Onward, we use a single integrated platform to provide our clients with robust, accessible asset management analytics. After we answer that key question—What am I really spending per asset?—we leverage diverse partnerships, programs and best practices to turn opportunities into quantifiable value. Let’s talk about your fleet’s situation and how asset management can unlock cost-saving, data-driven decisions.