Ever wondered how the top multinational private fleets manage such a wide range of risks?
We looked at three of the biggest fleet management success stories from the past 20 years. Read on to hear how Coca-Cola, Republic Services and Nestlé set their private fleets up for sustained operational excellence.
The Secrets of Private Fleets
Coca-Cola: Are Fleets Electric?
Distributing canned drinks to consumers in 200+ countries takes logistical brilliance, which is why Coca-Cola’s vehicle fleet is one of the best in the business. But with Pepsi hot on its heels for the crown of the world’s most valuable beverage, Coca-Cola has to innovate to make sure its fleet is every bit as valuable as the brand it represents.
Coca Cola North America wanted to reduce its fuel use and CO2 emissions. These factors weighed heavily in the firm’s decision to invest in a lean, green overhaul of its delivery van fleet. The goal was to reduce its carbon footprint and per-mile transportation costs. Fleet electrification offered an elegant solution for both problems.
Starting with a trial cohort of 280 Chevrolet service vans, Coca-Cola installed XLH Hybrid Electric Drive Systems and used fuel management software to track the results.
Nine million service miles later, the results were resounding. Fuel usage was down by a fifth, drivers were traveling the equivalent of 25% further per gallon, and all-around productivity was up. Best of all, the fleet had achieved per van savings of over $20,000.
Republic Services: Waste Not Want Not
Republic Services’ 6,000-strong heavy truck fleet has more moving parts than most. From pneumatic front-loading forks to hydraulic rear-loading containers, the commercial waste hauler needs spare parts on hand at all times to make sure no bag is left unbinned.
Until 2001, tracking those spare parts was a huge challenge. Each of Republic’s 200 vehicle maintenance facilities kept their own inventory, but there was no companywide system for spare parts reporting.
To fix this, Republic decided to introduce Dossier fleet maintenance management software at all their facilities. The solution uses barcodes and sophisticated reporting to enable fleet managers to track spare parts across locations.
Thanks to the insights delivered by this system, Republic discovered it had stockpiled $2 million in excess or obsolete spare parts. The company was able to resell many of these, or send them to locations where there was a genuine need. The end result was a reduced inventory (22% smaller) and considerably better ROI on its assets. Not bad for less than 12 months’ work.
Nestlé: Rewarding Road Safety
In 2004, Nestlé’s fleet management team elegantly presented the challenge facing them at a stakeholder workshop in Switzerland.
They calculated that the company would need to sell 235 million Kit-Kats that year to generate enough revenue to finance its motor fleet collision risks. Either people would need to start eating more chocolate, or Nestlé’s road accident insurance would start eating into profits. If that didn’t get people’s attention, we don’t know what would.
There was, however, another option. Key health and safety stakeholders worked together to devise top-level strategies to improve road safety. No mean feat in such a sprawling conglomerate, but Nestlé’s fleet management team was more than up to the task.
Over the following years, the team rolled out several road safety initiatives, including a Virtual Risk Manager (VRM) platform that supports driver risk assessment, management, monitoring, coaching, and improvement anywhere in the world. They also established a global road safety committee to embed fleet risk management into the company's DNA, and developed a fleet safety toolkit to instruct regional managers in techniques for safe fleet management.
Thanks to these innovations, Nestlé’s fleet saw road accidents drop across the board. In Mexico, road-related injuries were almost halved, and insurance claim costs fell by more than 20%.
These stories aren’t unique to Coca-Cola, Republic Services and Nestlé. Thousands of small and mid-sized private fleets take steps to become more efficient every day.
One meaningful way to do this is to start using vehicle tracking technology. Companies like Verizon and Teletrac Navman offer software-based solutions that can help you identify performance bottlenecks and coordinate the activities of your distributed workforce.
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