Spotlight on... Fleet Analysts
​​​​​​​Mitigating Risk

This month, we’re focusing the spotlight on our fleet analysts, who provide a valuable service to our customers, sharing key insights to help reduce costs, risk and environmental impact.

As trusted advisors to our customers, every insight they provide is specific to each of our customers’ businesses, as well as the sectors they work in. The types of insights vary, but the aim is always the same: to help them run their fleets better by identifying areas where improvements can be made that will have the biggest impacts.

Mitigating risk

There are a number of ways that we approach risk management, depending on the challenges that each individual customer is facing. Regardless of the specifics, our overarching aim remains consistent throughout: to look at the operational performance of a fleet and understand how we can reduce ongoing risk factors. Tom Knight, a fleet analyst who’s been with our outsource team for three years, talks to us about how he helps his customers identify and mitigate risks, and the benefits this offers them.

“What constitutes risk varies between customers”, explains Tom Knight, fleet analyst. “For some, it could be motoring offences. Our analysis shows that those who regularly obtain motoring offences are more likely to drive in an unsafe fashion and therefore more likely to cause damage to a vehicle.”

Risk doesn’t always mean vehicle damage or unsafe behaviour however, another area that our fleet analysts look at is maintenance and managing vehicle downtime – that is, the reasons why vehicles have been taken off the road. In many cases, vehicle downtime is maintenance related, but it can also be due to accidents and repairs. By understanding the why, we can then look at the steps we can take to reduce the amount of downtime within a fleet.

For example, there will always be some vehicles that will have more maintenance issues than others, but by providing insights into maintenance cycles and spend, we can help our customers prioritise which vehicles to replace when it comes to renewals.

“That's really important for them”, says Tom, “because from an operational perspective, as we all know, it's very difficult to get new vehicles with any kind of short lead time at the moment. By prioritising the replacement of vehicles that are in the garage most often, customers can keep their operations running smoothly and reduce the amount of vehicle downtime they’re experiencing.”

Part of Tom’s role is to consider these risk factors as a collective and provide regular insights and recommendations to customers. “What you often see is that drivers who experience issues in one risk area more frequently experience issues across all areas of risk. Obtaining this pattern, particularly amongst different business areas, is one of the most important elements of our role and means we can build up a picture of how different parts of the fleet behave.”

Tom gives an example of a customer where the fleet is broken down into different divisions according to their level of perceived risk. Those who are more likely to operate in city centres and so obtain things like parking offences sit in one group, while those who may operate in more rural areas and are less likely to encounter issues sit in another.

He explains: “Splitting the fleet in this way means we can distinguish between the different behaviour of the drivers and give our customer clear, evidence-based recommendations about the biggest risk areas and how these can be mitigated. What this then means for our customers is that they can target training internally to make sure that everybody has the right support to be driving in the most safe and effective fashion.”

Tyre replacements are another consideration. Vehicles will always need new tyres, but by collecting information on the reasons why those tyres are being replaced – whether because of normal wear and tear, damage, or because they’re worn down to the point of being illegal – we can start to understand how to prevent unnecessary changes.

“Illegal tyres is something that has a real impact on our customers if a driver is out of action for half a day while they get their tyres changed”, says Tom.

“To help one customer reduce their downtime due to this reason, we moved the change level as standard from the legal limit of 1.6mm to 3mm. They immediately noticed a huge drop in the number of illegal tyres being changed – from around 320 vehicles to two vehicles – and were happy to pay the additional cost to improve their tyre policy and to mitigate the cost of unplanned downtime.”

Risk isn't always about looking at things that have happened and stopping them from happening again; it’s also about being preventive and identifying new considerations for our customers.

Tom gives the example of clean air zones: “The introduction of clean air zones impacts which vehicles can operate economically in those areas. In these instances, we look at the vehicles that are currently operating in an area and then consider whether there are any more appropriate vehicles within a fleet that could replace them, or whether they need replacing with a new vehicle.”

He concludes: “The bigger picture for our customers is making sure they understand the risks they face and the solutions they have. We can’t make decisions for them, but we can provide them with the insights they need so they can be confident that the choice they make will be the right one for them.”

The examples provided are based on customer’s individual circumstances at a specific point in time. Similar benefits/savings may not be achievable by other customers due to a variety of different circumstances and factors, and these examples should not be construed as a guarantee of the benefits/savings achievable