Saving money will be key issue for fleets in 2019, FleetCheck says
03 January 2019
Author: Sean Keywood
Cost savings are likely to dominate the agenda for fleets this year, according to fleet management company FleetCheck.
It says economic uncertainty and the ongoing effects of Brexit are likely to prompt organisations to contain their spending as much as possible.
Managing director Peter Golding said: "We are entering a very unusual time where politicians' inability to satisfactorily resolve the Brexit situation is leading us into a largely self-generated economic slowdown.
"In this situation, all kinds of organisations are starting to batten down the hatches and put the brakes on spending in many different areas - and this will undoubtedly affect fleets.
"We have already seen the first signs of this in the second half of 2018 with measures such as limiting travel to essential journeys in many organisations and lengthened replacement cycles, although the latter has also been exacerbated by WLTP and company car tax."
According to Golding, an underlying problem is that in many fleets most of the key policies affecting expenditure were drawn up during the 2008-2009 recession, meaning there are few obvious areas where further savings can be made.
He said areas managers might consider include alternative fuels, increased use of telematics and better scrutiny of data.
He said: "These are all measures that, by and large, weren't really available during the recession and which have now become viable through improved and more accessible technology.
"Certainly, as a fleet software company, we are having conversations with fleets about ideas such as these and ways in which they can be applied to contain and reduce fleet costs.
"Our view is that it is often impossible to put these measures in place without the kind of technology that we provide and, even where it can be done, products of the type we provide are needed to see whether savings and other improvements are being made.
"Without the right tools, you cannot properly track whether sophisticated ideas such as these are having the desired results or see what changes are needed to make them work."
According to Golding, an oddity of the Brexit process is that the situation could change very quickly depending on the decisions of politicians.
He said: "The fundamentals of the economy appear to be quite sound and, if Brexit outcomes are created that satisfy businesses, the flow of investment and spending could be reversed quite quickly, and cost pressures [would] fall down the fleet agenda in a matter of weeks or months."