The Pros and Cons Of Third Party Fleet Management

Making the decision to switch to professional fleet services companies after running an in-house effort for some time isn’t one that’s ever taken lightly. Like most things in the business world, it’s a move that comes with both positives and negatives, though for the most part the former tend to vastly outweigh the latter.

Of course, the appropriateness of outsourcing and the list of benefits on offer will vary in accordance with each unique business – there will always be instances where things are just fine as they are. Nevertheless, in the majority of cases where business fleets represent an integral part of the company’s core working structure, there’s a great deal to be said for bringing in the professionals.

The Pros and Cons Of Third Party Fleet Management

Fleet Servicing and Management Pros

In terms of the most obvious and attractive pros on offer for those making the switch, there are certain examples that immediately spring to mind, which include the following:

  • Lower Operational Costs – Perhaps the biggest and most important benefit of all is that of reduced fleet operating costs. The DIY option may seem inherently cheaper on the surface, but not when you consider the way in which industry specialists are able to access the cheapest parts, labour and all such other essentials across the board. It’s a bit like going to the wholesaler rather than just buying everything you need from a local store – the former always working out more cost-effective. And when you factor in the reduction in human resources costs that accompany going pro, the savings mount up even further.
  • Overall Efficiency – Even when in-house fleet management efforts are running smoothly, the job still represents something of a burden that takes precious time and attention away from the core focus of the business. The moment this burden is removed and placed into the hands of a professional service, every single member of the staff and every minute they have to spare can be reinvested in the business itself and put toward achieving bigger, better things.
  • Quality of Service – The more reliant your business is on its vehicle fleet, the more you stand to lose when and where maintenance issues creep into the equation. Any such issues could put a huge crimp in the service you’re able to offer clients and customers, which may inevitable see your reputation take a knock. With the pros in-tow, these kinds of hiccups are pretty much stricken from the record.
  • Accurate Reporting – Keeping a close eye on all key metrics with regard to fleet operations and maintenance is a full-time job in its own right and one that’s rarely covered as well as it could be by an in-house effort. Superior quality reporting comes as standard with a leading fleet maintenance and servicing contract.

Fleet Servicing and Management Cons

Of course there are always downsides to take into account with such matters, in order to evaluate where the balance lies and thus make the right decision accordingly. Here’s a quick overview of some of the primary cons on the same subject:

  • Middle-Man Reporting – In some instances where a third-party service takes over fleet management, it will no longer be possible for drivers to report any problems or concerns directly to the repair team itself to facilitate a fast and simple response. Instead, they may be required to bring the matter to the attention of a manager or supervisor who will then take the problem to the contractual partner.
  • Loss of Direct Control – While some consider this to be a con, others actually find it to be something of a blessed relief. When taking on a third-party partner for fleet management, the business effectively surrenders control of myriad tasks and responsibilities in which it will no longer play any real role at all. Some find this inherently disconcerting – others see it as nothing less than a Godsend.
  • Dependency – While it’s an extremely uncommon eventuality, there is still the very slight chance that at some point in the future the fleet management service will for one reason or another let its client business down, in turn leaving said client in a difficult position. To utilise a pro fleet management service is to be pretty much 100% dependent on its assistance for the long term,  meaning no in-house supplies, tools, skills or manpower to fall back on should circumstances demand it.

It’s an argument that’s clearly weighted in favour of the professional option – it’s simply a case of making the right decision in the first place by way of which professional to go with.