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Any job market is an airy space; it is wide and ever-changing at the same time. Changes occur out of the blue from technology, laws, and even a global health crisis.
There is no telling what can alter the roles of any firm or the manager. The manager of any organization is one that dawns on many hats of responsibilities.
They watch over everything, jump different boats, and ensure the company remains afloat. The fleet manager is a reflection of the company. Since the business of managing fleets has more than one moving part, keeping all of them in check is a critical role.

Roles Of A Manager

The job of a fleet manager has seen many shifts and jumps in the last decade. The primary role, however, has remained unchanged. While the mediums of operation have seen innovation, the body of work remains the same.
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All individuals in the organization from the drivers to the ground-staff are under the manager’s watchful eye. Managers must ensure the vehicles run on time, and in top-notch conditions. They remain up to speed with all the network’s limbs and take the brunt of the consumer if there are any delays.
In the world today, softwares such as an app to track fleets provides assistance to the fleet manager and eases the pressure from the job. But these applications are not a replacement to the manager. They are merely tools that help them work faster and smoother.
But let’s take a step back and examine what it was like to manage a fleet a decade or so back.

The Earlier Years of Fleet Management.

Before the tech overload took over our lives, the role of the fleet manager was more mechanical than economical. The fleet manager was the engine of the business and not carrying the burden of business development.
They had simple tasks; however, they took time, skill, and effort to master. A significant part of their job was meeting cost requirements, finding ways to optimize fleet usage, plan routes & schedules, and book drivers.
On the mechanical front, they took responsibility for truck maintenance and addressed the drivers’ needs. They also kept a paper-log of miles, fuel consumption, and upcoming services. Ensuring the legal framework of the trucks was in a place like insurance, and registrations were also under the manager’s audit.

How Have The Roles Changed?

Today the manager is not the grease-head of the fleet service. They are business associates that focus their attention on strategic planning and optimizing operational costs. They approve and operate the tools that propel the business and oversee operations toward maximum efficiency.
We can deconstruct the roles of the ‘modern-day manager’ into there four promote factors:

1. Managing The Operation Desk

Gone are the days of paper logs and manual entries. Most successful fleet organizations own top-of-the-line telematics software. These devices help a manager monitor every minor detail of the feet from a single computer or mobile device.
Using these applications is the most critical job of a manager. Using this software, they can track the fleet, run health checks on the vehicles, and communicate with the crew. The software maintains computer-generated information that will aid maintenance, safety, and compliance.

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2. Health And Safety

The safety of the staff, passengers (or goods), and most importantly, driver safety, these are all in the hands of the manager. They must run regular audits on the vehicles to ensure they are safe to be on the roads. Some managers depend on GPS tracking and dash camera information to monitor the behavior of their team.
Additionally, amidst the global health crisis, the manager must obey extra caution. The health of the drivers and passengers is the top of their priorities. They must ensure the crisis does not cause a delay to the consumer or affect the staff’s livelihood.

3. Foresight On Upgrades

Technology and automation are fluid and ever-changing. The role of the manger now involves keeping a check on new technology that can benefit the company. They must ensure all their systems are up-to-date and provide the best support for sustained operations.
Foresight is not just limited to technology. Managers must possess sufficient knowledge about the market and it’s changing needs. Keeping up-to-speed with regulation changes, price fluctuations, and market demand is also essential.

4. Focus on Sustainable Development

It is apparent from the last decade that the environment is in threat. The overdose of emissions and injudicious use of natural resources has been of grave concern to the whole world. Each establishment must play its part in promoting sustainable development.
The manager must be ahead of the curve in this regard and enforce innovative practices to reduce the business’s carbon footprint. The need of the hour is environment-friendly features and well-designed waste reduction.

What The Future Holds For Fleet Managers?

The lighting-speed of automation will create several obstacles in the fleet manager’s roles. Self-driving cars are already a reality, and tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning are seeping into each field. Over time the managers will have to adapt to these new market necessities.
We consider real-time tracking and virtual-vehicle- diagnosis as emergent technology. But this is still scratching the service. Inventions that provide better fuel efficiency, remote-access, and computer-operated-supply chain are still in their nascent stages.
We cannot predict what the future holds. Non-vehicle modes of delivery are another futuristic alternative. Large conglomerates like Amazon have already tested these intelligent autonomous vehicles for transportation. Being resilient to change will be one of the most substantial challenges for future managers.

In Conclusion,

The roles of a fleet manager will never change; they will only evolve over time. They will have to be open to adaptation, and constantly looking to grow their knowledge-pool and the business.
Companies that do not evolve with the changing technological and social changes will definitely suffer in the real-world. The fleet industry is one of the largest in the world, with over 2.5 million trucks in the USA alone. And these innovations are the driving force behind this growth.

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