For many fleet operators in Northern Ireland, the external challenges that the road transport industry has faced for some time were amplified over the last 18 months, with the onset of the global pandemic, uncertain requirements post-Brexit, an ongoing driver shortage and rising fuel duty costs, all of which did not make an easy run for many operators.
Driving efficiency across all aspects of a fleet operation is therefore of utmost importance if a business is to meet the demands of a changing landscape and maintain profitability. FORS members are well versed in measuring efficiency, as part of their commitment to reducing emissions, the benefit of which is of course, a healthier bottom-line.
For example, encouraging hauliers to improve fleet efficiencies on every journey, whether long haul or on rural roads, in combination with improved operational practices, will contribute to long-term overall reductions in fuel costs for fleets. FORS members have found improving MPG by just five per cent can save them over £2,200 (excluding VAT) per HGV per year*.
What is more, FORS’s continued emphasis on fuel management as a route to better fleet efficiency has resulted in a 12 per cent year on year improvement in reported MPG performance among FORS Gold members**.
An increasing number of operators are using the FORS Fleet Management System (FMS) as a means to help improve operational efficiency and improve profitability. Since its launch in 2018, FORS FMS has risen in popularity among members, with 226 fleets signed up to the system.
FORS FMS is a subscription-based service, available exclusively to FORS members in collaboration with FORS Affinity Partner, FleetCheck, that draws on live data sources to consolidate fleet management data such as fuel cards, telematics and driver records. FORS members can also benefit from a trial period of up to three months, as well as free set-up – saving £10 per vehicle.
FORS FMS is a comprehensive data platform which provides online document storage, an information portal and an advanced reporting suite. Its intuitive traffic-light system alerts users to primary calendar events such as MOTs, service intervals, driver training and licence checking.
FORS FMS also includes an app for mobile devices; an electronic version of the manual vehicle inspection process, making it easy for drivers to carry out routine vehicle inspections, including photo-capability to report defects and to expedite maintenance requirements – all imported to a FORS FMS account to provide complete transparency.
FORS members can access the free to use FORS Fleet Tools portal, also created in collaboration with FleetCheck, which provides a range of data management tools, including a fuel tracker to record and monitor fuel usage, miles per gallon, CO2 levels and efficiency improvements.
The Fleet Tools portal features a penalty charge notice tracker to help members manage and therefore seek to reduce the number of penalties received, and an incident tracker to record, track and monitor incidents involving drivers or vehicles, including service and roadworthiness and road traffic collisions.
Measuring and monitoring an entire fleet is the most accurate way for FORS members to identify where efficiencies can be made, and the swiftest route to understanding the cost savings such efficiencies will bring. In challenging times, having a full picture of fleet data and the tools with which to manage it, will go a long way to improving profitability for hauliers.
To find out more, visit https://www.fleetcheck.co.uk/fors-fleet-management-system/
For more information about becoming a FORS member, visit: www.fors-online.org.uk
*Year on year MPG improvements drawn from 138 FORS Gold member case studies in 2018
**Performance data taken from 115 FORS Gold members during 2019