Worrying research into SA fleet management
The first benchmarking research into how well local fleets are managed has been published. The research, conducted by fleet consulting firm Mobilitas in collaboration with Standard Bank Fleet Management, paints a worrying picture of the state of fleet management in South Africa.
The research was conducted in a relatively small but broadly representative sample of 61 fleets, totalling just over 21 000 vehicles. Yet, among them, they reported no fewer than seven deaths over the preceding twelve months, twelve serious injuries and 469 accidents.
The research strongly suggests that fleet management in South Africa is mostly a part-time activity. Only three percent of the respondents had fleet management as their only focus. Three-quarters devoted less than half of their time to fleet-management duties, which consisted mainly of keeping down costs and preventing fraud.
The researchers propose that excellence in fleet management has at least four pillars: managing the risks facing the fleet; managing the people who operate the fleet; managing the impact of the fleet on the environment; and managing the administrative systems of the fleet.
The researchers have developed a scoring system measuring all of these factors, to benchmark the average level of fleet management in a specific industry, or country.
This scale ranges from Innocent (for those fleets that score less than 10 percent), Aware (up to 30 percent), Developmental (up to 50 percent), Competent (up to 60 percent), Effective (up to 80 percent), and Excellent (up to 100 percent).
While they have found rare examples of local fleets that operate in the Excellent range, the researchers say the average South African fleet operates squarely in the Developmental range. The average score for vehicle and driver management in the South African industry stands at 35 percent, while environmental and road-traffic safety management rate at 38 percent each.