What is a Fleet Manager and what do they do?
When it comes to logistics careers, fleet management jobs offer exciting opportunities. If you have good organisational and communication skills, this may be the right job for you.
As this is a senior level position, it is important to develop your skills and gain experience in the industry. If you want to increase your chances of being hired, make sure that you complete relevant training.
If you are unsure about what this role in the field of logistics involve, this blog post is most definitely for you From the job description of a fleet manager to an answer to the question, ‘what is fleet management’, Job Mail delves deeper into this interesting career path.
What is Fleet Management?
Fleet management is the purchasing and maintenance of vehicles with the aim of achieving the on-time and cost effective delivery of goods.
Fleet managers play a vital role in the logistics industry. Employment opportunities are also available in transportation companies.
Job description and responsibilities of a Fleet Manager
A fleet manager is responsible for the purchasing and upkeep of the company’s vehicles. Professionals in this logistics field are tasked with assessing the transportation needs of the company and buying the vehicles which best match these requirements. Vehicles that are no longer useful to the company’s operations are sold to recover costs.
Another option is for the manager to lease vehicles rather than making purchases. Fleet managers oversee the storage and maintenance of vehicles. The maintenance of vehicles is important as it enables the company to deliver goods without delays. Broken down vehicles incur additional costs which decreases profits.
The fleet manager puts maintenance schedules in place to ensure that the vehicles are kept in optimal working condition. Other duties associated with this position include the development and implementation of distribution plans.
Fleet management involves communication with other staff members as well as clients. Employees in this role are tasked with writing and managing budgets. They oversee expenditure to ensure that resources are used efficiently. Professionals in fleet management jobs take on the responsibility for implementing and overseeing operational procedures.
Like seen with logistics careers, administrative tasks form part of this role. They monitor outgoing goods and place orders for stock when necessary. Software programs are used to keep track of the vehicles and drivers. Part of the administrative duties include record keeping.
Vehicle registrations, licences and inspections are recorded to show the company’s compliance with regulations. As this is a managerial position it involves hiring new employees, monitoring performance and training staff.
Education for Fleet Management roles
As fleet management is a senior level position, it requires extensive experience in the industry. To be eligible for this position, you will need a National Senior Certificate. You can increase your chances of a promotion by completing a Certificate or a Diploma in Fleet Management.
A bachelor’s degree in logistics is beneficial if you are applying for these types of jobs. UNISA offers training in Road Transport Management. This program takes one year to complete. Another option is to complete a Diploma in Transportation Management at the University of Johannesburg.
Skills and Characteristics of a Fleet Manager
Fleet management jobs require operational, logistics and technical skills. Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills are required for this role. A fleet manager need to be able to communicate verbally as well as in writing.
Employees in this position need to be comfortable communicating with staff members on all levels of the company. From the CEO to drivers, fleet managers interact with a wide range of company staff.
A vital part of communication is good listening skills. Monitoring drivers and liaising with clients, critical thinking is also necessary to make decisions by assessing the facts and disregarding assumptions.
As this role involves adhering to strict delivery schedules and overseeing staff, good organisational skills are essential. You will need to be good at problem-solving to succeed in this position. Logical and methodical thinking are also required.
Professionals in these logistics careers need to be able to work under pressure in order to meet deadlines. They also need to understand the laws and policies which relate to the transportation of goods.
Now that you know more about what a fleet manager does and the type of qualifications you will need, you can decide whether this is a suitable career for you or not. With an in-depth understanding of what the position entails, you can start to develop the required skills.