4 Considerations for Fleet Managers in a Post-COVID-19 World

Let’s face it: things changed in 2020 due to the coronavirus, and the old ways of doing business just won’t cut it anymore. If your business was identified as an essential service, then you probably have had many operational problems to solve.

Your top goal should be to keep your drivers safe on the road. That being said, there are things you’ve probably learned about social distancing and changing business routines that will affect your fleet management approach even when business returns to normal.

Even after the COVID-19 crisis has subsided, reverting to the old ways of managing your fleet and drivers simply isn’t a good strategy for service-oriented organizations.

Moving Forward After COVID-19

One of the important benefits of implementing technology for any fleet of vehicles is providing a way to track all company vehicles and communicate information updates to fleet staff without making direct contact. Implementing new ways of doing things also offers protection for drivers and other employees who otherwise would be dependent on physically making contact with others on the job.

At Whip Around, we offer a fleet inspection and maintenance solution that helps businesses do just that.

If you haven’t invested in a fleet management solution yet, the aftermath of this recent pandemic are great reasons to try one. While business as usual may look different in the future with more guidelines in place as infectious diseases are detected, here are a 4 important considerations for staying prepared in a post-COVID-19 world.

1. Follow Social Distancing Guidelines and Respond Accordingly

Changing the way your drivers, mechanics, and staff operate is a logical first step to ensuring safety is a priority not only for your employees, but other businesses and consumers your organization may directly interact with.

As an example, being aware of local or state guidelines and providing enough masks or hand sanitizers to outfit all the vehicles in your fleet is a good starting point. Especially if your business is deemed essential, creating a process around disinfecting vehicles is one that you will want to adopt in times like these.

 

fleet manager during COVID-19

Take Basic Precautions

Instead of relying on paper or clipboards of “paperwork” for each service call or inspection, completely bypassing paperwork is one of the advantages of using a solution like Whip Around.

During social distancing, handing paperwork to customers to enhance communication just isn’t a best practice. You also don’t want fleet drivers to share germs by completing paper checklists before, during, and after using a vehicle that may be used by someone else.

2. Automate Inspection Tasks to Reduce Paper Use and Germ Spread

When your employees perform inspections or checks using a fleet inspections and maintenance solution like Whip Around, they can easily track the condition of their work vehicle while bypassing hazards associated with paper.

Using an app that provides an intuitive experience in collecting this required information makes it both easier and safer for your team. Depending on your organization, may want drivers to use an app to indicate:

  • Inspection checklists
  • Vehicle mileage
  • Notes regarding vehicle damage
  • Photos
  • General comments

Drivers can also audit their daily inventory levels, which helps your company conduct more precise ordering and ensures the timely distribution of goods. With an app, drivers can also request additional supplies and vehicle maintenance/repairs.

No printing or signing is required for fleet maintenance checklists. When your drivers are all using an app, you can easily analyze current business processes and remove social contact while still reaching the same outcome.

 

truck driver during COVID-19

3. Put a Process in Place to Keep Drivers Safe and Disinfect Equipment

If you manage a fleet, you know how important it is for drivers to complete driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR), which shows their work vehicle was reviewed for compliance at the end of their shift.

While going through standard inspection points like checking headlights is a must, it’s also a great strategy to ensure vehicles are disinfected and stocked with hand sanitizers.

Driver Wellness Checks

Another idea is to set up mobile checklists to monitor the visibility of a driver’s health and wellness at the beginning or end of each day. By allowing a driver to communicate information on how they are feeling to fleet managers using an app (much like they would when reporting damage), companies can be proactive in taking trucks out of service to be cleaned, and help to prevent the spread of germs.

Custom Forms to Ensure Vehicles are Disinfected

Adding a COVID-19 custom inspection item to a paper form obviously isn’t a good idea if it will need to be handled by someone else, but this use case related to disinfecting surfaces or checking to make sure hand sanitizers are stocked  is a great idea when performed digitally.

This is a task that a DVIR solution like Whip Around makes it extremely easy to do using templates or starting from scratch.

4. Evolve With the Times!

In the age of COVID-19, it’s no longer a best practice for drivers to fill out paper forms and turn them in at the nearest office. This outdated process would require unnecessary social contact and contribute to germ spread.

A better solution is transitioning to a paperless inspection or maintenance process.

Limiting in person contact whenever possible is such a critical component whenever dealing with preventing the spread of a virus.  Outside of helping keep employees safe, a solution like Whip Around can make the day-to-day process of inspecting and maintaining your assets a lot more efficient.

How Whip Around Can Help

When your drivers use the Whip Around app, you also get a built-in way to provide them with information updates throughout the workday such as reminding them to wash their hands and to wear a mask when they are around other workers or customers.

You can also look for trends in vehicle inspection reports, like what routes cause the most wear and tear on vehicles and which drivers are most thorough when identifying their vehicle’s maintenance/repair issues.

As we move forward with business operations, having protocols in place in the midst of outbreaks will be a key component for businesses to remain competitive. While your business may still be reliant on paper inspection forms and other paperwork, request a demo of Whip Around to explore how we can make these forms a thing of the past.

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