Fleet Management Maturity

By FLEET e-news posted 12-12-2023 11:45


Fleet Management Maturity

by Ken Goldberg, Consultant, IPWEA Fleet

A Fleet Management Maturity Model is a way to identify how effective your organisation is at actively managing the fleet to ensure value for money, meeting operational objectives and delivering on organisational goals whether that be public works, transport or other necessary uses.

I recently presented the IPWEA Fleet Management Standards at a TechnologyOne Workshop that focused on Excellence in Asset Management. It was a terrific event that explored ways to achieve financial sustainability and service delivery.

I covered a number of fleet-related areas in the talk including key performance indicators, fleet asset classifications, fleet maintenance codes, IPWEA standard resources, fleet data sources, and reporting and benchmarking to name a few. However, the topic that really stood out to me was Fleet Management Maturity.

As I revisited IPWEA Fleet’s flagship resource Plant and Vehicle Management Manual (PVMM) for the umpteenth time to prepare for the talk, I realised again that the manual’s maturity model provides an excellent way to understand the gaps that you may have within your organisation. It’s also a way to identify what your organisation may need to consider transitioning from a basic to core and then an advanced maturity level.

You may not realise this, but the PVMM provides maturity level guidance for every chapter in the manual that does not require the application of legislative requirements in the context of a specific organisation. That’s 22 maturity guides to help you gain an understanding of where your organisation should be aiming. Of course, fleet practitioners also need to consider compliance issues such as WHS and CoR obligations, which are mandatory from the outset, so a maturity guide is not applicable in these cases.

Fleet maturity in most cases is a function of the complexity of the organisation. However, there are some must-have documents no matter the size or complexity of operations.

At a basic level, a Fleet Business Plan (FBP) is critical. The FBP is a working document that guides the fleet unit’s activities in a manner that is aligned to corporate objectives. It sets out the fleet unit’s role, scope, resources, improvement initiatives, performance measures, and aligned objectives with corporate goals.

The other critical document is the Fleet Asset Management Plan (FAMP). Its purpose is to demonstrate sound management to support and justify funding requirements, summarise costs, and identify risks. The FAMP describes an organisation’s management activities and resourcing and ensures the fleet delivers the necessary level of service in the most cost-effective way. It’s a long-term plan (typically a minimum of 10 years). The FAMP is probably more likely to be at a core maturity level but should be adopted as soon as feasible to do so.

As I was reviewing the various maturity guides within each PVMM chapter, I thought it would be useful to overlay examples of maturity indicators with the strategic planning maturity model. See below.

At a basic maturity level, there is typically a high dependency on key people, basic business systems, a more reactive environment, and a less formalised culture. Nevertheless, we suggest that a fleet management information system, CoR policy and process (if running heavy vehicles/plant), and an FBP should be in place.

At a core maturity level, there may still be a reactive environment but it’s likely the fleet unit is establishing good policy. Other elements such as telematics/GPS, monthly KPI reporting and benchmarking are most likely in place.

At an advanced maturity level, it would be expected that plans are imbedded and routinely reviewed and/or updated. The fleet group is likely leveraging business intelligence along with continuous learning. The organisation will be pro-active with the right people in right roles and there is superior governance.

The model above is only to give you a perspective of where you might be maturity-wise. However, the reality is that maturity is not exactly linear, and your fleet unit may be at a core level but adopting more advanced elements. So, it’s best not to get hung up on theory.

My point in all of this is that the PVMM provides fleet management maturity guides across numerous areas such as strategic planning, operational planning, procurement, maintenance management, workshop management, information management, and so on. An enormous amount of specialist time and critical thinking went into them, and they have been peer reviewed. Therefore, I highly suggest taking a look if you’re unfamiliar with the guides or reviewing them if you haven’t looked at them for a while.

The PVMM is currently in its 4th edition available by hard copy or e-book. It’s now also available online as part of an IPWEA premium subscription. IPWEA Fleet will also soon start the process of dynamically updating chapters so keep an eye out for this.

Click here for more information on the PVMM.

1 comment


08-01-2024 15:00

This is fantastic! Well done Ken!