A business that has done surprisingly well out of the changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic has to be Uber. While Uber’s designation of its drivers as independent contractors has been the source of some controversy, the tracking of Uber vehicles, driver management, and contact tracing across trips has seen the San Francisco based firm do some very profitable business since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a lesson that many similar businesses will be keen to learn from, especially as regulations continue to place a firm focus on proper fleet management and hygiene protocols across the industry.
Contact tracing has recently become an absolute necessity in the taxi sector, with most governments mandating it to support a well-rounded approach to fighting the spread of the virus. It must also be a priority on the side of the business, as keeping drivers safe is an absolute must to minimise risk. Many businesses in the taxi sector have found simple yet effective solutions to protect customers and drivers by installing screens between the two and mandating regular cleaning of cars. Reducing risk in these ways has proved to be the key for some businesses’ survival through the past few months. They provide a safer alternative for customers who don’t feel ready on public transport, and both passenger and driver feel comfortable with the strategies in place to stop the virus’ spread.
Businesses that like to be more hands on with their fleet have also been making great strides in their vehicle tracking and fleet management. This reduces any risk of vehicle loss or damage drastically, making the maintenance of the fleet as a whole much more efficient. The impact on a business’ bottom line can be enormous, as the loss or damaging of just one vehicle doesn’t just mean there will be a cost involved in replacing or repairing it, but that the reduced fleet may be unable to suffice for the time being.
Similarly, driver management is of particular importance to some of the more decentralised businesses who have drivers across the nation. Risk stemming from humans can be some of the most difficult to minimise, but driver management can go some way to allowing a business to manage that risk. Even the simplest things like mapping out best routes, educating on fuel efficiency, training on eco-driving can save a business thousands in both costs and mileage.
Both of these improvements can go a long way to reduce maintenance costs, which can make or break the finances of smaller vehicle reliant businesses. Reduced risk means reduced maintenance costs, which means a more sustainable business model moving forward. Especially as each business grows and expands the fleet of vehicles and drivers the costs related to any incident will only grow, and the need for proper risk management will grow with it.
The coronavirus pandemic has posed quite a challenge, but business leaders have proved to be quite capable of overcoming it. Vehicle and driver management aren’t by any means a finished project, and the current rumours seem to have automation and AI taking the leading role. We’re not complaining, and even better risk management will only improve the sector going forwards into the “new normal”.