Agile Access Control, Inc., the creator of FleetCommander fleet and motor pool software, has released a new 19-page white paper that identifies specific fleet metrics that are crucial to motor pool cost-cutting initiatives.

The free report, "Using Fleet Metrics to Optimize Vehicle Use, Reduce Costs & Improve Customer Service," can be accessed at Agile's website.

"Fleet metrics tell the story of a fleet's efficiency," said Ed Smith, Agile's president. "Understanding which metrics are most important and how to interpret them are vital to making decisions that reduce costs. Collecting the data is only half the battle. Understanding what can be done using that data is where the rubber meets the road when reducing costs."

Cost-cutting initiatives based on fleet metrics can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings, according to the report. In addition to the capital cost reduction of $20,000 or more per vehicle reduced, Agile estimates an annual savings of $5,000 in maintenance and depreciation costs. The report also identifies fleet staff metrics and opportunities for reducing hours necessary to perform fleet functions and save money in staffing.

"Attack the low-hanging fruit first," Smith said. "Once data is collected, obvious changes will become clear. You don't necessarily need a full year's worth of data to start making decisions. Even collecting data for a 30-day period will yield some pretty dramatic results."

The whitepaper also discusses how metrics and benchmarks can enhance customer service. With metrics, fleet managers can quantify levels of service and use the information to modify the way that tasks are performed.

Levels of service that can be measured include the trend in the number of minutes required to respond to vehicle requests; the number of unfulfilled requests for vehicles due to lack of vehicles; and the quality of staff, vehicles, and reservation system.

The report also discusses reducing vehicle abuse through policy enforcement; reducing insurance costs and accident claims; and reducing lost revenue while vehicles are out of service for repair.