More than a fifth (23%) of Britain’s multi-tasking SME managers in charge of up to 50 vehicles are struggling to cope with the number of other roles they have to perform, according to new research commissioned by RAC Business Services.
Nearly all (98%) of those surveyed by YouGov said they were juggling other jobs alongside their fleet responsibilities. These include a combination of general management (61%), finances (53%), sales and marketing (40%) and HR (40%), new business development (34%), while 32% also carried out other general administration.
In particular, stress levels reach boiling point for those SME managers who look after between 10-50 vehicles, the study showed, with 49% saying they were stressed and 6% saying they were ‘very stressed’.
A quarter of these managers said the admin they undertook around the vehicles and drivers had increased in the past year – of these, 28% said it was because they had more vehicles, and 33% claimed it was due to more paperwork than in the previous 12 months.
The RAC Business Services statistics have been released as the organisation officially launches a free, 24-hour fleet management tool called Business Club.
The RAC’s on-line platform is aimed at helping businesses address these issues in a more streamlined way that provides control and convenience as well as cost and time efficiencies for SMEs.
It also includes unified invoicing and an intuitive process where full details of business vehicles and drivers can be stored and updated.
The software, which has been created by Fleetondemand, gives members a password and login to access the secure online portal, from which they can manage their fleet. Online training is provided, backed by a helpline.
RAC Business Services director David Aldridge (pictured) said: “Our Business Club platform has been created to provide a solution for this ‘SME fleet’ market, in which the task of managing mobility usually falls under one person’s responsibility.
“Our survey shows that fleet buying and day-to-day tasks form just one of many responsibilities this person may look after in an SME.
“Often, the whole life costs of moving staff around in either company vehicles or grey fleet are difficult to manage with no real tools in the market to facilitate and control this.
“We set out to deliver a solution that is not only a consolidated fleet management tool but also tackles cost reduction through a consolidated e-commerce solution.
“Innovation is at the core of our strategy on Business Club.
“We have worked with Fleetondemand to ensure that the framework allows us to execute changes and new functionality quickly to meet the developing user needs and behaviours. This is key to keeping ahead in the market and ensures the product remains innovative and fresh.”
Justin Whitson, CEO of Fleetondemand, said: “We knew we had to deliver the very best user experience and capitalise on what both desktop and mobile web can offer.
“The other key factor was bringing it to market in the right way.
"From the very first minute we met the RAC to discuss the project the timing was perfect with both organisations looking to deliver innovation to the business fleet sector.
"The expertise of the RAC, the UK’s most historic and recognised motoring brand, has meant we have been able to create and provide a solution that surpasses all expectations from our original prototypes.”
Aldridge said: “Over the next few weeks we will be working hard to ensure all of our existing customers are invited to join the RAC Business Club and benefit from its many offers and insight.
“All our new SME business customers who take breakdown, telematics and fuel card from the RAC also have full access to it and we are looking forward to helping support the country’s hardworking SME managers, who are the bedrock of this country’s economy, grow their productivity further.”
RAC Business Services currently works with circa 21,000 SMEs, who have already been invited to join Business Club free of charge.
From now on any new business customer that joins the RAC through breakdown, telematics or our fuel card becomes a member automatically.
RAC Business Club services include:
• Driver/employee record logging
• Fleet vehicle database
• Breakdown product access and administration
• RAC Fuel Card access and administration
• Maintenance and repair booking, schedules and documentation
• Ability to request quotes for other RAC products
• Ability to produce and download customised reports based on the above
• Access to exclusive member discounts through the RAC’s automotive partners, including tyres, glass, servicing, MOT, repairs and hire vehicles
Any business taking out breakdown, telematics or the RAC Fuel Card will automatically be registered free into Business Club. For businesses that do not take one of these products, the cost is 50p per month, per fleet vehicle entered onto the system.
In addition to managing RAC breakdown policies online and enabling access to vehicle details, RAC Business Club can also help SME managers and their businesses to benefit from:
• An extensive range of MI, such as vehicle and driver reports
• Increased control by managing vehicles and drivers all in one place
• Access to a flexible product range to suit all needs, including the RAC Fuel Card and RAC Telematics
• 24/7 access, enabling managers to view vehicle and driver details when they need them
Servicing and MOTs (RAC Approved Garage Network), Tyres (ATS), Windscreens (Autoglass) and vehicle hire can also be arranged.
Read the April 3rd edition of Fleet News to find out how Business Club is helping the RAC become a more proactive organisation.