Smarter fleet management

By implementing an improved fleet management program, Cairns Regional Council has been able to save significantly across the organisation.

Cairns Regional Council covers a vast geographical area, spanning 1687 km2 of land, from the Eubenangee Swamp in the south to the Macalister Range in the north.

To service the large-scale local government area, Council has 1200 staff members in its employ and 600 vehicles in its fleet.
Improvements implemented recently by Council’s Fleet Services team have caused significant savings for the Council.  

Council Works Manager, Gary Everson, said an extensive review looked at how best to optimise the vehicle fleet, by measuring things like “usage and usage type, not just how many miles a vehicle had done so we can focus on productivity.”

Mr Everson said a GPS monitoring system has allowed Council to accurately track vehicle usage and enabled the Fleet Services team “to really identify the logistics and the labour value of the people inside the vehicles”.

The Council has also implemented Poolcar software to make vehicle booking arrangements more convenient. Electronic key panels have been installed for staff to key in bookings and register details such as fuel usage.

Mr Everson said the pre-booking system has been a boon for productivity: “If you can pre-book, it provides people the ability to plan ahead, meaning more return on labour productivity”.

The electronic key panels operate 24/7 so staff members can collect and drop keys back at their convenience.

“It’s been in now for over a year, and I don’t think anyone would go back,” Mr Everson said of the system.

The improvements have saved the council $200,000 per annum in fuel alone. Overall, the reallocation of resources has resulted in an estimated $1 million per annum in productivity improvements so far.

Last May, the Council’s Fleet Services team earned a Local Buy 2015 Government Procurement Professionals Award (sponsored by Local Government Association Queensland) for their efforts.

Everson said the overhaul of the system has prompted the team to consider how further savings and improvements could be made.

In the near future, Council will be rolling out tablets for staff to increase productivity on the road.