FLEMS, Your 100% Kleenex-Free Fleet Management KPIs

Understanding and effectively managing key performance indicators, or KPIs, can make or break your trucking business. So, how will you harness your fleet management KPIs and drive operational efficiencies? With the right tools, dramatic improvements can be relatively simple to attain.

Don’t believe me?

Consider what our customer, Joe Ford of Yowell Transportation, had to say when he began tracking key performance metrics with EOBRs: “In our first quarter, we went from 5.6 miles per gallon to 6.4. That’s huge…it’s numbers like those that drive a quick ROI.”

Who can benefit from metric-driven decision making?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course. Everyone can benefit.


Whether you’re an O/O or a large, national fleet, operating a metric-driven business can boost your performance and profitability.

XRS Corporation serves a variety of customers in a number of different industries.  It would be easy to categorize our clients as “Transportation Companies,” but it’s doubtful that any of them would see themselves in that light.  Our private fleet customers are in the food service, grocery, dairy, construction, and oil business, among many others.  Our For-Hire clients are involved in Truckload, Less Than Truckload (LTL), refrigerated, flatbed, hazardous, and on and on and on.

Why do all of these varied businesses seek an EOBR solution? A way of tracking each fleet management KPI?

Because regardless of the type of trucking operation they run, they need to manage specific cost elements in order to be successful.

FLEMS: Your most critical performance indicators

Regardless of how many customers we talk to, we see that every one of them finds the following five fleet management KPIs must be managed effectively:

  • Fuel
  • Labor
  • Equipment
  • Maintenance
  • Safety

And so, we give you FLEMS.

XRS is a technology company and we love our acronyms.  Certainly FLEMS isn’t a sexy name, but it’s easy to remember, so we’re sticking with it.

Are there any cost buckets you think we missed?

You could make an argument for On Time delivery, but effective Labor management addresses that issue.  Compliance is also frequently noted, but that’s a prerequisite for a safe operation and we’ll discuss it under that topic.

Besides, FLEMSOTDC doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue.

Also, check out the order that these metrics are listed.  This is often the order you’ll see on a P&L statement form, from most to least costly. That can help you decide where to focus first.

How to harness fleet management KPIs

  • Measurement is key. Going into 2013, you may be resolved to cut idle time, but if you can’t accurately establish your baseline and measure improvements, you’ll have no way of determining whether or not your initiatives are successful. Accurately defining and measuring fleet management KPIs is critical, and it’s why “improve fuel efficiency by 10%” is a stronger KPI than “save more money.”
  • But is it relevant? We can measure a great many things, but some KPIs may not be relevant to driving business success. That’s why focusing on the key performance measures most relevant to cost cutting and performance improvements, like the KPIs that make up FLEMS, is so important.
  • Persistence pays. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Success may not happen overnight, but it will happen if you’re committed to your goal. So, give yourself time to develop benchmark measures and track your progress. If one initiative isn’t working, don’t give up entirely, just try a different strategy.
  • Set realistic goals. As in weight loss and personal fitness plans, establishing challenging, yet realistic goals is a critical element of success. If your targets are too aggressive, you may meet with resistance from your drivers—and you need their buy-in to succeed. So, set challenges, but make sure they’re attainable.
  • What’s the plan, Stan? Like anything else, you need to develop a plan of action. Outline the steps that will help you achieve improvements in your fleet management KPIs, and make sure you communicate them clearly across your organization.
  • Reward success. How will you celebrate the hard work of those who’re helping you meet your goals? Whether it’s a restaurant gift card or a modest bonus check, simple rewards let the people who’ve helped you achieve success know they’re appreciated, and it keeps them motivated.

We’ll be tackling each FLEMS fleet management KPI in blog posts to come, so stick with us for tips and tricks from XRS.