While still a leading cost center for installing security businesses, new developments and better tools have allowed vehicle fleets to serve as a prime example of efficiency optimization in the post-recession economy.
Fleet managers are fighting back against rising new vehicle, gas and insurance costs with strategic financing, superior fuel management, leveraging the power of GPS and smarter mobile devices, and rolling trucks less often thanks to software-centric solutions and remote diagnostics. And today’s vehicles are being built to higher standards of reliability and durability. At the same time, more refined graphics processes are helping security firms better market their services with some of the most colorful and eye-catching vehicles on the road.
These findings are reflected in SSI’s biannual 2014 Security’s Fantastic Fleets Survey — the industry’s only comprehensive project of its kind. The research features the responses of more than 200 North American company fleet managers and other supervisors or owners involved in making vehicle purchase decisions.
Some of the most noteworthy changes since the study was last conducted in 2012: vehicles are being kept in service longer (average 145K miles vs. 117K in 2012) and financed longer (13% of terms 60+ months vs. 2%); GM surpassing Ford as the top manufacturer; fuel cost falling from the No. 1 concern to No. 4; virtually no change in percentage of alternative-fuel vehicles (10%); a sharp rise in GPS usage across the board, including tracking speed (46% vs. 30%) and verifying timecards (38% vs. 25%); more employees taking vehicles home (86% vs. 73%); and higher average insurance costs in every coverage category ($2,456 vs. $1,898). A new question finds that 48% of field techs are now equipped with iPads or other tablet devices.
Check out our gallery for more facts and figures about managing security’s finest fleets.