GE Capital Fleet Services recently conducted a survey that found safety is now the top priority for many fleet managers, with 36% saying it is their biggest concern. The top concern in GE's 2012 survey, meeting cost-savings goals, fell to second place and is tied with workforce productivity, with 22% of respondents citing those concerns as what’s most important in their respective organizations. GE said this is a shift since last year, when only 23% of respondents cited driver safety as their top concern and 26% cited cost savings as their top priority.

"Even as fleet managers remain sharply focused on cost savings, more of them are making safety and well-being of their drivers a top priority," said Mark Hayes, chief marketing officer of GE Capital Fleet Services.

GE said that to help manage costs, fleet managers are taking a number of approaches. Of those who respondent, 42% said vehicle purchasing decisions offer the most potential cost savings. Next, activating telematics and using fleet analytics (software) solutions tied for second place as the top methods for reducing costs, at 31% each. Managing maintenance expenses was the top method for 28% of respondents, according to GE.

Other key survey findings show that to enhance productivity, fleet managers said refining their preventive maintenance strategies was the top method (at 36%), and setting up a comprehensive vehicle replacement plan was the primary method for 28% of respondents.

Related to alternative fuel vehicle use, a majority of respondents said they already have these kinds of vehicles in their fleets, at 61%. Next, 11% of respondents said they plan to incorporate them into their fleets during the next two years. Of those who responded, only 19% said they don’t plan to incorporate alt-fuel vehicles into their fleets. This number is down from 2012, where 30% said they didn’t plan to incorporate alt-fuel vehicles into their fleets, showing greater interest in alt-fuel vehicles.

Lastly, when asked about how fleet analytics solutions are helping fleet managers do their jobs, 33% said these tools help improve operational efficiency, and 25% said they help reduce costs.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet