July 10, 2018 3:15 PM, EDT

Fleet Advantage Survey Reveals Disconnect Between Managers, Accountants

Trucks on roadGetty Images

Many fleet managers believe they are on a different wavelength from their company’s finance department on cost management, and that can lead to communication difficulties, according to a survey of trucking industry professionals from Fleet Advantage.

Nearly 40% of fleet executives said that their finance department was unable to clearly communicate the company’s financial metrics and goals, while 34% said the accountants didn’t understand the benefit of investing in new equipment. In addition, 31% of fleet managers said finance doesn’t understand the many costs of operating a fleet. The miscommunication also may be impacting driver turnover, with 19% of the fleet managers saying that finance doesn’t understand how newer trucks can help reduce turnover.

Nearly two-thirds of the fleet executives said they focus on maintenance and repair costs when calculating their fleet’s return on investment, and 75% said they present this data to finance executives when seeking money for new equipment. These costs can include truck replacement, breakdowns, fuel economy and technology.

However, these requests may fall on deaf ears because finance departments primarily are interested in cost reduction and improving cash flow, according to the fleet executives.

Fleet Advantage surveyed 100 fleet managers in March; 20% were vice presidents, 40% directors and 40% managers. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Fleet Advantage provides truck leasing services and operating data to fleets.