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Tranquility in Transit: 7 Tips for Stress-Free Business Travel

Director of Charter Sales for Mercury Jets, explains that a change in perception on private jet travel is a key element that also explains the trip

Tranquility in Transit: 7 Tips for Stress-Free Business Travel

Business trips are an excellent chance to meet new clients and spread brand awareness. Employees on the trip also have opportunities to sightsee and absorb the culture of a new location. 

However, business trips can be complex. The planning process is intricate, with many details from beginning to end — especially if the trip is international. These complications can add unnecessary stress to an already tedious affair. Trip planners should prep as much as possible to make their travels stress-free. 

Notifying the Bank

One of the first tasks business leaders should complete is notifying the bank of their trip. This advice applies to international and domestic travel. Access to debit and credit cards is essential on any trip, so trip planners should contact their bank or credit card company and notify them of upcoming travel. Providing the dates, destinations and card information helps the bank know whether to freeze assets due to fraud.

Nearly 65% of Americans have been victims of credit card fraud, so financial institutions heavily emphasize safety with bank cards. Many banks mandate their customers notify them of business trips. Company leaders should consider getting a travel card. Many institutions waive foreign transaction fees and offer other incentives for acquiring these cards. Logistics professionals who often travel internationally benefit from these features.  

Saving Time at the Airport

Business trips often have tight itineraries with can’t-miss deadlines and critical meetings. These obligations underscore the importance of having everything run smoothly in the airport. The last thing business travelers need is a missed flight. Flights to international destinations may only run once daily, so being on time at the airport is critical.

One of the most time-consuming parts of travel is security checks. Professionals can save a lot of time by applying for PreCheck with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Research shows 89% of PreCheck users waited five minutes or less for their security screenings.

Sometimes, departure and arrival times are out of the travelers’ control. A late arrival could lead to these employees being late for meetings and other obligations. One way to make up for lost time is to schedule transportation in advance. This preparation means a taxi will be ready at the airport, or the employees will have public transportation tickets upon arrival. Travelers can also present their boarding passes on their phones if they lose their documents.

Accounting for Jet Lag

Traveling from Chicago to New York City is easy because the time difference is only an hour. However, Chicago to Tokyo has a 14-hour time difference, so the average person will feel out of sorts when their flight arrives. Jet lag is a legitimate problem — especially when travelers go from east to west. Businesses should give their employees flexibility and account for jet lag. 

Planners should encourage their employees to adjust their sleep schedules on the days before traveling. Being alert and productive on these trips is imperative, so employees should have a flexible schedule to account for jet lag. The plan should include a day or two to adjust to local time on the trip and at least one day of rest when returning home.   

Reading the Rental Insurance Agreement

Business trips often require employees to reserve rental cars. These vehicles are convenient when traveling to locations with limited public transportation. Laws require renters to purchase liability insurance, so it’s essential to read the terms and conditions for the company and see what’s covered. Some rental companies make drivers pay out of pocket — even if the incidents weren’t their fault. 

Reading the terms and conditions is also essential to ensure employees abide by the rules. For example, most companies require drivers to be 25 or older to operate the vehicles. Also, most agencies don’t permit renters to cross international borders without prior authorization. Rental companies may allow drivers to drive into a country if they pay a fee and notify beforehand. Crossing the border without approval could lead to legal troubles for the renters. 

Protecting Devices

International travel could mean being in locations with weaker cybersecurity laws. Business travelers often bring electronic devices with sensitive information, so protecting them is critical. Research shows cybercrime costs the world $6 trillion annually, so focusing on cybersecurity is worthwhile for companies. 

Before departing, employees must check their devices for updates and ensure they have the latest security patches. Then travelers should encrypt all of the devices in case thieves do get a hold of sensitive data. Hotels and other public places likely have public Wi-Fi, so patrons should use virtual private networks (VPNs) and ensure their connection is secure before using the internet for business. 

Meetings and presentations may occur in hotel conference rooms and unfamiliar places. It’s wise to bring power strips and adapters to ensure employees can charge devices like laptops and tablets. The hotel may have limited working electrical outlets, so power strips are an excellent backup plan for peace of mind. 

Ensure Portability

Business trips require constant access to technological devices — primarily for safety and contacting the company headquarters back home. Travelers need to ensure portability with their devices in a couple of ways. 

First, the trip planners should provide employees with portable chargers for the trip. These travelers may be away from the hotel for long stretches without access to an electrical outlet. They need to have a portable charger to ensure their devices can charge no matter where they are. 

Next, employees must ensure they have portability with their files. The internet may be unreliable in the hotel or wherever travelers go, so business leaders should allow their employees to access specific documents and other materials offline for presentations or conferences. 

Using Downtime Wisely

Some companies give employees flexibility on business trips and allow time for themselves. Employees may visit Japan, France or Argentina for the first time and want to see the sites while focusing on business. Business leaders should encourage employees to use their downtime wisely and have fun. 

Organizations should use business trips to promote mindfulness while traveling and having enlightening experiences. For example, business leaders could give employees a travel journal to record their thoughts while sightseeing. The travelers will return with incredible stories to tell their co-workers and family while seeing a boost in morale.

Traveling With Efficiency in Mind

Business trips are an exciting time for employees. They’ll see new parts of the world and meet other industry professionals. However, these trips can induce anxiety if planners don’t make the proper arrangements. 

Getting through security and ensuring electronics work overseas can be challenging. Businesses should equip their employees with these seven tips for stress-free travel. 


Sheltering Your Organization From Natural Disasters in Spring and Summer

Malfunctioning equipment and contagious viruses are not the only factors that can wreak havoc on supply chains. Businesses are also at risk when climate events occur, like tornados, hurricanes and floods.

Supply chain management teams should prepare for these events by assessing their organization’s vulnerabilities. Sheltering supply chain businesses from natural disasters in spring and summer is crucial to remain operational.

Read about the steps management can take to make this happen, like developing contingency plans, investing in technologies and enhancing communication abilities. Every effort minimizes potential risks when weather systems begin to form on the horizon.

Assessing Vulnerabilities

Supervisors and business owners can streamline their efforts by assessing the current vulnerabilities at their workplace. Each enterprise has unique risk-prone areas due to factors such as the surrounding environment, location and the building’s construction.

When natural disasters take advantage of unrealized vulnerabilities, it puts more than production at risk. Transportation and suppliers must also work around the damage, which could mean production delays that put companies behind contractual obligations.

The potential loss of revenue can devastate production facilities before anyone calculates the repair fees for the physical damage. In 2022, natural disasters cost the U.S. $165 billion in damages, which economic experts say is a conservative estimate.

Assessing vulnerabilities before disaster strikes is crucial. Identify risk-prone areas like old roofs, water-damaged foundations and the surrounding environment to consider what winds and flooding would impact first.

Manufacturing facilities surrounded by tall trees would be more at risk of the trees falling in hurricane- or tornado-strength winds. Getting ahead of that vulnerability could involve removing the closest or oldest trees alongside investing in repair equipment like mulchers. A sizable mulcher would shred fallen trees so people could access the facility as soon as possible.

Once management teams understand where their facilities are most vulnerable, they can make necessary updates and investments to protect their business. They can also use the information to make vital response plans.

Developing Contingency Plans

There are numerous contingency plans to implement before spring and summer natural disasters occur. Production facilities should have immediate steps for team members to keep their doors open.

Assigning responsibilities like using an electric snow shoveler to blow snow off walkways after an early spring snowstorm ensures everyone can return to work. Other team members could pull storm shutters shut before a hurricane gets close or lock doors before sheltering in place during a tornado.

Facility managers should also create alternative plans for procurement, production and distribution. Natural disasters could delay production or damage supplier warehouses, necessitating buying from other procurement companies. Keeping a list of these backups could keep production on schedule.

Backup transportation routes would support distribution when roadways are flooded or inoperable due to downed power lines and trees. Identify key paths and their most apparent vulnerabilities, like tunnels or highways in flood hazard areas. Providing alternative routes to transportation partners could keep production on schedule even when natural disasters put major roadways out of use for days or weeks.

Enhancing Communication and Collaboration

The interconnected supply chain could collapse if suppliers and distributors are not up to date on a company’s natural disaster response strategies. Business owners and management teams should enhance their communication abilities to support continued collaboration after a weather event disrupts routine operations.

Warehouse management systems with private messaging abilities could become the first method of communication within supply chain partnerships. Suppliers and distributors would instantly check in with facilities after a natural disaster to understand how quickly their business can return to normal production.

Drafted emails and text messages will support continued collaboration as well. After surveying site damage and estimating production abilities, facility managers can send prepared emails and texts to operational partners. The information will update everyone on where the supply chain stands considering the damage so everyone knows what to expect during repairs in the following weeks.

Keeping customers informed is also crucial — social media can assist with that. Research shows that in 2021, 72% of American adults had at least one account on a social media network. Posting updates on the organization’s profile creates direct lines of communication with consumers regarding the business’s production and shipping abilities after a natural disaster.

Sending updates to newsletter subscribers can also reach customers who are off social media. Contact any in-house or external marketing teams to draft email notifications regarding delays in production or shipments. If disaster strikes, marketing team members will only have to send an email to update customers while everyone else focuses on getting operational again.

Investing in Technologies

Numerous digital tools exist to support brands before, during and after natural disasters. They create real-time visibility with partnered companies so everyone makes data-driven decisions when responding to warehouse damage or supply chain disruptions.

AI-powered software can track inventory and send automatic reports to suppliers while management teams respond to more pressing issues after a significant weather event. Installing software that works behind the scenes created a 1.4% global productivity spike for businesses worldwide. It keeps enterprises on schedule even when disruptions occur, making AI management software integral to preparing for natural disasters.

Technology upgrades also improve risk monitoring abilities. Management teams can make more informed decisions when real-time data streaming software relays information while backing up data to cloud networks. It is easier to plan for updated incoming and outgoing shipments because there is no lag between checking inventory and updating teams.

Modern tech reduces response time by providing constant, accurate information to management teams. When natural disasters cause property damage or disrupt shipments, having real-time data reduces potentially lost revenue by minimizing the odds of human error in communication and calculation.

Prepare for Natural Disasters

Spring and summer natural disasters are not something companies can hope to avoid. In a world with a warming climate, they are five times more likely than annual natural disasters 50 years ago. Business owners and management teams within supply chain operations must prepare for climate-related disasters before they occur.

Proactive planning is the best step for risk management strategists to take. Assess current vulnerabilities in manufacturing facilities, transportation methods and storefront locations. Investments could make those locations more resilient. Technology and tools also make disaster response more timely.

It’s also crucial to keep business partners and consumers updated after a catastrophic weather event. Organizations will withstand and recover from natural disasters more effectively when these efforts come together through updated contingency plans and investments.

Preparing for Spring and Summer Storms

Natural disasters have worsened over the years, so preparing for them ahead of time is essential. Use the above tips to flesh out a plan for keeping an organization safe when severe weather strikes. It is always a good idea to exercise caution when so much is at stake.

self-healing mobile business

Self-Healing Trucks and 3 Other Innovations Set to Change Supply Chain Operations

Global supply chains have struggled with labor shortages, material deficiencies, lack of transparency, safety hazards and many other challenges in the last few years. Modern problems require modern solutions. 

Self-healing commercial trucks and these three additional innovations could revolutionize operations and get the economy back on track.

The Science Behind Self-Healing Trucks

Self-healing materials traditionally consisted of small single-use capsules with healing agents inside, but new technology has emerged that can repair itself multiple times. It works through 3D vascular networks like a plant’s root system, sending the healing agent throughout the network to continuously repair damage.

Despite this recent advancement, it has proven difficult to create metals with self-healing properties due to their unique chemical composition. That’s why engineers are focusing all their efforts on polymer research. Self-healing polymers make it possible to create vehicles that can repair scratches, dents and other minor forms of damage.

Recent research on polymers has yielded promising results. They can heal rapidly and regain their previous properties, allowing vehicles to look and perform the same after being damaged. A unique intrinsic polymer can also repair itself automatically without any external influence.

Along with polymers, elastomer composites have also made self-healing cars possible. Elastomers consist of self-healing liquid metals that have proven effective in repairing small electronics. Engineers are working on applying elastomers to the two primary vehicle metals, steel and aluminum.

Self-Healing Truck Applications

These developments are encouraging, but supply chains have yet to see any self-healing truck applications on a wide scale. However, other industries can provide a glimpse of what these vehicles could do. For example, researchers are looking into self-healing polymer coatings for space and deep sea exploration, which are more dangerous environments.

If self-healing coatings can work in such extreme settings, it stands to reason they would be successful in commercial applications. Some have specific roles, such as corrosion protection or scratch resistance. Auto manufacturers could also incorporate these coatings into the existing polyamide compounds in engine covers, air bag containers and many other car parts.

Two other potential applications could be revolutionary: paint and rubber. Fixing paint scratches and blemishes can be expensive and time-consuming, costing up to $3,500 for professional repairs. Adding a self-healing polymer to the paint can help it withstand those scratches and blemishes, minimizing downtime and keeping fleet trucks on the road.

In 2017, researchers at Harvard University developed a self-healing rubber compound by combining covalent and reversible bonds. The result was a strong, flexible and transparent molecular rope that could repair itself and remain in good condition by evenly distributing damage.

Rubber tires typically crack or puncture because too much stress has built up at one small point. Spreading out the pressure makes the rubber much less likely to break under extreme stress. Adding self-healing rubber to commercial vehicles would reduce flats, accidents and delays.

Self-healing roads could be another application with a huge impact on supply chains and society. There is already an official patent for self-healing concrete that uses bacteria-induced calcite precipitation to fill cracks and prevent potholes. 

Other Innovative Supply Chain Technologies

Self-healing vehicles have great potential and get most of the spotlight because of their interesting applications, but other technologies could be equally important in the coming years. Here are three more innovations making waves.

Electronic Control Units

ECUs are a collection of small computers and sensors that can transfer information anywhere worldwide. Along with self-healing technology, they can help commercial vehicles become more independent and efficient. Fleet trucks have seen a major increase in ECUs in the last two decades, bringing people many small steps closer to autonomous vehicles.

As fleets implement more ECUs, each essential vehicle function will be under constant automated supervision. Remote diagnostics will get smarter, and so will the trucks. Once supply chain leaders master ECU technology, the next step toward autonomous cars will be to install multiple parts that can perform the same task when the original is damaged.

As of 2023, the highest level of vehicle automation that manufacturers have reached is Level 4 – high driving automation. Driverless taxis, automated public transportation and other commercial vehicles with limited applications fall under this category. They don’t need a human driver and can stop themselves if a system failure occurs. However, this technology is still in its infancy and is not ready for widespread adoption across the supply chain.

Self-healing technology and ECUs can work hand in hand to keep commercial vehicles on the road despite minor setbacks. Although completely autonomous cars might still be far away, these two advancements are big steps in the right direction.

Geospatial Technology

With material shortages and delivery delays plaguing the global supply chain, close monitoring has never been more important. Geospatial monitoring with GIS and GPS systems enables fleet managers to constantly supervise each vehicle, identify disruptions and mitigate them before they cause delays.

GPS also simplifies supply chains by helping managers identify the optimal drop-off and pickup locations, leading to quicker deliveries and lower shipping costs. Businesses can easily map their entire supply chains and find the best suppliers with the fastest routes. They can even monitor changing traffic patterns and other potential causes for delays.

Geospatial technology also plays a role in inventory management. Warehouse managers can see which units are ready for delivery and which vehicles would make the fastest delivery time. Remote geospatial sensors can also use their insights to predict buying surges and other supply chain trends, helping managers stay ahead of the curve.


Blockchain technology consists of decentralized, immutable digital ledgers that ensure complete transparency during online transactions. Nobody can change blockchain records once they are finalized. This technology started as a platform for cryptocurrency exchanges but can play the same role and improve visibility along supply chains. 

Blockchain records are ideal for establishing trust, traceability and continuity in supply chain management. During the height of the pandemic, hospitals in Britain used blockchain to secure vaccine shipments when people needed them most. This technology can bring the same value to other industries and products as it expands.

Strengthening Supply Chains One Innovation at a Time

The aftershock of COVID-19 is still apparent throughout the supply chain. Industry leaders face an uphill battle but can slowly strengthen it one innovation at a time. Self-healing trucks, ECUs, geospatial technology and blockchain are four such innovations. Look for them to play more important roles in the coming years.

global trade shortage chain supply rose disruption identity

5 Supply Chain Inefficiencies That Are Often Overlooked

The supply chain is tricky to understand, sometimes leading to small problems that become significant issues when overlooked. These seemingly small setbacks and mistakes can create a ripple effect in any company, preventing it from achieving success. 

Here are five issues that a company can quickly address to yield better results and improve customer and worker satisfaction.

1. Not Utilizing Data to the Fullest

Logistics professionals can expect to receive data that helps them analyze how well the supply chain is performing. These analytics influence everything about a company, including how future adjustments may affect consumers’ views of the business. 

Without utilizing analytics, a company can miss out on faster supply chain routes and improvements that could potentially change it for the better. Even a 1% increase in customer satisfaction can decrease the overall cost of sales by around 3%, though the specifics depend on the industry. 

How to Fix It: This fix is an easy one to implement. A company can put the customer first and share its performance data with consumers, allowing them to see every step of the process. At the same time, logistics professionals should make sure they analyze all data available and come up with solutions that improve overall time and customer satisfaction.

2. Lack of Transparency

When communication doesn’t happen as it should, people down the line get confused. They may not know the target time to arrive at a certain location or where individual trucks in a fleet are. Communication is essential to make a business a well-oiled machine.

For example, not many people can handle the early mornings and careful driving truck drivers face every day. Other employees should step into drivers’ shoes and understand it from their level before judging performance. Working with empathy is where communication can come in handy, especially when solving small disputes.

How to Fix It: The best way to rectify this issue is to establish a clear communication channel. Encourage others to share when things aren’t going exactly as expected on their end. That way, the entire supply chain will know what to expect and what might delay their own processes.

With proper communication, everyone has time to prepare for any setbacks and try to make up time in their own way. A fully transparent workplace is an efficient workplace where everyone feels supported and ready to further the company’s mission.

3. Fleet Idling

Fleet idling is a waste of time and resources, which can negatively affect the environment as well as damage a steady supply chain. A chain should meet customer expectations while minimizing cost as much as possible, but idling means that a fleet is not moving — thus adding more time to the chain. Wasted time is wasted money.

Just some of the drawbacks of fleet idling include the following:

  • Unnecessary burning of fuels, leading to a larger fuel budget
  • More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
  • Longer times from Point A to Point B
  • Decreased customer satisfaction
  • Possible fines, depending on the idling location

How to Fix It: Luckily, idling can be mitigated through the right measures. Logistics professionals can use trackers to understand where an individual truck is and if it’s making time well. In addition to motivating the driver, it can also provide useful data to the company regarding supply chain routes. 

The company can then use this data for future fleets, including how or when to educate drivers on how idling affects the company. This extra education can help drivers defeat those embedded driving habits that might lead to greater idling times. Reducing idling time can also improve the performance of fleet vehicles, which can save even more time and money. 

4. Reactivity, Not Proactivity

Proactivity has a business’s best interests in mind at all times. It thinks of the future and how today’s decisions can affect a supply chain or a company months later. Reactive management is just the opposite — it’s created at the last minute and lacks careful consideration. These decisions reflect a manager’s reaction rather than their actual knowledge, either because the decision was created out of fear or on a time crunch.

When employees experience a setback, it’s natural to react with emotion. People can be greatly influenced by the emotions of people around them, meaning that just one person in the supply chain might influence a manager to react on impulse if something negative happens. However, though impulse decisions may lead to quick fixes, they can be costly for a company if they create more trouble in the long term.

How to Fix It: Proactive management is one of the greatest investments a logistics professional can use when managing their fleet. With proactive management, supply chain surprises will never be a setback. Make use of just-in-case measures that can be implemented in an instant if something goes awry. That way, the company won’t have to worry about paying extra to deal with the fallout of a quick fix that does more damage than good from a decision rooted in reaction.

5. Bad Warehouse Management

The warehouse is where it all begins, so it’s no surprise that some supply chain issues can be linked back to ineffective warehouse management. It’s a critical part of the process, and if things aren’t organized or readily available, a company might see delays in its fleet. 

How to Fix It: A company needs to think critically about the type of hire they bring aboard for this role. A warehouse manager is supposed to keep things moving smoothly and minimize the number of issues the supply chain should run into from the very beginning. 

Having a warehouse manager take on more responsibilities, such as making sure items are actually in stock, as an automated system won’t always indicate whether they’re out of stock, can help keep the warehouse under control. In the end, proper management and clearly laid out processes can help a warehouse manager increase customer satisfaction.

Manage a Supply Fleet Like an Expert

Logistics professionals and fleet managers should always be looking for a way to improve their times and processes. Some easy ways to improve include eliminating room for miscommunication and errors, as well as proper education of team members. These mistakes are some of the easiest to fix but often go overlooked.

When a company adjusts how it runs, it may see improved processes and overall customer satisfaction. All it needs to do is analyze where there’s room for improvement, and implementing changes is easy.

gen Z business

What Incentives Do Gen Z Supply Chain Employees Want in 2023? 

Gen Z workers are digital natives that have shifted employer priorities. The demographic’s continued growth means supply chain organizations have a unique opportunity to expand their talent pool when hiring — if they take the right approach. 

So, what motivates the workforce of the future? The following incentives demonstrate what Gen Z supply chain employees want in 2023.

Professional Development

The next generation of workers prioritizes professional development in the workplace. Gen Z desires opportunities to climb the ladder within a company and grow within their careers. A Handshake study of Gen Z workers reveals 71% anticipate a promotion as early as six months into their job until the year-and-a-half mark. The same survey also shows 64% regularly attend career-growth events seeking development opportunities.

Attracting talent is vital for young workers, but keeping them is also crucial. About 20% of Gen Z employees say they’d stay at an employer that boosts and retrains their skills as time passes. Supply chain businesses should emphasize giving feedback to their employees, especially the youngest ones. Mentorships are valuable, so Gen Z workers receive teaching directly from experienced professionals.

Diversity and Inclusion

Since 2020, numerous companies have installed programs to diversify their workforce and help people from all walks of life feel included. One of Gen Z’s demands in its employers is a commitment to diversity. The Handshake study shows 55% of Gen Zers expect a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for all employees.

Diversity is important to Gen Z and this factor is rising across generations. A Glassdoor survey reports 76% of prospective employees rank diversity as a critical factor when evaluating job offers from various companies. Supply chain businesses should prioritize diversity and inclusion in the workforce and with their suppliers. Conducting business with minority-owned companies is an excellent way to demonstrate care for diversity.

Employees want to see diversity and inclusion in their workforce, and a lack thereof can lead to departures. The Glassdoor survey reveals nearly half of Black and Hispanic employees have left a job after experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Over 70% of Black and Hispanic workers say their employer needs to do more to improve their diversity. Supply chain companies without a commitment to diversity should prioritize such initiatives soon.

Social Events

Diversity initiatives create heterogeneous workforces and produce a better workplace culture for all. Employers can demonstrate their commitment to diversity by celebrating holidays and social events for employees of all backgrounds.

Ramadan, Easter, Holi and other religious holidays are important days for many, so organizations should prioritize recognizing all of them. Inclusive celebrations make employees of all backgrounds feel welcomed and educate others about a holiday they previously didn’t know.

Supply chain companies should recognize diversity transcends past demographics. There are other elements an organization should be mindful of. For example, event organizers should consider all employees’ dietary preferences and include varied food options. Some people may have allergies, practice veganism or can’t eat particular foods for religious reasons. Helping everybody feel included at business events goes a long way toward their morale.


In the 2020s, employees across generations have emphasized sustainability as the effects of climate change have become apparent. Gen Z workers are among the most adamant in their calls, with many prioritizing sustainability in their job search. A 2022 Bupa study shows two-thirds of Gen Z people are anxious about environmental issues and feel pressure to act on climate change.

Climate change is crucial enough for Gen Z employees to use it as a make-or-break factor. The Bupa study shows Gen Z looks at environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores when evaluating companies. Poor ESG scores would lead to 31% of Gen Z workers turning down a job offer, while 54% would take a pay cut to work for a business with strong environmental ethics.

Supply chain sustainability is an excellent practice for businesses looking to recruit young employees and stay at the top of their industry. Companies can achieve higher ESG scores by switching to renewable energy wherever possible and lowering their carbon footprint. For example, electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions and are easy for fleet owners to maintain. The fewer moving parts lead to cheaper maintenance costs over time.

Mental Health Programs

The past few years have initiated a worldwide conversation about mental health. More employers have encouraged their workers to speak about their anxieties because mental health issues can lead to disengagement in the workplace, lower productivity and quicker burnout. The recent pandemic and economic uncertainties have led to high stress for Gen Z.

A 2021 Deloitte survey finds nearly 60% of Gen Z workers have experienced workplace stress but didn’t tell their employers. Forty-seven percent of Gen Z employees have required time off to care for their mental health but did not give the employer this reason for calling out. An improved conversation around mental health is necessary for recruiting and retention.

Supply chain companies should provide genuine support for employees no matter what they’re going through. Workers who feel like their employer doesn’t will feel discouraged and disengaged, and are more likely to leave. Demonstrating care leads to higher trust and better relationships between managers and employees. Businesses should create or participate in mental health programs to ensure everybody has an outlet to get their heads in the right places.

Flexibility and Benefits

The pandemic changed the worldwide workforce and might not return to how it was in 2019 and before. One permanent change could be flexibility, which is quickly becoming a priority for Gen Z workers. These young employees experienced flexibility through virtual classes in college or telework in their young careers. Many employers have returned their employees to the office, but Gen Z wants flexibility.

The previous Handshake study reveals Gen Z employees desire a modern version of benefits. For example, 73% of these young workers want a flexible schedule. Some employees may work better in the morning, while others are most productive on the night shift.

Another high preference for Gen Z workers is health care. Seventy-six percent of these employees label health care benefits as the most important and 73% say they’d stay with an employer who offers good benefits.

Gen Z’s preferences reflect trends across workers, but they show an increased demand. A 2022 Career Builder survey shows 46% of all job seekers search for better benefits and 51% want a more flexible schedule. Supply chain companies must create solid benefits packages for recruitment because they’re vital for attracting the best young talent available.

Recruiting Gen Z in 2023

With every passing year, Gen Z will occupy a larger share of the workforce. The new generation brings new priorities, so companies must meet their demands. These six points identify what Gen Z employees look for and how supply chain businesses can use them for recruitment.


How Have Supply Chain Disruptions Affected the Restaurant Industry in 2023? 

The restaurant industry suffered significant losses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with thousands of businesses closing their doors for good. Most restaurants can still feel the ripple effect of COVID-19 today, as inflation, supply deficiencies and labor shortages have trickled into 2023.

How have supply chain disruptions impacted the restaurant industry so far this year? What might be in store for 2024? What can businesses do to address the problems?

Current State of the Restaurant Industry

To understand how supply chain disruptions have affected the restaurant industry, it is vital to get a comprehensive view of the industry’s current situation. Here are the most recent findings from the National Restaurant Association’s economists:

  • Rising Food Costs: 92% of restaurants said rising food costs have become a significant issue in 2023.
  • Higher Menu Prices: Due to high food costs, restaurants have had to raise menu prices. This trend will increase the food service industry’s sales totals on paper.
  • Help Wanted: 500,000 new workers are expected to join the restaurant industry in 2023, which will help businesses pick up the slack from the Great Resignation of 2021 and 2022.
  • More Industry Competition: 47% of restaurant owners expect competition to be more fierce in 2023 as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic.

So, although 2023 has lots of growth potential, rising operational costs are holding many restaurants back. A handful of major supply chain problems are to blame for these high costs.

Essential Food Shortages

The most concerning reason for high food prices is global supply shortages. Production of essential food items like grain, meat and cooking oil has decreased. Much of this problem has to do with high production costs in agriculture for seeds, fertilizers and farming equipment. Big and small food manufacturers cannot afford to produce their products at pre-pandemic levels.


Grain shortages have been a problem since the war between Ukraine and Russia began in February 2022. These countries combine to produce 28% of the world’s grain and wheat, so global grain production has significantly decreased. Millions of tons of exports also cannot leave Ukrainian ports due to Russian occupation, which has brought grain supply chains to a standstill.

As a result, grain and wheat prices have increased by 48% and forced many restaurants to take desperate measures. Finding affordable flour suppliers is a significant challenge. They also have to raise the prices of every grain-based item on the menu. In extreme cases, restaurants must scrap wheat from the menu altogether and find alternative ingredients.


Due to smaller livestock supplies, climate change, changing consumer attitudes and a number of other factors, the world’s biggest meat suppliers have also slowed down their shipments.

However, production is only one of the problems. There is actually a surplus of meat available because consumer demand for beef, veal and chicken has decreased. Prices temporarily dropped in 2022, but they rose by 2.2% in early 2023 and caused many restaurants to limit their meat-based menu items.

Unforeseen factors like the avian flu have come into play, causing meat shortages at chain restaurants and raising consumer concerns about eating meat. Working conditions at big meat manufacturing plants are also under severe scrutiny, worsening the labor crisis and fanning the flames of negative consumer attitudes about the meat industry.

Cooking Oil

Ever since the Ukraine-Russia conflict started, countries around the world have seen massive disruptions in their cooking oil supply chains. Sunflower and vegetable oil have been particularly problematic, since Ukraine and Russia are the world’s leading producers and exporters of these products.

This trend has caused the United States to increase its reliance on soybean oil, driving up the prices by as much as 11.5%. All fried food prices have also increased as a result, altering how millions of people feed their families. Grocery stores have felt the pain of price increases too, not just restaurants.

Staffing Struggles

As an inevitable consequence of higher food prices and operational costs, many restaurants cannot pay their employees a livable wage. The average bartender makes $11.54 an hour not including tips, which is a low number given the long hours and high-stress work environment. Research has also found that 2 in 3 restaurants are understaffed

However, there is some silver lining to the restaurant labor crisis. Managers are putting more emphasis on training and development, which will bring new hires up to speed more quickly. It will also improve working conditions and provide a more supportive environment.

The average restaurant also manages seven different service models, which shows how much take-out and delivery services have grown in the post-COVID era. This positive development has played an important role in significantly increasing job opportunities across the hospitality industry, not just for eating establishments.

What Can Restaurant Owners Do?

Although many restaurant owners believe their supply chains will never return to pre-pandemic stability, they can still do several things to mitigate the negative impact.

First and foremost, the importance of relationships has remained the same. Vendors and their clients need to maintain positive relationships in this tumultuous time. It does not help anyone to cut off long-standing ties and seek other business partners. If they can afford it, restaurant owners should maintain their existing connections and work with people they trust.

Constant communication is also more critical than ever. Getting through supply chain disruptions requires manufacturers and suppliers to be on the same page at all times, especially when handling perishable goods. The introduction of cloud documentation and artificial intelligence software has been revolutionizing communication and supply chain management.

Owners should also embrace technological developments with open arms. Recent innovations like food distribution apps could completely change the way that restaurants gather their essential ingredients. Modern challenges require modern solutions.

2023 is a Year of Uncertainty

Given the latest developments in the restaurant industry’s supply chain and labor pool, 2023 is a year of great uncertainty. Economic conditions could continue to deteriorate, which would worsen the existing problems with grain, meat and cooking oil. 

There is also potential for massive industry growth as restaurants rebuild their workforces, change their business models and adopt new technologies. Only time will tell which path the restaurant industry takes.

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How Your Organization Can Meet Ambitious Sustainability Goals in 2023

C-suite leaders are looking toward one goal in 2023 — making their businesses more sustainable. Over 160 Fortune 500 companies in 23 countries have pledged to meet climate targets, but achieving long-term results requires ambitious sustainability goals.

Anyone in a leadership position can consider implementing these strategies to make their company greener by the end of the year. They’ll chart a path forward while minimizing a brand’s carbon footprint, so every business has a place in the fight against global warming.

1. Invest in Analytics

No one can make progress if they don’t know where they started. Leaders intent on meeting ambitious sustainability goals in 2023 must invest in analytics to understand what their company currently does that is or isn’t eco-friendly.

The data should include where the company stands on issues like water waste, carbon dioxide emissions and other forms of pollution. Asking questions is a helpful way to start, such as:

  • How green are the executive office branches?
  • Are production facilities putting the environment first?
  • Are partnered suppliers also going green?

Gathering this information into one document will show everyone what needs work most. It will also chart the way forward, given that the data serves as a future point of reflection when judging the quarter or year’s progress.

2. Look Into Collaboration

Creating a positive environmental impact can come with a steep learning curve. Many companies make more progress by collaborating with existing businesses or nonprofit organizations already known for going green.

A brand that makes beach supplies for tourists could announce a partnership with a volunteer organization that directs beach cleanup efforts. It would create opportunities for collaborative brainstorming in addition to positive marketing campaigns with sustainably minded consumers who already follow or respect the volunteer organization.

Additionally, companies could immediately direct portions of their profits to gain a greater global outreach. While working on business-centric changes, the donations would begin making a positive difference for the environment in the corporation’s name.

3. Make Small Adjustments

It may feel tempting to plan sweeping organizational changes to make a company more sustainable, but minor adjustments help the planet, too. It also demonstrates the C-suite’s dedication to the environment by involving them personally.

The manager at the executive office could install a smart thermostat. It would adjust the building’s temperature automatically based on ongoing factors like opening the front door, closing windows and how many people are in a room at any given time. Other options, like partnering with a recycling pickup company or switching styrofoam coffee cups with biodegradable alternatives, would help the company get started on sustainable progress.

It may also save money. A recent study found that hand dryers cost less long term than restocking paper towels. Efforts to cut waste also reduce how much a company spends on daily office necessities.

4. Study Green Competitors

Understanding how industry competitors have gone green is another way for organizations to meet ambitious sustainability goals. Executive leaders can study the changes in real-time and replicate successes without trial and error.

It’s essential to note how competitors went green by reading their eco-friendly mission statements and any announcements about partnerships. Those key details carve a path forward, but they also call to consumers.

Research shows that helping the environment is a primary motivator for consumers purchasing products from new brands. Companies who learn from and outdo their competitors in assisting the planet will win over more customers. Those shoppers are more likely to remain loyal since eco-friendly changes within the company will remain ongoing.

5. Write a Climate Pledge

Companies write mission statements to outline what they stand for and what they hope to do for their customers. People read them to know what they should hold organizations accountable for, including helping the environment.

Every executive hoping to make their company go green should write a climate pledge. The final draft posted on the company website will set realistic, ambitious sustainability goals and make them known. It’s much easier to turn plans into realities when consumers and employees understand what the brand is working toward.

6. Get Everyone Involved

Executive-office employees can get more involved with eco-friendly goals set by their company. They may enjoy feeling like they’re making a difference with their jobs and stay with their employer long term.

Once a month, the team could enjoy a company-sponsored vegetarian lunch. While listening to an officewide presentation, they’d avoid eating meat that requires natural resources at high production quantities to reach consumers. 

They could also use electricity-saving computers, LEB bulbs in office light fixtures and a low-flow faucet in the kitchen sink. Every small change involving more employees will create a team atmosphere that energizes people toward the company’s sustainability goals.

7. Remain Ready to Learn

Progress only happens when people are open to learning. Experts in environmental fields frequently publish new information regarding the successes and failures of current efforts to improve the environment. They may also find new challenges to overcome.

After setting and working toward eco-friendly goals, executives should keep an open mind to the continually updating world of sustainability. Books and articles from environmental leaders could reveal new problems that require solutions or encouraging news about ongoing efforts. 

Employees and consumers should also provide feedback. They’ll feel personally involved and engaged, leading to more effort spent on making green progress. Each input source will refine the organization’s goals so continual efforts become the new normal long after 2023 ends.

8. Determine Metrics for Sustainability Successes

It’s much more challenging to gauge success without predetermined metrics. Those standards will change in each organization because companies have different environmental goals.

Metrics could include pounds of waste recycled compared to last year or kilowatts saved over a month. The outline should also name the company’s primary sustainability goal, like only producing 500 pounds of waste from the executive office in a quarter due to new recycling efforts.

Benchmarking progress with frequent updates is an essential part of achieving any goal. Leaders can schedule recurring meetings to ensure the company stays on track.

Meet Ambitious Sustainability Goals in 2023

More companies are going green because consumers seek eco-friendly brands and products. Setting and meeting ambitious sustainability goals are possible if organizations use strategies like these in 2023. They’ll create viable paths forward with meaningful change, no matter what objectives the leadership team sets.

fleet Website addresses needs of fleets carrying shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

How Fleet Managers Should Optimize Their Daily Maintenance Checklist

Rising costs, labor shortages and issues in the supply chain are making fleet management much more complex. Old practices aren’t as effective, so business leaders need new ways to keep their companies modern and in step with the times. 

The needs of logistics professionals can change by the day, so keeping pace is critical. Here’s how logistic professionals can optimize their maintenance checklists. 

Implementing Automation

The first step in optimizing a checklist is to implement automation. Machines have become much more intelligent over the past few decades. Modern technology frequently sees artificial intelligence (AI) excel at saving time in the workplace and on the road. 

Fleet managers should take advantage of automation because it’s also a beacon of safety. Since 1972, on-the-job injuries have dropped significantly, and automation receives much credit for smoothing processes.

Companies can benefit significantly from fleet management software. These programs take paper out of the workflow and give professionals the data they need in front of them. Software is ideal for those who want to improve time management and automate specific tasks. For example, programs can bill customers, manage operating expenses and monitor vehicles through tracking software. 

Prioritizing Safety

Workplace safety has improved in the last half-century, but fleet managers and drivers still face risks when they hit the road. Drivers are the most integral pieces of any business utilizing fleets, and managers should emphasize safety and train them to implement best practices. Knowing the expectations now can save many headaches in the future. 

Safety should be a top priority from day one, and that starts before the keys go in the ignition. Fleet owners can optimize their checklist by training drivers on what to watch for with their vehicles and how to perform maintenance. For example, suppose a tire goes flat on the highway. Training the driver to fix it themselves saves money and reduces downtime because they know the best way to mitigate the issue.  

Using Telematics

Another way fleet managers can optimize their maintenance checklist is by implementing telematics. This software is ideal for tracking driver behavior while on the road. Employees who know they have a tracking device in the vehicle are more likely to adhere to best practices while operating. Telematics gadgets alert fleet owners of drivers’ habits, whether speeding, phone usage, hard braking or other detrimental acts.

Most fleet owners use telematics to correct driver behavior and ensure safe driving, but the benefits go beyond that. Managers have legal backing if someone steals the vehicle. A GPS tracker lets owners know where their trucks are at all times so law enforcement can find those culpable. 

Telematics can optimize your maintenance checklist by providing the information to drivers more quickly. These devices often detect vehicle problems before a human. Finding issues earlier leads to a more straightforward fix and less strain on the company’s wallet when it’s time to repair. 

Determining Task Responsibility

Technology can tell fleet owners the problem, but it takes humans to look under the hood and fix it. Drivers can perform maintenance tasks, like airing tires or changing the oil. Other, more complicated tuneups may need a certified technician specializing in certain vehicle parts. 

Fleet managers must divide who gets what responsibility to ensure every maintenance element goes smoothly. Owners can optimize their maintenance checklist by assigning tasks based on who can perform them the best. Employee experience will play a key role in addition to the type of vehicle. 

Reducing Maintenance Costs

A maintenance checklist should include tasks that reduce costs in the long run. Fleet owners can save money by doing small things now and preventing more significant problems in the future. Some of these tasks may include:

  • Washing: Washing might not be at the top of a fleet manager’s list of maintenance tasks, but it’s critical. No matter where they drive, cars end up with dirt and debris on the exterior and undercarriage. Fleet owners can optimize their checklists by creating daily and weekly tasks. For example, drivers should sanitize the steering wheel daily. Weekly, they should perform tasks like cleaning the mirrors and door handles. A clean car shows employees and consumers that the company cares about safety and cleanliness.
  • Waxing: Waxing is another preventive maintenance task. Fleet owners operating on the coast or in cold-weather areas should be wary of rust buildup. Salt from the ocean and the roads can easily damage a car by causing rust. Waxing twice a year protects vehicle parts from breaking due to rust damage and makes the maintenance checklist easier in the long run. 
  • Tires: Tires are an integral part of any fleet. Owners can use tires as a way to optimize their maintenance checklist. Drivers and managers should track the psi of every vehicle because it plays a significant role in other factors like driver safety and fuel mileage. For example, properly inflated tires increase fuel mileage by up to 3%, but underinflated tires harm fuel economy. 

Upgrading When Necessary

Modern problems require modern solutions. Sometimes, fleet managers and drivers can take precautions and perform preventive maintenance. However, the vehicle doesn’t want to cooperate for one reason or another. The problems could stem from unknown issues or a car reaching the end of its life. Fleet owners should keep an eye on what components require the most attention because an upgrade could be in order.

A maintenance checklist should include every component of the fleet’s vehicles. Owners should account for extensions and attachments like trailers. Cars wear down over time, and managers should consider upgrading the entire vehicle or individual parts. Enhancing the fleet with aftermarket updates like a cold air intake or iridium spark plugs could make the checklists easier for drivers in their daily duties.  

Optimizing the Maintenance Checklist 

Today’s economy makes things more challenging for fleet managers. Supply chain disruptions, rising prices and other problems increase the job’s complexity. The heart of the work lies with the cars and drivers. These professionals should optimize their maintenance checklist to keep pace with today’s demands.

A modern-day checklist starts with automation. Fleet owners should let management software take care of tasks like billing and scheduling vehicle maintenance. Automation allows them to focus on the bigger picture. 

Managers should also heavily emphasize safety to their drivers and help them take steps to protect themselves and their vehicles. Minor optimizations in the short term can save a fleet company a lot of money in the long run.

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7 Benefits of Inclusion and Diversity Within Your Organization

In the 21st century, more companies have made inclusion and diversity a priority. These businesses are crafting a more expansive tent through their employees, thus expanding their customer base. 

Being diverse and inclusive makes moral sense, and companies have also seen the economic benefits. These seven reasons show how organizations worldwide benefit from practicing diversity and inclusion.

1. Larger Hiring Pool

The benefits of diversity and inclusion start in the hiring process. Some companies may have similar candidates applying for positions depending on the industry. However, broadening the talent pool for more diverse candidates gives hiring managers a more well-rounded list of prospects. Thus, increasing the odds the company makes the best hire possible for the company.

Diversity has become a higher priority for companies but is also critical for job seekers. A Glassdoor survey reveals that 76% of workers believe diversity is essential when contemplating job offers from various companies. And about one-third of workers say they won’t apply to an organization if they feel its workforce lacks diversity.

2. New Perspectives

Companies that expand their talent pool benefit from a new wave of perspectives and fresh ideas. Organizations with similar candidates for every position are more likely to face stagnation. However, employees from different backgrounds bring perspectives project leaders have never heard. These new views often lead to increased creativity and better problem-solving. A diverse pool of employees gives a well-rounded view to everyone involved.

A diverse and inclusive workplace also brings the benefit of connections to other businesses. International opportunities arise for organizations that have multilingual employees. They can knock down the language barrier, a common obstacle for companies trying to conduct international business. Workers from different backgrounds can connect to foreign organizations and their leaders.

3. More Innovation

Diversity in the workplace goes beyond demographics. It also breeds diversity of thought. Companies with various perspectives often execute new ideas and spur innovation more than other workplaces. Employees from different backgrounds can target their products and services to fit customer profiles and emerging demographics. Often, these workers have faced adversity and used it to improve their problem-solving skills and drive to succeed.

A Harvard Business Review (HBR) study shows a statistically significant relationship between innovation and diversity in the workplace. Companies with an inclusive workforce based on gender, age, ethnicity, career path, education, and industry background averaged 19% higher innovation revenue and 9% higher earnings before interest and tax. The study also found that companies with higher diversity scores were more likely to engage in fair employment practices, such as equal pay.

4. Tax Credits

An inclusive workplace is essential for a diverse set of perspectives from employees, but the benefits don’t stop there. Businesses see incentives for working with other diverse workplaces. Many states provide tax credits to companies that work with a minority-owned or woman-owned business. The incentives depend on the industry and state in which they operate.

The Nixon Administration created the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) in 1969, and President Biden made it a permanent agency in late 2021. More than 38 states, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have state-funded programs to incentivize entrepreneurship from minority groups. For example, Georgia offers income tax credits for contractors and subcontractors if they use a minority business.

5. Higher Profits

Tax credits are an excellent incentive for companies to promote workplace diversity, but additional financial rewards exist. Inclusive businesses tend to be more profitable.

A report by McKinsey shows a connection between racial diversity and profitability. Companies see a 0.8% increase in earnings with every 10% increase in the ethnic diversity of the executive team. Diversity in race, ethnicity, and gender creates a 25% better chance of a business’s profitability exceeding the national median.

Whether a small business for car washing or a multinational logistics company, the ROI is clear for diverse workplaces. The inclusiveness also helps during times of crisis. Adverse economic times like the Great Recession of 2008 put many businesses through challenging situations.

Researchers from Great Place to Work examined numerous publicly traded companies and their diversity initiatives. The study monitored how these companies fared before, during, and after a recession. Highly inclusive and diverse companies found a 14.4% increase in their stock performance between 2007 and 2009, whereas other organizations saw their stock decline by 36%.

6. Better Trust and Engagement

Diverse companies tend to perform better in times of economic prosperity and adversity. Why is that? One reason is trust. Inclusive workplaces foster more confidence among employees. Workers feel better about themselves when they feel included in the company and don’t fear others in the office judging or ridiculing them based on cultural differences. Happier workers become more productive and engaged with company objectives.

Trust has become an issue in the workplace. About one-third of workers report they don’t trust their employers. Employee faith in the business is a driving force in productivity, results, and bottom line. One way to increase employee trust is to hire a diverse set of management teams. Employees are more likely to trust diverse supervisors because they’re more relatable and understand multiple backgrounds.

Employees who trust their companies are often more engaged and ready to work daily. Active workers go a long way toward an organization’s productivity, which is paramount for businesses dealing with supply chains. These employees are happier and stay with the company longer, leading to higher retention rates and better health across the board.

7. Effective Decision-making

Another significant reason inclusive companies see higher revenue is that diverse teams typically are better at decision-making. A study by Cloverpop shows that an all-male team makes the right decision 58% of the time. However, a gender-diverse team increases that number to 73%. A group diverse in age and gender improves to 80%, and organizations inclusive with age, gender, and ethnicity spike to 87% better decision-making.

It’s not a coincidence that teams with diversity in thought and demographics end up with better results. These diverse teams are 15% more likely to have friction in their decision-making. However, the discourse is a good thing. It forces teams to think critically and present why one path is better. Homogenous groups often end up stale in their decision-making process with little pushback because they’re similar in thought.

Diversifying the Workplace in 2023

Nowadays, organizations are increasing their focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It makes sense based on ethics, and research shows these initiatives drive innovation. 

When diverse in thought and demographics, companies make better decisions, increase employee engagement, and reap higher profits, even during adverse economic times. Diversifying the workplace is vital for businesses across industries.

7 Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Your Fleet's Cost Per Mile

7 Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Your Fleet’s Cost Per Mile

The costs of operating vehicle fleets can add up quickly. Fleet owners deal with typical expenses like maintenance and fuel, and the price of gasoline and diesel can be volatile, especially with supply chain disruptions and international conflict causing spikes. The unpredictability leads logistics professionals to consider every option available for saving money. 

Fleet owners can use these seven cost-effective strategies to reduce the cost per mile and reap additional benefits. 

  • Switching to Synthetic Oil

Fuel efficiency starts with the engine and the type of oil a fleet owner uses. Standard oil can get the job done but won’t provide the same benefits that vehicles see from synthetic blends. Synthetic oil rose to prominence in America during the 1970s, as the energy crisis forced people to find ways to improve their fuel economy. 

Synthetic oil is advantageous for fleet owners because it’s cleaner for the engine. It has fewer impurities and doesn’t form sludge over time. Synthetic oil is especially beneficial during cold weather because it has a higher viscosity index, making it resilient to temperature changes. On hot and cold days, vehicles with synthetic oil require less effort to circulate fluids throughout the engine, thus reducing wasted energy and improving fuel economy.   

  • Tracking Tire Pressure

Another excellent way fleet owners can improve their cost per mile is to track their vehicles’ tire pressures. The pounds per square inch (PSI) may seem like a trivial data point, but the cost per mile adds up over time. This includes the total costs divided by the number of miles a fleet drives. A truck driver can easily exceed 100,000 miles yearly, so the expenses quickly add up for owners with multiple vehicles. 

The best strategy for fleet owners is to keep the tires inflated. Before leaving the premises, drivers should check the PSI to monitor the level. Tires at the proper PSI boost gas mileage by 0.6% on average, but some drivers can increase it by 3%. Conversely, underinflated tires compromise fuel mileage by about 0.2% for every PSI dropped. Drivers should ensure tires have proper inflation for safety and fuel mileage.   

  • Implementing Telematics

Fleet owners can use advanced technology like telematics to track employees on the road. Drivers who know they have a monitoring device are less likely to employ bad habits. Telematics improves driver safety and can reduce the cost per mile.

Telematics devices use artificial intelligence (AI) to track drivers and report when they are speeding, using their cellphones too much or letting the vehicle sit idly. Route optimization is a critical feature of telematics technology. Drivers using telematics can find more fuel-efficient routes that lower the cost per mile. Telematics also monitors the engine and other parts so fleet owners can see problems before they worsen.

  • Lowering Air Conditioner Use

Another adjustment drivers can make on the road is their air conditioning use. AC uses more fuel than any other auxiliary system in a vehicle. It can increase fuel expenditure by nearly 20% due to the engine’s increased load. Drivers traveling long distances can significantly affect the cost per mile if they use the air conditioner constantly.

Fleet owners can implement a policy for drivers to save fuel on the road. Drivers should turn the air conditioner off and open the windows when driving slowly. However, they should use it when driving on the highway or above 40 mph because the difference in fuel consumption becomes negligible. Drivers should also keep the windows closed to reduce drag and increase fuel economy. 

  • Making Fuel-efficient Upgrades

Telematics, tire pressure and the air conditioner are all practical ways drivers can improve their fuel economy, but they can only go so far. Vehicles gradually see reduced engine performance and efficiency as they age. Fleet owners could opt for new cars or add new parts to the current ones. The long-term benefits of fuel-efficient upgrades will offset the upfront costs of part replacement. This can extend the car’s life and reduce maintenance costs.

Fleet owners can upgrade their vehicles with a high-flow cold-air intake system. This aftermarket swap imports cooler air into the intake system. It’s denser with oxygen, so the air-to-fuel ratio increases and the vehicles burn less fuel. 

Replacing spark plugs is another manageable upgrade for fleet owners. Swapping the current set for iridium plugs improves fuel economy through a better ignition system.

  • Watching Vehicle Weight

Transporting goods is at the center of many fleets. The world wouldn’t be the same without truck drivers, delivery vans and more. However, fleet owners should be wary of their vehicles’ weights because they can significantly impact fuel economy. Automakers have made vehicles lighter over the years, but the pounds can still add up. Vehicles can increase their fuel economy by 1% for every 100 pounds removed from the machine. 

Depending on the vehicles used, there are ways to decrease the weight without compromising the machine’s performance. One strategy some professionals use is swapping the tires. Lightweight wheels made from aluminum are strong and durable. Other options for lowering the weight are downsizing the engine and replacing the hood with an aluminum or carbon-fiber alternative. Over time, the fuel savings will add up. 

  • Incentivizing Drivers 

There are numerous strategies for reducing the cost per mile, but they’re only as effective as the drivers who implement them. Fleet owners could create an incentive program for their employees by tracking their stats every month. For example, they could use a scorecard to monitor habits like speeding, productivity, fuel saved and seatbelt use. Top performers receive a prize at the end of the month, whereas the low rankers present a teaching opportunity. 

Incentives go a long way for employees, no matter what industry they’re working in. About 81% of employees say rewards programs and recognition strengthen their sense of belonging at work. Rewards motivate people to do better, and friendly competition helps fleet owners reduce their cost per mile.

Reducing Fleet Costs in 2023

Managing vehicles can get expensive in a hurry. Fuel, maintenance and other expenses pile up for fleet owners who need to save every penny they can. Management teams can mitigate costs, and drivers can also take the initiative while on the road.

Fleet owners should look for these cost-effective strategies to stretch their dollars, which can also improve the planet’s health and boost employee morale.