The family business is by nature a more prudent environment than the kind of blindly racing corporate juggernaut, and although profit is the mutual motive, the family run operation tends to work in a more sensitive way. Would you agree? Family owned and operated companies have business obligations that blur the line into personal obligations with ease and frequency which can make change of any kind a challenge. If you are the owner of a family transportation business and your goal is to become more sustainable this year, the following are some things that you should consider.
Success and Responsibility
This is particularly important in sustainable transportation options. Any business that relies on physically delivering its products or its employees, many miles away is, nowadays, aware of its carbon footprint and its wider impact on the environment. Economic matters are no longer exclusively concerned with the company bottom line; there is a responsibility to the rest of the world to consider too.
While the air and sea travel industries are pursuing their own agendas as regards emissions and there is little the family business can do about that, we can affect the general welfare of the planet through our choice of vehicles. We can help fight climate change. While cars that run on used cooking oil or hydrogen have come and gone on the news pages, the option that is clearly the way of the future is the electric vehicle (EV). This is where a family business of any size can make a significant contribution to the environment.
Electric Dreams are Coming True
The first time you get into an electric car, and it glides away down the street in majestic silence can be a sobering experience. While we have all been taking for granted the growling, roaring, belching vulgarity of the internal combustion engine, we now realize it doesn’t have to be like that. In the world of motorsport, there has been some resistance to electric vehicles precisely because they are quiet.
Speed junkies apparently get excited by the aggressive sound of an engine and feel their sport will suffer without it. It’s a bit like how the scratchy shutter sound was added to digital cameras to make it sound like you were taking a picture and a mechanical device was opening and closing to enable that to happen. How filmmakers insist on putting a screeching sound of racing tires on the soundtrack every time a car starts moving. But this need for aural satisfaction has no place in day-to-day life where environmental matters are at stake.
Whether your business has one vehicle or a whole fleet, EVs are the sensible option, and the way things are going, prices are falling in relative terms and there are savings to be made. As ever, the layman doesn’t need to understand the technology, but we all need to understand how we can use it and how it can benefit us. The first thing that must be done when considering investing in EVs is to find out more about them.
How and where can you charge them, can you do it at your own premises, and where in your area are there charging points? Importantly, how far can a vehicle travel on one charge? Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a responsibility we all bear, so if we can help with that by using EVs, we should be doing it.
Information, Information, Information
In addition to the use of electric vehicles, there are economies to be made through efficiency or economies for our business, which in turn affect cash flow management and the wider picture. Fleet management technology can shine light into gray areas, using the forensic power of technology to provide details to which we otherwise have no access. Where are your vehicles right now? How did they get there? How fast did they travel and how much fuel did they use?
All this sort of information can be helpful for improving the efficiency of your operation, reducing costs, and even enhancing your reputation in the community. You’ve probably seen those stickers on the back of trucks asking for your opinion of their driving and inviting you to report your observations to their office. With fleet management technology this happens automatically, so you can see what your people are up to in real time.
Word of mouth is still important, and you can be sure potential customers notice how the vehicles bearing your branding are going about their business. This technology can bring issues to your attention so you can deal with them. It also gives you information about maintenance: when was a vehicle last serviced? What was done, what was replaced, and how is it holding up? What is going to be needed soon? When is the next service due? It’s like having a group of experts at your disposal 24/7.