With just a few vehicles in the company, managing them is very easy. But things take a different turn when there are many vehicles to manage. To meet the fleet management demands of such companies, innovators have come up with useful tools and strategies for fleet management. If you look at different solutions, they slightly differ, which means that fleet owners have to assess and pick the one that suits them best. The right approach to fleet management has a significant impact and a plethora of benefits to the company. With such knowledge, the fleet company will not only find it easy to invest in the right software but also improve efficiency and productivity in the company. Before we go through the importance and the benefits, let us look at what an ideal fleet management system should look like.
Choosing the Ideal Fleet Management System
The company needs an optimal fleet management solution with the newest features.
If you go through the web today, it will be easy to confirm which one has been recommended by many experts and reviewers.
Such a solution contains three major parts: hardware, software, and operation procedures.
One thing you will notice is that all the best solutions have a few things in common.
1. Vehicle tracking solution
One of the biggest concepts of fleet management is tracking.
Both the GPS device and software assist the vehicle in transmitting the location data in real-time to a remote location.
Managers can also view traffic, routes, and a lot of other information.
Today, GPS technology has greatly advanced since it can be synchronized with other solutions like surveillance to enhance its efficiency.
Dashcams are no longer just devices to record and store footage and they are smarter than ever.
That said, these gadgets record and transmit data in real-time back to the operational center or a mobile device.
Some are integrated with a GPS tracker to show the location of the footage.
However, the most intriguing feature is that many of these cameras are event-triggered and can even send notifications to managers to alert them of important events.
3. Fuel management
A fleet company that does not manage its fuel is making a recipe for disaster.
This is one way to save a lot of money every day. You can also apply for a fuel card, it will be a bonus.
For this part of the management system to be a success, GPS tracking, surveillance, training, and keeping of records should be integrated together.
Efficient managers focus on saving as much fuel as possible every month.
This lowers the operational costs and gives the company enough finances to run smoothly and grow.
4. Service, maintenance, and repair data management
It is important to know what a fleet insurance policy is when planning fleet management.
The other important feature of an ideal fleet management system is software or an app that tracks, keeps data, and enhances proper servicing, maintenance, and repair of vehicles.
The idea is to ensure that service schedules are not missed, the vehicles are repaired on time so that they can get back on the road, and that such costs do not go overboard.
Now that we have seen how ideal software should look, it is time to look at the importance and benefits of having one.
Of course, there must be a reason why everyone is looking for the most current fleet management solution.
Real-Time Monitoring and Supervision of Vehicles
We have already mentioned the importance of the GPS system.
This solution allows the managers to keep an eye on all vehicles while they are out in the field.
The goal is to bring all of them together on a single dashboard and be in a position to instruct the drivers.
Making decisions on the right routes to use at a specific time is based on the traffic live feed they are getting.
Sophisticated solutions even recommend the right route to use based on all factors.
Apart from tracking, surveillance solutions usually improve supervision because the managers can access live footage of any vehicle they want.
From this, they can instruct the drivers on what to do.
One of the biggest goals of a fleet company is to be as efficient as possible.
With many fleet vehicles, this can be a major challenge.
However, an ideal solution will come in handy to solve this for you.
But how does it achieve efficiency?
First, managers should identify challenges that are pulling the operations backwards such as time-wasting during delivery, incompetent drivers, and the high cost of fuel, just to mention a few.
From this, they can get a management solution that will address all of the challenges.
Efficiency is achieved when drivers can make timely deliveries, reduce fuel consumption and keep vehicles free of accidents and damage.
Fuel Cost Saving
Fuel management is a crucial part of fleet vehicle management.
Overall, the strategies that have been put in place primarily promote fuel saving. A fuel card is an add on advantage to this.
However, there is a section of the fleet management system that focuses on tracking the distance covered by all vehicles to determine the amount of fuel they have used.
The system also tries to come up with optimal operations that save the most fuel while maintaining efficiency.
These include mapping of the shortest routes, scheduling maintenance of vehicles, and many other strategies.
As the company keeps on saving these costs where possible, it increases its chance of survival.
Planning the Best Routes
Fleet vehicle management has the option of mapping the best routes.
This benefit has already been mentioned and its importance to the company cannot be emphasized more. GPS tracking provides optimal routes and the company can map them, then make it a standard operating procedure to use them.
It involves keeping records of each route used and comparing them later.
There is no reason to see it as a lot of work because many current software and apps can do this by themselves or with minimal input from experts.
Furthermore, the system will keep scouting for better routes for recommendations to the managers through reports.
Such changes may occur due to the construction of better roads, diversion of traffic, or changes in target destinations.
Driver and HR Management
Truck fleet companies are now required to connect devices that track HoS with the truck engine.
Small vehicles use these solutions to keep data for companies dealing with other vehicles as well.
Being fair and transparent on matters related to drivers’ and employees’ working hours and remuneration reduces conflicts between the two parties.
It also creases the productivity of the drivers as they remain motivated.
On the other hand, this system deals with undisciplined drivers who like wasting time through unnecessary idling or those with unacceptable driving habits.
The company, through the surveillance system, might decide to discipline them or retrain them on the right thing to do. It is also a basis for replacing drivers who are not ready to cooperate.
Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
We already mentioned that the ideal fleet management software should include this.
Managing many vehicles is not all that easy, especially keeping the track of which ones need to be serviced at any given time.
But with an appropriate system in place, it is easy to achieve this.
Many fleet companies, whether they have an internal garage or collaborate with an external one, should have records of when vehicles were serviced or repaired and when they need attention again.
Managers usually receive a notification on their computers or mobile phone so that they can make plans.
When this runs smoothly, vehicles will have a longer service life and the cost of maintenance will decrease.
Managing Risks in the Company
Analyzing and dealing with risks in a fleet company is a big challenge.
Most risks that happen can be prevented or reduced through proper management.
Should they happen, their impact can also get regulated through an appropriate risk management strategy.
This is only successful if the company is relying on data provided by the fleet management solution.
Lastly, managers can make better future plans such as the use of safer routes, driver monitoring to make sure they do not put vehicles and cargo at risk, fleet tracking to know where client cargo is, and preventing many other risks.
Making Reports for Decision Making
The last importance of fleet management system is report making.
Managers can generate different reports depending on the decisions they want to make.
Fact-backed decisions are the best for the growth of the company. For instance, the management can know the brand and models of vehicles to add depending on the data they have on previous vehicles.
Many managers and owners also use these reports to make presentations to potential investors and authorities.
Thus, no company can survive without an appropriate fleet management solution in place.
It does not matter whether the company is small, medium, or big.
So, the fleet management solution has many benefits that you need to go through to believe.
Any fleet manager who has not yet tapped into this should not hesitate to install the most current one.
The best thing is that the list above is detailed and exhaustive to convince anyone.