Market trends say that fleets waste about 5-10% of their budget every year. Experts say that when a fleet doesn’t properly manage its assets, the operation will lose money on fuel consumption, under-utilization of assets, and non-compliance with basic maintenance schedules that create larger problems down the road.
It’s for that reason private companies and public organizations turn to fleet management systems to improve their operation by reducing overhead costs and increasing efficiency. These fleet management software programs help take on the responsibility of overseeing several different moving parts and changing variables while tracking costs, schedules, and safety compliance.
What is Fleet Management?
Fleet management is the management of any part of an operation related to fleet vehicles and equipment - including location tracking, safety, maintenance, driver performance, and productivity - to ensure that the fleet runs as efficiently as possible.
How do Fleet Management Systems Work?
Fleet management software programs help public and private fleet operations better manage fleets using data collected by sensors connected directly to the vehicle. It can be used to monitor vehicles such as cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, forklifts, trailers, and equipment such as generators.
Most fleet management systems use telematic devices to connect directly to a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port. The device collects data from the vehicle in real time, sending back information about the vehicle’s location, mileage, speed, diagnostic codes, and driver behavior events such as speeding or harsh braking.
These fleet management programs can help you manage several different issues, such as improving bad driving habits, reducing fuel consumption, and ensuring safety protocols are met.
What are the Most Common Challenges Fleet Managers Face?
Fleet managers handle anything having to do with an organization’s fleet activities, including managing drivers, vehicle maintenance schedules, budgets, and all associated documentation. It’s a lot of responsibility that requires you to juggle several things at once, and sometimes take immediate action.
Handling so much responsibility can be a challenge when not equipped with the right tools can be a challenge. Managers who are handling too much can see cracks form in the operation.
One of the biggest challenges managers face is handling driver safety and productivity. Managers are constantly looking to improve driver behavior and enforce safety protocols to prevent crashes.
Fleet vehicle accidents are among the most expensive injury claims a business can face. Businesses lose an average of $70,000 after a fleet vehicle crash. That’s almost double the cost of the average workplace injury. Even minor crashes can impact insurance costs and CSA scores.
Fleet managers are concerned about driving habits because they also impact the vehicles – with those that are misused requiring more maintenance than trucks that are driven responsibly. Managers will also see their budgets affected by increased fuel costs when drivers are leaving vehicles idling, taking unplanned routes, or speeding.
Productivity is also harder to manage without some technological systems in place. Without being able to track where vehicles are or verify what might be delaying a job, managers are often left wondering what the best course of action to take is. That is why so many shops are turning to fleet tracking and management software for help.
What are the Benefits of Using Fleet Management Tools?
These fleet management systems provide the information you need to make decisions that are best for your company or organization. These systems are designed to help you better serve customers and constituents by providing relevant data that can be used to answer questions, make quick changes to a route.
Fleet management tools give you direct insights into your fleet’s location, your drivers’ behavior, and the efficiency of your operation. It also allows you to focus your energy on the parts of your job that require more attention and stop wasting time micromanaging drivers or following up on document filings or digital vehicle inspections.
Fleet managers can use these systems to ensure the job is being done correctly, following routes, checking on shipments with proof of deliveries and signatures. They can be alerted to any issues that arise in the field, and looped in when a driver is not meeting safety standards while on the road with instant activity alerts, enabling a response in real-time.
These programs include things like driver scorecards, which helps managers track a driver’s progress, enabling them to spot which drivers are performing well, and which ones need more coaching.
Fleet video camera systems are an immense help when it comes to improving safety and productivity, giving managers a first-hand-view of exactly what is happening in the field. Advanced AI cameras and sensors can even serve as a built-in coach; giving drivers real-time, in-cab alerts when they are falling asleep, leaving their lane, or using their cellphone.
How Forward Thinking Systems Can Help with Fleet Management
Technology is designed to make our jobs simpler. Leaving options on the table that could help you better run your fleet operations means you're likely leaving money on the table.
Good fleet management technology is designed to make your job easier. It takes out the guesswork, automates a host of time-consuming tasks, and provides you with as much information as possible so you can quickly make decisions as issues arise.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of the tools that will help you and your organization thrive. If you’re ready to see exactly what is happening on the road while streamlining vital business procedures, please contact us so we can get a better sense of your needs. From there we will set you up with a free demo and review the services we offer that best pair with your current solutions.