Fleet management can be a tedious exercise for companies that are new to the marketplace. Managing large commercial vehicles in various geographical locations should not be a challenging task. With the advancement in technology and GPS systems, fleet management software can help gather large quantities of data about the upkeep, maintenance, and tracking of all vehicles.
A fleet management software can help map the health of the vehicle during transit, actively track vehicular maintenance, GPS global positioning, safety, and Hours of Service (HOS) compliance. The software is excellent in reducing costs, decreasing maintenance overheads, streamlining routes, reducing excess workloads, and automating internal and external processes in the long term.
Who should use Fleet Management Software?
Fleet management software uses a combination of GPS and data to analyze, track, store information, and make accurate predictions about the pitfalls of managing commercial vehicles over long distances. Since most available software relies on technology, mapping, and User Interface, keeping track of the vehicles is quick and easy.
Companies that need to juggle more than ten commercial vehicles will benefit significantly from this software. Tracking, deliveries, navigation, routing, and allocation of large trucks, pick-ups, and cars are feasible with this fleet management software. Automation of delivery systems helps in cutting operational costs and overheads to increase efficiency and productivity. This software is ideal for companies wishing to manage their fleet of vehicles without tying in mediators and third party fleet organizers.
How will you determine if you need a Fleet Management System?
If you run a business in transportation, and you spend a lot of time, effort, and money tracking your commercial vehicles, then you need a fleet management system. Many organizations opt for unnecessary software without assessing their business needs. While large companies can afford this mistake, most smaller ones cannot.
Begin your search by understanding the need of the hour. Start by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out if you are trying to reduce fuel consumption costs, increase employee productivity, reduce idle times, lower maintenance costs, or track your fleet.
Identify crucial features:
Identify the specific features that you require in the software. Some things to consider would be identifying threats, hourly or daily reports, fuel consumption analytics, electronic logging, ID tagging, Automated Vehicle Tracking systems (AVL), diagnostics for On-board (OBD2) devices, and so on.
Once you have narrowed your requirements down, you can search for the best possible fleet management software.
Most solution providers offer pro-rata features (individual features), while many have a one-size-fits-all software (all-inclusive). Finalizing a budget before shortlisting different providers will work to your benefit and help curb the purchase, installation, certification, and maintenance of the software.
While investing in a fleet solution software may be an expensive task, it is best to choose one that offers excellent after-sales support, 24/7 tracking and provides quality assurance. Companies opting for cheap solutions suffer in the long term with lesser quality software.
Ease of Use:
Flexibility, reliability, and ease of use are essential while picking a fleet management software. Since most companies strive to grow with each passing year, having software that allows for additions in features, a decrease in costs, and flexibility (scalability) help ease the transition into a competitive business dynamic space.
You should also ensure that the software solution is easy to use and does not require excessive training. Opting for a software that is difficult to understand and requires intense training will increase your costs and delay the roll-out to the entire fleet. People involved with the use of this software should also be included, like HR, drivers, operators, dispatchers, and IT support.
Cloud-based support is crucial for efficiency in managing the software and handling the fleet. Through the cloud, dispatchers and fleet managers can track and manage the entire fleet in real-time.
The features of the software should directly correlate to the needs of the business. Aspects like transcontinental tracking and transport, local delivery systems, warranty tracking, asset tracking, safety regulations, compliance, navigation, optimization of routes, accident assessment, and delivery management, should be included in the software.
A fleet management software with inbuilt predictive maintenance algorithms helps track the usage, previous maintenance cycles, and longevity of the vehicle without physical checks. Manual and written records tend to take up much time, effort, and energy, and also increase the cost of human resources.
Fleet management software systems help send automated alerts and scheduled maintenance checks to all vehicles on time. Alerts and notifications can be pre-programmed to use mobile phones and company log sheets. Having this system in place helps decrease and avoid breakdowns during operation, accidents, and idle times.
The status and warranty of spare parts, wear and tear, and regular usage help in decreasing replacement costs to avoid significant expenses. Most fleets rely on the optimum usage of their vehicles during run times and having a close check on the warranties of certain parts helps avoid substantial unnecessary costs.
Tracking the warranty helps decrease the variables required in managing large fleets over time.
Tracking the real-time movement of the fleet can be crucial in curbing huge losses. Tracking immobile assets can be time-consuming and can take up many resources. The fleet management software can track the proximity of assets through a combination of mobile phones and GPS tracking systems.
A cluster view of the movement of all vehicular assets via sensors helps in keeping control and check on all company property.
Traffic predictions, route analysis, and traffic management for alternative routes help decrease navigation time and assists in keeping all deliveries on schedule. Getting the vehicles from one place to another in the least possible time in the safest manner is crucial for fleet optimization.
With the steady increase in competition, the fastest deliveries of quality products are essential to maintain a high brand image.
Managing Safety and Compliance Regulations:
Speeding and safety management are needed for high productivity. Safety management and following laws and compliance is a must to avoid damage to the assets and the lives of drivers. Safety management sensors relay information in real-time to fleet management software systems and help prevent infringement and loss of life.