How the New Generation of Fleet Management Solutions is Helping to Improve Company & Business Productivity.
One of the essential duties of a fleet manager is to track productivity levels. Whether you’re handling freight transport for a large company or a small business, it’s vital that your fleet is running at optimal efficiency. This way, you won’t feel the effects of rising fuel costs so keenly and you’ll ensure great customer service while experiencing a variety of other benefits.
We’ve collaborated with the specialists at MICHELIN Connected Fleet to explain how the new generation of fleet management solutions has brought innovative methods for improving the productivity of companies and businesses.
What is Fleet Productivity?
Fleet productivity can be simply defined as a basic measurement of employee work output. Or more widely as, the amount of work that can be completed by a fleet while expending the least amount of resources possible. And so, a fleet is considered to be productive when its resource use is outweighed proportionately by the degree of work that is achieved.
A fleet’s productivity is measured by taking into account a number of monetary factors. These include variable costs such as those for fuel, vehicle maintenance/repairs, and labour, in addition to fixed costs like the purchasing and leasing of vehicles.
It is the aim of the fleet manager to keep these expenditures as minimised as possible while maximising employee work output. Evidently, maintaining positive productivity standards is of high priority and, as such, requires significant attention to detail regarding administration. It’s for this reason that new fleet management technologies and methods have seen an exponentially growing interest, especially in the past couple of years.
Telematics & Fleet Management Software
Although telematics and fleet management software aren’t relatively new in and of themselves, they have each been employed in singularly advanced ways recently in order to satisfy the desire for more modernised fleet management systems.
Today, telematics has the status of being a staple for any company or business that makes use of vehicle fleets. It comes in the form of a device that is installed onto individual vehicles where it then collects salient information before transmitting it to cloud storage through a cellular network. The data recorded and reported typically comprises GPS for the vehicle, fuel consumption rates, vehicle condition, load weight, breaking intensity, and panic signalling. The intricate level of real-time tracking that telematics provides is invaluable and has begun to even include a video feed for added monitoring.
Fleet Management Software
Fleet management software is likewise an essential tool, distinctly covering the more logistical side of fleet management. It concerns storing particular information in a database, generally consisting of vehicle acquisition, vehicle specifications, vehicle history, driver profiles, service scheduling, and overall operating expenses. As you can see, the data that fleet management software typically holds is more generalised, relative to the individual specificity that you get with telematics.
An Integrated Solution
The fact that both of the above have their inherent usefulness and aren’t mutually exclusive has paved the way for fleet management systems that integrate each of them seamlessly. In turn, giving fleet managers a wider and more comprehensive view of their fleet without any limitations. Alongside this, some companies now offer KPI analysis, a centralised API approach, and consistent professional advice to help fleet managers and drivers alike along the way.
How do Fleet Management Solutions Improve Productivity?
Having a fleet management system in place that gives you a total view of your fleet down to individual vehicles is obviously very important. After all, it’s a fundamental task of the fleet manager to make sure that they are properly informed on these matters. Just as important, however, is how the information provided is responded to.
A significant cutting of costs is one of the foremost differences that will be apparent subsequent to changing your fleet management style. This is noticeable firstly in fuel expenditure reduction. By being able to easily see the most effective routes your vehicles can take, you can then plan these in advance so that your drivers won’t cover an unnecessary amount of mileage. Additionally, you’ll know when they are braking too hard or accelerating too much, therefore allowing you to notify them to change their driving behaviour as soon as possible. Considering that fuel costs make up around a quarter of monetary resources for a fleet this represents noticeable savings.
By the same token, being aware of what driving behaviours might be detrimental to the vehicle itself, or whether it is in a poor condition already will make sure that you can arrange maintenance work promptly. By which means, avoiding substantial fleet costs that may have otherwise been prevented.
Although fuel usage is intrinsic to overall efficiency, it isn’t the only indicator of a soundly functioning fleet. Since you’ll have real-time access to routes, alongside the ability to sensibly plan them, you’ll also be able to see at which points in their journey your drivers may encounter performance obstacles such as bad traffic jams and lane closures. If you know of possible interruptions beforehand then you can redirect your drivers’ routes and so avoid idling which, again, saves fuel.
An advanced fleet management system will also afford fleet managers a certain degree of automation for administrative processes, such as the filling out of expense forms and other tedious office-based paperwork jobs. If you have more time to attend to your fleet specifically then, naturally, your time will be spent more productively.
As much as the ability to monitor driver behaviour reduces costs, so too does it decrease dangerous driving habits and prevent potential accidents. A driver might be inclined to push a vehicle beyond its limits, leading to serious accidents and collisions which is, of course, a paramount risk that should be avoided at all costs. Having cases like these logged with pertinent dash cam footage will ensure that safe driving behaviours are reinforced in the future. Although vehicle wear and tear due to careless driving will undeniably adversely affect fleet productivity, it may result in more serious consequences.
This latter point might seem plain to see, but it’s important to remember that focus is easily lost after long hours on the roads. Taking necessary precautions by having preventative measures implemented within vehicles, as well as arranging regular driver safety training routines will have benefits that extend outwards from the fleet.
In the face of rising fuel costs it’s natural to feel a sense of insecurity, whatever the context. We hope, however, that this article has shown you how the new generation of fleet management solutions are working to combat modern-day productivity barriers for companies and businesses.