Enterprise fleet management is a way to increase the efficiency, safety, and profitability of your business. It boils down to a modernised approach to management and integrating technology in key areas of your fleet operations. These include your telematics, GPS, video policies, routing and dispatch practices, and DOT compliance.
The secret to modernised and more efficient fleet management is telematics solutions. “Telematics” stands for the technology of storing and exchanging information via telecommunications devices, as well as via GPS tech integrated with computers and mobile phones.
To put it more simply, these are systems that help improve the operation of the fleet. They perform functions like monitoring driver habits, giving drivers advice in real time, and monitoring fuel consumption efficiency.
It can even track maintenance and alert the drivers and/ or fleet managers. That’s a massive help in reducing costs. For example, a transport company can partner with a car service in Sydney and bring their fleet drivers in for service mid-route, as soon as a problem is detected. Eliminating delays like that ensure that vehicle issues don’t have time to escalate into bigger, more expensive problems.
Any fleet enterprise must always consider compliance to their Department of Transportation’s regulations. However, it can all be a little too much to keep track of. Telematics technology makes fleet operations management far easier in this regard. The enterprise can set up automated items which will track all aspects of the issue.
This includes making sure that all drivers’ licences are up to date, managing paperwork pre-trip and post-trip, and staying on top fuel taxes and prices. In addition, fleet management has to maintain all of the records required by the DOT, so it’s much safer to entrust that to tech than to a human brain.
One important benefit is that the enterprise will also have a digital record of their chain of custody for any freight as well as a safe backup of any other important documents. All of this comes together to save money that might be otherwise lost to unnecessary driver downtime or government fines for overdue paperwork.
Video recordings come in several forms in the context of fleet management. One common example is dash cams: there are those that afford the drivers a better view of the outside of their vehicle, as well as those that provide the fleet managers with a view of the inside the cabin.
This is an essential setup to account for the possibility of accidents. It provides a much more well-rounded view of the cause of the incident, and also contributes to real time crisis assessment of both the vehicle’s and the driver’s condition. Comprehensive video records can dramatically reduce costs resulting from medical interventions or lawsuits related to the accident.
Routing and dispatch
Modern fleet management has come far from a list of required stops handed out to drivers before they set out. Nowadays, a fleet manager is required to figure out the best possible route between Point A and Point B – and then to adjust it in real time based on what the drivers encounter on the road.
Obstacles such as traffic jams, traffic accidents, road work, landslides, inclement weather, etc. can dramatically alter the original route. These alterations result in delays and loss of profit. That’s why a robust routing and dispatch system is necessary for any fleet enterprise.
In addition to avoiding obstacles, there’s the matter of meeting customer expectations. Good fleet management will account for delivery timeframes and optimal stops assignment. The manager must pair the right driver with the right vehicle, assign them the right route, and see how many stops each driver can cover while maintaining good time.
This builds a reputation for timely delivery and reliability. Such a reputation increases customer retention rates and sets the foundation for expanding business.
GPS trackers are nothing new: every smartphone nowadays has that function. In the context of fleet management, the device and software are adapted to a specific vehicle, e.g. a car or tuck. That way, a manager can know the whereabouts of each vehicle in their fleet in real time.
In addition, the manager can use the GPS system to collect data on the vehicle’s condition, the overall driving behaviour, and can monitor the productivity of the fleet. Having a real time inflow of this data enables the rectification of errors as soon as they appear. It also helps to reduce or eliminate wasted resources (i.e. fuel, time). This, in turn, reduces lost money, and that naturally results in increased profits.
Fleet management should always strive for increased efficiency. Integrating technology in these key aspects of your enterprise fleet operations streamlines the process, saves you money, and improves your bottom line.