Fleet monitoring is an essential process that empowers fleet managers to make better decisions. Fleet monitoring, when done properly, gives managers greater control over the fleet and results in lower vehicle operating costs and less wasted employee time. Effective fleet monitoring also provides real-time information that assists managers in making better decisions using accurate data. Overall, fleet monitoring best practices result in overall improved efficiency.
As with any business process, there are several schools of thought on fleet monitoring. Consistently following fleet monitoring best practices will enable your organization to ensure fast, effective fleet management, safe, productive vehicle use, a healthier bottom line, and improved customer satisfaction. That’s why we have rounded up four of the best fleet monitoring tips and best practices from industry leaders and authorities and share them here, for your convenience:
- Use a GPS Tracking System for Real-Time Visibility into Your Fleet
- Register Vehicle Assets in an Asset Management System
- Adopt a Consistent Maintenance Schedule and Plan for Preventive Maintenance
- Use the Most Relevant Metrics
1. Use a GPS Tracking System for Real-Time Visibility into Your Fleet
There are several benefits to using a GPS tracking system to monitor your fleet. The technology gives you the accurate location of each of your fleet vehicles and makes it easier for you to meet deadlines and customer expectations. You’ll also be able to reduce operating expenses by choosing the best and shortest routes, which also leads to reduced fuel consumption and overtime costs. Fleet managers who use GPS tracking systems also have the power to divert vehicles from busy streets, construction, and accidents in real time to save time and reduce downtime.
2. Register Vehicle Assets in an Asset Management System
When you have a large fleet, it becomes difficult to monitor vehicle maintenance, purchase orders, warranties, and other documentation. If you want the most accurate picture of your vehicle assets and how well your equipment performs, you need to track them throughout their lifespan. This is where an asset management system comes in. This technology keeps track of all critical information relating to your assets and lets you know which vehicles drain your resources, which departments operate efficiently, and when to service or replace your assets. You’ll also save money on those repairs because your asset management system will alert you to the service and repairs that fall within the scope of warranties.
One option for monitoring your fleet is using an enterprise asset management (EAM) system. These systems also have capabilities for creating parts inventories, warranties, and driver data. Many organizations also rely on their EAM to track an asset’s service history know when to service, replace, or retire it. And, the database created in your EAM system provides the foundation for an effective maintenance strategy.
3. Adopt a Consistent Maintenance Schedule and Plan for Preventive Maintenance
Monitoring your fleet vehicles’ maintenance and service needs and planning for preventive maintenance is a must to keep your company up and running and your customers happy. Otherwise, you will run your fleet until vehicles break down, and then you will have to deal with longer periods of downtime. It makes much better business sense to be proactive about maintenance and preventive maintenance to keep your equipment and vehicles in the best possible shape.
Regular fleet maintenance includes oil changes, brake system maintenance, and other system checks and tasks. Proper vehicle maintenance boosts your productivity and efficiency, especially when you schedule the maintenance and can account for the downtime of certain vehicles at various times. The costs associated with maintenance are more affordable than unanticipated repairs, and vehicles that receive regular maintenance run more efficiently and result in lower fuel costs. Well-maintained fleets also help drivers avoid fines when stopped by law enforcement for safety checks.
Monitoring your fleet’s maintenance needs also decreases risk to your drivers. Faulty vehicles can lead to accidents that injure or kill drivers, especially when the brakes fail, steering systems malfunction, and engines stall. Monitoring maintenance and adopting a preventive maintenance plan protects your drivers and your vehicles.
4. Use the Most Relevant Metrics
Data and metrics help organizations manage their fleets as productively and effectively as possible. When you monitor progress using data and metrics, you need to ensure you measure the most relevant pieces of business information to make your insights as useful as possible. Some of the most important metrics for you to monitor include cost per mile, total cost trend, and operating cost summary. The best strategy is to monitor and measure specific data that directly impacts your fleet.
Once you have these metrics and data, be sure to document all your information digitally. Your enterprise asset management system is the place for keeping digital invoices, work orders, receipts, photos, employee records, product manuals, and other important documents. It also helps if you choose a cloud-based system that you can access from any device, anytime, anywhere.
Utilizing fleet monitoring best practices will benefit your organization in nearly countless ways. Make sure you use a GPS tracking system for real-time visibility into your fleet, register vehicle assets in an asset management system, adopt a consistent maintenance schedule and plan for preventive maintenance, and use the most relevant metrics to ensure your fleet’s efficiency and productivity, a better bottom line, and happy customers.