A fleet management system is a critical component of efficient logistics and fulfillment operations. These software platforms are often connected to in-vehicle GPS tracking systems and onboard diagnostic devices (OBD) to provide a regular stream of telematics data. This setup allows fleet managers and dispatchers to optimize their logistics fleets without compromising delivery quality or creating administrative distractions.
When successfully deployed, a fleet management system should add value by streamlining existing practices to generate greater fleet efficiencies. In this post, we’ll discuss five key benefits of using a fleet management system. These benefits are enabled by the unique features of the software system, with the overall value being a decrease in cost and an increase in overall efficiency. Understanding these factors can help during the assessment phase as you examine the cost and benefits of fleet management software to determine an expected return on investment (ROI).
1. Lower Operational Costs
One of the greatest benefits that a fleet management system provides is reduced costs throughout your logistics operation. This is accomplished in several ways including monitoring real-time vehicle data to optimize routes. By finding more efficient routes for each trip it may be possible to reduce idle time and the overall length that must be traveled.
Fuel consumption can also be controlled by keeping detailed records and identifying the best times and places for refueling. An additional feature of many fleet management systems is workflow automation, which can result in additional cost savings. Having immediate access to all fleet cost information gives your team an excellent platform for controlling expenses.
2. Improved Driver Safety
Your vehicle drivers will be spending much of their day on the road traveling between cargo pickup and drop-off points. Many of today’s fleet management systems are integrated directly with your trucks or vans to provide real-time driving data. This is an incredible advantage to fleet managers who can set up real-time alerts in the event of any driving hazards or traffic disruptions.
Some vehicle monitoring devices can also be attached to in-cab dashboard cameras to share real-time video feeds from the road. The goal of these driver-focused tools is to increase collaboration between drivers and centralized logistics planners. Monitoring driver behavior can also help influence training programs and the creation of recommendations for managing unique situations that a driver may encounter.
3. Extended Vehicle Life
Fleet management systems can be used to track the entire lifecycle of each vehicle. The use of asset lifecycle best practices can help ensure that each truck or van is getting the right type of attention at the right time. Tracking hardware installed within each vehicle can be used to transmit telematics data to your fleet management system for a more complete view of vehicle performance and operating parameters. Optimizing your maintenance work using this data can lead to less truck downtime and an overall increase in fleet utilization.
Tagging vehicles and other assets with durable barcode labels or equipment nameplates aid in compliance (discussed in more detail below) and allow for quick and accurate documentation of maintenance, repairs, and other asset data. Because fleet vehicles and other assets are exposed to outdoor environmental conditions, choosing durable nameplates and asset tags is key to ensuring that they remain readable throughout the lifespan of your assets. Metalphoto® anodized aluminum is an ideal substrate for equipment nameplates and asset tags, offering exceptional durability for extreme environmental conditions and outdoor exposure with an expected outdoor lifespan of 20 years.
4. Compliance Readiness
Fleet management systems are an excellent resource for managing all your fleet data. This can include information related to vehicle maintenance, repairs, inspections, and certifications. Having this information digitized and available to your entire staff makes it very easy to find important reference materials when they are needed. These systems also support electronic inspections in many cases, allowing your field team to quickly verify truck performance from anywhere. Digitized records and a complete audit trail are especially important for maintaining compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
5. Business Intelligence
One final benefit of fleet management systems is the use of advanced reporting to improve business intelligence. Today’s software can use data visualization, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) to display your fleet information in innovative ways. This can include the use of customized reports that can be shared with staff, executives, and even customers. Business intelligence can also be used to improve the ways you interact with your current metrics by identifying better ways to measure performance. A fleet management system can also be connected to other software platforms through API integrations or connected to Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to collect additional data points.
A fleet management system is a powerful software tool that can add significant value to a fleet operation. These programs save time by automating routine work processes and collecting vehicle information in a single location. Over time, many businesses find that these fleet management systems become the centralized platform for their entire team and an indispensable part of day-to-day operations. We hope you consider these key benefits as you assess your own fleet management and software needs.