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Why Improve Your Fleet Management System: 6 Things You Need to Know

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What is Fleet Management? 

Businesses across all industries rely on commercial trucks to move people and goods on a daily basis, from your local oil and gas provider to cross-country delivery services. A fleet of commercial vehicles is referred to as a fleet, and it is often one of a company’s most expensive assets.

WebFleet management — systems, processes, and technologies that work together to handle the entire lifecycle of corporate vehicles — is thus required. “Fleet management is an administrative technique that allows organizations to organize and coordinate work vehicles with the goal of improving productivity, lowering expenses, and ensuring compliance with government requirements,” according to TechTarget.

Fleet management requires:

  • People: A Fleet Manager or a Fleet Management Company
  • Technology: Fleet Management Software, Vehicle Dash Cameras, Vehicle Sensors, Telematics, and GPS
  • Data: Information Gathered By the Fleet Management Technology, Such as Engine Diagnostics and Driver Behavior

What is fleet management software?

Fleet management software is a central database that assists fleet managers in controlling, organizing, and coordinating the utilization of vehicles.

Third-party solutions, such as maintenance providers, fuel cards, bookkeeping, and more, can be incorporated into the program. The program maintains track of information relating to vehicle diagnostics, driving habits, maintenance needs, fuel consumption, and more when connected to sensors, GPS, and telematics devices. The following are some of the features of fleet management software:

  • Accounting is the monitoring and verification of expenses in order to detect fraud and manage budgets.
  • Excessive Idling Can Be Detected by Vehicle Sensors, Reducing Excessive Fuel Spend
  • Maintenance: The software may keep track of maintenance history and provide service reminders.
  • Real-Time Alerts: Drivers can be notified of unsafe driving behaviors via in-cab alerts.
  • Hours Drivers can stay compliant with hours of service by using built-in electronic logging devices (ELDs)
  • Managers can detect where vehicles are and whether they have been driven after hours.

6 Benefits of Fleet Management

Businesses that use effective fleet management systems, such as a fleet manager and fleet management software, profit from the following:

  •   Clear Operational Visibility

Fleet management software offers a robust layer of historical and real-time data. With this information, fleet managers may acquire a comprehensive understanding of their operations and make changes as needed. For example, did a driver utilize a business car after hours to go to a certain restaurant? All of that data will be transmitted back to your fleet management software through the GPS sensors on the vehicle.

  • Safer, More Reliable Vehicles

Fleet management software offers a robust layer of historical and real-time data. With this information, fleet managers may acquire a comprehensive understanding of their operations and make changes as needed. For example, did a driver utilize a business car after hours to go to a certain restaurant? All of that data will be transmitted back to your fleet management software through the GPS sensors on the vehicle.

  • Improved Driver Safety

Safer automobiles contribute to safer drivers, as long as behaviors are constantly monitored. Engine diagnostics and vehicle tracking can be used by fleet managers to determine whether drivers are braking, accelerating, or rounding curves too forcefully. Tuff Shed, Inc. witnessed a 300 percent reduction in speeding incidents after incorporating telematics into its fleet management operations.

  • Higher Driver Satisfaction

You will improve your drivers’ day-to-day experiences by using standardized fleet management methods. Many manual labor jobs, such as tracking hours, are automated by fleet management, which can assist relieve some mundane tasks from their day.

  • Optimized Productivity

Delays, idling, and downtime reduces driver productivity and can raise operating expenses. Fleet managers in the office may be proactive by checking idle time, driver behavior, and driving trends. This can also assist lower vehicle emissions and saving on fuel expenses, which account for 60% of a company’s entire fleet operating budget on average.

  • Better Cost Management

Drivers, automobiles, and gasoline are all pricey. They may be considerably more expensive if they are not controlled and reported on in the same way that other firm finances are. The goal of fleet management is to streamline fleet operations, which eventually helps organizations improve their cost management.

What Does a Fleet Manager Do?

In a word, companies hire fleet managers to manage the lifetime of corporate cars. Indeed, fleet managers “operate alongside other department managers to guarantee that deliveries and distributes are performed on time and that the necessary vehicles are accessible and running as required.” In addition, a fleet manager monitors delivery schedules and ensures that the department stays within its budget.”

An in-house fleet manager frequently wears multiple hats; fleet management duties may fall to procurement, operations, finance, or other experts. The list of tasks below demonstrates that fleet management is frequently more than a full-time job:

Challenges Faced by Fleet Managers

Measurable metrics are an essential aspect of fleet management. However, managing vehicle data and translating it into relevant insights might be tough for someone who is juggling other work obligations. Dispersed data sources simply complicate matters, and the more sources there are, the more difficult the processing gets.

Once the data has been analyzed and a basic concept of what improvements need to be made, fleet managers must obtain clearance from several departments because they wear numerous hats. This takes time and makes it difficult to reconcile immediate demands (driver safety, fuel cost) with long-term goals (vehicle acquisitions, technology updates).

How Fleet Management is Evolving

Through the use of engine sensors, automation, and new technologies aimed to streamline operations, the Internet of Things (IoT) has resulted in more connected, safer automobiles.

This new technology brings with it a slew of new advantages, including cost savings, increased safety, and enhanced compliance. However, when fleets add more vehicles and rules change, the volume of data increases, necessitating more administrative attention from fleet managers.

Fleet managers with cross-departmental duties are not always able to be active in these activities in a hands-on manner. Analyzing data and recognizing chances for improved efficiency need certain abilities that might be difficult to expect from someone who wears several hats, which is why many organizations opt to work with a fleet management company.

The more of them there are, the more difficult the processing gets.

Once the data has been analyzed and a basic concept of what improvements need to be made, fleet managers must obtain clearance from several departments because they wear numerous hats. This takes time and makes it difficult to reconcile immediate demands (driver safety, fuel cost) with long-term goals (vehicle acquisitions, technology updates).

How to Find a Fleet Management Company

Although in-house fleet managers have a lot of responsibility, you may also hire a fleet management business to assist you.

The goal is to choose the finest fleet management firm for your specific requirements. Your company can profit from the following with the appropriate partner:

  • Administrative Burden Reduction
  • Access to Specialized Knowledge
  • Relationships with Vendor Partnerships and Volume Discounts
  • Direct connections to OEMs for the most recent and up-to-date production information
  • Streamlined Services from a Single Provider

Here are a few key questions to ask any fleet management firm you are thinking about partnering with:

What is the quality of their customer service?

You want to deal with a firm that will answer the phone if you have a problem. You should never have to rely on an 800 number. If the fleet management firm cares about their clients, they will supply a direct phone number to your assigned account manager.

What Kinds of Services Do They Provide?

Every fleet is unique. What your firm need may be very different from that of your neighbor down the street, and not every fleet management company will provide the same services.

Do they provide contract scalability?

Not all fleet management companies provide flexible financing. Check ahead of time to ensure that any fleet management firm you are considering has car lease structures that work for your organization.

What is the nature of their transition strategy?

Changing fleet providers or transitioning from an in-house manager to a vendor is a time-consuming procedure. It is critical to define your expectations so that you understand what the transition process will include and how it will be managed.

What Do Their Customers Have to Say?

Check Google and other comparable websites for online reviews, or ask for client references. You may also solicit suggestions from your network. The company’s website may provide case studies and reviews, but it will only spotlight clients who had great experiences.

Case Study: Moving to a Fleet Management Company

A firm with a 240-unit fleet was spending too much money on the engine and electrical repairs before collaborating with a fleet management provider.

When the firm started working with Merchants Fleet, regulations were put in place to verify that any servicing was really essential, and all repair expenses were strictly monitored. Preventative maintenance methods were also implemented on a regular basis to handle vehicle faults proactively.

The program took three months to launch, with favorable effects appearing almost immediately. By the conclusion of the first year, the following will have occurred:

  • Maintenance expenses have been reduced by 31%.
  • The use of maintenance services has increased by 10%.
  • Not Sure Where to Begin? Please contact Merchants Fleet.

Merchants Fleet has been the industry leader in adaptable fleet management solutions for organizations in practically every industry for over 50 years. We are more than simply a fleet management company; we work with our clients as partners, offering best-in-class fleet solutions and unrivaled client service.

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