Fleet management can be a huge task. Most carriers run large fleets of vehicles cross country. Even small companies have a minimum of 8 to 10 commercial vehicles that they use for local deliveries and services. At such times, managing a fleet can be a cumbersome task. Fleet management encompasses everything from fuel usage to repairs, warranties to spare parts check, and safety to compliance issues.
Fuel costs can skyrocket and amount to nearly 20% to 25% of average daily expenses. At such times, optimizing routes and effectively managing fuel consumption become an everyday necessity. Idling and traffic congestions can also affect the fuel used. Preventative maintenance and reducing the time spent between deliveries and drop off points can also add to the growing list of expenses. Keeping track of the maintenance and service dates for all vehicles can also be an arduous task.
Most companies employ at least one fleet manager and dispatcher to take care of all these aspects of fleet management. However, it is possible to automate the entire fleet management process with the help of fleet management software. Fleet Management Software (FMS) helps provide insightful data about GPS tracking, fuel consumption, Hours of Service (HOS), maintenance, safety, compliance, accidents, and traffic routing.
Let us look at why companies should invest in Fleet Management Software to manage the fleet.
A comprehensive system from a well-reputed company helps keep track of all aspects of managing a fleet. It takes the pressure off human management and intervention and gives accurate and up to date reports on all aspects of managing a fleet. Fleet Management Software (FMS) helps save money in the long term and increases productivity in dispatchers, fleet managers, human resource personnel, and drivers. It also enables the timely delivery of all drop schedules.
Fleet management software transparently presents data with intuitive details that may be overlooked at other times. Human intervention is minimized, while technological advancement helps increase all fleet-related data and analysis. A sound FMS system helps identify idle times, fuel inefficiencies, safety gaps, decrease in productivity, gaps in operation, routing, GPS tracking, Dashcam operations, compliance, accidents, and increases customer satisfaction through timely deliveries of all goods and services.
Which Features should be included in a Good Fleet Management Software?
A useful Fleet Management Software (FMS) should contain all the necessary aspects to help control and manage the fleet efficiently.
Hours of Service (HOS) compliance: HOS regulations help limit the number of hours that a driver is allowed to continue driving a commercial vehicle without stopping for a break or rest. This mandatory rest break is essential to protect the driver from feeling drowsy and sleepy while on the road to avoid accidents. The FMS helps keep track of drivers and HOS compliance to control the amount of time each driver spends while driving.
Real-time data about the travel time after a driver change is as crucial as recording driver credentials. Duty status and complete electronic access to all records are possible only with the help of an excellent Fleet Management Software.
Route Performance: Fleet managers are always looking for ways and means to reduce costs. Tracking software like the one present in the FMS helps figure out the most optimum routes for the fleet taking into consideration all traffic congestions, weather changes, and issues with accidents and delays. The FMS system analyzes real-time data to formulate the most optimized route for all commercial vehicles in the fleet and ensure timely deliveries across all drop points.
With the help of the Fleet Management Software, you can also manage the estimated delivery times, route completion times, re-route allocations, and enable nearby drivers to complete other tasks. Once the route is complete, the FMS software also helps generate a report about the route optimization to compare past performances for future planning and operations.
Fuel and Idling:
Fuel is a significant expense for all fleets, even more so than operational costs, maintenance fees, and fines. Fleet managers
should, ideally, help you optimize fuel consumption and make all the vehicles fuel-efficient. However, this cannot always be controlled easily. A fleet management software helps lower the idling time by tracking actual fuel consumption. Idling can increase the cost of running a fleet, leading to an increase in vehicular maintenance and increasing emissions in the environment. The FMS system can send live reports and updates about fuel levels, idle times, estimated escalated costs, and much more. You can also track the efficiency of fuel by sorting the data according to the driver. Some drivers are known to cut corners, while some are honest about their work.
What are the Benefits of Effective Fleet Management?
Since fleet management can be complicated, the fleet management software system should wholly integrate all other software applications like human resources, invoicing, payroll, and routing. Good quality fleet management software systems help decrease human intervention to benefit the entire fleet through an automatic process.
- Accurate record-keeping: Effective fleet management is only possible with correct records and compliance. Records like vehicle maintenance logs, licensing expiration dates, warranty dates, fuel consumption, and much more needs active tracking and upkeep. Record-keeping becomes much more comfortable with the help of fleet management software.
- Data analysis: Data is only as relevant as the analysis. With the correct study, it is possible to predict driver delays, delivery schedules, unexpected fuel costs, and other data that can be detrimental to the overall health of the fleet. The data helps extrapolate a viable solution for all issues relating to fleet management.
- Compliance: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict rules and regulations regarding Hours Of Service (HOS), unsafe driving, driver fitness, vehicle maintenance, crash indicators, cargo-related concerns, and controlled substances and alcohol. All transport carriers must meet these basic parameters. The Fleet Management Software helps keep track of all compliance requirements and ensures that the company and drivers are safe and protected at all times with early tracking and alerts.