Fleet Service Management: A Complete Guide
Industries such as transportation, manufacturing, construction, rental and lease, and food production and delivery rely primarily on transportation for business operations.
Depending on the size of the company and the coverage of its operations, the number of commercial vehicles they own may be significant. These company-owned vehicles are referred to as fleets, and they're typically high on the list of the most expensive assets of businesses.
For this reason, there's a need for systems and processes that allow for more efficient management of these vehicles and the entire process of service delivery. This process is referred to as fleet management.
Below, we'll take you through the intricacies of fleet management, its benefits, and the full-service offerings that can help streamline it.
What are Fleet Management Services?
Dedicated fleet management is performed by a team of experts that provide consulting and advisory services for businesses in regard to financial planning, operations, maintenance, and licensing of company fleets. This gives the core members of such businesses the liberty and time to focus on their core business activities while saving excessive costs.
The fleet maintenance process works just like service businesses do and is simply a partnership between a business and third-party fleet management companies to provide support for their fleet operations.
Every day, more and more vehicles are falling under the supervision of fleet management companies because of their significant benefits.
What Advantages Does Fleet Management Provide?
Fleet management can help optimize the vehicle management process within a company. There are several benefits that a business can gain from hiring a fleet management solution. Some of them include:
Fleet management, particularly with the use of software, provides an efficient layer of real-time data and visibility. With this information at their disposal, fleet managers have clear insights into fleet operations.
Fleet management makes use of GPS tracking sensors and other fleet management solutions to help fleet managers follow through on the activities of the drivers, which helps for route planning and other day-to-day operations.
Safer Vehicles and Operations
Fleet management helps business owners in the regular maintenance of vehicles, which will help in reducing the risk of breakdowns and accidents, thereby cutting down the total cost of operations.
Fleet managers can also ensure that at every point in time, there's somebody actively monitoring driver behavior, route optimization, and general vehicle health.
Several systems can be used to monitor engine diagnostics, preventive maintenance, fuel efficiency, and asset tracking, all of which ensure that drivers are in check with safety measures.
Optimal Driver Satisfaction
Driver satisfaction is an important factor that aids the operations of fleets, day in and day out. Fleet management systems can help ensure this by improving the experiences of the drivers with task automation and the alleviation of menial work.
Improved Cost Management
Without any doubt, drivers, vehicles, and fuel are costly expenses even for the most thriving businesses. These costs can be even more when there's no system in place to monitor them effectively. Fleet management helps streamline these operations, thereby helping businesses reduce these costs.
What is a Fleet Management System?
A fleet management system allows companies to manage their fleet of vehicles. This can include tracking the location of the vehicles, managing maintenance schedules, and more.
Fleet management systems can be helpful for companies that have a large number of vehicles, or that need to keep track of their vehicles in multiple locations. A system should include:
- Vehicle acquisition and asset utilization
- Fleet maintenance and performance
- Fuel management
- Driver management
- Preventative maintenance
- Accident costs and risk mitigation
- Reports and analytics
Essentially, fleet maintenance systems help business operations gain efficiency, thereby positioning your business for increased growth and competition.
Online vs. Offline Fleet Management Systems
There are two major classifications of fleet operations: offline fleet management systems and online fleet management systems.
In offline fleet management, the data of drivers, vehicles, and general management are collected, processed, and analyzed manually. Online fleet management is an alternative that came as a result of the implementation of technology. It allows for an improved, more efficient, and automated process.
We'll explore more about online fleet management software below.
What is Fleet Management Software?
A fleet management software is a vital central database for aiding fleet managers in the organization, coordination, and control of vehicles to increase efficiency. It can often be integrated with other tools like sensors, GPS, and telematics devices, to keep track of vehicle activities, driver behavior, maintenance needs, fuel spending, and more.
Essentially, a fleet management software should be able to do the following:
- Streamline all the services you require
- Reduce your administrative burden
- Give you access to specialized expertise
- Allow you to connect with other partners/programs
- Directly connect you with more information
In the development of fleet systems through the years, software solutions have played a significant role in ensuring the smooth running of operations. The use of the right IoT solution in fleet management gives companies the opportunities to connect their operations and track their assets remotely, helping them stay alert and gain real-time visibility of fleet operations.
Features of Fleet Management Software
Some of the features of common fleet management software include:
- Accounting, monitoring, and verifying expenses to ensure that budgets are met and fraud is identified
- Sensors that can track the fleet vehicles to ensure fuel management and organize driver behavior
- Maintenance history that not only reminds you of fleet maintenance but also provides approximate maintenance costs
- Real-time alerts for driver behavior, dangerous driving, vehicle downtime, and necessary information about the road behaviors of the drivers
- Hour tracking systems like the Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to ensure drivers stay on course with fleet policies
- Security management for vehicles and their drivers that can detect malfunction during fleet operations
Integrations Essential for Fleet Management
Fleet management operations require essential integrations to make the work not just faster, but easier to do. These integrations can be referred to as advanced business management platforms, and they include:
- Transportation management software
- GPS technology
- Smart fueling
- Documenting imaging
What Will the Future of Fleet Management Look Like?
With the continuous evolution of technology, here are some trends that we might see in fleet operations in the future:
- Augmented reality to integrate vehicle functions and give drivers useful information that can help them avoid unnecessary obstacles
- Autonomous fleet trucks (remote vehicles) that drive themselves
- Telematics and connected vehicles using data to build interconnected cars
Fleet management is significant to businesses today for the organization and coordination of work vehicles, all with the aim of improving efficiency, reducing costs, and complying with policies or regulations.
To learn more about dedicated fleet service management and how it can benefit your business, reach out to Ziing today. We seamlessly collaborate with our clients, developing an in-depth understanding of your business, its goals, and logistical requirements.