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Fleet Management

How Fleet Management Improves Operations

Fleet management encompasses a variety of tasks for businesses that own or lease vehicles, with goals of sharpening efficiency and management. It involves controlling costs, improving productivity and managing risks. This concept spans several industries in the supply chain. Telematics, which involves data for predicting mechanical failure, helps reduce costs, keep equipment updated and minimize downtime. 

Streamlining Management of Vehicles

Successful management of work vehicles leads to a safer, more fuel-conscious workforce that prioritizes safety and efficiency. In addition to telematics, managing transportation issues is simplified by utilizing Fleet Management Software (FMS). IoT has played a big role in the development of management systems that offer these benefits:

  • Meets ELD/HOS Compliance - This system is designed to improve both fleet efficiency and profits while ensuring the company follows government regulations.
    • New legislation calls for fleets using electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track duty status. Managers need to be aware of how new laws and standards may affect the future of which types of vehicles comply.
    • HOS in the Cab and Back Office
    • Helps support safety programs to limit liability
    • Influences drivers to follow company policy
  • Influence Safer Fleet Driving - Reduce accidents and fines by studying analytics on driving behaviors related to safety. It will ultimately provide a safer working environment and help save money on insurance.
    • Get metrics on driver performance and safety reporting
    • Provide navigation for trucks
    • Manage driver ID systems
    • Integrates with real-time navigation, hours of service (HOS) and Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR)
    • With real-time navigation, the driver is less likely to get lost, saving the company time and money.
    • Minimal interaction with the software is involved so that the driver can concentrate on the road.
  • Improve Fleet Productivity - Improve customer communications and workflows to help reach efficiency and productivity goals. A major key to productivity is using less time and people to do more work, which can be achieved with automation, particularly for redundant tasks.
    • Use messaging, media portal and in-cab scanning to improve communication with drivers.
    • Fleets can link to the back office using Software Development Kits (SDKs) and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
    • Track the progress of deliveries in real-time.
    • Evaluate workers on performance to pinpoint where weaknesses exist.
    • Using e-logs, drivers can access important data from their mobile device.
    • Data is collected from the moment the driver steps on the lot to the point of the delivery destination. E-logs track date, time, location and odometer reading. The driver checks in to report status and problems. 
  • Boost Fleet Efficiency - Reduce costs on operating maintenance by planning routine inspections
    • Receive notifications for proactive maintenance to ensure vehicles are safe to operate
    • Reduce fuel costs by auditing fuel efficiency 
    • Track data on trucks throughout the fleet
    • Determine maintenance schedules for trucks
    • Using FMS, the manager can monitor and manage route optimization and maintain driver compliance with policies.
    • By streamlining customer service, fleets can improve the customer experience, which creates more repeat business.
    • Telematics can reduce waste and carbon emissions.
    • Route optimization tools can be used to find alternate routes in order to meet delivery times.

Understanding Telematics for Fleet Management

About 30 vehicles are typical for the average company that operates medium-sized fleets. Many of these companies are still unaware of telematics, which could help streamline operations. Some managers of fleets may assume that only big delivery services use telematics. The truth is, the software platform can be used by a wide range of businesses for making operation of vehicles more efficient.

Telematics is not necessarily a complex technology to learn, particularly if it's used for simple monitoring in the cloud. The system allows administrators to view fleet information on a user-friendly interface. One of its basic functions is the capability of tracking engine diagnostics. It's also very useful for visualizing an entire fleet on a screen and analyzing data that leads to precision decision-making on availability and maintenance. 

So technically speaking, deploying telematics can be a simple process, depending on the situation. It doesn't require special knowledge or skills, for example, to connect a 16 pin plug-and-play data collector with an OBD2 port. From there, administrators can access cloud data from multiple devices. Software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) allow for easy integration with your existing fleet management platform.

Telematics Is Changing Commercial Transportation

A few ways telematics has revolutionized fleet management of commercial vehicles are improving safety and efficiency. Regardless of the type of vehicle, it must be inspected and serviced periodically to make sure it runs in top condition. Operating a big tractor trailer without these routine inspections can lead to a big tie-up on city streets if the machine breaks down. With full use of telematics, operators can know the operating status of any vehicle.

The shift toward fleet management services is opening doors for new IoT-based markets. Using the cloud, services such as GPS tracking and telematics are essential keys to running a smooth fleet operation. Cloud services can be accessed on any desktop or mobile device, allowing employees on the field to get updates on fleet information. Some companies invest in customized apps to manage fleets.

Get Started with Fleet Management Today

Fleet managers use telematics and fleet management system to gain access to advanced vehicle diagnostic reporting, asset tracking and driver insights. Studying analytics generated from the reports can reduce waste while improving productivity.