In recent years we have seen the demand for transportation services rise at an incredible rate. Whether this relates to the movement of goods, shipping packages to customers, or even simply passenger transport, the demand for getting vehicles on the road is absolutely enormous. Far from any signs of a slow down, this demand is only set to increase; with some figures estimating that demand for transportations services will triple by 2050.
This might seem like good news for the transportation sector – but such demand also comes with inevitable challenges. For example, given the expected rise in demand for services, it is natural that any business with a fleet is always looking for ways to maximise its efficiency, productivity and effectiveness.
In doing so, there has been an industry-wide adoption of a range of technological services. Some uses of software are on a more general scale, such as fleet management – but others provide a more specific purpose. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the benefits to a smart digital strategy when it comes to managing your fleet.
Saving on fuel costs
With fuel costs rising enormously, one of the most effective ways for transport businesses to save money is to bring down much they spend. Of course, this is easier said than done, but there are now pieces of technology and software that can make the challenge possible.
A good example of this is technology that allows vehicles to communicate and organise formations between a number of vehicles. This method is called platooning, and it can save up to 7% on fuel costs.
If you can find a way to reduce such a significant cost simply by implementing a piece of technology, this is definitely worth it. It is a key example of where putting the technology in place actually pays for itself very quickly.
Investing in electric vehicles
Not all investments are as clear cut. One issue that has been hanging over the head of the transportation industry for a long time is that of electric vehicles. Clearly for transport businesses there are potential advantages for making the switch to electric vehicles, but it does come with huge upfront investment.
One of the advantages in moving to electric vehicles could be that it provides your company with an opportunity to rethink how its fleet operates entirely. Legacy systems can be a problem if they are kept for too long without innovation and change – so making the move to electric vehicles could be the ideal chance to move on in more ways than one.
A crucial benefit of digital fleet management is the advances in analysis and the complete nature of the data available. Paper records rarely provide a full and accurate assessment of how vehicles operate.
Having this kind of data to analyse can help you to understand a lot of how your team operates so that you can provide feedback and find better ways of working.
Regularly test your system
With all of these potential technological advances being brought in, companies can look forward to massive operational benefits against competitors. However, of course, alongside the positives, we must also face the negatives of change on this scale. Indeed, for an increasing number of businesses with fleets, the cybersecurity of their operation is becoming a serious concern.
With more software in use and a greater number of connected devices being utilised, there is inevitably a greater potential attack surface for cybercriminals. So, if you are choosing to make these changes for the benefit of your business, it is important to take cybersecurity precautions at the same time.
One of the key things that every business with a digital strategy relating to their fleet should do is make use of external penetration testers. Penetration testing is a type of cybersecuirty assessment – professionals check for vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could be exploited by cybercrimianls during an attack. It is a key investment if you are putting money into an upgraded digital system.
Prepare for those things beyond your control
It is important to remember that you can’t always control everything, and this is certainly in relation to digitising your fleet. For example, it was revealed that over the past five years, Highways England has lost over 125 connected devices – many of which contain private information.
Instead, you should focus on what you can control; a simple and effective digital system that is properly secured against cybercrime.
A smart digital strategy means having everything in place from the software that allows you management of your day-to-day operations, to the programs collecting and analysing data on how the fleet is operating. Having this kind of data and the set-up to capture it can provide you with a huge operational advantage over competitors.
Author: Annie Button, Freelance Writer