While many businesses are still using antiquated processes like spreadsheets to manage operations, these result in a lack of data visibility and overall inefficiency. To remain competitive, it is crucial fleets be able to track every aspect of their fleet, from maintenance and inspections to utilisation and costs. It may be due to this necessity that the adoption of fleet management software (FMS) is becoming increasingly common as fleet managers and decision-makers see the value in leveraging technology to improve fleet processes. “FMS is easy to use and converted us from spreadsheets of data into one easy-to-use system,” says Jason Smith, Travel Officer, Manchester Metropolitan University. “We use it to make fleet decisions and the data is so easy to interpret.”
FMS maximises efficiencies by enabling users to track and manage their fleet on a single platform with mobile capabilities to automate daily processes from end-to-end and streamline fleet management by collecting real-time data and housing it in an organised, easy-to-use software.
Conducting routine vehicle inspections helps fleets measure the health of assets while maintaining compliance requirements, ensuring the safe operation of fleets. To eliminate the communication bottlenecks and pencil-whipping often associated with paper inspections, fleets can conduct digital vehicle inspections in the field to address issues quickly and boost productivity.
FMS streamlines the inspection process by providing fleets with an easy way to conduct inspections on the go and quickly communicate issues through software using a mobile app. Inspection results are uploaded into FMS in real-time, and failed inspection items automatically trigger the service workflow by creating an issue and notifying the fleet manager.
Streamline Maintenance Workflows to Increase Uptime
Fleet maintenance is one of the largest ongoing expenses for fleets. To stay on budget and avoid unexpected repairs, it’s important to be proactive with maintenance. Managing fleet maintenance in a comprehensive FMS maximises uptime, lengthens vehicle lifespan, and ensures your assets are safe on the road. You can even tailor maintenance workflows and create strategies to streamline fleet processes. One of the best strategies to manage maintenance is to create preventive maintenance (PM) schedules for your assets. Creating configurable service schedules based on odometer readings or calendar intervals ensures your assets are serviced on time.
Managing vehicle issues promptly helps reduce downtime, but if you don’t have an easy way to track issues, your assets may be sent out on the job with critical problems. Using a FMS’s mobile app empowers your drivers to report issues on the spot so you can create work orders and schedule maintenance. With FMS, you can precisely track service by line item to stay organised and within your maintenance budget.
Your fleet may already be using some form of technology to increase efficiency. Tools like telematics devices and petrol cards automate data collection and provide you with increased visibility regarding asset performance. Some FMS also offer integrations with maintenance shops, allowing you to customise auto-approvals based on cost or service while providing consolidated billing.
Telematics devices automatically capture data like driver status and location to help you ensure your drivers are safe and productive while on their routes. Telematics devices can also automatically capture odometer readings and diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) to improve maintenance practices.
Petrol fleet cards provide information on fuel cost and consumption to help you track and manage fuel expenses. As petrol is one of the largest ongoing expenses for fleets, keeping costs low is crucial.
While these forms of technology are useful on their own, supplementing them with FMS extends the value of your data. Data from telematics devices and petrol cards automatically uploads into your FMS alongside maintenance and expense data, allowing you to get a complete understanding of your fleet’s efficiency.
Some fleets have even begun integrating other organisational technologies into FMS, such as development services, finance, and human resources software. Centralising all your data on a single platform is the best way to comprehensively track and analyse your operations. “We had serious problems with fleet compliance, cost controls, keeping assignments up to date, and cost analysis by operations, division, or customer,” says Ercilio D., Head of Operations, OTL Solutions. “With [FMS] we are able to manage a remotely deployed fleet of vehicles with ease.”
Measure Performance and Analyse Costs with Configurable Reports
You can’t improve what you can’t measure, and without a way to comprehensively view hard data regarding your fleet, it’s difficult to make the most informed decisions for your business. A lack of data visibility causes a decrease in fleet efficiency and negatively impacts your bottom line. Though you may have a large amount of data across multiple spreadsheets or even multiple technologies, it can be a challenge to surface, analyse, and share that data. FMS provides robust and configurable reporting for you to analyse every aspect of your fleet.
Flexible, configurable reports unlock insights into your fleet’s performance, health, and productivity. By using FMS, you can create reports on virtually any metric. You can also subscribe to your most needed reports or share reports with other stakeholders to keep everyone in the loop.
Tracking the asset performance and utilisation is one of the best ways to increase the lifespan of your assets and right-size your fleet. When you closely monitor how your assets are used, you’re less likely to run into unexpected breakdowns and other issues. Using data from inspections and service histories, you can generate reports that allow you to analyse performance.
One of the key metrics your fleet should be tracking is total cost of ownership (TCO). Having a clear and accurate understanding of your fleet’s operating costs ensures your fleet is staying on budget and maximising your return on investment (ROI). Fleet managers often have difficulties calculating TCO, as their data isn’t aggregated. With the help of FMS, fleets can automatically calculate TCO. FMS offers comprehensive expense reporting to give you a clear picture of your operating costs.
Having all your data on a single platform allows you to accurately measure fleet success and make any necessary improvements for a more efficient fleet.
Author: Rachael Plant, content marketing specialist for Fleetio. a fleet management software company that helps organisations track, analyse and improve their fleet operations.