Fleet management is one of the core functions of any logistics company. Companies that operate large fleets of vehicles need to have easy access to a variety of data, ranging from the location of their vehicles to the Return on Investment (ROI) each vehicle is providing the company. This data is crucial to the functioning of the company as it helps fleet managers make crucial decisions like the required fleet size at any point or how to redirect resources to meet requirements.
A fleet management software makes tracking all this data easy and puts it all into a concise report that is easy to understand. These software applications are now being used widely across the logistics industry improving efficiencies across the board.
What is Fleet Management?
Fleet management is the process of functioning a fleet of commercial vehicles in a proper fashion. This is an administrative approach to allow companies to improve efficiencies, reduce overheads, and remain compliant with government regulations. There are multiple facets to fleet management which include:
Monitoring Fleet Activity to Improve Efficiencies
A large part of fleet management is monitoring the activities of the fleet. This monitoring is done through telematics like GPS systems and Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). The idea behind this is to improve efficiencies by streamlining the routes and diverting resources to where they are more required.
Monitoring Driver Behavior to Reduce Fatigue
Ensuring the drivers remain in good health and are not being overworked is another crucial component of fleet management. This function reduces inefficiencies and keeps the vehicles running on time.
Calculating and Reporting the ROI of Each Vehicle in the Fleet
Fleet management also requires calculating the ROI on each vehicle to better allocate resources and improve the ROI of the fleet as a whole.
Maintain Compliance with Industry and Government Regulations
Government and industry regulations keep changing according to the requirements of the marketing and changing policies. Ensuring the fleet is compliant with these regulations is a crucial function of fleet maintenance to avoid penalties and other fees.
What is Fleet Management Software (FMS)?
Fleet Management Software (FMS) allows companies to accomplish tasks related to the operation and management of a fleet of commercial vehicles. A good FMS will encompass all the functions of fleet management like:
A good FMS will be able to manage all the tasks related to the vehicles in your fleet. These include;
- Fleet inventory
Recording the number of types of vehicles the fleet comprises of.
- Vehicle Documentation
Recording and providing updates on vehicle documentation like registration, licensing, Ministry of Transport test and taxes to be paid.
Providing data on vehicle insurance and when they need to be renewed.
- Cost Management
Recording and providing data on the ROI per vehicle, allowing the company to manage the cost of operating the fleet.
- Driver Documentation
Keeping a record of each vehicle and its driver. Ensuring the documentation required by the driver is up-to-date, such as their Driver’s License and other special documents required to operate commercial vehicles.
- Penalty Points Log
Maintaining data relating to any penalty points or other infringements against a driver’s license.
- Booking Systems
This allows fleet managers to see which drivers are working and which are free and which vehicles they can use.
- Passenger Safety
This data relates to commercial vehicles that are used to transport people not freight. The data logged here relates to customer feedback and safety.
In the unfortunate event that a vehicle meets with an accident the software will keep a record of the fines and will appropriate the costs to the driver.
This is a large portion of the FMS. Telemetrics involves using hardware like GPS trackers and Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to track the movement of the fleet.
- Route Planning
Using the data from telemetrics, the FMS should be able to provide you the best routes to your destination and also allow you to plan the routes you want your vehicles to ply.
Logbooks will record the time the vehicles and drivers have spent on the road.
A good FMS will provide you alerts to keep you updated or if there is any abnormal activity taking place in your fleet.
What is Fleet Maintenance?
Fleet maintenance is a function of fleet management that is mainly focused on the vehicles and their performance. This function allows fleet managers and technicians to gather vital data relating to their vehicles and creates a regular maintenance schedule. This function allows companies to run their vehicles to their full lifespan and reduces the cost of operations.
There are a number of software applications that assist with fleet maintenance and they have functions that can be used to manage a large team of vehicle technicians and an entire service floor. Good fleet management software applications come with a variety of features that include:
A fleet maintenance software application should be able to control the workflow of the vehicle service center. This software will assign a technician to a vehicle when it requires repairs or maintenance.
Fleet maintenance software applications create service schedules for each of your vehicles. This ensures that your fleet has all its mechanical components working on time. Regular servicing can also extend the life of your vehicles.
A fleet maintenance software will also maintain the inventory of your service center and will order parts and replenish your stock when required.
There are a number of advantages to using an FMS, the main advantage being that you will be able to view all the data relating to a large fleet of vehicles in one place and you will be able to make adjustments as required. It reduces the costs of a company and improves its agility in this ever-changing market by allowing companies to quickly change strategies to meet customers’ demands.