Proper management of a company’s fleet is one of the best ways to save on expenses and maximize company profits. When it comes time to increase the size of the fleet, however, keeping the same management system that was used in the past isn’t always effective. Below are some tips for companies preparing to expand their fleet management systems to include a larger number of vehicles or a more extensive monitoring program.
Choosing the Right Fleet Management Technologies
Fleet management technologies come in all shapes and sizes. Companies should compare available programs and make sure that the fleet tracking system they choose comes with all of the features they need to accomplish their goals. Useful features of these programs may include:
• Real-time GPS fleet tracking. With real-time fleet tracking, the company will know where all of its drivers are at any given time, allowing the logistics department to plan more effectively and provide better customer service.
• Driver behavior monitoring. Some fleet tracking programs also monitor certain drivers’ behaviors, such as speed and fuel consumption so companies can move toward a safer, more efficient fleet.
• Custom alerts and data reports. Certain fleet tracking programs allow the company to customize the alerts it receives and the data reports it generates regarding drivers’ behaviors.
• Mobile applications. Some of the best fleet tracking software includes a mobile application, allowing employees to access the system from a smartphone.
Training Employees to Use the New System
Even the best fleet management system will still be inefficient if the company’s employees don’t know how to use it properly. To ensure that all employees understand the new system, management should take the time to teach them about each feature of the program. Companies should consider hosting a paid training workshop before implementing the system, or they can acclimate employees to the new system slowly by training them as they go.
Training options are also available online. Furthermore, companies can help to ensure the success of the fleet management system by taking the time to work with some of the supervising employees one-on-one and allow them to pass their specialized knowledge on to the rest of the staff.
Scaling fleet management will always require an investment of time and money. However, companies can minimize these costs as much as possible by:
• Choosing software carefully. Companies can reduce costs by shopping around for the most cost-effective software. Companies should choose the most inexpensive program that still includes all of the features they need to manage the fleet.
• Using the software’s cost reduction features. Many fleet management programs include features that can be used to reduce costs, such as fuel consumption and speed data reporting. Companies can use these features to keep track of driver behaviors, minimize the consumption of fuel and reduce the need for expensive vehicle maintenance.
• Learning from driver data. One of the most valuable aspects of an effective fleet management system is the ability to plan better for the future. By generating custom reports, examining the routes drivers typically take and helping drivers operate their vehicles more efficiently, companies can reduce their overall expenses dramatically.
When chosen correctly, fleet management software has the potential to dramatically lower operating costs. It goes back to the old business adage that you have to make money to earn it.