Have you ever wondered how big companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy, and Uber manage their numerous vehicles, deliverymen, and customers?
What is it that enables them to work efficiently on a large scale?
Well, the short answer is, they use Fleet Management Software.
In this article, you will read about everything from its working to the best software available on the market today.
What is fleet management?
Simply put, it is the management of a group of commercial vehicles over a large geographical area.
It includes the handling of vehicle maintenance, financing, tracking, replacement, navigation, and routing.
Fleet management software refers to an application that helps business enterprises coordinate and manage work vehicles in a central information system for the smooth functioning of the entire organization.
The software thus helps the enterprise to reduce costs and enhances performance according to government regulations.
What is it and who is it for?
Imagine running a local food delivery service that consists of about 30 motorbikes and 2 cars.
The tracking, routing, navigation, and allotment of deliveries for these large number of vehicles solely via calling would not be feasible for the smooth operation of your business.
This is where software would make a difference.
With customized automation of delivery systems, live tracking that would cut down the number of steps required to communicate location and status, and algorithm-based predictions for vehicle maintenance, fleet management is as easy as a tap and a swipe.
It is useful for any business, large or small, that wants to eliminate middle-men or fleet management organizations and wants to transition to automating its systems.
How does it work?
It uses a basic combination of Big Data Analytics and GPS to track, analyze, store information and make predictions.
With the advancement of technology and User Interface design, it is becoming increasingly mobile-friendly and easy to use.
For an average user, it would take about 30 minutes to install and a short while of online learning to use such software efficiently.
Fleet Management Solutions works in various sectors –
- Ensures vehicle and employee security and efficiency by documenting information on speeding, work breaks, idle time and driving routes
- Enables management and dispatchers to record data on vehicle operation
- Monitors vehicle operations for maintenance and mechanical issues to enhance the company productivity over the matters regarding driver license management, vehicle disposal, government rules and regulations, vehicle insurance and acquisition
What are its features?
The features of the software vary based on the size and objective of the fleet, i.e., whether it is out for transport across long distances, local delivery, and other commercial or non-commercial purposes.
An all-around software would include features such as Asset tracking, Predictive Maintenance, Warranty tracking, Delivery management, Safe navigation, Route Optimization, Regulatory compliance, Accident reporting, customer feedback, and driver productivity optimization.
Some of these features will be explained in more detail below.
- Asset tracking
Asset tracking would include a display of the real-time movement of assets, or even tracking immobile assets; storing data of the history of these assets and their proximity to each other.
Adopting a live Google map, Asset tracking uses a combination of mobile phone technology and GPS.
It typically provides a detailed as well as a clustered view of both, vehicles, and sensors, on the map.
- Predictive/preventive maintenance
Software that has a predictive maintenance feature generally uses predictive algorithms in order to track the amount of usage of a vehicle, its previous maintenance, and its longevity without the hassle of having to maintain manual or written records of all the times a vehicle is serviced.
It is also superior to manual records because the software is programmed to send alerts and notifications to the user’s phone before a vehicle is due for maintenance, thus avoiding breakdowns in the middle of an operation, downtime, and accidents.
This proactivity could save a business from unforeseen losses.
- Timely replacement
Similar to preventive maintenance, this feature proactively predicts the half-life of a vehicle, or its parts and alerts its user the best time to sell or replace a vehicle or its parts.
This helps a business fetch higher returns from the sale and also maintain the standard and quality of its fleet.
- Warranty tracking
As the name suggests, this feature tracks the warranty of the fleet’s vehicles and their parts and will display the status of any given vehicle’s warranty at the time of replacement or maintenance, thus saving large amounts of unnecessary expenditure.
It is especially useful for larger fleets since they tend to have many variables to manage during the maintenance.
- Delivery, scheduling, and dispatching
In large businesses with a steady stream of orders, scheduling is key for the smooth running of its various systems.
Scheduling would take care of operations such as receiving orders from the end user, assigning the product/assignment to an available unit to dispatch, being aware of the fulfillment/ termination of a delivery and keeping track of the number of free and engaged vehicles at any given point.
- Route navigation
Combining apps like Google maps and its in-built Asset tracking feature, route management allows a fleet to find the fastest and most efficient route to its destination.
It includes traffic management and prediction through route analysis.
With the increase in competition across businesses to provide their customers with the fastest service, it is essential for smaller businesses to adapt to and compete with bigger corporations in order to survive.
This means that the smaller the fleet, the more important a feature like a route management becomes.
- Managing Safety and Compliance with government regulations
With more pressure on a driver to optimize productivity, there also comes the danger of speeding to meet the deadlines.
In such situations, safety management is important in order to avoid getting into trouble with the law, getting into accidents, and the damaging of assets.
Safety management works on sensors attached to every vehicle in the fleet.
Among these sensors are speed and proximity sensors, which when triggered, sound alerts to the driver of the vehicle to drive within speed limits or avoid getting too close to other vehicles.
The fleet manager caters to the five key elements of a fleet, such as –
- Vehicle acquisition and management
Vehicle acquisition involves evaluating changes and stability of elements of vehicles such as insurance and tax costs and fuel consumption.
The fleet manager ensures that regular checks are maintained according to government regulations.
- Fuel management
Managing a large fleet of vehicles requires a great deal of fuel, for which fuel management is necessary to handle the same. Fuel management is helpful for dealing with market fluctuations and other factors that can influence the fuel market.
- Concise information
Huge amounts of data are generated during fleet that could get time-consuming and there is always a risk of misplaced information.
On the other hand, the software plays a significant role to control fuel consumption as well as in the reduction of purchase costs.
What Are The Benefits of Fleet Management Software?
Fleet management is a big responsibility, for which you need the relevant software.
The benefits are as follows –
- FMS can help economize fuel expenses by at least 30%
- FMS can let you know if the engine is idling, provided that the engine status is active but the vehicle is resting. Thus, one can save a great deal of time by not involving in excessive debates with the drivers.
- With the help of FMS, employers can know if a driver is working overtime then and there, instead of knowing about it after the driver has returned.
- You can check if any of the drivers engage in frequent harsh breaking that could contribute to vehicle damage in any way.
- With the help of GPS fitted in with the FMS, you can track vehicles on the road and guide them through the fastest routes, thus saving time and money in the process.
In conclusion, software for fleet management can be used by companies small and large alike to achieve their maximum potential in terms of productivity.
Using data that would otherwise be passively recorded it would improve the efficiency of any commercial fleet.
If you are the owner of a fleet of vehicles and have not yet adopted best fleet management software into your business, this might be the right time to transition.
With the ever-increasing demand for faster and more efficient services, transitioning to a technological approach to management might just be the only way to stay in the game!
12 Things To Look For While Choosing Fleet Management Software
With the influx of fleet management solutions in the market today, choosing the right fleet management software can be a daunting task.
If you are a fleet owner or manager, you are probably bewildered by the sheer number of options you have.
In this article you will be introduced to one process you could use to find the exact software according to your fleet’s requirements.
1. Determine your fleet’s requirements
The first step in choosing the right software is to determine your own fleet’s needs.
Each fleet is vastly different from the next and has its unique strengths and weaknesses.
And the same goes for all fleet maintenance software in the market today.
In order to find the right fit, you need to identify the problem areas that drove your business to opt for a software solution in the first place.
An example of a problem area is if your fleet has excessive fuel consumption or wastage. In this case, you would opt for software that focuses on diagnostics as opposed to scheduling.
2. Does this system address your issues?
The next step is to look at software through the lens of your specific issues.
Narrow down to a list of software packages that fulfill all the issues that your fleet faces.
Though this might seem like the obvious next step, it is quite easy to lose sight of your goals when exposed to the baffling variety and range of features offered by the most software packages.
Keep in mind that even though having a large range of extra features gives you many options, it could also be a deterrent in your business depending on the size of your fleet.
This brings us to the next point, choosing your level of complexity.
3. Level of complexity
While choosing the software, it is easy to be attracted to the idea of what your fleet could be instead of what it presently is.
This could be a problem while choosing the right level of complexity for your fleet, which is very important.
For example, if you have a small fleet and a highly complex software with many features, you might not have enough data to draw realistic inferences.
Not to mention, that you would be paying far more than necessary, for half the features will be redundant.
This could lead to more problems than solutions. Looking at software that does a few things and does them well might be a better alternative for the smaller fleets.
The same principle also applies to the opposite scenario, where a large fleet employs a barebones software package.
Generally, larger fleets need to take many more factors into account in order to operate at an acceptable level of efficiency.
This requires them to track many more variables, and they have enough data to harness and make positive changes.
It would be wise of them to choose a powerful platform with a diverse range of features to really benefit from the fleet management app.
4. Reliability and sturdiness
One of the criteria that could make or break your software experience is sturdiness.
If your software is perfect for your requirements in every way but crashes often enough to disrupt your workflow, it could cause your business unwanted downtime.
It is a good practice to use many trials and demos before you decide on one software package.
5. Customer support
Despite taking measures, there will be times albeit rare, when your software could run into problems.
In such cases, to avoid downtime you will need support from the system’s service provider.
While choosing your software, make sure that they have a good customer support and a problem resolution system.
This will play a huge role in how much your business benefits from the systemic transition.
6. Speed and robustness
While using the trial, observe the speed at which your software processes data and syncs across many devices.
Software that lags is almost as bad as software that crashes.
In many cases, fleet managers use mobile apps to keep an eye on fleet operations on the go.
Make sure that even the mobile app functions and updates information at short intervals so that you get real-time updates.
This is especially important for scheduling with fleet operators/drivers who are on the field.
It is vital that your software functions at high speeds across all devices.
7. Easy-to-use Interface
When a fleet goes through a systemic transition from paper-based to software-based, there is an understandable upheaval in the functioning of the business.
Many employees take some time to get used to the new way, and there could be some changes in their job profiles too.
In such situations, it is imperative that your software has an easy-to-learn and use interface.
This will help get your employees on board and the business back on track much faster.
Not to mention, that as employees leave or get promoted, their positions will be filled in by the new people.
It is simply better to have a good user interface to avoid hiccups in the otherwise smooth functioning of your fleet.
8. Security and privacy
Another aspect to consider is the security of your system.
What are the concerned company’s attitude and policy towards privacy?
Is their system impenetrable?
How easy is it to hack into the software and disrupt the workflow?
These are aspects of the system you could test through the application.
Use the demo to have employees log into it with aliases and dummy information.
Then test how much information is released and what the level of privacy is for an employee’s personal data.
Also, test who can access what information from within the system.
To test the security of the system, you could take measures to test the system’s infrastructure.
One way to do it is to ask an expert to hack into the demo to test the system.
However, in many cases, that could have legal implications.
So another alternative would be to ask a cyber-security specialist to analyze the proposed software package.
The pricing of your software, in most cases, should be directly related to its quality, level of complexity and the size of your fleet.
The first thing to take into consideration would be to look into its ROI (see next point).
Apart from that is also your company’s budget, and the future or growth of your proposed software (See point 11, ‘Scalability’).
It is true that investing in Vehicle Fleet management Software will reduce your overall expenditure.
But before you reach that point, it does require some initial investment for equipment and infrastructure.
Do take this investment into account while budgeting for them.
It is better to spend more on quality software than it is to buy rickety software just because it falls within your budget.
At the same time, since it is a long-term investment, mid-size and small fleets should go for the most economical option that covers their basic needs.
10. Value for money/ROI
ROI or Return on Investment is one of the most important things to take into consideration while buying.
In a way, it is the driving force behind your endeavor.
Before buying, enquire into the ROI for their system.
Ask your seller to explain its benefits and to provide proof of ROI through case studies of their other customers that have seen a good return on investment.
Also, check for whether these case studies match the specifics of your fleet in any way.
Your system’s ROI depends on the constitution of your fleet.
Identify the trend of successful ROI in their case studies.
Are they all big-sized fleets?
Did they all have similar reasons to choose Fleet management GPS systems?
Once you have identified the trend, see if your fleet fits into the movement.
This is one way to see if the proposed software would work to your advantage in the long run.
The scalability of a software package determines how useful it is to your fleet in the long-term.
Will the software scale up as your fleet and business growth?
What is your projected business two years from now?
Can it scale up or down to that size?
Since a systemic transition is difficult for any business, it is not advisable to change software packages periodically.
Scalability is key for the future of your fleet.
The best plan is to think about this software as a long-term solution, which brings us to the next point.
We are at a stage in time where technology reaches new heights every day.
In this ever-changing tech landscape, the only way for a business to survive is to adapt and be competent.
The field of GPS navigation too became available to the public a mere 20 years ago and has made remarkable progress in a short span of time.
The possibilities of tracking are endless, and it is inevitable that the field of tracking will grow to be far more than it is today.
So, while choosing your software, find out whether the team that developed has a strong vision for its future.
Do they upgrade regularly?
Are they up to date with the industry standards?
Do they have a strong R&D department?
What are their short and long-term goals?
This could be a good determining factor while choosing your package.
The best way to test the above criteria is to try software demos.
If you were unsure about how to go about choosing the right system, we hope that this mini-guide has provided you with enough information to start narrowing down your options!
Are you ready to begin your quest to look for the best fleet management system for your fleet?
Start your free fleet management software demo today
What Can Fleet Management Software Do For Schools?
Whether you are a parent or the administrator of a school, you know about the various joys and anxieties of raising the children.
When it comes to child safety, both, schools and parents see to it that they can do everything they can to ensure that their children are safe in every activity that they undertake.
However, for parents that use school bus services, there are still a few aspects of their children’s safety that they have no control over.
These include monitoring their Bus driver’s behavior or making sure that their children have reached school as scheduled every day, among the other things.
That is, until now.
The introduction of Fleet Management Technology has brought up the number of safety and logistical solutions into the mix, for parents and schools alike.
This article will tell you about the many advantages of adopting Fleet Management and tracking technology into your school.
Typically, the best fleet management system has an elaborate tracking package for school administrators and a mobile phone application for the parents.
The school should be able to track all the registered students and school buses simultaneously.
The parent app should be able to track their child’s commute and other safety-related actions as will be explained in more details below.
1. Driver Information
For most parents, the first cause of school-related anxiety is when a new bus driver or a replacement driver is assigned to their child pickup.
How can parents identify that he is licensed and a responsible driver with no criminal record?
With a Fleet Management App, all driver information is updated immediately to a parent’s app.
All information pertaining to the safety of their child is passed on to the concerned parents.
As for the school, whether they own the fleet or hire one on a contract basis, it is essential for them to keep records of all drivers’ assignments, as it is good to have all the information handy in case of an unforeseen event.
2. Driver Behavior
One of the main, if not the biggest, causes of concern with school bus commute is the driver’s on-road behavior.
Do they follow traffic rules?
Do they drive within the speed limit?
Are they safe drivers?
These are some of the questions that Fleet management technology has the answer to.
Now with the help of sensor tracking, schools can monitor everything from whether drivers are wearing their seatbelts to whether they are following the traffic rules.
This not only helps schools keep an eye on buses, but it also increases driver accountability and increases the probability of him/her driving responsibly.
As for the parents, depending on which software they choose, they can have access to driver behavior tracking.
With the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, children can now do app ‘check-in’s when they enter the bus.
Children will carry their RFID cards and verify them with the RFID reader at the door of their bus.
This will record the exact time of boarding and in some cases will assign the child a seat number.
This information will be updated instantly to the school’s database and the parent app.
If a parent has working hours that need them to be at work before their child goes to school, with RFID check-ins they can rest assured that their child is on time as scheduled.
It is also important for the school to note the time and event of the child boarding the bus, for reference in case the child does not show up to school or shows up late.
4. Know the status and location of the bus
Location tracking is another safety feature offered by your software package.
This way schools and parents can be sure that their children are headed straight from home to school as per the daily route. Any route changes will immediately be updated on both the school and parents’ apps.
This will help them detect any unusual activity on the bus route instantly.
There is also the POI-to-POI alerts system, which will alert the concerned parties when the buses are nearing or have entered any of the points of interest zones, in this case, the school, or the child’s locality.
This way, the child’s parents can be reminded 5 minutes before time, to go to the pickup zone when the bus is nearing their address.
Schools can also use these POI-to-POI alerts to clear the landing zone or parking spaces for incoming buses before they enter the premises.
5. Late record
Sometimes, due to traffic conditions, or a majority of latecomers, school buses get delayed and arrive at school behind the schedule.
In such cases, children who end up coming to school late suffer late remarks or miss the class.
With the location-tracking feature, schools can get live updates about their buses’ ETAs or scheduling issues.
Based on the ETA, the children’s respective class teacher can be notified of the scheduling issue and can make concessions for the concerned children.
This reduces the children and parents’ stress in relation to situations that are outside their control.
Based on their RFID card checkouts, schools and parents will be notified of when and where a child gets off the bus.
If a child has checked-in and not checked-out, their school and parent will be notified and an inquiry can be made immediately.
This is a foolproof method of ensuring that each child has successfully completed its bus journey.
The exact time of the checkout is also noted so as to track whether the child goes directly to school after alighting and whether it is synced with the school check-in.
7. School check-in
School check-ins are the final step that parents and schools require to track to know that their children have reached the safety of their schools.
It marks the ending of commute-related worries for all parties concerned.
School check-ins use the same RFID cards that were used in the buses to maintain consistency in data.
If a child has marked their bus checkout and not checked-in to school, it could help the school triangulate the child’s last seen location.
This will help reduce cases of class bunking, wandering away without supervision, and or other unforeseen occurrences.
It will also immediately notify the parents about their child’s whereabouts or lack thereof.
In many cases, it takes teachers and classmates a few hours before they realize that a student is missing despite having gotten on the bus.
With school checkouts and check-ins, the software will immediately notice that something is off.
It is always best to act immediately in such situations.
8. Customizable alerts
Additional to the POI-to-POI, parents, and schools can opt to customize their alerts.
This way they can see more or less of one kind of alert and so on.
Some parents like to get periodic alerts while some prefer having only the essential information.
This feature makes it possible to accommodate each parent’s wishes with regards to the number of alerts and notifications received.
If a parent is busy in an important meeting or has a low battery they can opt for DND and vice versa.
9. All history and Timestamps
With a huge database of all travel and commute history for all children and buses, along with exact timestamps, schools can get valuable insights into their fleets and students based on the data analysis function that the software employs.
This can help them better their schedules, policies, timings, and rules for the convenience of all parties involved.
As you can see, GPS Fleet Management software has a lot of perks for schools.
It is the best tool to better address parental concerns and school policies.
Is your school ready to usher in an era of safety and automation?
Start your free fleet management software trial today
How To Make The Best Use Of Fleet Management Software For Your Growing Business
A software to manage your fleet is a must-have for a business that relies heavily on transportation and is used for cost management, fuel management and to increase the productivity of their fleet.
Let us understand the fact that managing a fleet of vehicles can be a challenging job for a fleet manager because of issues which he cannot control like legislation and rising prices to name a few. Efficient software can help mitigate these risks for a fleet manager.
Another concern that some business owners might have is that when the business grows can the software grow with it? Scalability of this software is an issue that has kept many fleet managers from adopting this system.
So here we will tell you how a fleet management software can expand and add in new features with the growing need of your business.
Software Enhancement – With this age of rapid technological innovation almost every software meant for fleet management is capable of frequent improvements.
This will help the business owners who are aspiring to scale up their business keep their software up to date with the recent technology.
This means more features, better report generation and more efficient and quicker way of data processing all of which will complement the increase in demand of the business.
Innovation & Adaptability – It is the most common feature that can help your fleet management app be at par with your business.
Let us take GPS tracking as an example, these days, you get options like customized groups, hierarchies, categories and attributes, and others which can help keep a large amount of data organized.
Also, these days there are several options where you can increase the size of your database and change the reporting settings the way you want and the way it is required for your business.
Flexibility and Customization – These days software can be customized based on the need of the business and the objective one wants to achieve from the software.
However, with the increase in demand and profits, the software can be customized again to address the changing needs of the business.
Increase in the number of cars, purchasing new vehicles, changes in the reporting pattern and handling bulk data for new orders; all of these can be easily done with effective software for fleet management.
Also, this software will handle the legislation requirements and updates pretty well so with the change in business or diversification, you can count on them.
One thing has to be kept in mind is that the business owner and the fleet managers must be aware of the business plan and the growth plan of the business for at least 2-3 years down the line.
If that is not clear it will be difficult for business managers to choose the best fleet management software or get the right customization.
There are varieties of software’s available in the marketplace, but one has to be sure of what the plan and the mission of the business is.
How to Monitor Fuel Usage & Speed of Your Vehicle with GPS Fleet Management System
Wouldn’t you be amazed if you had a tracking mechanism for your loved ones or even your vehicles?
Well, we’ve got you covered with 5 ways to keep a track on your vehicle speed and fuel.
1. If you are into the transport industry, providing cars or buses on rent, monitoring fuel would undoubtedly be a necessity, as higher fuel costs often increase business expenses.
Thus, keeping a track of the fuel consumed could help you manage the fuel costs efficiently, without a mock-up.
A few sources of excessive fuel consumption could be the number of turns taken per mile, the way brakes are used, the vehicle speed and many more.
2. The GPS Fleet Management System records all this data and triggers it to the cloud-based platform, allowing you to track the consumption of fuel during each trip.
Furthermore, you can also add driver details, which helps you get information about each driver and the fuel used.
The data is sent through GPRS to its server and further converted to statistical data to be flashed on dashboards and in the reports.
Overall the software fetches reports & data about the vehicles fuel level, fuel consumed per vehicle and fuel used by a vehicle during its lifetime.
3. Hard Cornering: Don’t we all know the safety rules?
For instance, driving slowly while taking a corner would help your driver stay safe and further avoid any accidents.
Aggressive driving would lead to nothing but mishap.
However, the intelligent alerts, generated by the system, help keep a track of your Fleet drivers’ behavioral patterns.
It sends an alert when the vehicle crosses the speed limit, when the vehicle is driven harshly or even when it has entered a POI.
4. Vehicle Usage and Brakes: Did you know that accelerating too quickly increases the usage of fuel and emissions?
The GPS tracking system lets you monitor sudden changes (increase/decrease) in speed.
Additionally, the software sends notifications when a vehicle is driven after specified hours, or if the vehicle violates time limits set, if a vehicle is disconnected for specific hours or even when the vehicle is driven continuously without a halt.
5. Authenticating Transactions: If ever you thought that was all, there’s more to it.
The software allows you to access transactions online and help identify any unauthorized use.
In addition to which, it records every purchase and records exceptions if any.
Moreover, the software also helps you manage your Fleet drivers’ performance.
Keeping a track of your vehicles fuel consumption as compared to the distance covered, allows the operator to identify any fuel threats.
Isn’t it easier to monitor fuel and speed effortlessly with the GPS Fleet Management Solutions?
The IoT platform with integrated AI technology would be your ultimate choice if you want to leverage tech with some customization.
15 Functions Of Fleet Management Software
Companies operating vehicles have to manage their drivers as well as their vehicles irrespective of the fact whether they are off-road or driven on the road.
Such companies also need to manage vehicles that are owned, staff-owned or leased.
The software used by these companies for managing, tracking and monitoring all these activities is called the Fleet Management Software.
The fleet management software’s primary function is to collect and store the information, process and monitor it and report the exported information.
It is possible to integrate the Best Fleet Management Software with vehicles and track down the performance of a driver while he is driving.
Here are some of the major functions:
1.Managing Driver And Licensing
For any company having a driver with a valid and current license is very important.
As a fleet manager, you must know when the license of a driver or endorsements expires.
Also, it is necessary to know whether the driver has received suspension, disqualification or demerit points.
The purpose of driver management is also to remind the drivers for medical and eyesight checks after reaching a certain age or even after a pre-defined period.
The software manages:
Suggests training or related interventions based on the performance and history of the drive logs of penalty points, infringements/lapses against a license
Provides booking system for the fleet of vehicles
2. Maintaining Vehicle Inventory
Each company has different requirements for type and number of vehicles.
While some companies have only a few cars whereas other can have multiple different types of vehicles such as trucks, cars, earth-moving machinery, vans, quad bikes/ATVs, forklift trucks, trailers and much more.
The Fleet Management Solution manages such fleets and ensures that the staff-owned or company-owned vehicle is registered and approved for use.
3. Registration And Licensing Of Vehicle
When a company manages a large fleet it is bound to have issues like WoF, RUC, and CoF dues coming regularly.
The software duly gives you reminders and ensures that all the registrations and licenses are updated on time.
4. Scheduling Vehicle Maintenance
It is necessary for a company to perform scheduled maintenance for preserving warranties or even to fulfill the contractual obligations on leased vehicles.
In general, drivers of heavy vehicles always check their machines prior to going on a trip as more often these are long journeys. However, car drivers mostly do not check their vehicles that frequently.
Therefore, they need reminders for fluids and tiers.
The software loads receipts of the expenses for vehicles and other maintenance details.
5. Keeping Record Of Infringement
When a company has a big fleet of vehicles there is always a chance of one or the other machine getting booked for toll notices, speeding fines or even other infringements.
The Fleet Management System allocates such information to the drivers, management and ensures that the issues are resolved.
6. Managing Insurance
Insurance management of the entire vehicle fleet should be carried out in context with types of drivers, vehicle disposal, types of vehicles, the number of vehicles and the risk level. The software helps a company to streamline all these processes.
7. Disposal Of Vehicles
Once a vehicle reaches the end point of its life, it has to be disposed of.
Same is the case if the vehicle has been leased by a company.
Either the owned vehicles should be sold off by calculating the depreciating value or the terms and formalities of change-of-ownership forms.
8. Cost Management Of Vehicles
Cost management is the amount required by the owner to manage the vehicle in running condition.
It includes depreciation, maintenance, fuel use, and several other metrics.
The basic thing to evaluate is whether the company is really getting value for money for the vehicles that it is maintaining. And this can be done by accepting reports from the suppliers of fuel card as well as by calculating the emission data.
All these reports are monitored and maintained by GPS Fleet Management Software.
9. Vehicle Pool Booking Systems
If a company shares vehicles (has vehicle pool) then the bookings have to be confirmed by the staff to avoid conflict in the schedule.
Using the combined GPS in the software, you can locate the pool vehicles and provide real-time updates about the schedule. It helps a company to arrange a proper format for scheduling its vehicles.
Some Vehicle Fleet Management Software also comes with the carpooling option in a vehicle that is going in the same direction or meeting at the same point with another driver.
10. Management Of Accidents And Roadside Emergencies
Accidents and roadside emergencies are a common thing for companies engaged in travel and transport business.
The software provides support in such incidences and also takes care of billing packages, invoicing when it comes to assigning kilometers to drivers and adding it to the account of the client.
The software engages GPS tracking to monitor the movements of the vehicle.
Advanced software is capable of providing you with updates every few minutes or in a fraction of seconds.
Although a company can perform well even without this software, this system certainly proves useful in certain circumstances.
12. Planning Of Route
A company can plan routes using the software and design an efficient schedule depending on the type of deliveries, time of day and type of vehicle.
13. Configuration Of Devices
The software allows configuration of devices so that they can respond in a particular way within a designated specific spot activity.
The technology called Geofence can be used in your depot for tracking kilometers assigned to vehicles & also to bill according to the operation time to the clients.
14. Real-Time Alerts
The company can configure alerts on the basis of certain triggers including exiting or entering geofence, excessive idling, late start, harsh driving, speeding, sensor activation, and more.
As a fleet or transport manager, you can monitor these alerts or some of the alerts and the driver can receive notification on an app at the same time on their smartphone or a unit placed on the vehicle.
Notifications or real-time alerts related to the excessive idling or harsh braking are quite common.
15. Entry Into Electronic Logbooks
The software automatically logs the time spent by the driver in driving in the electronic logbook.
It also covers the time spent by the driver during break times so that the driver does not charge extra work-time payment.
If that’s what you were looking for, why not test it for yourself?
Top 23 Ways For Easy and Efficient Vehicle Fleet Management:
Companies with operational expertise survive the competition because they play well even in the times of pressure.
Why is it so that some of the transport and logistics companies have an edge over others?
They have technology and software to support them.
NO, that’s not the case; they have identified ways in which the vehicle fleet management software can help them to increase their efficiency.
1. Identify the areas in which there is the scope of improvement.
What type of improvement you think is required and how would you make use of the technology.
2. Current processes that seem okay are still not result oriented, can be one barrier. You get to control better without micro managing, what employees hate is questions from the superiors. No more judging the replies and updates from the staff, see what the app shows.
3. Growing demand needs the judgment of market direction and change in customer preference. Use these choices as new parameters for meeting the demand.
4. Third-party Integration, latest technology brings us together to work faster and better with the outreach and builds easy dialogue between the parties.
5. Easy Tracking, how badly the managers need this, the decision makers should understand and accept that the times have changed. Software’s you invest in are not overheads, they are assets to the organization.
6. Understanding the issues, explanation of what we mean to say and convey creates heaps of miscommunication.
No more of hear and say the software allows you to track every movement of the commercial vehicle from the indoors of your office.
7. Action heroism is possible as you know the exact location, details of the problem, alternatives available & chance to improvise.
8. Lateral thinking abilities induced in the team and the assurance of they making right choices given by the software allows them to act quicker than ever.
9. Problem Solving Skills are attributes of each manager but there is no harm in polishing them or taking a support structure. Reliable software can validate the decisions and bring you peace at the operations front.
10. Feedback how much we rely on this nowadays because of the importance of views, comments, and reactions have changed our opinions about the end consumer. Use of technology gets you all that you need to know and share.
11. Positive utilization of feedback is possible with facts and figures about in-out timings, vehicle idling, delayed delivery, behavioral complaints, vehicle condition, issues with consignment, each and every thing populated in data sheets for you to guide the team and strengthen the process.
12. Act in time saves your money, efforts, and image. Image making costs you the most. The technological help is of waste if no actions abide in spite of available inputs on the fleet. Real-time data offers the opportunity to mend before it’s too late.
13. Increased efficiency is what you can be sure of with the reports, notifications, and updates that allows you to view, interact and rectify if needed. Get more with fewer efforts.
14. Feel the globe in your hand, how powerful and confident you feel about the progress on business tasks when you have access to the data.
Access information from the software any time you need without any human dependency involved in it.
15. Centralized information, all that you may need about the resource, vehicle, consignment, status, delay, and delivery is stored and shared with you in real-time.
16. Data linked actions based on synchronization is possible with the latest software to join the dots and draw new pictures to build and maintain the trust of customers.
17. Task Accomplishment one of the greatest feelings that employees and managers have in common, only the pressure and experience varies.
Managers need to ensure the dispatch of the vehicle with the material, timely and safe delivery, customer experience, and a lot more that will need human and machine to work together.
18. Analyze Better with the software’s and apps, that saves your time from constant follow up and finally allows you to go back to your managerial duties.
You have data on driver’s, vehicle condition, consignment safety, routes opted for delivery, obstacles in delivery like road accidents, repairs or diversions, costs comparisons, and ultimately planning efficiency will rise.
19. Multitasking a key quality of a capable employee that every employer need to be cost-effective.
Either manager is over loaded with a lot of information or they totally miss on it.
Both ways make no sense hence choose what they do and how they do not by telling them what to do but by getting the tools that work and make it by managing a well-organized job.
20. Connectivity of on-field and in office staff opens new methods to instruct and guide the resource in need of on-field assistance.
Both the departments working together gives you enhanced results on reduced vehicle maintenance costs, saving of fuel consumption, reduced delays, and vehicle positioning.
21. Prevention of mishaps, miscommunication, misuse of vehicle and information, missing consignment, loss of documents, loss of data, delivery data manipulation and such things that you always want to eradicate from the company’s history.
22. Productivity concerns are major and not fictitious. One who runs the show knows the pain. The unseen challenges in the efficiency break the circle of work, connections, tactics, and mainly success.
23. Profit is the first and foremost reason for being in business.
To gain some, we need to remain updated, smart, and insightful.
One who thinks of profits find ways to earn and save, both become possible with the software’s that work with you to meet the specifics you dictate.
If you want to be market ready, run the business operations efficiently every single day, manage your vehicles with the best fleet management software. It is available for all those who believe in customer satisfaction and are willing to work towards it.
Invest in Tomorrow, while everyone is busy worrying about today, you need to look ahead of time to plan and prepare yourself for the coming revolution of technology-based solutions.
How to Reduce Fuel Consumption In Vehicles With Fleet Management System
Savings on fuel consumption is possible with technology embedded smart solutions.
Companies have a chance to embrace the change for survival in the competitive market.
The industry-wise breakup of fuel users consists ranking, it ranked the transportation sector on top, and manufacturing industries are at the second position.
Fuel prices per liter are lowest in oil producing countries (Iran @ 0.07 USD) India @ 0.96 USD, costliest in Zimbabwe @ 3.11 USD during the year 2019.
All other countries have seen incessant price rise and consumption of fuel has seen the increase due to rising vehicles, better road connectivity across the globe, and constant growth in the commercial activities.
Manufacturing and Packaging is consuming lesser fuel than transportation sector, this means we certainly have an opportunity to save the fuel & the funds.
Fuel Savings with Best Fleet Management System:
1.Fuel Saving Mode: Incorporating the fuel saving mode to the vehicle with the help of technology can bring better managerial control.
2.Vehicle Weight: Overloading of vehicles can increase the fuel consumption, these checks are possible and can aid the decisions of dispatch.
3.Speed Limit: Limits of vehicle speed set by the road authorities are as per the road and weather conditions and benefit in controlled fuel consumption; the guidelines to the drivers can involve safety and savings.
4.Engine Idling: The decision on the time of engine idling can change with the climate conditions and combustion
5.Quality Driving: It can save fuel with controlled use of brakes, unnecessary overtaking if the drivers follow the guidelines of safe, and quality driving.
6.Mileage: The importance of distance covered in the given time and fuel quantity is very high as it directly impacts the cost of goods transfer.
7.Maintenance: Issues and resolution of faulty engine, fuel tank leakage, poor engine oil, over use and the wearing out of gears clutches, tire condition, etc.
8.Vehicle Condition: Consignment safety in a way depends on the vehicle condition and any damage to the consignment can either create struggle in delivery, risen transfer costs by imposing fine on the receiving party and damage image of the company.
9.Vehicle Usage: Every vehicle has the different capacity of continuous usage and it needs cooling period as the assets are costly and it can get you better average from the fuel quantity.
10.Vehicle Warranty: Usually the car warranty covers the repairs and free replacement for first few years and few kilometers. This distance and issues in the machine parts within warranty period if monitored can save your maintenance costs.
11.Government Bindings: Statutory obligations can be easily satisfied with the accurate data on vehicle location, condition and quality of fuel used that fits in the environment safety outlines.
12.Vehicle Service Centers: Help from the office to the drivers on field, like instructions about the available service centers on the way for the machine problem or any breakdown. This can save the time and fuel spent in search of servicing solutions.
13.Break Time: Restaurants charting will help the drivers to take tea or lunch break and the location of vehicle, safety of material and control on extended break can ensure the delivery plus vehicle cooling for the reduced fuel consumption.
14.Fuel Alternatives: It can save costs of trips by the choice of fuels like Diesel, Natural Gas, Electricity, Bio-diesel, or shifting to either of the one from the two options available in the vehicle e.g. Diesel and Gas.
15.Routes: GPS tracking allows us to suggest the fastest routes with the least hindrances. Keeping vehicles informed and warned of road condition or traffic jam. Petrol Stations on the way can reduce the time spent by driver to search one as well as it provides control on when to refill.
16.Fuel Theft: Starting from the filling station where the increased billing and less fuel, selling fuel to other drivers on the way, using it for personal use are some issues which we can never miss if the software allows check of fuel level after each refill, each trip and before and after the servicing as well.
17.Delivery Schedule: Accepting locations for delivery to fit in the route and reroute the vehicle for pickup or delivery can save fuel and time.
18.Assignment of Vehicles: Based on the condition and fuel consumption one may decide on which vehicle is right for particular route and ease the work allocation.
19.Cost Vs. Consumption of Fuel: Calculations, reports, and graphic interpretations along with the required data can help us improve on the fuel expense ratio.
20.Timely Reports: Real-time data generate precise reports, sharing immediately with the authorities for planning the fuel efficiency for future and employees for query resolution of fuel consumption or fuel theft.
21.Budgeting: Financial plan for the fuel is crucial for the hauling companies. Since, fuel is essential for transportation and it has financial aspects attached to it, making required fund arrangement is unavoidable.
22.Fuel Quality: It has a great impact on the vehicle/machine parts depreciation and increases the maintenance costs with reduced durability and efficiency of the vehicle in long term.
Adulterated fuel from certain outlets on frequent basis is a management issue and this observation and many such observations allow supervisors to manage the fleets better than ever.
23.Fleet Fuel Cards: Business fuel cards like Visa, MasterCard, and HP can give you some fuel points that can be en-cashed later.
24.Monitoring Leased Vehicles: Fuel, maintenance and vehicle updates can assist in exercising better control over the leased vehicles and in decisions pertaining to the extension or cancellation of lease.
25.Overall Operations: Less managerial hurdles, lesser involvement of multiple people, better functioning of departments, employee ease to work and avoid bottleneck in decision making improves the overall operational quality and give relief to the fleet owners.
Fleet Management System are new cost saving tools that are reliable, flexible, and customizable.
Other than the fuel saving, benefits like improved planning; proper budgeting, monitoring fleet behavior, efficiency in delivery, real-time data and reporting may intensify the decision of buying Software/App for the fleet management.
Fleet Management: Everything you Need to Know
Last Updated March 16, 2019
1.What is Fleet Ship Management?
As the name suggests, fleet ship management is a process of managing a ship. Independent companies carry out the process of fleet ship management by using ships of some other independent owners or companies.
The company runs ships for the owners and pays them the yearly amount which will be settled between the owner and the company.
2.What is Fleet Maintenance Management?
Fleet maintenance management is a process of maintaining vehicles in efficient and safe operating condition.
It is done by consistent servicing and maintenance in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturers.
It helps you reduce vehicle downtime, control fleet maintenance cost, and improve driver satisfaction.
3.What is Fleet Risk Management?
Fleet risk management is a process of creating a safe driving culture for company car drivers.
Also, it includes the basics of communication, training, and accountability throughout the organization.
It helps in making sure that the company drivers are safe, insured, and aware of the hazards while driving.
4.What do you mean by Logistics Fleet Management?
In the supply chain, logistics fleet management is the process of planning, controlling, and implementing the effective, systematic forward, and upend flow and storage of services, goods, and associated information between the originating point and the point of consumption for fulfilling the customers’ needs.
5. What is Fleet Safety Management?
Fleet safety management deals with the management and continuous improvement of an organization’s procedures, policies, and processes.
A methodological approach to safety management will help an organization achieve its objectives through controlled management thinking and comprehensible focus.
The use of an intelligent fleet management system will help the organization recurrently renew its fleet safety strategies, policies & procedures, plus the transport operations.
6. How Does Fleet Management Works?
Managing more than a single vehicle is called as fleet management.
Basically, it is done by combining two major components, a GPS tracker and monitoring software.
Here is the step-wise working of fleet management system:
1.The fleet of vehicles will be equipped with a GPS receiver in the dashboard, like a GPS locator beacon.
2.A fleet management system will have either of the two, i.e. GPS or GLONASS(Global Networking Satellite System).
3.The fleet manager involved in the process will track and analyze those vehicles at any time, either by going online or installing software into a computer system.
4.This way the managers can efficiently monitor and coordinate the fleet for its improved safety, productivity, and efficiency.
7.What are the Most Important Factors for Successful Bus Fleet Management?
The most important factors for successful fleet management are as under:
a.Bus fleet usage: This is the capacity to use a single bus for multiple routes on daily basis.
b.Effective Seat Utilization: The efficient usage of bus seats in a day so the number of buses needed by a district are reduced.
c.Cost per bus: It is usually determined by your driver’s wages, labor costs, and benefits. Also, amenities, fuel, replacement plans, insurance, and fleet maintenance are taken into consideration.
d.Calculation of cost per rider and cost per mile
8. What is Fleet Management Information System?
Fleet management information system is a part of fleet management that is used to;
a.Identify and collect exact inventory, cost, and use data which is covering the complete life-cycle of every vehicle, from the acquisition, operation to maintenance and disposal.
b.Fetch the essential information to satisfy both external and internal reporting requirements, including:
i.Cost per mile
ii.Fuel costs for each vehicle
9. How Can Fleet Management Solutions Help You Achieve Maximum Efficiency and Control Costs?
In order to keep your fleet up and running, fleet management solutions provide some valuable features;
a.Automatic alerts, the moment your vehicle breaks down or faces some problem with its engine.
b.Instant access to a comprehensive maintenance and repair history of each vehicle of the fleet.
c.Timely reminders for oil changes, tune-ups, and other deterrent maintenance tasks.
d.Automatic engine diagnostic alerts to minimize the cost of roadside repairs.
e.Records maintenance option to estimate maintenance costs, keep maintenance schedules updated and make intelligent, informed decisions for inefficient vehicles.
f.Track vehicle speed, engine performance, location to work on negative driving practices and reduce the vehicle damage.
What Are The Best Practices Of Successful Fleet Management?
Successful management of a fleet business primarily includes gaining control over the costs that you are unaware of or cannot see. Effective management is only possible if you have a complete understanding of where your money is going.
In that sense, the larger the size of your fleet, the harder it is to control and track the key aspects of a business.
1.Timely And Accurate Information
For cutting down cost and reducing the waste you must have timely and accurate information in hand. It eliminates redundancies and prevents the onset of any problematic issues.
Most of the information is easily available by the fleet management software that automatically collects and keeps a record of all the data.
The key aspects that you must monitor closely for efficient management of fleet operation includes fuel, tires, vehicles/equipment, warranties, inventory parts, customer billing, driver data, and labor.
2.Regularizing Preventative Maintenance
Regularizing scheduled preventative maintenance is an essential part of managing a fleet business successfully.
It ensures optimum functioning of your vehicles for a long haul which ultimately makes a positive impact on the productivity and profitability of your business.
Experts recommend spending a bit of time as well as money regularly to ensure that everything is working in tip-top condition, encourages safe operations which are helpful in reducing insurance rates.
Thus, preventative maintenance saves you from the extra downtime that a bigger malfunction or a repair job can come up in the future.
3.Clear-Set Work Guidelines
All the employees of the company from driver to the mechanic and from supervisor to a dispatcher should be well aware of the work guidelines of your company and must adhere to all the rules and regulations. It makes a strong impact on the overall operations.
The best thing is to have a set of written guidelines and training materials for each and every portion of the operation. Make sure that all the policies are provided to both the fleet team as well as the customers to maintain transparency and consistency all through the process of dealing.
4.Supervising Technicians And Their Training
Time tracking tools and shop management is essential to keep a tab on the technicians and drivers to see whether they are completing their tasks correctly in a stipulated time frame.
In any case, the mechanics are falling short of their expected performance level leading to a lot of repeated work; a training session can be a good idea.
Also, check if they have the right tools that help them in the efficient execution of their jobs. Even a simple thing like performing an inspection of the tires in the right way can add more life to your vehicles.
You can track this data and get a practical detailing of the way your fleet is operating on a daily basis.
5.Setting Up Safety Standards
Having safety standards can help you attract more business as it represents your accountability towards your business. Setting up a safety policy that is engaging as well as measurable can surely accelerate your growth rate.
6.Complying With Regulations
Regulatory compliance includes all aspects of regulations related to fleet activities such as vehicle registration, insurance, certification, operator licensing, inspection reports and driving logs.
All relevant information should be up to date so that it can be readily provided to the civic authorities on demand to showcase that your business is supporting lawful practice.
7.Using Modern IT
Support of latest software and hardware at all activity levels from maintaining records and regulatory documents to files of human resources make the entire gamut of working more expansive.
Use of cloud-based software allows easy accessibility to all the data to those who needs them and yet secure it from the others.
Advanced fleet management system consists of features like route-finding, communication, anti-theft, time clocks, and security. For managing your fleet successfully you need to update such software in your system on the regular basis.
8.Managing Inventory Parts
Always understanding that you have the parts when you need them and that your storage rooms have everything the vehicle operations require at any given time is a plus point.
Maintaining a proper system for purchasing and getting rid of excess or unwanted items can help you reduce the chances of purchasing obsolete or redundant inventory.
Keeping a proper track of the parts having a high level of use and the ones that are losing their significance gets you to understand several key issues related to fleet maintenance.
Are your maintenance expenses growing because the vehicles are coming towards the end of their life?
Is there any possibility that your mechanics are not dealing with the repairing or changing the parts in an appropriate or timely manner?
Is your company still investing in parts for the vehicles that are soon going to be kaput?
The inventory management section gives you a clear cut idea about all such questions and much more so that you can easily clip the investment in areas that are not required.
9.Setting Up Precise Database
For every fleet business access to precise data in a quick time is of immense importance. With the help of this data, you can track your vehicles, analyze and come up with necessary reports making accurate and real-time decision absolutely possible.
It also ultimately leads to optimizing the overall performance of your fleet.
With the help of database, you can monitor the use of the vehicle, manage proper maintenance, maintain inventory, establish the cycle of vehicle replacement, and identify as well as analyze high-cost vehicles.
10.Using Proven Financial Practices
For any business following the framework of proven financial practices is of utmost importance.
Fleet managers can make informed financial decisions and prepare financial statements that include all costs related to fuel, supplies, labor, overheads, and depreciation.
All this information should be easily accessible to both the stakeholders and managers.
In nutshell, you can be sure of managing your fleet operations with supreme efficiency and success if you get up to date information in the real-time.
And for that, you can always rely on the best fleet management software that keeps a track of all the data and makes it available to you on a single click.
How To Deal With Very Large Data In Fleet Management?
Fleet Management has always been a data driven industry, but recent technological advancements have completely changed its dynamics:
GPS tracking system, coupled with telematics have created data streams that never existed before, offering fleet managers the promise of unprecedented visibility into their business operations, and deep insights that could potentially transform their business.
But sadly, four out of five fleet managers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data and cannot leverage its true power.So where does all this data come from and how can fleet managers actually start benefiting from it?
Vehicle centric data: A large number of sensors are being added to vehicles to track and measure the health of the vehicle as well as that of assets on board.
According to a study by Frost Sullivan*, today’s modern fleet vehicles already have about 200 connected data points. By 2020, even a normal vehicle could have sensors to measure essential vehicle parameters such as location, speed, tyre pressure, engine oil viscosity, emission levels etc.
Behavioral data: Sensors on board fleet vehicles can now measure fast acceleration, over speeding, abrupt turning and hard braking by drivers.
Operational data: Processes such as routing, scheduling and navigation generate data.
A fuel management system would consist of sensors to measure when where and how much fuel was filled, plus fuel cards that would record fuel purchases along with the date, time, location etc.
Many such processes in fleets would generate huge amounts of data for a vehicle.
Administrative data: Human resources data, ELD generated work hours, payroll, billing etc
Thus, a regular fleet tracking system could generate an overwhelming amount of data.
But ‘Big Data’ does not have to mean ‘too much data’ if you have access to the requisite systems and capabilities to put it to good use.
Data Usage: Best Practices
Innovative Fleet Management Systems – essentially Software as a service (Saas) or Platform as a service (PaaS) systems can now use the IOT and telematics data and also deliver the benefits of various analytical tools via the power of cloud computing.
Essentially, this means that even if you don’t have the knowledge and capabilities to analyze data, you can rely on an advanced fleet management software to do it for you. Let us see how:
Alerts: By inputting various threshold limit values into the software, a system of notifications could be configured such that alerts on mobile or email could be sent out to stake holders, every time a given limit was crossed:
A POI alert could be generated every time a vehicle entered or left the premises of a specified client location.
This could help in tracking vehicles and employees on a client project and also aid in accurate billing to the client.
Similarly, an ETA alert could indicate to clients that a vehicle was on its way and would soon enter its premises.
A Speed Alert could indicate to fleet managers that the driver of a vehicle had crossed the given speed limit.
A Geo-fence alert could inform the manager if a vehicle had crossed a pre marked region. E.g., an alert could be generated if the vehicle crossed a city limit. This could help to track down unauthorized use of vehicles.
Dashboard / Report Cards: It would be possible to view information on various performance parameters for a given period of time. This could apply to drivers, vehicles, divisions, geographies etc. E.g., Driver Behavior, Vehicle utilization, Up-time, Down time, Idle time Maintenance, Depreciation, Insurance, Emissions, Operational expenses, Fuel expenses, delivery performance etc.
Benchmark Comparisons: On some key factors, one could specify performance standards and then see how existing scores compare with the benchmark standards. In some cases, it could even be possible to compare company performance with the industry average.
Analytics: The analytic tools in the software would make it possible to mine the data and uncover insights on how to bring about improvements in various areas such as fuel efficiency, productivity, safety, driver retention, cost per mile / cost per engine hour, operation efficiency, etc:
By analyzing driver behavior reports, one could identify behaviors such as excessive speeding, or idling that leads to higher fuel consumption. By some simple coaching given to the selected drivers, it may be possible to improve their driving style, thus improving safety, fuel efficiency as well as emission compliance.
A typical fleet vehicle could generate a large number of faults, but not all of them would be critical. A remote diagnostic module could analyze faults and prioritize them so that the most critical faults are promptly attended to.
Forecasting: Predictive analytic modules could make it possible to study patterns in historical as well as live data, uncover relationships, and predict what could happen in the future, so that corrective actions can be taken even before a problem occurs:
By looking at sensor generated data for vehicles, one could determine the early-warning signs that could lead to parts failure or a mechanical breakdown, and the optimal time to replace the vehicle part, thus prolonging the life of the vehicle.
By studying data on vehicle health parameters, maintenance schedules and vehicle breakdowns, one could predict when is the most optimal time for preventive maintenance for a vehicle.
Next, a set of preventive maintenance alerts could be fed into the system. This could enable savings on account of lesser down time and less money spent on repairs.
By examining data on driver behavior, vehicle performance and vehicle breakdowns, it could be possible to identify drivers that are most likely to cause an accident in the near future.
Thus, given the above capabilities of a fleet management system, it does not really matter if you are a large or small fleet operator. If you are clear on your specific business goals and priorities, you can leverage your data in the most effective way for your business – and profit from it!
*“Automotive Data Monetization to Reach $33 Billion in Opportunities for OEMs by 2025, Finds Frost & Sullivan”. 22 February 2018, Frost & Sullivan.
How to Monitor Your Fleet of Trucks Using GPS Tracking System?
Fleet management software has been a critical part of the logistics industry. And strict budget allocation and cost-saving are equally essential to manage the fleet of vehicles.
However, sometimes there are various issues that businesses face while operating and maintaining the vehicles, whether it’s the breakdown or maintenance issues.
For that, it’s crucial to monitor the fleet of trucks using the GPS tracking system.
Fleet monitoring is a way through which you can track the activity of your mobile assets.
There is a GPS connected to the vehicle and frequently transmits its location using a fixed satellite or cellular connection. The vehicles can transmit every other minute, but it can be more regular.
Besides, the internet server receives the sent location data where you can process and display the information through a secure website.
Here we will explain how GPS can help businesses monitor their fleet of vehicles.
Since many companies use vehicle fleets, it is essential to check the behavior of drivers at any time personally.
The GPS tracking system in the vehicle closely monitors the driving pattern of every driver and inspects if the driver is speeding, hard braking, forcefully accelerating the vehicle, etc.
The system also creates a detailed report of drivers’ performances so that it becomes easy to analyze their driving behaviors. Besides, it provides complete information on vehicle usage by the drivers.
2.Accurate Fuel Analytics
Monitoring the consumption of fuel has always been a crucial factor in fleet management, especially while using the shared fleets. You can’t manually calculate the total distance a vehicle covers and the fuel consumed for it.
GPS tracking systems have made it easier for fleet managers as it stores correct readings of total distance covered and fuel consumption in a day.
It will help you effectively manage and calculate your fuel cost avoiding the chances of frauds.
3.Tracking and Current Status
This feature has a vital role to play in fleet management as per the drivers’ shifts.
The live tracking feature allows you to track the live location of trucks.
Also, it provides the current status of all the trucks — whether idle or running, making vehicle allocation easier.
Driving history of vehicles is determined through detailed tables or reports with the chance of engaging in the different trips performed by the vehicles.
The detailed reports also include fleet journey reports.
For example, activity performed per single truck and as a fleet altogether, halt reports, alerts and scheduled reports, heatmaps, and journey reports.
Features and Benefits of GPS Fleet Monitoring
5. Less Wastage of Fuel
You can reduce extra bills on vehicle fuels by controlling idle time, aggressive driving, speeding, after-hours usage, and wasted mileage.
6. Control Speeding
GPS tracking system helps you monitor and control excessive speeding, plus reduce safety risks and insurance cost, and see speeding trends.
7. Control Rash Driving
You can improve the driving behavior of drivers by monitoring rapidity of movement, harsh braking, speeding, and poor driving habits.
With GPS, you can find the nearest driver to a destination. It will reduce extra fuel consumption and save time by optimizing the routes.
9. Real-time Alerts
You can monitor the location of drivers in real-time – when they leave the source and reach their destination.
You will receive alerts when the driver is speeding, idle, or the fuel needs to be refilled.
10. Mobile App Monitoring
Not only through web apps, but you can also use mobile apps to monitor your fleet of trucks from wherever you want.
11. Driver ID
This feature in GPS tracking system will help you know the drivers who are driving your truck.
Also, you can verify their trip start and end time to add time-sheets.
12. Map Replay
Check your vehicles’ routes through a map screen and spot the areas of delay.
13. Truck Activity Reporting
Make informed decisions and manage your fleet based on the vehicle patterns. View detailed online reports, print and export them for storage. You can also download those reports in various formats.
5 Simple Steps To Reduce Business Costs Using Fleet Analytics
If the fleet is the heart of your company, the data is the soul. In the digital era of today, managers possess a weapon that can turn a company’s fortune at minimized costing.
Two words that can best summarize this cutting-edge efficiency enhancer: BIG DATA
Fleet generates a vast amount of data — fuel maintenance, vehicle health, routes taken and drivers performance among the other vehicles.
Modern managers harness the information derived from these sectors and identify solutions to problems before they hamper the productivity of businesses.
With cloud based fleet management software these days, the power is right in your hands – the vehicle data can be accessed from anywhere and on any device.
As a result, managers can keep track of their drivers and their equipment on the go and use the information gathered to make the fleet’s performance efficient over the specified period of time.
Here is how data can impact your fleet operations for good. (Meanwhile, we also have tips on how you can safeguard your fleet data. Check them out here)
1. Allows you to keep a check on the health of the vehicle
Fleet is a massive investment, but depreciation is also a reality. With time, its productivity is marred and expenses might see a rise.
Monitoring the cost per mile and cost per engine hour of the buses is essential to discard them before they become a burden on the company.
Big data allows managers to have a better understanding of each vehicles’ wear and tear and thereby enabling a precise repair schedule.
Many consider repairs as an additional investment. But studies have shown that proper maintenance of vehicles improves their lifespan and productivity.
A well-quality fleet software allows you a greater insight on aspects like fuel usage, fault code values, temperature levels or tyres pressure. Potential trouble areas can be identified easily before the issue is escalated.
Real-time data allows you to take proactive actions about the fleet. For example, in case the tyre’s pressure is too low, the managers can inform the driver who can then stop and fix the problem, rather than waiting for a mishap to occur.
2. Reduced vehicle downtime and proper asset management
Sudden vehicle breakdown can be a major disaster for business. It not only wrecks with the other fleet’s schedule but can also leave a dent on the brand, besides wasting the driver hours.
Relying on drivers to inform you about routine maintenance may not always work. An ill-maintained vehicle is not only a scare for security but also a burden on the pocket.
Up-time relies on two major factors — vehicle inspection and proper maintenance. Analytics takes care of both these things.
The data tells you exactly which vehicle needs a repair when. It ensures that maintenance issues are taken care of before they become breakdowns.
A good quality software alerts you when your vehicle is due for repair.
As a result, you properly manage your assets well in advance – know which vehicle is out for repair when and which driver is off the road because the fleet is under the maintenance.
3. Ensures safety
The by-product of fewer breakdowns and a well-repaired machine is a reduction in the number of accidents.
The real-time analytics allows the managers to focus on speed of the vehicle, routes taken and the commuters inside the fleet.
Understanding which driving behavior is problematic can help you train those drivers and enhance their skills.
A major factor which companies sometimes forget to take into account is driver fatigue. For safety, it is imperative that you ensure that the driver works for reasonable hours and take proper breaks before resuming the driver.
The data from your telematics helps you to look out for total drive time, miles, speed and the number of stops taken by the driver. Hence, you make out genuine fatigue cases from the fraud ones.
The data also increases accountability within the employees. When they know that real-time data is being generated and monitored, drivers tend to keep a check on their speed, idle time and their driving behavior.
Safety of your fleet and those inside it can not only be easy on pocket but can be great for the brand image as well.
4. Enhances fuel management
Fuel remains the biggest expense for the fleets. The telematics gives you an insight not only on the total fuel expenses of the company but also offer the details on how it is being used.
Driving behavior is the biggest impact on the fuel economy. Drivers who drive rash or accelerate aggressively are not only a threat to security but are also wasting fuel unnecessarily.
A truck idling an average of three hours a day can add the equivalent of over 27,000 miles in engine wear and tear in a year.
Keep a lookout for instances of speeding, engine idle or harsh turning. Data allows you to find out if the fuel costs are increasing because of bad driving practices or there are the other reasons.
Vehicle’s wear and tear also adds to the fuel costs. The longer a vehicle spends time on the road, the more it ages and higher is the fuel costs. Periodic maintenance also helps in reducing the costs.
Data also allows you to compare the amount of fuel consumption against the route, time taken and the driving behavior. This helps you to understand which vertical is adding to the expense.
A good fleet software comes with integrated fuel cards. As a result, all fuel receipts are automatically uploaded on the dashboard. You can hence be relieved that no theft is taking place.
After analyzing the data, consider the kind of fuel that you want your vehicles to use. Also, discuss with drivers alternative routes and reducing idle time – thereby reducing the fuel expenses.
5. Optimize Routes & Schedules
A properly managed fleet can reduce your company’s expense by more than 15 percent. Optimizing the routes that your trucks or buses take will help you cut down your costs.
Telematics allows the managers and drivers to plan their drive better. Real-time data from GPS allows the drivers to look out for routes on which they can avoid traffic. This not only saves time but also the fuel.
Managers can also combine trips idle time, driving behavior. The data allows you to know which vehicle is going in which route and by what time is it expected to be back.
By looking into the route performance, the managers can spot trips that are frequently ahead of or are running behind the schedule.
Capturing current and historical data of the routes and the average time taken can help them accurately plan the driving and distribution of resources accordingly.
Best Fleet management System is integrated with GPS and sensor monitoring that not only gives you an edge in terms of safety but also reduces the downtime as well as it brings down the expenses as well.
What can be a better investment that helps in saving time and money, all at once?
5 Reasons Why You Need Fleet Management In Logistics Industry
1. Real-time monitoring of the vehicle
Logistics is concerned with planning and executing the efficient transportation and storage of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption.
As a result, monitoring the movement of the fleet is imperative to ensure that the goods are safe and in the right hands.
While real-time monitoring allows the management insight into the last leg of the delivery, it also gives the consumers updates on when the goods will finally reach them.
2. Allows you to leveraging the big data and reduce costs
In the competitive world of today, where profit margins are wafer-thin, companies need greater insights into their employees’ work style to get a cutting edge over others in the market.
An easy way to do this is to stay updated about your fleet and your drivers. Fleet generates a vast amount of data — fuel maintenance, vehicle health, routes taken and drivers performance among the other vehicles.
Data analytics allows you to leverage information derived from these sources into profits.
With GPS on board, you can track your shipment from any part of the globe. You can also keep a tab on when the vehicle started the onward journey for the delivery, the rest stops taken and what is the expected time taken to reach the destination.
You can also keep a lookout on the driving skills, speed check, signal jumps among the other things. When the drivers know that every step is being closely watched upon, they tend to be more conscious of the driving and careful about the goods that they are tagging along.
Analyzing this data allows the logistics team to look at the patterns at play and modify strategies accordingly.
Information derived from the analysis can also be used to impress consumers. Companies can use the data to negotiate with the customers on how often they deliver on time or sometimes even do fast delivery in the record time.
This not only gets you more customers in your kitty but also helps you build goodwill in the market. (How Big data can help you reduce your operational costs. Read here)
3. Improves transparency, increases accountability
The biggest advantage of a fleet tracker is that it empowers both ends of delivery — the manufacturer and the consumer.
Usually, both have access to information and are in a constant information loop concerning the transit of the goods. This improves the transparency cycle on both ends.
With access to data, all parties are on the same page when it comes to last-minute issues in delivery like traffic woes, communications issues, or failure of delivery due to unexpected issues.
This transparency is valuable to shippers, carriers, and customers. If there is a delay in any of the shipment, it will affect the entire supply chain. As a result, in case there are additional deliveries lined up, the carrier can prevent bottlenecks further down the chain.
4. Optimized routes
In logistics, late shipments are a reflection of laxity on the part of the delivery team. More than often, customers today know the estimated delivery time. Hence, you must make the right estimate.
Careful consideration is needed as you map the route. The companies should ponder over vehicles like unfavorable weather conditions, too much traffic or long stretches without rest stops or fuel refill station.
However, even with enough planning, you won’t be able to predict and tackle the hurdles.
This is where real-time monitoring becomes useful. With the information from GPS and sensors, companies can optimize their routes taking into account the above factors. They can also send vehicles out for delivery depending on fleet repair schedules, real-time delivery status, and much more.
With a GPS monitored map hooked to the system, the drivers can easily know which alternate routes to take in case they foresee traffic along the way.
With data analytics, you can also estimate the vehicles a particular route or delivery will require. Hence, you will not end up sending too many drivers on the same route at the same time. This not only ensures timely delivery but also saves money.
This is also helpful when dealing with sensitive goods or perishable items. Timely delivery of such goods is important. However, unexpected vehicular traffic can be a deterrent.
Real-time updates of the route will, however, alert the driver if the originally chosen route could result in damaging the goods. What’s better is that the software will automatically suggest alternate routes instead. (Last month we did an explainer on how fleet software can help you better optimize your routes. Read here)
5. Improved customer experience
Timely delivery results in enhanced customer satisfaction, which in turn reflects well on the image of the brand. It not only helps in customer retention but also helps you increase your reach.
With a well-managed software, you can have reliable and quick reports of the entire day about where and how your fleet has moved. This information can be accessed anytime and from anywhere.
Hence, you can resolve consumer issues as soon as you spot one, without wasting any time.
Sensors on delivery trucks, fleet maintenance schedules, real-time fleet status indicators, and personnel schedules along with the traffic and weather updates, can be integrated into a fleet management software. Data analyzed from this can be a game-changer for you.
Armed with the right technology, the logistics industry is expanding at a rapid space. Go forward and embrace it. What are you waiting for?
How to Finance Your Trucking Business Like A Pro
The trucking industry is the bedrock of any economy, without which industries can perish and countries come to a stand-still. Trucking as a business can be one of the most profitable ventures, but given that it is capital intensive as well as operationally cost heavy, it is imperative that start-ups and trucking companies evaluate their financial requirements and get access to the right financing at every stage of the business.
Efficiently financing your trucking business involves the following two steps:
Understanding and Choosing the Right Financing Option (Short Term and Long Term)
Acing the Eligibility Criteria
Understanding and Choosing the Right Financing Option
Short Term Cash Flow Financing
Freight Bill Factoring (FBF):
Typically, payments in the trucking business are delayed, with clients paying up as late as 60 days. However operational expenses are continuous, which results in a cash crunch that could cripple the business even before it takes off.
In this situation, you could choose to finance your freight invoices (for the freight that has been already delivered) via freight bill factoring. The lender would provide as much as 90-97% of the invoice upfront, and the balance (less the fee) once the client pays up.
In the US, you can avail this facility if you have a reasonably good credit score, even if you are in business for less than a year, provided your client is credit worthy.
Short Term Working Capital Loan:
When you need to grow your business by taking on new contracts, you can opt for a short-term loan to tide over the immediate expenses such as labor, fuel and other running costs.
These loans have a repayment term of 3-36 months with weekly payments. They usually carry no penalty for prepayment but may come at a fixed interest charge.
To avail this facility, you need a good credit score and must be in business for at least a year with an annual revenue of at least $100,000.
Small Business Line of Credit:
This serves as a quick source of working capital for recurring cash flow gaps, without unnecessary charges. You can borrow and repay multiple times without reapplying, and fund all your short-term expenses as they come – be it new runs, fuel expenses, insurance payments, unexpected repairs etc. You only pay interest on the amount you borrow.
You can avail this facility for an amount less than $100,000, repayable within a year, at interest rates ranging from 13-20%. Eligibility requirements are the same as for short term loans.
Business Credit Cards:
As in the case of any credit card, you can float your operating expenses for a period of 30 days without interest. You can use this card for fuel purchases, toll payments, insurance etc. These cards charge interest at 15-29% along with an annual fee. However, most of them offer attractive cash back rewards and 0% introductory offers.
The maximum credit limit is generally not more than $30,000 but the lenders will evaluate your credit score, annual revenue as well as your monthly expenses, before deciding your eligibility and credit limit.
Long Term Capital Financing
Owner/ Operator Start Up Loan:
In the US, these are SBA guaranteed loans for amounts up to $ 5 Million, with lower interest rates (8-11%) and longer repayment periods – up to 10 years. However, additional loan packaging and guarantee fees are applicable.
You could be an absolute start up or a mature business looking to fund new truck purchases, or expanding to a new geography or hub.
You do need to have a good credit score, but most importantly, you need to be able to provide collateral for 50% of the loan amount, and be able to pay at least 10% of the loan amount as a down payment. You may also be expected to independently finance up to 30% of your total start-up cost.
Equipment Financing versus Leasing
Equipment financing is suitable for trucking companies looking to grow their business by buying new trucks/ trailers, replacing existing ones or starting a new trucking business.
It covers expensive equipment purchases (up to $ 500,000), has low interest rates (6-9%) and long-term repayment – as per the useful life span of the vehicle. The vehicle being purchased is used as collateral in this case. Additionally, you need to be able to pay a down payment of 5-20% of the cost.
For those who cannot pay up the down payment, and are not sure if they will need the vehicle after 3 years, leasing the equipment can be a better option.
Leasing offers more flexibility, lower monthly rental payments, and less time commitment; but comes with mileage restrictions and mandatory maintenance guidelines. Moreover, insurance rates are always higher for leasing.
In contrast, if you opt for a loan, you build ownership equity every year and once the loan is paid, you own an asset that can generate profits for you.
Acing the Eligibility Criteria
As is evident from the above, whether you choose a loan or short-term financing – there really is no substitute for a good credit score. Nonetheless, how do you ensure your access to the best financing at the lowest rates?
Here are some ways in which you can build leverage and tilt the scales in your favor:
Choose a Quality Vendor:
You could always buy a truck from a private party, but if you choose to buy from an established dealer, the lenders will be assured of a standardized paper trail and proper truck evaluations, making their decision easier.
Go for a Newer Truck:
The older the truck, more the expenses on wear and tear, repairs and breakdowns. In contrast, new trucks will have better mileage, and more modern fixtures and tools for driver assistance, viz., automatic emergency braking, lane assistance, lane departure warnings, cruise controls etc.
Ensure a Revenue Uptrend:
Lenders prefer to see an increasing revenue trend for a period of 3-6 months, so ensure that you receive key invoice payments just prior to the application process.
Get Optimal Insurance Coverage:
If you already have insurance coverage on your existing fleet, it gives a positive signal to lenders. Also, in many cases, you need to secure insurance for new equipment before the loan amount gets credited in your account.
Reduce Operating Expenses:
The lenders want to see a healthy net operating income, for which you need to minimize operating costs on your existing fleet. You may not be able to do anything about fuel prices, but you can reduce fuel expenses and maintenance costs by adopting an efficient fleet management system.
This system will help in efficient routing and monitoring mileage performance. Similarly, you can set up vehicle maintenance schedules in the system to regularly check oil changes / engine tune ups and inspect the braking, transmission and electrical systems.
Demonstrate High Safety Standards:
If you invest in the right hardware and software to ensure safety, lenders will know you are committed to high standards. The best GPS fleet management system will not only monitor your drivers for safe driving practices, but also ensure that your vehicles are tracked in real time on a map, and have the necessary panic alarms and alert notifications in case of an accident, theft or emergency.
Thus, choosing the correct financing option and ensuring optimal financing of your trucking business can be an overwhelming task if you are just starting out; but with careful financial and business planning, and a firm commitment to long term goals, you can not only repay your loan faster but also enjoy long term profitability of your capital investments.
How To Build Driver & Fleet Safety With AI
Enhancing driver and fleet safety has always been a top priority for fleet managers, and smart fleet managers recognize that a safer fleet is invariably more productive and efficient.
In recent times, GPS tracking systems along with IOT and cloud computing have helped to bring greater visibility in operations, thereby increasing fleet safety.
However, by deploying an advanced fleet management system, it is now possible to take safety to a whole new level, using the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Read on to see how:
1.AI Dash Cameras:
These are wide angled, high definition, integrated video cameras that capture sensor-based information on road conditions, the driver’s facial movements and his driving behavior.
They employ machine learning techniques on historical and live data to predict and categorize events. They can detect all kinds of traffic violations and unsafe driver behavior such as distracted driving, harsh braking, tailgating, rolling stops etc.
All such incidents are categorized and reported in real time to fleet managers via the cloud. Some systems go a step further and give out instant in-vehicle alerts to drivers, so that they can correct their driving in real time. The intensity of the alarm is based on the severity of the violation.
By identifying the distance of vehicle on the road ahead, and calculating time to headway, they instantly alert the driver if the distance is equivalent to 3 seconds or less.
The system also sets up targeted video based coaching modules for drivers, based on their own driving history. On the other side of the coin, companies are also using this system to gather evidences of good driving behavior, devise driver score cards and incentive programs to reward star performers and motivate drivers to do better.
2.Predicting Un-safe Drivers:
This involves the integration of all existing safety systems in the vehicle, viz., telematics, video systems, detailed HR records, driver behavior, accident and collision records, training records, vehicle information and performance data.
AI is used to analyze this information and build models around patterns of behavior to predict the likelihood of events. As more data is fed into the system, it gets more and more refined.
The end result is a risk score that is assigned to each driver. Managers can drill down to specific safety events for the driver and work out their next steps – whether to go for a coaching call, a training module or face to face counseling.
The system captures various sensor-based images and data from the vehicles while on the road, along with G-force (Gravitational force equivalent) data. When the G-force is high, it would be easy to assume that there was a collision, but in reality, it is not always the case.
Machine learning is used to analyze numerous streams of data points and uncover patterns that predict an actual collision at a very high level of accuracy.
Detecting a true collision is crucial for fleet managers, so that they can take immediate and confident action on a collision report.
Additionally, a comprehensive collision report is generated comprising of vehicle and driver identification, vehicle direction, points of impact, severity of damage, driver injury, location, map view, road conditions, series of events that led to the collision and visual evidence.
This detailed information equips managers to take decisions regarding claims and also serves as hard evidence in case of legal issues.
The system analyzes millions of data points on traffic, road conditions, environmental hazards, real time weather, plus vehicle data to predict risk in real time.
This results in optimized routes, schedules and dispatch systems on the go.
The system collects raw sensor-based vehicle data across a multitude of vehicle systems, e.g., coolant temperature, engine condition, tire pressure, vehicle performance, driver behavior etc.
This data is then married with contextual data such as weather, ambient temperature, maintenance schedules, accident/ breakdown/ down time records etc. AI based predictive analytics is then used to analyze trends and predict a vehicle fault before it happens.
When the system alerts the manager of an impending problem, he then has plenty of time to figure out a response. He can decide whether to get the driver to bring the vehicle to a halt, stop at the nearest service station, complete the route, or disregard the alert. The action taken is also fed into the system, which helps the system to learn and refine its algorithm.
The system also predicts and recommends the most effective and efficient maintenance schedule in real time. Fleet managers no longer have to spend on routine maintenance, their maintenance spends become more targeted and focused on predicted and prioritized events.
According to a report by Mckinsey, predictive maintenance done in this way can reduce costs by up to 40% and down time by up to 50%.
The integration of AI and ML in fleet management is proving to be a real game changer in the transportation and logistics industry. Benefits are far reaching, early adopters are rewarded with a new competitive edge, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Fleet operators are only beginning to understand the potential of AI.
Deploying the best fleet management system, companies can leverage AI to potentially save on operating costs, increase driver and vehicle productivity, save fuel, mitigate claims, reduce insurance costs and even increase service life of their fleet.
What’s more, in a competitive industry where recruiting and retaining drivers is the biggest challenge, AI can help to keep drivers engaged and motivated to perform better. What more could one ask for?
What is the Future of Mobility Solutions for Fleet Management?
The era of mobility has changed the landscape of fleet management and will continuously do so at a fast pace for the upcoming time. That means fleet managers will rely on fleet management companies which will lead the way in implementing these changes.
The drive towards mobility will profoundly affect ride-hailing, car-sharing, and last-mile delivery, which represent upcoming opportunities and the new markets for fleet management companies to add value to an emerging space.
With this enormous change, traditional fleet businesses can incorporate these new vehicle usage models into their strategies. For instance, firms are augmenting a vehicle with a possibility for an employee to use ride-hailing or car-sharing and have their company manage transactions.
Mobility Solutions: The Future
The mobility innovations in demand will adequately enhance productivity, safety, and the ability to connect. Indeed, with the fresh mobility evolution, we can say, it is here to say.
Time runs fast and waits for no one; that’s the reason fleet management software being so crucial for fleet managers. They need to spend time optimally by automating several tasks by fleet technology. From scooters to cars, airplanes, and more, innovation has made tremendous changes as to how swiftly we can move from one location to another.
In spite of the fleet industry, the latest technological advancements, and asset improvements will completely transform a mobile asset management strategy. Mobility evolution is also creating a growing demand for successful fleet management.
Autonomous Vehicles: The Trending innovation
One of the innovative trends in the fleet industry is autonomous vehicles. Automobile manufacturers and technology organizations are coming together in the race to autonomous vehicles adoption.
Many newer model vehicles are already equipped with driver-assist features, such as parking assistance and lane-keeping. Meanwhile, big brands like Tesla have autopilot features available; however, it’s not fully autonomous.
For fleet companies, adopting AV can be a value addition. It could allow fleet operators for services like vehicle inspection enabling filling out reports on a mobile device and interact with supervisors and customers, all without focusing entirely on driving.
No matter how the vehicle is operated, fleet managers need to manage assets to maximize their ROI properly. As a part of the fleet manager’s duties, preventive maintenance, tracking costs, and charging will remain the vital functions.
Delivery Drones: The Latest invention in Delivery Vertical
The popularity of drones has increased over the past decade. It’s famous for both commercial and recreational use, and the growth is rapid.
For last-mile delivery, drones offer unique opportunities to solve fast delivery challenges. As per the U.S Census Bureau, E-commerce sales increased 13.3% from the second quarter from the year 2018 to the second quarter of the year 2019.
The increasing demand for online shopping has presented both the opportunities and hurdles for the logistics and transportation industry. A couple of years ago, E-commerce giant Amazon successfully delivered a product through a drone without using a human pilot.
As per its claims, Amazon will be able to deliver products weighing under 5 pounds in 30 minutes or lesser. However, the company still must address some regulatory obstacles. Still, it’s moving forward with the motivated push to deliver products faster than anyone else and cater to more regular locations than ever before.
The Importance of Fleet Management Software
With the advent of autonomous driving, individual fleets needs to automate their operational tasks. Fortunately, the process is already put into action.
With best fleet management software, you can automate monotonous data entry operations and automatically measure fuel and maintenance costs. It helps you determine the total cost of owning an asset.
In the future, vehicle connectivity and insights will expand exponentially. The laser-based technology allows vehicles to draw 360-degree views, sense risks, and provide feedback instantly. These devices are precise yet sensitive. Any disparity can lead to a severely damaging impact on a vehicle’s safety.
Although, integration of GPS hardware and telematics with fleet management system can help you get real-time updates along with pinpointing issues and take quick actions. It’s yet another step towards gaining a dynamic approach to fleet management.
What is the Future of Fleet Management?
With the extending vehicle connectivity and available information, the demand for skillful fleet experts is growing. As the fleets won’t be able to maintain itself automatically, businesses may need to implement a fleet management solution to remain up-to-date.
As mentioned initially in this post, the dependence on fleet management solutions will reinforce with time, especially with Autonomous Vehicles. With the absence of operators to reveal unforeseen issues, fleet managers may need to use software and technology to fetch insightful data.
It will further highlight the need for preventive maintenance, which can be managed by using the software. Fleet management app can automatically set service deadlines and notify directly to the fleet manager.
Also, service intervals can be tailored based on the vehicle type. With this potential, a fleet manager will be able to see each mobile asset in spite of its location. It’s beneficial for them to expand operations as the business reaches to the new heights.
Mobility Solutions for Fleet Management – A Necessity
Adoption of mobility solutions for fleet may happen sooner than you anticipate. Many business owners and decision-makers are eagerly finding ways to increase their margins and use the latest technology to boost their bottom line. The advanced mobility could be the catalyst for taking a fleet business to the next level.
If you still haven’t embraced a mobile-based management software for your fleet business, ask yourself, is your company still satisfied with the traditional processes?
Fleet Management Software: What to Expect in 2020
As an enterprise or commercial fleet manager, increasing the efficiency of your fleet is probably one of your most important goals. Yet, if you still haven’t invested in a vehicle fleet management software or haven’t really seen results from the software you invested in, its probably because you didn’t expect much from it in the first place.
The truth is, fleet tracking is no more just about locating your vehicle’s position on a map. Thanks to radical advancements in GPS tracking system and the application of telematics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, a whole lot more is now possible.
Here’s what you can expect from a modern fleet management software in 2020:
1.Live Visibility of Your Vehicles
Most GPS trackers out there update their information every 5 to 10 minutes, which means they can show you where your vehicle has been rather than where it is right now.
But advanced GPS trackers can now give you live, up to the second visibility of your vehicles. This real time information will prove invaluable as you track your vehicles, helping you determine which vehicle is closest to a last-minute job, or alert a driver if he is headed towards a traffic laden area.
A modern fleet vehicle today may have as many as 200 connected data points – which are nothing but sensors attached to your vehicles, measuring essential parameters such as speed, direction, tire pressure, engine oil viscosity, emission level, ambient and internal temperature, etc.
Sensors can also measure fast acceleration, over speeding, abrupt turning and hard braking by drivers. An overwhelming amount of data gets generated from these sensors.
Modern Fleet Management Systems can now help to collect, store and analyze this sensor generated data and convert them to actionable insights delivered on your smartphone, by leveraging the power of the cloud.
So now, a Speed Alert notification on your phone could indicate that the driver of a vehicle had crossed the given speed limit; or a Geo-fence alert could indicate to you that a vehicle had crossed a pre marked work area or boundary.
Fleet management solutions have intelligent navigation systems that can take into consideration a host of parameters such as sales territories, pick-ups/ delivery orders, vehicle characteristics and capacities, as well as on-ground information. The system allocates vehicles, route plans and deliveries in the most optimal way possible.
This results in the most efficient route plans for your deliveries, which means lesser travel time, miles covered, and number of vehicles used. The resources saved in this way can be used to service new orders, commitments or territories in future, which would positively impact productivity, sales and profit.
4.Live Real-Time Asset tracking
Ensuring the safety and integrity of assets on board your vehicles is crucial to your business. IOT based tracking devices can be attached to these assets.
These devices then collect and transmit a stream of geo-locational and environmental data, which is processed and delivered over the cloud to your smartphone.
This information helps you ascertain their safety as well as the location and the speed at which they are being taken to their destination.
5.Enhanced Driver and Fleet Safety
Research has shown that most accidents are caused by speeding, distracted driving or tailgating. Sensors can detect speeding, harsh braking, sudden swerving etc. and send instant alerts to the fleet managers.
AI based high definition Dash Cameras can capture sensor-based information about road conditions, driver behavior and even the driver’s facial movements.
All such live and historical data is then processed using machine learning tools to predict and categorize events and behavior such as traffic violations, harsh braking, tailgating, distracted driving, etc.
These are then reported in real time to fleet managers. Drivers also receive instant in-vehicle alerts if they show signs of fatigue or distracted driving.
6.Reduced Direct Labor Costs
Drivers get optimized route plans and turn by turn navigation support which makes their job a lot easier. Besides, event based personalized video coaching gives them insights on how to improve their driving habits.
The system can also help devise driver score cards based on driving behavior and a host of other parameters. Incentive programs can then be created to reward star performers and motivate drivers to do better.
Many such factors add up to enhance driver satisfaction and retention, which translates into lower recruitment and training costs.
7.Reduction In Fuel Consumption
Fuel is the single largest contributor to fleet operating costs. However, thanks to optimal route plans, overall miles travelled get reduced. Additionally, since driver behavior is closely monitored, over time drivers learn to drive more smoothly without harsh braking, undue acceleration and idling of the engine.
All of this enhances fuel efficiency and reduces the overall fuel expenses. Over a month or even a week, this can mean huge savings.
8.Superior Maintenance Management
Timely maintenance is an absolute necessity to reduce the impact of wear and tear and increase the life of your vehicles. Analytic tools are employed to analyze vehicle health parameters, maintenance schedules and vehicle breakdown data to predict the most optimal time for preventive maintenance for a vehicle.
Accordingly, a preventive maintenance schedule and corresponding set of alerts could be fed into the system. By following this schedule fleet managers can avoid major breakdowns, repair costs and downtime in the future.
Complying with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations is crucial for a fleet. This regulation serves to ensure that drivers do not drive without rest for extended periods of time.
Telematics can help to measure and record Hours of Service (HOS) data to help fleet operators to easily comply with Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations in U.S and Canada. Similarly, in the European Union, it helps to meet drivers’ hours and tachograph requirements.
10.Enhanced Customer service
Customers are getting increasingly demanding, requiring faster and more frequent deliveries within tighter time frames. Thanks to optimized routing, you can expect more on time deliveries.
Moreover, real time information on vehicle location, routes taken as well as traffic conditions helps you offer a more accurate expected time of arrival (ETA) to customers, and ensures that their expectations are managed well.
With regard to fleet tracking solutions in 2020, one thing is certain – Expect more, and you will get more.
If you carefully evaluate your options and invest in a comprehensive fleet management GPS system, you will most likely be able to realize a positive ROI within a year, not to mention a real competitive advantage achieved on account of greater productivity, reduced costs and increased customer satisfaction.
How To Avoid Violating Road-check Compliance Using Fleet Management System?
Every year, truck drivers and fleets face announced and unannounced inspections, including International Roadcheck by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in North America.
The International Road-check identifies and removes unsafe commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and drivers from roadways. As per the 2019 International Road-check results, over 23 percent of inspected vehicles were tagged with out-of-service (OOS) violations.
Failing a road-check inspection can adversely affect your fleet operations, causing increased downtime and potential fines. To avoid violations and reduce downtime, CMV drivers should conduct thorough Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR).
But DVIRs have been extremely time-consuming. Leveraging fleet management software for inspections can significantly reduce the time spent on DVIRs. That is why many fleets are switching to fleet management systems and going digital with eDVIR.
Common Road-check Violations
• Vehicle Violations: Braking systems, tires, wheels, cargo securement, etc.
• Driver Violations: Hours of service (HOS), wrong class license, false logs, etc.
Consequences of Violations and Out-of-Service Orders
1. Out-of-service orders negatively impact a commercial carrier’s
• Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) scores (also known as CSA BASIC score).
• Safety Fitness Determination rating
2. Other consequences of out-of-service orders could be delivery delays, lost driver wages and revenue, and eventually lost customers.
How to Avoid Violations and Stay Road-check Compliant?
1. To pass driver and vehicle inspections, the carrier needs to be proactive, be well prepared, know what documentation must be available with the driver, and maintain equipment that conforms to regulations.
2. Preparations should include making sure the driver is fully qualified, has all his/her credentials, and updated logs for the current day and the previous seven days.
The driver should follow road rules, including wearing a seat-belt with no speeding or unsafe driving. The driver should also inspect the vehicle regularly, including thorough pre-trip, during the trip, and post-trip inspections.The driver should get defective items fixed and make checks on cargo and cargo securement devices throughout the trip.
3. The best way to avoid vehicle violations at road-checks is to do a thorough pre-trip inspection of the vehicle before it leaves the base. Any defects in the equipment should be repaired before the vehicle is driven.
Driver and Vehicle Inspections
• Driver Inspection Checklist
1. Inspectors will check drivers for fatigue or illness, using a seat-belt, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
2. The inspector will also ask the driver for the following documents:
I. Driver’s License
II. Medical card (if a non-CDL driver)
III. Hours-of-service records (electronic or paper logs as applicable)
IV. Proof of the vehicle’s annual inspection
V. The vehicle’s registration and fuel permit (if required)
3. The officer will also verify the validity of the carrier’s credentials
• Vehicle Inspection Items
While inspecting the vehicle, the following items are checked:
5. Brakes (including all mechanical components, ABS, low-air warning, and trailer breakaway brake/tractor protection valve, if required).
6. Tires, rims, and hubs
7. Windows, windshield, windshield wipers and washer
9. Fuel system
10. Coupling devices
11. Emergency equipment (fire extinguisher, warning devices, and spare fuses, if required)
12. Cargo and equipment securement
15. Suspension components
16. Steering (including mechanical components and wheel lash/free play)
How Fleet Management System Helps Roadcheck Compliance?
A good fleet management system can help commercial carriers stay road-check compliant at all times. The software provides an end-to-end inspection process that promotes clear communication and improves efficiency within the team.
The system provides safety and compliance services, including:
• Approved electronic logging devices
• Electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (eDVIRs)
• Advise fleets to thoroughly train drivers, fleet managers, and maintenance personnel on the details of inspections before road-check.
• Complete information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) compliance checks and compliance with the CSA BASICs
How eDVIRs Can Help You Avoid Violations?
DVIRs are required for all commercial fleets to ensure the fleet is proactive in preventative maintenance and remain safe and compliant at all times.
However, paper DVIR can be time-consuming and error-prone. Paper reports are difficult to maintain and can get easily misplaced or damaged. Moreover, issues identified during vehicle inspections aren’t immediately reported to fleet managers, delaying the repair process.
Adopting a fleet management system for electronic DVIR (eDVIR) increases efficiency, reduces errors, and streamlines the issue-reporting process.
The key benefits of eDVIRs are:
• Quick Inspection Results Reporting: eDVIR allows drivers to conduct comprehensive vehicle inspections through the digital system, providing fleet managers real-time inspection results to quickly resolve issues.
• Clearer Reporting: eDVIR helps save drivers’ time to complete inspections. With features like easy clicks, swiping, adding photos, and posting comments to any inspection item, drivers can be clearer in their reporting. This gives fleet managers a better understanding of identified issues.
• Organized Central Record: eDVIR results and issues are logged in a centralized location, where data is transferred instantly, allowing fleet managers to quickly resolve issues of individual vehicles. The centralized data allows managers to see inspection trends across the entire fleet and keep an organized record of DVIRs.
• Proactive Maintenance Strategy: Immediate inspection reporting via email and mobile reminders allows fleet managers to prepare a maintenance strategy for a vehicle before it returns to the base,
• Automated Failure Workflows: Fleet management software can create automated failure workflows when inspection items fail during eDVIR. This helps in taking timely action and staying organized.
• Alerts & Reminders: To ensure drivers are completing eDVIR on time, fleet management software allows you to set mobile alerts and reminders to alert drivers when inspections are due.
• Monitor Driver Integrity: Using the system, the fleet manager can also monitor driver integrity by tracking the GPS location of every inspection item on a form to alert you on suspected submissions.
Using an efficient all-in-one fleet management system for eDVIR makes it easy for drivers to comply with roadside inspections and avoid violations and hefty fines. So, is your fleet and drivers staying compliant and on the road?
Fleet monitoring is helpful for logistics businesses to utilize their resources in the most beneficial way possible.
The organized approach of the GPS tracking system improves efficacy without any unnecessary chaos of managing a fleet of trucks. Thus, using an efficient GPS can effectively manage your fleet operations seamlessly.
Top 10 Innovative Concepts For Advanced Fleet Management Systems
Fleet management is critical to the overall success of a transportation company.
To further reduce transportation costs, improve efficiency, and minimize complexities across the fleet operation, many companies are turning to more advanced fleet management systems.
Let us look at some of the advanced concepts and technologies being used to develop more intelligent fleet management systems.
Advanced Telematics systems combine GPS navigation with onboard diagnostic sensors to be able to record the exact location and speed of a vehicle at any given time.
They also combine the black box and a communication port to enable the driver to communicate directly with the back office and even download additional fleet management applications on the connected smartphone or tablet.
They provide deep insights like live tyre pressure, braking, turn metrics, and even tailgating alerts. This information can be shared with drivers to apprise them of their performance on-road and suggest changes to improve safety and vehicle longevity.
Advanced telematics also enables measurement of the temperature of transported goods in real-time.
2.Onboard Advanced Security Devices:
For centralized control and better security management, transportation businesses can install onboard security devices that allow the central office to take control over a stolen vehicle and reduce its speed.
These devices enable GPS coordinates to be shared with the police to identify the real-time location of the stolen vehicle.
3.Electronic Key Box:
With a fully-integrated electronic key box, the system provides a self-service option to drivers for the automated, safe & secure, unattended collection and return of vehicle keys.
Keys can be accessed by drivers at any time of the day or night, without having to employ a staff member for key management.
Timestamp entries of keys pickup and return are automatically done.
The system also verifies if the driver’s license is valid, and he/she is permitted to drive the type of vehicle before issuing keys. These ensure compliance with Health and Safety requirements.
If keys are not picked up by the designated driver, within a stipulated time, then the vehicle assigned to the driver can be automatically cancelled and transferred to another driver.
4.Intelligent Autonomous & Driving-Assistance Capabilities:
Integration of autonomous and driving-assistance capabilities within future vehicles by combining mobile robots, control architectures, and computer vision.
Development of the concept of the automated urban vehicle using the control and decisional architecture to provide each vehicle with the required autonomous capabilities.
Use of autonomous vehicles for 3 types of maneuvers:
lane following or lane changing
5.Centralized Fleet Management System for Cyber-cars:
Cybernetic vehicles or cyber-cars are automatically-guided vehicles for passenger transport on dedicated networks like shopping centers, amusement parks, etc.
The central fleet management system for cyber-cars:
has centralized control of the routing network
allows customers to make reservations for vehicles via phone/kiosk/internet, etc.
performs pooling of customer requests
schedules and routes cyber-cars to pick the customers at their respective stations at desired time intervals
directs empty cyber-cars to new services or parking stations
transfers low battery level cyber-cars to recharge stations
6.Real-time Fleet Management System that Handles Unexpected Events:
Urban freight distribution schedules may get disrupted due to unexpected events, such as adverse traffic conditions or vehicle failures. This may lead to delivery delays, higher costs, and bad customer service.
A real-time fleet management system is being designed and implemented that handles unexpected events during urban freight distribution and
monitors delivery vehicles
detects deviations from the distribution plan using dynamic travel time prediction
adjusts the delivery schedule accordingly by suggesting effective re-routing interventions.
7.AI-Powered Fleet Management Systems:
Artificial Intelligent fleet management solutions come with the following advance features:
Live Video Telematics technology allows you to see what’s going on in your fleet at any time.
Driver Identification with Facial Recognition technology allows the system to automatically recognize drivers that were set up. The system will always know when, where, and in which vehicle your driver is in.
The Fatigue Management feature notices when your drivers are tired and distracted, and manages the situation accordingly.
8.Intelligent Driver Behavior Monitoring System:
Using HD Video of Driver and Road, this system uses advanced artificial intelligence to process data from a dashcam to identify and interpret human driving behavior, saving lives, and improving driver performance.
Built-in infrared LED allows for low-light recording and night vision.
Intelligent AI safety Triggers and Warnings:
The technology monitors a driver’s head and eye positions and sends real-time in-cab alerts to drivers to remind them to focus and be more engaged with the road.
The Facial Recognition feature automatically identifies drivers for accurate data and reports.
The accident Prediction feature detects potential accidents by identifying a distracted and drowsy driver and sends an alert to the fleet manager. The dual-facing in-vehicle camera, sensors, and algorithms are used to detect distracted driving.
The video of the driver is sent, along with data of the events, to a web portal that the fleet manager can easily access.
The technology can also provide an overall driving score to drivers.
9.Sophisticated Remote Diagnostics & Repairs:
This involves the use of sophisticated technology to perform remote diagnostics and make use of software downloads to repair machines perfectly.
This technology completely eliminates the need for a technician to diagnose a problem and then cut down on repairs and maintenance costs.
10.Last-Mile Delivery Using Drones:
With an exponential increase in online ordering services, there will be an ongoing market for delivery vehicles.
With the practical application of drones for last-mile deliveries, you can bring in drastic changes in your delivery management, reaching both the distant and congested urban areas.
The use of drones will eventually transform the traditional fleets into a vocational sales fleets, and dominate fleet operations management, providing excellence in the logistics and delivery service business.
Technological innovations that are being used in developing advanced fleet management software is disruptive and highly engaging for drivers and fleet managers, thereby reducing the burden of fleet operations.
So, are you ready to implement these innovations into your business to transform your fleet operations and improve efficiency?