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How Fleet Management Works
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How Fleet Management Works

What Does Fleet Management Involve?

Fleet management involves the administration, coordination, and organization of business vehicles. Fleet companies do this so they can control the lifespan of their vehicles, monitor the data gotten from their GPS fleet tracking software, and also make their operations more effective, less expensive, less risky, more productive and compliant with regulatory requirements.

Fleet companies operate in many sectors in the economy including, but not limited to public transport, construction, energy, emergency services, sales, delivery, and hauling. Some companies that do not have their own fleets depend on fleet companies for their supply chain needs. There are also businesses that outsource the service to fleet companies for convenience purposes.

Fleet Management Components

There are different components of a fleet management system and the major ones are listed below:

  • Fleet Tracking

This requires the use of GPS fleet tracking technology to monitor workers, vehicles or equipment. This data is collected in real-time so necessary actions can be taken as need arises. With this information, fleet managers would know the vehicles that are operational, their exact location, the vehicles available to be dispatched, and estimated times of arrival.

  • Fleet Management Software

This software allows fleet managers to gather all the information they need on one platform, and functions as a database for tracking revenue, expenses, customer updates, vehicle routes, dispatched drivers, and fuel consumption. Different applications might be used to collect individual data but they will all be channeled to the same platform to make administrative processes more convenient and efficient.

  • Telematics

These are black boxes placed and installed in fleet vehicles to track their performance and location, so fleet managers can have a clear picture of how their drivers are performing on the job. They can find out if their vehicles are being driven too fast, too slow, or are disobeying traffic laws. Some metrics telematics can report are vehicle speed, braking intensity, average fuel consumption per distance covered, load weight, and driving style. They can also inform managers if a vehicle’s ignition is switched on or off, whether doors are open or shut, or if the built-in alarm has been triggered. All data collected is sent to the company’s servers for analysis.

If your business is looking to invest in a telematics system, you may want to run a comparison collated of trusted partners on iCompario. Such online comparison sites can help you with everything from effective vehicle tracking and real time vehicle diagnostics to fuel card management, as well as integration with dashcam feed.

  • Security Features

Cybersecurity should be taken seriously because online platforms are prone to attacks if they are not adequately protected. Fleet companies are strongly advised to vet any software they use for operations to ensure they are safe from cyber threats. All electronic components should be encrypted and demand identity verification before they can be accessed.

Additionally, it would help to have IT personnel that understands the security infrastructure in close contact with the fleet managers in case there is a security breach that needs urgent attention. The IT personnel should know how the security systems work, where the data is stored, how to backup and recover data, and all the third party service providers.

Sophisticated security systems make provisions for driver identification. This means drivers would need to provide their biometric data to identify themselves before they start their vehicle, thus preventing theft. It also lets the managers know the specific driver driving a particular vehicle at any time.

  • Maintenance Tracking

This allows for proactive maintenance because keeping an accurate record of vehicle maintenance and repairs lets fleet managers properly schedule future maintenance exercises. It also lets managers plan purchase orders for vehicle spare parts in advance. Creating maintenance schedules help save cost because it is less expensive to service a working vehicle, than to repair a broken down one.

GPS fleet tracking helps managers monitor mileage, fuel consumptions and the number of hours an engine has been operational. This information can also be used to determine when some vehicles need servicing or repair.

What to Know About Fleet Tracking

There are two main types of GPS fleet tracking and the one a fleet company picks depends on their business needs. These are Active and Passive tracking.

Active tracking involves the collection of relevant data like vehicle location, mileage, speed, and travel route in real-time. This method needs constant internet connection to enable the processing and transfer of this data to the managers as soon as they are being collected. Additionally, it allows drivers to receive real-time alerts and lets fleet managers have strategic control of the fleet of vehicles in their care.

For instance, logistics companies can reroute their drivers after they have already been dispatched to a location, without them having to return to their base first. Active tracking systems also allow companies to set up predetermined routes on a map that drivers have to follow. Deviation from this route will alert the fleet manager immediately.

Passive tracking systems have the capacity to collect and store the aforementioned data offline while drivers are making trips. However, once reconnected to the fleet management software, all the records would be transferred and can then be assessed and analyzed by the managers as they see fit. Active trackers are more expensive to set up and maintain, but their provision of real-time data makes the extra cost worthwhile.

Benefits of Fleet Management Software

  1. Fleet management software simplifies administrative functions like invoicing, price quoting, driver dispatch, expense management, and customer communication.
  2. It facilitates the proactive maintenance of vehicles because the repair and maintenance history of the entire fleet would be preserved.
  3. It can simplify the communication between fleet managers and drivers on duty.
  4. Important information like fuel consumption, driver behavior, and travel routes can be collected and analyzed.
  5. Theft of vehicles can be prevented if driver identification is enabled.
  6. It can help to monitor regulatory compliance metrics.

Endnote

Fleet management is essential to the effective running of companies that have a fleet of vehicles at their disposal. It helps to make their operations more efficient, cost-effective and regulatory-compliant. There is software that needs to be installed and integrated into existing fleet management framework for important data to be collected for analysis.

Since it is paramount for tough security features to be put in place to prevent cyber threats, there should also be competent IT personnel at hand to deal with cyber attacks as soon as they occur.

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