Fleet management refers to the overall actions that take place to keep a fleet running efficiently, on time, and within budget. It can be defined as the processes used by fleet managers to monitor fleet activities and make decisions from asset management, dispatch and routing, and vehicle acquisition and disposal. It helps companies ensure compliance, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.
This fleet management definition applies to any organization that uses five or more vehicles. Many industries use fleet management, including:
Fleet managers oversee the fleet's vehicles, work with the managers of other departments to make sure deliveries and jobs are completed on time, and ensure driver safety and regulatory compliance. In addition, they look at the big picture to determine how to improve fleet efficiencies and improve the business' bottom line.
These days, most fleet managers use a fleet management system to help improve the efficiency of and increase visibility into their operations as well as help them stay in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. This can include proactive vehicle maintenance, improving fleet safety, and automating and streamlining dispatching, to name just a few benefits of a fleet management system. Below are a few of the major benefits of using a fleet management system.
For a fleet manager, time is money. Fleet management software solutions can automate a lot of the tasks you're used to doing manually. By automating repetitive tasks, you can reduce your administrative burden, lower operating costs, and get time back to focus on growing the business. Fleet management solutions can help you:
As fleets increasingly adopt technology to keep up with the competition in crowded industries, fleet managers are responsible for optimizing operations, coordinating systems, technologies, and employees. Fleet managers must balance tightening capacity and with increasing demand as well as deal with other challenges like driver shortages, fluctuating fuel prices, and changing industry regulations. Managing a fleet's daily tasks as well as keeping an eye on the big picture is necessary to keep the company running smoothly and profitably.
With fleet management solutions that give you second-by-second details about your vehicles' locations and jobs progress, you get access -- in one central platform -- to insights and data that can help you improve your fleet's operational processes. You get multiple data points from your telematics solution that let you leverage metrics, such as vehicle utilization, driver behavior, and idle times, giving you insight into your fleet's productivity.
You can then make informed changes to improve processes as issues arise, in real-time. As your fleet becomes more efficient, it is also becoming more cost-effective. And as you use the tools to identify and correct inefficiencies such as driver behavior that leads to above-average fuel use or excessive idling, you can see significant savings.
Safety is a priority for fleets, and so it is a priority for fleet managers. Fleet management telematics lets you effectively monitor aggressive and dangerous behaviors at the driver, vehicle, and fleet-wide level. This information can be used to create driver safety programs, and if you integrate dashcams and safety analytics technology, you can develop personalized training programs, giving your drivers coaching that hones in on their specific issues, creating a safer fleet.
Managing commercial vehicles – whether five or 5,000 – is challenging on the best day. Add to the challenges you face everyday external influences that you have little to no control over, such as changes in legislation, uncertainty in the car market, and costs that can spiral out of control. The job can often feel overwhelming. Here are some of the major challenges fleet managers face.