One of the best tools a fleet manager has to help them manage, monitor, and improve their fleet operations is fleet management software.
Whether you’re responsible for a couple of company cars or a huge fleet of semi-trucks, there is no more efficient and easier way to manage a fleet than using one of the best fleet management software solutions on the market.
In this article, we’re looking at why you - as a fleet manager - should be using fleet management software. More specifically, how it can help you improve your fleet operations, the benefits to look for in software, and more.
The purpose of fleet management software is to collect data from vehicles and other sources, then sort it to put all the important data in front of the user.
In essence, you can think of it as an intelligent database with several applications on the front end. These applications vary from software to software, but the end goal is always the same; to enable you to use the data to improve your fleet operations.
The best fleet management software integrates with other third-party tools and applications, is intuitive and easy to use, and helps fleet managers improve their operations in several areas.
The main areas where fleet software will help you improve your fleet operations are:
The benefits far exceed these areas though. Using software enables fleets, in particular large fleets, to gather and use data that wouldn’t be possible without technology.
Any company using at least one vehicle in their operations can benefit from using fleet management software.
Being able to see where a vehicle is at all times, communicate with the driver, and be reminded of key details like scheduling maintenance can prove invaluable. By monitoring vehicle health, companies can act preemptively and save thousands in their fleet maintenance costs.
Even with one vehicle, it’s realistic to see a positive ROI on the software's cost. You’ll save several person-hours just by automating processes and cutting down on manual paperwork.
Obviously, the larger the fleet, the more valuable fleet management software becomes. In fact, there comes the point where the size of a fleet will become unmanageable without software.
The sooner you can integrate software and get all of your administrative team and drivers onboard, the better.
The software can scale seamlessly as your fleet grows. Unlike manual systems, with everything stored digitally in a central location, you will not notice an increased workload—reducing or hopefully removing the headaches and problems that often come when growing a fleet of vehicles.
Fleet management software can help organizations improve their fleet operations in several key areas:
Financial savings aside, improving safety should always be one of the top priorities for fleet managers.
On average, there are around 6 million vehicle accidents in the U.S. every year. If you’re running fleet operations, you have a responsibility to ensure your drivers are as safe as possible.
Using fleet software, you can set real-time alerts for dangerous driving habits and receive vehicle diagnostics. You could even install dashboard cameras to get a live street-level view or use the footage to settle insurance disputes.
Fuel is one of the largest expenses of running a fleet of vehicles. It’s also the expense with the most room for reduction if you have the data to give you insights into where you can be more efficient.
That’s exactly what fleet management software does. You can produce reports showing you how much idle time your vehicles are clocking if there are more efficient routes drivers could be taking, driver behaviors that affect fuel consumption such as speeding and braking hard, and much more.
Moreover, with this added advantage of route optimization and tracking systems to track drivers' performances, companies employing fleet management software improve efficiency and reduce overall fuel costs.
It can be difficult to check or remember when individual vehicles need to be in the garage for maintenance without a robust system.
With a fleet management system, you can set reminders based on time since the last service, the number of miles traveled, or any other metrics that are important to you.
This will potentially save you a lot of time and hassle from a paperwork perspective. In addition to the admin, a well-maintained vehicle also performs better and will cost less in repairs and fuel usage over its life.
The core of what fleet management software does is sorting data to gain insights into every aspect of how your fleet is performing.
How you use the data largely comes down to what’s important to you and your organization. For example, if you’re a logistics company, you might be interested in refining the routes your drivers are taking to save time and fuel.
Or, if you’re a construction company, safety metrics might be more important to you, such as monitoring time spent using heavy machinery, knowing where your assets are, and improving compliance.
No two fleet management software packages are the same. Neither are the needs of two different companies.
Therefore, you must take some time to find software that will be the best fit for your organization.
Some of the most important features that appeal to most companies are:
Easy-of-use - No matter good the software is, if you can’t easily use it, you’ll never make the most of it.
Reporting features - Check you can easily produce reports that are going to be important to you.
Range of metrics - Again, some metrics will be more important to you than others, depending on your organizational needs.
Scalability - Good software scales up seamlessly. It’s worth thinking ahead into the future and checking the software will scale easily if your fleet does.
Automation - One of the key benefits of any software or digital product is to automate those day-to-day tasks taking up your time.
Before choosing any software, request a demo or take a free trial. Specialists can help you determine the solution to best fit your unique needs.