What is Fleet Management?
by Troy Searle, 24 May 2022
9 tips to improve with fleet management software
Okay, let’s get something out of the way first: fleet management is challenging. It can be really challenging.
Imagine, it’s time for the workshop team to check compliance and you need some new parts. But a vehicle on the road has just blown a head gasket, another driver has used the wrong checklist and you need to find out which vehicles have rego coming up. Is the insurance due?
Your admin team pulls up your fleet management software and can see everything at a glance. With a few clicks, it’s all sorted and the next steps are sent out to everyone who needs to know.
That’s the power of a great fleet management software.
So, in this article we’ve wrapped up everything we think you need to know about fleet management, and how to choose the right software for your business.
- What is fleet management and how does it work?
- How to improve fleet management?
- What are the core fleet management principles?
How does fleet management work?
Fleet management is a system of technologies and procedures which allows you to manage your fleet efficiently. As your business faces growing demand and other industry challenges, efficient fleet management will help you remain competitive in the market.
It works by controlling the entire lifecycle of commercial vehicles as well as reducing risk, increasing productivity, improving efficiency and ensuring compliance. But what does that mean exactly? What actually happens day to day to ensure effective fleet management in your business?
Let’s look at some core fleet management principles.
The core principles
We’ve compiled the important aspects of fleet management into an easy reference list. When you’re searching for the right solution for your business, make sure that it covers these things.
A fundamental purpose of your fleet management solution is to give you visibility into your fleet maintenance and fleet operations. The right solution for you will be customisable and allow easy access to your data so you can make informed business decisions.
In practical terms, here’s what that means for you.
Effective fleet management gives you the ability to monitor your fleet in real time and from anywhere. Look for a solution that makes tracking your drivers, fuel usage and maintenance records quick and easy.
You’ll know that in this industry you need to track vehicles and assets 24/7. This is so that you can maintain security and monitor activity on the road, but also to assess procedures in order to optimise for efficiency.
Maintenance is really important, but wherever possible try to make sure it’s preventative maintenance. It saves you time, lowers your overall costs and keeps your drivers safer. Choose a fleet management software that enables a strong preventative maintenance program.
Think fleet safety is all about the actual safety of your drivers and vehicles? Think again, it’s also about lowering the cost of your insurance premiums. Of course, your people are your most important asset and keeping them safe should be your number one priority. Features to look for include driver scorecards, event viewers, safety analytics and driver notifications.
It streamlines and automates your compliance processes. Whether it’s Workplace Health and Safety, Chain of Responsibility or other compliance regulations, this part of the job can be finicky and time consuming.
Find a solution which can identify those repetitive tasks and automate them for you. You can eliminate hours of paperwork and avoid costly fines and penalties.
Reporting and analytics
Choose a solution which allows you easy access to your information with customisable dashboards, reports and real-time alerts. Personalisation and flexible functionality are important to build the reports you need to track your most critical KPIs.
How to improve fleet management
Clearly, fleet management is complex. There are so many moving parts that you need to control. Improving means cutting costs, improving safety or simply making the job easier and less stressful for your fleet manager to stay on top of.
Lower your costs with driver and GPS tracking. You’ll see less disruption on the road when you don’t have to interrupt your drivers to find out where they are or where their freight is. GPS tracking gives you instant location records for POD, helping to give you 100% visibility across your supply chain. You can also solve problems quickly and give better customer service with automatic updates and accurate ETAs. All of this adds up to significant time and wages saved.
Improve safety by using data to further develop your driver training program. Review customised reporting and analytics that are targeted to driver behaviour and safety data. Then use your findings to create personalised, relevant training and build a safer fleet.
Now, when it comes to making the role of fleet manager less stressful? Find a fleet management solution that is comprehensive yet simple to use, and that you trust to manage all those moving parts.
You could try a fleet management software.
Using fleet management software
Fleet managers wear a lot of different hats. They’re responsible for coordinating an increasing number of systems, technologies, third-party integrations and employees. Business is also booming amongst industry challenges like pandemic safety, rising fuel prices and tight regulations.
Fleet management software makes this easier.
It helps you manage your fleet in its entirety: from day-to-day tasks right through to top-level, strategic decisions about the direction of your business.
A full-featured and flexible software manages and improves your:
- vehicles, equipment and assets
- maintenance and repair
- workshops and scheduling
- parts and inventory
- fuel usage and emissions
- accident and risk management
- regulatory and legal compliance
- budget and forecasting.
It works because the software captures information about driver behaviour, vehicle movement and operational activities. Devices transmit data from the vehicle to the cloud and that data is then used by the software.
Fleet management software gives you instant access to things like: vehicle maintenance, compliance and location. Usability is key to a great software, so this information should be simple to access with an easy-to-understand reporting dashboard.
Some software will also give you advanced insights into route optimisation and job status.
Actionable insights are also fundamental, helping you identify areas for improvement and quickly take action. That means giving you easy access to powerful data that simply isn’t possible in a paper-based system.
We all know fleet management isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be so hard to keep up with. Use the right kind of software and you’ll save time, lower costs, and get your freight where it needs to be faster.
How do you know which software is right for you? Take some time to look into the developer and provider. TransVirtual was developed after a lifetime in the transport industry, and is now the preferred Transport Management System of Australia’s leading national carriers.
We hope this guide to fleet management software has helped you, if you still have questions try our article Fleet Management Software: is it right for you?