Fleet Management - All You Need to Know
Successful fleet management requires the thorough supervision of multiple vehicles and their drivers. The job of keeping track of several vehicles traveling in different directions at different times calls for a comprehensive system, one that allows quick access to key information about the vehicles’ operations. Today’s technological tools provide fleet managers with highly detailed data that improves safety and efficacy. Some of them even do it in real-time.
How Does Fleet Management Work?
Fleet managers are responsible for the overall operation of a business and need to constantly be looking at the big picture. Their responsibilities include purchasing or leasing the right vehicles for their needs, keeping costs like gas usage and vehicle maintenance down, and managing driver behavior (which directly impacts the above).
Today, fleet managers have tools like fleet management software and vehicle telematics that are capable of gathering, storing, and transmitting key performance data at a level of efficiency that was never before possible. They use these tools to successfully oversee their business operations and increase profitability.
Fleet Management software and vehicle telematics
Fleet management software can be either computer or cloud-based and allows for the individual or group management of all jobs involved in running a fleet. It provides reports and analytics about fleet operations. For example, fleet management software is used to track things like the maintenance needs of vehicles, monitor driver safety practices, optimize route plans, and reduce fuel usage by tracking speeding, location, and idling.
Vehicle telematics refers to the use of real-time vehicle diagnostics using information and communications technology. Telematic devices transmit and store data from inside vehicles that are equipped with GPS. They are used to encourage safer and more responsible driving by providing in-car driver coaching and reporting risky driving behavior like tailgating or speeding. Telematics provides a slew of other relevant information like accident alerts, GPS location tracking, and maintenance data on equipment. Telematics can transmit all this information remotely and in real-time.
Top 3 Fleet Management Platforms
Nexar is leading the way in fleet management solutions with the advanced dash cam, the Nexar One. The Nexar One dash cam records while driving in Ultra HD 4K resolution and delivers advanced AI capabilities. Fleet owners are able to coach drivers based on the detailed data provided by Nexar’s telematics, thereby decreasing road incidents and reducing liability. The Nexar One offers live streaming so that users can access footage anytime and anywhere. It has a dual-facing camera (interior add-on purchased separately) and LTE connectivity that allows for crucial real-time alerts. Alerts include instant notification if a vehicle is in an accident, impact is detected, or if a driver turns or brakes sharply.
collectiveFleet® is fleet management software that allows for the tracking of vehicles and all related components. What stands out about collectiveFleet® is that users can customize the Mission Control Dashboard’s permissions and preferences for each individual user. Additionally, alerts are automated so that every team member is updated about any operational changes and nothing gets lost due to lack of communication. Other key features include vehicle inspection scheduling, support for barcode scanning, and role-based security.
Dossier fleet management and maintenance software support the needs of businesses of all sizes. Dossier systems provide detailed information that is key to maintenance prevention via a simple, intuitive user interface, e.g., it supports bar code and RFID technology, making data entry straightforward and preventing human error. Their barcoding software creates special parts warranty labels so that parts that are needed for claims don’t get lost. Key features of Dossier’s software include a daily reminder dashboard, personnel management, and VMRS coding support.
What are Fleet Management Departments in Charge of?
Fleet management departments are in charge of ensuring that operations are running smoothly, keeping overhead costs to a minimum, and fleet compliance with regulatory requirements.
The Key Features of Fleet Management Systems
Good fleet management systems must have 5 key features. Read on to make sure that you’re up to speed!
1. GPS or Cellular - In order for fleet data to be transmitted wirelessly, you must have GPS or cellular connectivity. This is what allows you to access the information from anywhere.
2. GPS Tracking Device - A GPS tracking device allows you to know precisely where all your vehicles are at all times, where they began their journey, where they stopped and for how long, and when they arrived at their destinations. This data enables you to provide precise delivery expectations and increase productivity. There is no guesswork with GPS tracking.
3. Driving behavior analysis - The more advanced fleet management systems have features that are capable of monitoring driver behavior. Knowing if your driver is idling for too long, speeding or braking harshly is key to safety and accident prevention.
4. Route planning - Optimizing routes for your vehicles reduces delivery times, increases customer satisfaction, and decreases fuel consumption.
5. Fuel analysis - Fuel usage is the most essential factor in keeping operational costs down. Commercial vehicles consume more fuel than passenger vehicles and the costs can be staggering. Idling, poor route planning, and making extra stops all increase fuel consumption. The more aware managers are, the more they will save on one of the greatest expenses of running a fleet.
The Benefits of Fleet Management
Access to data about vehicle and driver performance enables fleet managers to make informed decisions impacting their bottom line. Knowing the exact location of a vehicle enables managers to know when deliveries will arrive and manage the corresponding components of the operation. Knowing how long a vehicle is left idling or the speeding and braking habits of a driver can reduce maintenance costs as well as liability through effective coaching based on objective data.
The Importance of Fleet Management for a Business
Managing a fleet's day-to-day tasks along with keeping the big picture in sight demands the coordination of a vast amount of variables. Fleet management systems can provide real-time data about fleet location and delivery progress, as well as driver behavior and vehicle maintenance needs, all components that drive your bottom line.
The Challenges of Fleet Management Systems
Even though the long-term savings are lucrative, for smaller fleets, the cost of a fleet management system can be almost prohibitive. Moreover, while the tools that a fleet management system provides are invaluable, there may be a significant learning curve for new users. Technology is complex and learning to use all the features correctly takes time. Proper training from the software provider can help ease the transition.
The Future of Fleet Management
Fleet management is constantly evolving and advances in technology are steadily providing new tools and capabilities. Read on to learn about some of the most innovative advancements that are on the horizon.
- Autonomous Vehicles - Self-driving vehicles are being found on the road more and more. They operate more safely and efficiently than manned vehicles.
- Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) - The MaaS industry is indicative of the current trend towards efficiency. Why incur all the costs and liabilities of owning a car? Ridesharing is far more cost-effective. MaaS offers low-cost, convenient access to transportation.
- Telematics - Telematics provides real-time vehicle diagnostics allowing for informed decision-making. The data that telematics brings users is continuously becoming richer and more detailed.
- 5G Network Connectivity - 5G connectivity will allow for connecting virtually everyone and everything together, including machines, vehicles and devices, all at speeds that are 100 times faster than 4G networks. Hardware used for fleet management will drastically increase its bandwidth.
Nexar Fleet Management Solutions
Powered by a cutting-edge camera, the Nexar One, Nexar Fleet management solutions deliver the most advanced, comprehensive tools to fleet managers. Nexar One is a highly advanced camera, recording in crisp, 4K resolution with LTE connectivity, which allows users access to the dual-facing camera’s live footage from anywhere. Key features include:
- Parking Mode - notifies users upon impact to their vehicles and enables a live stream video from the dash cam.
- GPS Vehicle Location and Tracking - users can track multiple vehicles' live locations on a virtual map, allowing fleet owners the ability to pinpoint the exact location of all their vehicles at all times.
- Alarm activation - for theft deterrence so users can activate an alarm or even communicate directly through the camera.
- Unlimited free cloud storage - automatically saves important clips and up to 256 GB of storage on the dash cam itself.
The current capabilities of fleet management tools enable businesses to access information - often in real-time, that empowers nimble decision-making. Relaying instructions and feedback to drivers is now based on objective data, and doing so reduces cost and liability. The evolution of AI will see the continued release of innovative features that allow for the deft, comprehensive operation of fleets.