In today’s fast-moving world, fleet managers are under more pressure than ever to deliver goods and services to customers in an efficient and cost-effective manner. It seems that the customers’ expectations have increased with each passing year (as have gas prices!), and companies must find new ways to keep up.
Thankfully, within the last decade, fleet management technology has grown and adapted to the times. Using technology as a key part of your fleet services can cut costs, eliminate unnecessary mileage, boost productivity and even improve customer service. In fact, it has become widely-known that fleet managers must make use of new technologies in order to be successful in the future – otherwise, you could fall behind your competitors, disappoint shareholders, and lose customers.
You may be concerned about the potential costs of implementing new fleet management systems into your existing structure and operations. While you might think it’s “too expensive” to adapt these new technologies, in reality, the potential return-on-investment (ROI) validates the cost and then some. To help you understand what fleet management technology can do for your company, your drivers, and your bottom line, take a look at the list of its benefits below.
Streamline Routes and Reduce Fuel Costs
With GPS-based fleet management technology, you can provide your drivers with the fastest, most optimal route as well as easy-to-understand directions. The software will also automatically recalculate their course if they deter from the route that’s best for time and distance, which in turn will reduce overall mileage and fuel costs for your company. Plus, you can also reduce the amount of fuel burned with idling alarms and the monitoring of potentially-aggressive driving patterns. Not only will you reduce your fuel consumption, but also your carbon footprint.
Improve Driver Safety Monitoring
One of the core aspects of fleet management is ensuring driver safety, as well as the safety of others on the road. With state-of-the-art fleet management technology, you can now monitor drivers in real-time and pinpoint at-risk behaviors, like texting, following too closely or braking too quickly. The software can alert your driver that they are participating in unsafe or inefficient driving behaviors, which will help coach them into better habits. You can also program the technology to notify you of these risky driving behaviors, so you’re aware of which employees may need more guidance in the future.
Not only does this increase safety for the truck driver and his fellow travelers on the road, but it also helps keep your vehicles in top condition. Regular wear-and-tear on a vehicle is amplified by these hazardous behaviors, and they can lead to greater fuel consumption over the same stretch of mileage.
Precisely Manage Preventive Vehicle Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance is a significant cost to fleet managers, but there are now some technologies that can help reduce downtime and costs related to regular tune-ups like oil changes or tire rotations. For instance, an oil change at one vendor may necessitate only 20 minutes of downtime, while at another shop it might take longer than two hours. New programs can provide you with that information and data, so you’re able to route your drivers to the most efficient vendors in the future and prevent your employees from wasting time waiting for service.
Plus, with long-term data, some analytic tools can even predict when an engine in your fleet could fail or when major maintenance work may be necessary. These tools understand your vehicles and can gather more information than you would be aware of when behind the wheel. By utilizing the right fleet management technology, you can nip these problems in the bud before they cost your business time and money.
Manage Roadside Assistance More Effectively
Even if you use all the technology available to monitor your vehicles and prevent major problems, you’re still likely to encounter a vehicle breakdown now and then. At that point, it’s vital to have emergency assistance you can rely on – that’s why many fleet managers are trusting third-party companies with their commercial roadside assistance.
Roadside assistance companies are also making use of the latest technology to better serve fleets, their drivers, and their managers. Encore Protection, for example, utilizes GPS technology in their LocateMe® dispatch systems, allowing them to pinpoint vehicle breakdowns in seconds and notify drivers of an estimated time of arrival for their tow truck.
Increase Profits with Quantifiable Data
You may be convinced of the many benefits to fleet management technology, but not sure how to sell your colleagues on the software – one of the key aspects to adapting new operations and routines is presenting quantifiable numbers that show proven results. Luckily, fleet management software can often produce the data necessary to bring everyone onboard.
Need an example? ABI Research, a technology market intelligence company, cites as much as 12 percent increases in service profitability, 13 percent improvements in fleet vehicle utilization, and nearly 15 percent reductions in travel time with route and fleet management technology solutions. You can also cater many of these solutions to the exact data you’d like to observe – some can even estimate the decrease in minutes per day spent on administrative work, route optimization, office support and more, based on your company’s fleet size.
Fleet management can be a tough job – you’re tasked with reducing costs, improving safety, taking on ecological concerns, and maintaining efficient operations.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. Fleet management technology services have advanced drastically in the last ten years. In fact, it’s estimated the global commercial vehicle telematics market is set to reach 13.2 billion dollars by the end of 2015. Take advantage of these technologies for your fleet, and you’re sure to see results in your company’s bottom line.
To learn more about how to more effectively manage your fleet, check out our other corporation and fleet roadside assistance resources.
 FleetMind Solutions, Inc. “Dispelling Common Fleet Management Technology Myths.” 2013. Retrieved from http://www.fleetmind.com/pdfs/white-papers/whitepaper-fleet-myths.pdf on October 20, 2015.
Roberts, Gareth. “New Technologies to Re-Shape the Fleet Manager’s Role.” October 16, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2015/10/16/new-technologies-to-re-shape-the-fleet-manager-s-role on October 20, 2015.
 Wolski, Chris. “Technology Fuels Productivity for Fleets.” February 2014. Retrieved from http://www.automotive-fleet.com/article/story/2014/02/technology-fuels-productivity-for-fleets.aspx on October 20, 2015.
 FleetMind Solutions, Inc. “Going Green by Getting Smart.” 2015. Retrieved from http://www.fleetmind.com/pdfs/white-papers/whitepaper-going-green.pdf on October 20,2015.
 Visiongain. “Commercial Vehicle Telematics Market 2015-2025.” April 20, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/commercial-vehicle-telematics-market-2015-2025-500644531.html on October 20, 2015.