Whether you’re a transport director overseeing a huge truck fleet or a fleet manager in charge of a few vans and cars, ensuring a top-notch performance from drivers and vehicles can get overwhelming.
A study from Ernst & Young revealed that maintenance costs are responsible for 30-50% of a fleet’s total cost of ownership. With this much money at stake, you don't have room for miscalculations or overspending.
That’s where fleet management software comes in. By having the right fleet management solution that includes tools like vehicle maintenance management and GPS route planning, you can reduce running costs and amplify fleet performance.
What is Fleet Management Software?
Fleet management software automatically monitors aggressive driving patterns, tracks vehicles through the entire logistics process, and keeps fleet managers up to date with fleet maintenance, among other features.
It allows organizations to collect all of this data and store it in one centralized system for easy access, providing sophisticated tools that can take your data collection and analysis to a new level.
Why Use Fleet Management Software?
Using fleet solutions like in-vehicle sensors, engine diagnostics, and GPS, organizations can acquire and put to use more data than was previously possible.
The result is higher driver and vehicle safety standards, maximized productivity, decreased operational costs, and increased vehicle uptime.
By incorporating fleet management software, companies see a decrease in fuel costs. This is a big deal, since high fuel costs is one of the major challenges fleets face.
The benefits of using fleet management tools are massive and have a positive impact on how businesses manage both their drivers and vehicles. Use this 4-step process to find the right solution for your fleet.
Step 1: Identify Your Fleet’s Needs
Whether you’re replacing an old fleet management tool or implementing fleet management software for the first time, the goal is to revolutionize and elevate your fleet operations.
Fleet management solutions aren’t designed just for large businesses with a vast fleet of drivers and vehicles. You can incorporate these tools in any company, whether a small business with 5 vehicles or an organization with 2,000 trucks and vans.
Before you do anything else, first understand the gaps or needs in your current fleet processes. For instance, fleet managers face challenges like:
• Downtime of vehicles due to unscheduled maintenance
• Bad fuel management
• Running expenses that your fleet incurs
• Overload of driver and vehicle data
• Adhering to strict transport regulations
Usually, you’ll face more than one of the above challenges. In short, before implementing fleet management software you should know your major requirements so you get a solution that best addresses your challenges.
Step 2: Consider Your Industry
Fleet management software isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Before implementing it, you need to consider your industry or market sector. For instance, private shipping, public services, local delivery services, taxi firms, or public transport, etc.
Your fleet management solution must be tailored to your industry. Make sure that the software you intend to use can be customized for your specific industry.
Besides this, considering your industry helps to highlight the features required to satisfy your primary needs and maintenance/management goals.
Step 3: Identify Major Fleet Management Software Features
Once you consider your challenges and industry, these will inform what features you’ll need.
However, try to keep the core features to a minimum without overcomplicating things. All fleet management software vendors offer unique solutions with variations of features.
Do you need an automated report to help you with IFTA? Would you like to have a DVIR app that will get your drivers on the road faster? Do you need an ELD integration? A good solution has all of the features you need and is highly customizable so you can tailor it to your needs.
Step 4: Choose Your Fleet Management Software
Once you’ve narrowed down the required features, there are a few other crucial considerations in selecting the software that will work for your fleet:
1. Can the fleet management software monitor and GPS track fleet assets, including vehicles?
2. Does the solution need you to buy additional hardware to function optimally?
3. Is the fleet management software future-minded for autonomous vehicles and scalable?
4. Does the vendor have experience in fleet management?
5. Is there a free trial or demo available before purchasing?
If a fleet management platform checks off all the above considerations while meeting your previously identified needs, it’s an excellent candidate for implementing into your fleet operations.
To summarize, the key to successfully choosing the right fleet management software is identifying your present and future fleet operational challenges, narrowing down the needed features for your industry and circumstances, and finding a solution with the features that solve your challenges and meet your requirements.
If the solution fulfills the aforementioned considerations, including offering GPS tracking without requiring extensive additional hardware to operate, you likely have the software that’s right for you.
To check out BigRoad’s customizable, robust solution to see if it fits your needs, request a quick demo today or contact us for more info.