Any business that uses vehicles within their service can make use of fleet management. Notably, fleet management software is readily available and an important tool for business owners, helping to use real data to make informed decisions about their drivers and vehicles that will directly impact the success of their business.
What is fleet management?
Fleet management is used to describe a number of ways to assessing usage of your fleet of vehicles. Typically, this is examined to improve the effectiveness of a businesses spend for cost savings. It can encompass a lot of areas, including fuel efficiency and driver behaviour among others, of which different fleet management software will let you track in various combinations.
In a Financial Times article from 2016, telematics was hailed as “a vital part of fleet management,” for any commercial fleet owners. Telematics tracks it’s different data points using systems installed into vehicles which record data which is collated elsewhere. How this data is interpreted is where much of the variation in fleet management software is.
For example, Movolytics is a relatively new example of fleet management software. It converts tracked data, much like other systems, into fleet management within a number of features: fuel efficiency, driver performance, safety and security and vehicle tracking. However, unlike many of its competitors, Movolytics uses a patented algorithm that calculates fuel wastage; compared to other software that uses fuel cards.
Fleet management keeps you informed
Without some kind of fleet management you have no real way of knowing where your drivers are or how they are doing without contacting them directly. Fleet management software allows you to stay on top of where each driver is at any given moment using geo-location tracking, as well as data on speed, routes and fuel usage for later review.
This is paramount to ensuring your drivers’ safety. Matt Hague of telematics provider Microlise stresses in Fleet News the importance of fleet management in ensuring the continued safety of drivers once their initial safety training is over.
According to Hague, telematics data can reduce accidents by up to 50% and reduce speeding, cornering and harsh braking by 90%. These kinds of reductions can make a lot of difference to any vehicle-reliant company.
Fleet management aids efficiency
As well as helping make sure your drivers are safe and on track, fleet management software can help your business stay as fuel efficient as possible. Monitoring your drivers’ speed will inform you as to whether they are driving too fast or two slow and thereby wasting fuel.
The Energy Saving Trust teamed up with the Department for Transport to publish an 18-page Green Fleet Management guide packed with ways to use telematics to reduce fuel consumption, thereby saving your company money and saving the planet by lowering CO2 output.
The guide recommends using telematics software to plan the best travel routes for your vehicles and check that drivers stick to them, again reducing the amount of fuel they will need to consume. It also lists some of these systems’ advantages as the “elimination of unnecessary detours being taken en-route to a job”, the “elimination of unauthorised private vehicle use” and the “identification of vehicle inefficiencies” due to poor or reckless driving.
Why wouldn’t you use fleet management software?
While fleet management software is a significant tool for assessing fleets, it’s not reserved for larger fleets of vehicles. Whether you have five vehicles or five hundred, driving vans as a moving company, hauling produce or driving passengers, there is no downside to more fleet management software.
Importantly for business owners, it provides unarguable data which can be used to improve the work of drivers, as well as reward those who are doing well. Knowing this is key to know when you can afford to take on drivers, which to use for certain routes and modulate journeys that are not worth it for your business.