Fleet(vehicle) management is an integral part of logistics and transportation management. It is the management of commercial vehicles (such as cars, trucks, vans and trailers), private vehicles, aviation vehicles such as aircraft, ships and railway carriages.
Fororganizationsthat deals with transportation, shipment and delivery of goods- fleet management is a crucial system. It constitutes a range of functions such as vehicle acquisition or leasing, maintenance, licensing and compliance, accident management, vehicle tracking, vehicle diagnostics, driver management, speed management, fuel management and vehicle resale. To execute these functions organizations often rely on in-house fleet management branches or outsourced fleet management providers.
Most of the functions are correlated while some run independently. To integrate all the dependent functions there is a need for a system to bring out optimum performance.
Fleet management systemminimizes the risk associated with investments made on fleet and improves efficiency. To achieve all fleet management system takes the support of fleet management software. This software is developed by many vendors with cutting-edge technology.
According to a research study by Frost and Sullivan, GPS fleet management systems can raise your fleet’s productivity and vehicle utilization by 10-15% and 15-20% respectively and reduce fuel consumption by 20-25%, idle time by 20-30%, miles driven by 5-10% and overtime by 10-15%.
Components of Fleet management system:
GPS (global positioning system) is an integral part of vehicle telematics. They go hand-in-hand to aid in monitoringreal-time fleet location,risky driving habits(such as over speeding, hard braking), and route drivers efficiently.
A GPS receiver collects information about real-time vehicle location and status. Telematic based software takes this data and sends it via cellular network to central computers. From the data can be processed or converted or accessed by othercomputers via internet.
You can monitor any vehicle metric by GPS unit and send it across anywhere.
The real-time information collected from the GPS unit aids in creating any driver’s profiles. You can monitor the number of trips taken by each driver and all driving habits such as speed, frequency of detours, breaks, choice of gears, etc. This gives complete control over drivers and helps to avoid risky driving habits. You can even take remedial actions quickly to ensure driver is meeting KPI.
GPS devices facilitate fleet owners to manage fleet and promote vehicle longevity. It monitors vehicle performance metrics like fuel usage, emission, tyre pressure, and engine hours and reports them in real-time.You can also make a repository about vehicle specifications, logged miles and maintenance history.
Some of the advanced Fleet management system can proactively avoid vehicle breakdown with preventive maintenance function. It schedules vehicle repairs, inspections and servicing to inhibit potential problems and maximize vehicle availability, reliability and extends vehicle lifespan.
Fleet managers often work-towards cost-cutting while operating efficiently. Fleet agencies must comply with government regulations regarding fleet size and usage of old vehicles. GPS based fleet tracking systems will help you to see betterment while focusing on key areas.
Route vehicles efficiently with the help of telematics solution. You can determine multiple vehicle locations for sharing by multiple workers, reducing total miles driven and fuel cost.
Reduce unauthorized vehicle usage by setting geofencing around geographic areas such as warehouses, distribution centers, etc.
Generally, fleet owners keep unused and old vehicles thereby adding up to maintenance cost.FMSwith GPS telematics aids in analyzing annual fleet utilization by model and by year. This helps fleet owner to easily identify unused vehicles and eliminate the vehicles that are inefficient. You can also pick out the vehicles with highest repair cost and highest breakdown rates which makes it easy to determine which vehicle would be advantageous to sell.
Geofence is the latest technology implemented in transportation and logistics. It is a virtual fence around a geographic area helpful to identify vehicle location in real-time.
FMS with geofencing capability continuously monitors the fenced area, looks for vehicles entering or leaving and sends automatic alerts. Geofence can prevent vehicle theft as it constantly monitors vehicle movement. As soon as the vehicle leaves its place, alert notifications are sent to fleet owners aiding in quick recovery of lost assets.
Continuous monitoring helps to keep your drivers accountable for delivery schedules.You can smartly manage payrolls as Fleet management system monitors their working hours.
FMS can handle administrative responsibilities accurately and securely. It allows operators to manage documentation and analyze report comfortably. All the metrics regarding vehicle such as vehicle fitness reports, insurance, vehicle parts warranty documents, agreements, lease documents and many more can be stored digitally. Driver related information can also be stored digitally.
Most of the advanced FMS are capable of logging these records and provide access as and when needed.
Does every fleet manager needFleet management system?
Digital technology has embraced every branch of transport management for many years, but still not all fleet managers have totally accepted its benefits.
Some fleet owners feel FMS is only for large fleet businessesthat hold vehicles in multiples of tens. Some also believe that it’s too expensive and hard to implement.
The fact is not all fleet management software are the same. It is a one-time investment you make to give your business best ROI. Fleet management system is not about vehicle tracking it can simplify operations and provide a complete solution to any problem.
- Simple user interface makes the user familiar in a single day.
- Saves a lot of time in route planning, documentation, communicating and auditing.
- Increases fleet productivity resulting in saving fuel cost and maintenance cost.
- Many manual processes can be automated smartly with less human intervention.
- Monitoring and tracking fleet movement in real-time through mobile app or your own website is a great advantage
- Driver management helps to monitor driving behavior which improves vehicle life.
- FMS enables small business owners to compete in big markets.
- Many FMS vendors offer customized software to fit business needs. You can implement a basic FMS or an advanced FMS with GPS, telematics, Geofencing and many latest technologies.
Future advancement of FMS:
The emergence of new technologies brings new trends in fleet management. It is crucial that fleet managers incorporate these trends and tools effectively.
Here are a few future advancements you might see in fleet management.
Over-the-air (OTA) fleet security of vehicles is the new fleet advancement. It includes security of vehicle in idle state and safely disables vehicles while in operation.
Remote vehicle disabling allows fleet owners to slow running vehicles, prevent engine from starting and inhibit vehicle movement. Remote disabling can be integrated into an emergency notification system enabling drivers to send an alert in case of emergency. An authorized person in the organization evaluates the situation and disables the vehicle.
With many connected vehicles sharing streams of data there are chances of data breach by hackers. Fleet with integrated telematics share information ranging from location of vehicle to speed and more. This data is valuable to fleet owners and can be subjected to theft if not saved against hackers.
Better data security helps fleet operators to boost the operational efficiency of their business.
Every vehicle integrated with telematics shares its location, status and all real-time activities boosting productivity. With the combination of Artificial intelligence, vehicle will be able to analyze data and act according to the need.It can monitor its health and traffic in real-time bringing enormous impact on fleet business.
Mobility-as-a-Service(MaaS):With the progressive development in transportation MaaS plays an important role in managing fleet. It encourages fleet owners to share owned vehicles, lease or rent to meet transportation needs. This can reduce vehicle idling and help reduce carbon footprint.
Looking at the potential developments in fleet industry that are growing rapidly, you need to stick to the right fleet management software to stay ahead in the competition.
There are many fleet management software providers in the market offering FMS with more and more advanced features.
Cargo ERP is a leading logistic software provider specialized in providing customized FMS with just the features your business needs. You can get in touch for a free demo and discuss how you can implement FMS.