Smartphones and tablets have transformed our lives – and while consumer apps attract heaps of attention, apps that have been developed to save you time and money at work can prove even more valuable.
With this in mind we took a look into Google Play and Apple’s App Store and found the abundance of fleet-related apps on the market today is overwhelming. Some stand alone while others integrate with wider fleet management systems to offer greater workflow efficiency savings.
While one man’s trash will be another man’s treasure, we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the types of apps that can make life easier – and business tasks quicker – for both drivers and managers alike.
- Vehicle checks made easy
- Efficient mileage capture
- Fleet Management on the go
- Find a fuel station for you
- A helping hand to park
- Managing grey fleets
- Breakdown assistance
- Accident assistance
Regular, auditable, vehicle inspections are a cornerstone of fleet management best practice. For ‘O’ licence holders it’s a legislative requirement and for all commercial vehicles it’s a vital duty of care process.
Dedicated mobile apps, such as AllOnMobile or Caldius VEHub, can streamline and simplify the vehicle inspection process, reducing paperwork and allowing drivers to report on the condition of their vehicles, complete safety checks and submit inspection reports. Inspections can be scheduled and in some cases, workers will only receive their daily work schedule to their mobile device once their reports have been submitted.
Maintaining accurate driver mileage records is an important administrative task for claims reimbursement, management reporting and tax compliance.
With HMRC placing business mileage records under serious scrutiny, firms must have robust systems in place for accurate mileage capture. Webfleet Solutions research revealed that more than a third of drivers admit to submitting false mileage claims.
Apps are now available, such as WEBFLEET Logbook, to make it easier for drivers to keep an accurate log of their trips, and update company records, using their smartphone.
Telematics software systems were traditionally only accessible on an office PC, or for SaaS systems, from a laptop. Apps can now give business mangers the flexibility to monitor their mobile workforce and access essential fleet and workflow information regardless of whether they are in the office, at home or on the road.
Locating the nearest service stations to you when you’re out on the road has long been a function of sat nav devices – and there are many mobile apps that can also tell which are selling the cheapest fuel.
For business drivers however apps can now also tell users which fuel cards are accepted at different forecourts. Traditionally drivers have had to use directories telling them where they can fill up, but these are invariably become out-of-date very quickly.
Some apps, such as such as e-route, will locate fuel stations across a number of fuel card networks while others will help drivers navigate to those that accept a specific fuel card – in this case of the RHA FTA app for example, the joint fuel card of the Road Haulage Association and the Freight Transport Association.
Time wasted hunting for somewhere to park can prove extremely costly for business drivers – it can lead to disappointed customers and even lost business. Apps such as Parkopedia however will now locate and direct you to car parks all over the UK, offering details on opening hours, height restrictions, prices and space availability in real time. Some apps, such as ParkAround, will allow users to reserve spaces on the hoof.
Managing grey fleets – drivers who use their own cars for business – can be a real challenge in terms of accident management, vehicle maintenance and keeping tabs on business mileage for tax purposes. The onus is still on companies to fulfill their corporate, legal and moral obligations however.
It’s a company’s duty, for example, to ensure employees hold valid insurance covering them for business use and that their vehicles have a valid MOT. Apps can help this process – whether it’s those developed to keep managers organized and on top of their responsibilities, such as Toodledo, or very specific apps such as Grey Fleet App from Hitachi Capital that require drivers to input data, such as vehicle registration, MOT, insurance and servicing details, and sends them renewal reminders.
Keeping your vehicle fleet moving is a vital business success factor but breakdowns can prove a significant time resource drain.
Business breakdown apps, from organisations such as the AA or manufacturers such as Honda, can allow fleet drivers to call for assistance from wherever they breakdown, with the location of the breakdown automatically relayed to the recovery company.
Involvement in road traffic collisions can cause great anxiety for drivers, leaving many stressed and disorientated in the immediate aftermath. Apps are available however, from companies such as Ford, which can be used to ensure all important information to be recorded – whether in text, photographic or voice formats – on the spot or on their smartphone. Some of these apps will provide guidance on the correct procedures to follow.
What fleet management apps are saving you the most time and money? We’d like to know what you think – please let us know in the comment section below.