Businesses are getting serious about fleet management and considering online monitoring systems for their fleet of business vehicles. Taking advantage of these new types of fleet management systems can benefit a business in a number of ways.
Here are some of the trends happening in the world of online and web fleet management.
1. Using GPS Equipment
Linking fleet management tools to a GPS system enables a fleet manager to do more to direct the traffic that supports the enterprise. That means being able to see:
- “Where the cars are” or where delivery trucks or other vehicles are going.
- How many of them are being used at a given time.
- What tasks drivers are engaged in.
How does this knowledge support the enterprise? In delivery, it helps with forecasting. In internal transportation, it can help with scheduling.
In today’s digital world, the sophisticated maps that bring us our driving directions can also automate a lot of the planning and design of route systems for company vehicles. This automation helps save fuel, time, and labor, for instance by consistently and correctly forecasting delivery times. That’s one of the major value propositions of implementing new GPS and other fleet management tools.
2. OBD-II Connections
Another big trend is in the use of hardware pieces that connect to a vehicle’s OBD-II diagnostic port. This is the same port that helps mechanics diagnose engines by reading codes from an engine computer. But a lot of aftermarket devices can help bring this data to the web, where a dashboard or other system can analyze the information to come up with key business intelligence.
The OBD-II devices can also perform routine maintenance checks and alert users to the need for preventative maintenance, repairs, or a part replacement. The business data, including fuel efficiency, fuel use, maintenance, and mileage data, can be used to make decisions on how to deploy fleet vehicles. A fleet manager might want to take one or more vehicles out of commission for needed maintenance or put a particular vehicle on a different route for fuel efficiency.
3. Cloud and Software-as-a-Service Models
The cloud process is already happening, but new cloud-native systems, rather than being adapted to operate through the cloud, are so new that they have never been operated in any other way. The cloud revolution has been going on for several years: cloud and software-as-a-service options deliver the ability to port all of the fleet data to a vendor’s cloud and store it there for later analysis.
Benefits of Fleet Management Solutions
New systems make it easy to determine where vehicles are and track them, whether they are sitting in a lot or out in traffic.
Also, effective fleet management can save up to 20% in fuel and maintenance costs. Using fleet management tools can also optimize drive time and help employees know more about their own performance.
Where elements of fleet management handle risk, they may enhance the company’s standing with agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). For example, confirming proper inspection processes is a detail that might be managed by a fleet management system.
Fleet management can also help with business reporting based on big data collected by these systems. Suppose a fleet management tool tracks mileage and fuel efficiency. Those reports can be valuable “decision support” business intelligence for a CEO or other leadership person or team.
That’s a little bit about some of the biggest trends in play in today’s industry. Think about how modern fleet management systems can benefit your business.