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How to Better Integrate Drivers into Business Control and Management Processes

Traditionally, fleets have used fleet tracking software or GPS-based systems to track the location of vehicles. However, the evolution of these systems into robust fleet management solutions is now enabling fleets to take even greater advantage of their mobile workforce and assets. Now you can achieve wider compliance and control, and run a smarter, more efficient fleet, all while delivering exceptional customer service. This way it really is “Your Fleet. Your Team.

Mature fleets understand that formalized business processes help operators better manage maintenance, information, business, finances, suppliers, fuel costs and risks. While traditionally these workflows have been confined to the office, there is now greater opportunity to connect them directly to their vehicles. Fleet management software can run on drivers’ smartphones, tablets, laptops, and GPS-enabled driver terminals, and can become a capture point for important driver and vehicle related data. This is important information fleets can analyze and use to improve operational and business performance, and indeed, streamline business workflows themselves.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the core business processes found within a modern, mature fleet organization, and explore how fleets can better leverage fleet management to put their drivers at the front end of these processes.

Asset management

Fleet management is ultimately about asset management. Vehicles, owned or leased, represent a significant percentage of total net value of the operation and total operating costs. Efficient and effective management of fleet assets can have a significant impact on a fleet’s profitability and overall business performance. Understanding how those capital assets are driven and maintained over the course lifetime of that vehicle is essential information for ensuring the fleet is operating at peak performance and being best utilized.

Some fleet management solutions can help to track vehicle repair records, establish proactive maintenance schedules, and manage inspections and work orders. Not to mention, they can even monitor how vehicles are being driven day to day, capturing vital data on specific driving behaviors such as harsh braking, speeding, or aggressive turns that may have implications on asset well-being, maintenance and lifespan. Learn more about driver behavior monitoring here.

Business management

From tracking & managing supplier relationships, to policies and procedures surrounding driver’s hours of service, to ensuring compliance to FMCSA legislation surrounding electronic logging devices, the processes that manage the “business” part of a fleet are essential. Today’s fleet management solutions allow for full driver participation in these processes. As of December 2017, in the US, carriers and drivers required to maintain Records of Duty Status (RODS), are now mandated to replace paper-based hours of service tracking or their automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) with an electronic logging device (ELD) to more efficiently track, manage, and share RODS[1]. A key element of ELD is synchronization with the vehicle engine to automatically record and verify driving time.

Today’s sophisticated fleet management solutions offer drivers the ability to effortlessly track their hours of service by using RFID/NFC on their device to register the minute they start work, and to log breaks or end the way by simply tapping the device screen. The telematics capabilities within a fleet management system also provide the critical bridge to vehicle engine data. Finally, the consistent and reliable flow of data from all vehicles and drivers means that fleet operators have improved visibility to help them conform to legal obligations and company policy. Learn more about compliance solutions for the ELD mandate with Webfleet ELD Manager.

Financial management

In addition to being operational experts and asset managers, fleet operators need to also be highly conversant in fleet financials. They should be able to navigate various vehicle and equipment purchasing paths, understand their associated lifecycle costs, and have systems in place to carefully monitor variable costs related to maintenance and fuel. It also helps to have back office systems in place to manage and automate customer billing, collections and so forth.

The data and intelligence provided by a fleet management system completes a significant portion of the overall fleet financial picture for you. It can track and keep drivers on side with policies associated with personal use of vehicles in off-hours, by tracking and associating business versus private mileage. It can support lifecycle management by tracking vehicle total ownership and operating costs, to determine optimum time for replacement, and by providing greater visibility on how vehicles are driven, help fleets reduce their fuel, service, maintenance and insurance costs.

Reporting and analytics

The robust reporting provided with today’s advanced fleet management solutions provide owner/operators with detailed financial intelligence. This way they can analyze the numbers regularly and make better, more informed business decisions to help save the fleet time and money. On the front end of the process, advanced driver terminals with touch screen access make it easy for busy drivers to capture data. On the back end, dashboards, powerful reporting tools, and data integrations with other third party software systems, such as invoicing and tire management, allow for greater flow and consolidation of information.

Enterprise fleet management

Larger fleets consisting of cars and vans need a simple, effective and compact fleet management solution, to help integrate drivers into the fleet’s business control and management processes and enable wider compliance and control. New solutions available on the market today, include such features as NFC/RFID enabled driver identification, the ability to use mileage logs to track and separate business, commuting or private use, electronic drivers logs, in-vehicle automatic driver coaching, and trip data (time, distance, fuel consumption). These features help empower drivers to be more accountable, reduce costs, and improve safety, while providing fleets with important data that enables them to meet legal and policy compliance obligations. See how the TomTom PRO 2020 helps coach, comply, and stay in control.

Resource management

Outside of a fleet’s vehicle and equipment assets, one of its most critical resources is that of the human kind. Fleets need drivers, and an engaged, productive driver can be the key to higher profitability and customer satisfaction. Fleet management solutions today have become extremely driver-centric in their approach. GPS helps drivers navigate around traffic delays and find the most optimized routes allowing them to keep to schedule, and potentially even squeeze in a few extra customer stops or deliveries.  Near real time ability to pinpoint a driver’s location means dispatch can utilize their time most effectively. New driver coaching capabilities supports continuous improvement in driver performance by providing visual and audible feedback. This more proactive form of coaching is well received by drivers, provided for greater accountability, and helps fleets raise the overall standard of driving across their entire mobile workforce.

Just as fleets have matured, so too have the fleet management systems that support them. Fleet management software today offers so much more than simply determining a driver’s whereabouts, or helping them navigate busy city streets. Used comprehensively, fleet management can become a vital capture point of data and an important front line to the critical workflows that drive efficiencies and controls across the entire business. Make Your Fleet. Your Team.


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