Fleet management commonly refers to the management of a company’s transport and logistics. More specifically the fleet of vehicles it employs to transport its workforce and/or deliver its product to “market”. This usually includes company cars, vans and trucks. A fleet manager role will vary from organization to organization, but is the title given to those who manage fleets of trucks and delivery vehicles, one of the most in depth aspects of fleet management. Managing a fleet of trucks and drivers is complex and will certainly require some form of dedicated fleet management system or software.
Why Fleet Management
Efficient fleet management is vital for the successful operation of a company which employs vehicles and drivers, and that transports volume of people or goods, nationally or internationally. Logistical infrastructure can be one of the largest costs to any firm, and is one of an organisations greatest risk areas. Fleet managers must be experts in anything from tax and fuel pricing to environmental and employment issues. Fleet managers must be aware of the condition and whereabouts of every vehicle in their fleet. They need to know each employee and the hours they have and can work. They require the details of every collection and delivery and must manage each route, driver and cost accordingly. Here is where an effective fleet management system or piece of software comes into its own.
Benefits of Fleet Management
A fleet management system, often using a combination of fleet management software and devices can help manage the following:
Vehicle purchase and monitoring
Vehicle maintenance and condition
Telematics (including GPS tracking and diagnostics)
Route finding and planning
Fuel purchase and consumption
Health & Safety including any working hours compliance
Productivity and Efficiency
Fleet management software and any related systems, such as GPS tracking or route finding devices which record and relay information, are complex but infinitely helpful systems. They allow a fleet manager or management team to plan, monitor, and react to any situation involving company vehicles. Fleet management software can record and analyse data on all of the above points and can incorporate data on fuel pricing and purchasing, comprehensive mapping and traffic management, and current legislation from appropriate authoritative websites. Fleet management software will plan routes including timings and working hours and schedule maintenance as well as producing in depth reports for stakeholders to assess and react upon for maximum business return.
Find the Right Fleet Management Solution for Your Business
Fleet management software and telemetry can lower costs, reduce environmental impact, lessen speeding tickets and paperwork, and enhance customer service. When used effectively apt fleet management will contribute to a good return on profit for an organization.
Types of Fleet Management
Fleet management systems can vary from software only systems to a hardware and software combination where vehicles contain GPS devices. These GPS devices both assist with route planning and monitor vehicle and driver activity. Software and hardware systems vary in functionality from the simple to the advanced and of course more expensive.
GPS devices can also be ‘active’ or ‘passive’. Active GPS devices upload data to the main software hub in real-time as long as there is a connection, this is perfect for tracking deliveries and giving real-time updates to customers. Passive devices collect data and upload it all to the main software system at the end of trip when the devices are connected, this is better suited to long-distance journeys when the data is not needed in real-time but for post-trip analysis.
GPS Tracking in Fleet Management
A sufficient fleet management system will usually make use of GPS devices and tracking in trucks or company vehicles. Either using a standalone GPS navigation or tracking device or by installing software on a smartphone or laptop. GPS systems will make use of both WiFi connections and network satellites to consistently route plan, record and report. This data can be transferred to the hub software in real time, incorporated into instant analytics, and allow fleet managers to be on the pulse of every driver and vehicle in the fleet at all times.
Fleet Management Costs
Fleet management hardware and software can vary from the hundreds of dollar bracket to the thousands, and the list of good software developers is comprehensive. To begin to correctly compare costs and providers a business should start with what essential features they require and a rough idea of budget. Then using this narrow down what is available to suit within that bracket, ending in a list of 4-5 options which best suit and can be thoroughly analysed before making a decision. Expert Market can do this narrowing process for you by filling in the form and letting us know what you are looking for in a fleet management system, we will find the best providers for your requirements and budget and put you into direct contact with them.
Both software and GPS hardware may have an initial cost and a monthly management and updating fee. Most companies choose to go with this up front and monthly combination as a fleet management system will only be 100% effective with accurate data. A monthly subscription should also usually give access to on-going customer support.
Best Fleet Management Providers
Storm Telematics pride themselves on their excellent analytics software, which both collects and analyses data and turns it into actionable insights. Storm Telematics go beyond normal fleet management features into materials tracking, inventory control, and even yard management, offering a full solution to organise many aspects of your business from one system.
Fleetmatics are one of the most well-known and respected fleet management providers in North America. Fleetmatics solutions include individual Driver IDs, diagnostics, reports, and customizable dashboards. With over 42,000 customers, Fleetmatics know how to handle any fleet effectively.
Compare Fleet Management Providers with Expert Market
PosiTrace is a GPS tracking solution developed by Global Fleet Management. PosiTrace is adaptable to suit many industries, including construction, moving, towing, and oil & gas. They have different plans to suit differing fleet sizes and budgets and customer testimonials describe an efficient, friendly company who offer a great product for fleet managers.
Element offer a wide range of fleet management solutions; from cars and light duty vehicles, to medium and heavy trucks. Their programs are fully flexible and each one is designed with your businesses in mind, so you don’t have to deal with an out-of-the-box solution that may not be suitable for you. Due to the bespoke nature of their software systems, Element pricing varies dependant on how many vehicles need to be managed and the level of service required.