Across several industries, fleet management has become an important consideration for businesses. What was once limited to large cargo ships is now a necessity for businesses of every scale, from your local delivery companies to commercial construction sites.
As important as efficiency is, it's quite alarming that most companies lose up to 30% of their revenue due to inefficiencies. Fleet management can help fix this. It can also reduce costs, enhance performance, improve client relationships, secure job sites, and automate processes.
Keeping today's fiercely competitive business landscape in mind, it’s important to understand why fleet management is important. That way, you can understand the full potential of a company like Trackunit that provides real-time fleet monitoring, theft prevention, and tracking vehicle health. Let's learn more about fleet management and its benefits.
Features of fleet management
To fully understand why fleet management is important, you should have an idea of what it comprises. The services each fleet management software company provides will differ across the board, but here are some standard features to expect.
GPS has made it easy for fleet managers to monitor vehicles and keep an eye on their location and performance. In some industries, fleet managers also use video technology to record vehicles during operation.
Fuel management and diagnostics
Fuel is a major cost in any fleet-related operation. Modern fleet management technology lets you learn about fuel use and waste. Since it's integrated with driver analytics, you can see which driving behaviors, such as idling, may increase your fuel costs.
Diagnostics can help managers better understand how each piece of equipment is doing, eliminating downtime and increasing efficiency through predictive maintenance.
Although always important, fleet security becomes paramount for rental equipment and vehicles. With fleet management technology, both construction and rental companies can monitor vehicles and drivers in real-time.
By setting access controls and customizing alerts, you can minimize the risk of unauthorized access and be notified in case of a breach.
Importance of fleet management
With an estimated 12.7 million base units in 2020, fleet management systems are active across most industries. These vehicle-based systems comprise data communication, data logging, and satellite positioning. Here's why these systems are so important today:
Operational job site visibility
Historically, many job site operations were disrupted due to poor communication and a lack of real-time information. Fleet management solves this problem by providing a comprehensive view of the entire job site.
For instance, is a driver idling? Does a vehicle require maintenance? Has equipment been accessed without authorization? You no longer have to check all these things manually. Instead, you can get alerts from a single platform.
It's even possible to manage multiple fleets across the country remotely with the same software.
There are two aspects of vehicle safety; internal and external. One, you don't want any unauthorized individuals gaining access to your fleet. Two, you want to prevent vehicle or equipment breakdown due to poor or delayed maintenance.
Fleet management lets you tackle both at once. The access control features in fleet management tools keep your vehicles safe from external entities. At the same time, the vehicle performance monitoring technology keeps track of everything from fuel use to tire pressure to determine if it's time for maintenance.
The result? You prevent vehicle breakdown, which could potentially cause costly repairs and downtime. Plus, you gain client confidence by sharing relevant insights to give them peace of mind.
Driver safety and satisfaction
Drivers and equipment operators are a major component of your fleet. They should be safe, efficient, and satisfied.
Fleet management involves using vehicle trackers and engine diagnostics to monitor driver behavior. These technologies tell you if the driving is braking unnecessarily, idling, tailgating, or taking aggressive turns. With this data, businesses can decide whether they want to continue working with the same equipment operators or not.
Similarly, insights can help you determine if your drivers require training or need to be moved to a different route. Besides keeping an eye on drivers, fleet management also lets you keep them satisfied as well.
Fleet management platforms automate many tasks that drivers and companies previously had to do manually. For example, these platforms eliminate the need for manual hour logging and hour tracking. There's less paperwork for drivers and equipment operators, allowing them to focus on operating the vehicle.
Fleets are expensive, especially when they're not well-monitored. Most companies use 60% of their fleet budget on fuel, while the rest goes to vehicle maintenance, drivers, and general upkeep.
Fleet management can help save costs by reducing fuel wastage and emissions. Likewise, timely vehicle maintenance prevents or lowers the risk of breakdowns, resulting in costly repairs.
Fleet security also saves you money that you'd otherwise have to spend on replacing stolen equipment or vehicle parts. Plus, fleet monitoring improves operational efficiency to reduce downtime, which further helps save money.
What happens if a fleet is not well-managed
A poorly managed fleet quickly becomes a liability for businesses. This is especially true in the construction industry where the majority of the work depends on heavy equipment and off-road vehicles. Job sites may experience one or more of the following in such instances:
- Spiraling costs due to poor operational efficiency and overtime
- Increase in the number of vehicle accidents and breakdowns
- Misuse or unauthorized use of vehicles and equipment
- Reduced productivity and cost due to a lack of asset tracking
- Inefficient resource use and high downtime
- Poor decision-making
- Vehicle and equipment theft
If a fleet has little to no insights regarding its operation, the involved business cannot forecast trends or plan for the future. It can cause disruptions in daily operations and customer service, leading to a decrease in profits.
Something as costly and resource-intensive as a construction fleet needs optimal management for desired operational efficiency. Fleet management prevents disorganization that can damage a company's reputation and revenue. It also helps improve customer service and cost management while giving the business a 360-degree view of its resources and operations.