With keeping fleet operations profitable a top priority, fleet managers are always looking out for strategies to streamline business processes. But with fleet operations so complex, many fleet managers find themselves facing numerous daily productivity challenges that impede profitability.
One proven fleet management strategy to overcome these challenges is leveraging telematics.
Through data and insights, telematics help fleets become more efficient because fleet managers can make better and more informed decisions. Telematics also improve workflow inefficiencies so fleet managers can work smarter, complete tasks faster, and have added time to concentrate on core responsibilities.
Let’s look at four key productivity challenges fleet managers face and how telematics can alleviate them.
1. Excessive Time Spent on Administrative Tasks:
Administrative tasks are non-core activities. They do not contribute to growing the bottom line, and their costs can add up very quickly. Countless administrative tasks in fleet management must be handled for the fleet to operate efficiently and profitably. These include:
- Quotes for customers
- Invoicing and billing
- Sending jobs to drivers
- Routing and scheduling deliveries
- Collecting reports
- Managing operating expenses
These daily activities can be a time drain that affects a fleet manager’s and the team’s productivity. With telematics, there’s less paper, a digitized automated workflow, and automated communication with the workforce. There’s also less chance for human error, no lost paperwork, and the elimination of hours of organizing and filing paperwork — helping boost productivity and grow the bottom line.
2. Fuel Costs:
With fuel prices fluctuating in response to numerous factors, keeping fuel costs under control is key to running a productive and profitable operation. You can’t change what you can’t track. The data collection and reporting capabilities of telematics can seamlessly and accurately track factors impacting fuel consumption. This allows for better decision-making and fuel planning/budgeting. These include:
- Idling — As a top fuel waster, idling reduces engine life and is harmful to the environment.
- Speed — According to the Department of Energy, every five mph driven over 50 mph is comparable to paying $0.24 more per gallon of fuel.
- Maintenance — Performing regular maintenance on vehicles means improved fuel efficiency and allows those vehicles can perform at the highest level.
- Routing — Identifying the most efficient and optimal routes reduces fuel consumption. It also reduces vehicle wear and tear while increasing productivity and improving customer satisfaction.
- Utilization — Asset utilization tracking helps identify empty miles, how assets are used, how best to use them, and the number of assets needed on the job.
3. Driver Management:
Good drivers are a fleet’s asset, and risky drivers are a liability. This makes driver safety and behavior a key concern for fleet managers. Maintaining good drivers does not come without significant costs. The good news? These costs are offset by good driving behavior and driving skills.
Telematics can help fleet managers improve driver behavior, driver compliance, and provide vehicle location— decreasing accidents and violations to enhance fleet safety and productivity.
Let’s look closer at those.
- Risky Driver Behavior — Telematics can provide real-time alerts on risky driver behavior. With insight on a drivers’ performance, fleet managers can address problems through coaching and training before those problems become a liability.
- Driver Compliance — Telematics can track compliance factors, such as Hours of Service (HOS). It can also automate processes to ensure drivers are operating vehicles on proper and approved rest, which means fewer accidents and costly violations.
- Vehicle Location — Knowing where vehicles are 24/7 is critical to driver safety and productivity. Telematics can instantly determine a driver’s location, parking frequency, idling time, and if drivers are taking the most efficient route.
4. Maintenance Costs:
Keeping vehicles maintained properly with routine and preventative maintenance is critical. Attempting to achieve this by relying on manual scheduling of maintenance is not smart. It can be time-consuming, inefficient, and costly to the bottom line. Leveraging telematics is the best way to go.
Telematics can automate tracking of maintenance schedules to prolong vehicle life while reducing labor, repair, and replacement costs. Plus, maintenance can be scheduled at times that have the least impact on productivity. Additionally, with scheduled alerts for routine maintenance or when a vehicle is operating out of parameters, potential problems can be handled proactively before taking a bite out of the bottom line.