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Sunday, July 21, 2024

7 Tips On How Fleet Software Can Save You Time And Money

In the past, to run an efficient business in the transportation industry (or handle a fleet of your own), you had to be a genius logistician. Today, however, anyone can achieve this, provided they use the right tool.

Some of the best fleet software options can provide you with a chance to save a lot of time and money, provided that you use them correctly. Now, while each has something unique to discover, they’re not made the same. Therefore, the choice of the tool matters quite a bit.

For those still on the fence about getting one in the first place, here are seven tips on how you can use fleet software to save time and money.

  1. More efficient routes

The most direct way in which fleet software helps you save money is by helping you find more efficient routes. This means that your vehicles will spend less time traveling from point A (let’s say Lancashire) to point B (London, for instance). Time is a finite resource, especially when talking about the time during which your vehicles are occupied and cannot take new trips.

Besides saving time, you’re also saving petrol by finding better routes. This way, you’re directly saving money by using fleet management software. The best thing about this particular concept is just how scalable it is. This means that money-saving increases exponentially with every:

  • Route
  • Vehicle
  • Client

So, the sooner you introduce this change, the better off you are in the long run.

By having better routes, your fleet is traveling less. Therefore, the effects of wear and tear on various parts of your vehicles are not as great. In other words, you save money on vehicle maintenance and prolong the expected life of your vehicles. So, you save money on parts, repair, and unnecessary downtime (to fix the vehicles).

Finally, the most efficient routes don’t mean just shorter ones. It means routes with the better road, less traffic, etc. Picking better routes also reduces the chance of an accident. If for no other reason than because your vehicles spend less time on the road (the window of opportunity for an accident is somewhat shorter).

In a business climate where about one-third of businesses hope to survive this year, every bit of help counts.

  1. Advanced fleet telematics

The word telemetry originates from the Greek words “tele,” which means remote, and “metron,” which means measuring. In other words, telemetrics is a method of measuring things at a distance. It’s a data-gathering method that fleet managers use to get a better insight into the performance of their fleet. 

The first step in enabling fleet telematics lies in installing a device in a fleet vehicle, which will send, receive, and store data relevant to telemetry. In other words, every vehicle in the fleet needs to have an onboard modem that transmits information via a wireless network.

As a result, you get real-time data transfer without much need for drivers’ input. This automates the process, makes it more reliable, and allows drivers to focus on their core tasks. Seeing as we’re talking about information in real time, you will always be able to respond promptly. 

  1. Greater safety

According to some estimates, human error causes as many as 94% of all traffic accidents. The biggest tragedy lies in the fact that most of the time, the error comes from behaviour that’s easy to rectify. Unfortunately, no one notices or reacts, and the driver carries on as they were.

In the past, as a fleet manager, you had no idea what happened on the road. For instance, your truck leaves from Lancashire to Birmingham or London, and if they return safely, you assume everything went smoothly. You can’t tell if they were speeding by their arrival time, seeing as how they could have just taken a longer break to prevent you from figuring it out.

Once you start using adequate fleet management software, this will no longer be the case. Every decent fleet management software pays attention to the driving behaviour component. Some platforms offer a video recording feature. This will make confrontation and disciplinary action simpler and more effective.

Remember that this doesn’t mean you don’t trust your drivers. In some companies, there was a 250% increase in bogus sick days during the world cup opening, and we guarantee that the bulk of these was submitted by model employees. As we’ve already said, it’s not about trust, and there’s nothing wrong with verifying.

  1. Better customer satisfaction

The whole point of logistics lies in delivering ordered material safely and on time. In the previous section, we’ve mentioned what one can do to reduce the chance of reckless driving patterns. However, getting a product or material somewhere on time is just as important. It raises customer satisfaction and affects the likelihood of keeping your strategic vendors. 

Delays sometimes happen because of things that are out of your control. Sometimes, everything is on schedule, but your client believes the cargo should have been there already. In this scenario, it’s a matter of opinions, and (although you’re right) you win nothing by aggravating the other party. Well, with the right fleet management software, you can solve this problem more easily.

Some delivery services and fleets provide their customers with insight into cargo whereabouts. They’re provided with a link to track cargo in real-time. Even if they don’t have direct access, the fact that you have it will create opportunities for more effective troubleshooting.

  1. Increased vehicle lifespan

Vehicle maintenance depends on accurate and regular diagnostics. If a vehicle spends significantly more petrol to travel the same distance, this is an indication that something might be wrong. Petrol efficiency depends on everything from tyre inflation to engine efficiency. This is something that the fleet management platform can notice in time.

Previously, we talked about driving behaviour. Braking habits, for instance, may drastically impact the life span of the tyres you use on your trucks. Once again, if this happens more often than it is supposed to, you should detract a bit from the expected lifespan of your tyres.

Oil change, for instance, needs to be timed appropriately. Sure, you can schedule it, but there is a more effective vehicle maintenance regimen than a time-bound schedule. Instead, you should track the mileage. This is more reliable and will significantly increase the lifespan of your vehicles.

  1. Handling important data

Besides getting all the data automatically, you also get quick on-demand access whenever needed. A reliable reporting system is great when you need a brief insight into your operations, but it can also matter for legal reasons.   

Furthermore, if you decide to start using a BI software in the future, uploading all of this data will be a quick and straightforward task. Having data is great, but turning data into more actionable information, you’ll have to use something more powerful.

Previously, we’ve talked about recognizing hazardous driving behaviours in your drivers. So, imagine a scenario where you realize it, fire the driver, and are now in a situation where you need to hire someone to take their place. You can use some of these hazardous driving habits, like:

  • Speeding
  • Harsh acceleration
  • Braking
  • Idling
  • Disregarding engine health

With specific situations in which these driving habits were displayed, you can craft a test or, at the very least, a series of interview questions. This way, you can improve your vetting process and reduce the chance of hiring someone with the same set of bad driving habits. Moreover, you can use some of these examples to improve your onboarding process.

  1. Better communication

One of the best-hidden perks of a sound fleet management system is that it drastically improves communication in many ways. Sure, the vehicle communicates to the server and platform directly, but communication between the dispatcher and the driver also improves. 

Ironically enough, even not having to ask a question improves communication. What does this mean? Well, for example, you no longer have to call a driver to ask them if they’re stuck in a traffic jam – you can see it for yourself. You also don’t have to call them to ask where they are or bother them to check the ETA. All of this will be available on the platform.

At the same time, by having all this information, you’ll be able to avoid all the unnecessary questions and skip right to the point. This improves the conversation dynamic between the dispatcher and the driver, making both parties more efficient in using time and words.

With hands-free phone holders, communication is simpler and safer than ever before. It’s also significantly cheaper, seeing how there’s no longer a need to equip every cabin with an in-built communication device. Instead, everyone uses their phone. It’s an extension of BYOD to the fleet industry. Needless to say, BYOD is frugal by its nature and may save you a fortune. It’s also scalable since it saves money for every single vehicle.

Optimizing the use of fleet software can transform your business

In the end, using reliable fleet software can help you save time and money. It can also help prevent future accidents by promptly warning you of your drivers’ risky behaviours. Aside from this, fleet software provides several quality-of-life improvements (like improving communication). Because of its incredible scalability, the sooner you get it, the better.

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