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Why you need technology for fleet management
Effective fleet management is both an art and a science, and it would take a superhuman to handle everything on their own. Do you have to use a robust, expensive fleet technology solution to manage your fleet? No, and smaller fleets may shy away from the investment. But the entire industry is becoming more and more reliant on automated processes, artificial intelligence, and fleet management software that can do it all, so you’ll need the technology sooner or later. It’s the only way you’ll be able to stay competitive and keep your business growing.
Whatever your specific needs are surrounding your vehicles, drivers, and day-to-day operations, fleet management technology’s greatest gifts are automating manual processes and dynamically providing fleet managers with valuable data. You’ll have more time and more information to make better, more thoughtful decisions backed by data. Implementing this type of fleet management software will be worth the insights you receive—guaranteed.
It’s important to note that fleet management solutions are either “real-time” or “passive.” Both types of technology offer a variety of features, including vehicle location, direction, speed, routes, etc., but there are distinct differences between the two.
With real-time fleet management tools, you know what’s happening in the field, as it happens. Fleet managers can get live updates on the types of events they need to know about and, depending on your system, even video footage. Fleet data is aggregated and packaged into neat analyses that show clear trends and problem areas. With real-time fleet management solutions, it’s easier to monitor operations and make quick decisions that can help improve efficiency and safety.
Passive fleet management solutions collect valuable data, but by the time you get the data, it may be too late to act. Typically, data is collected through a device in a vehicle and then downloaded manually or wirelessly. Generally, it takes longer to compile the data and these passive systems don’t provide as much analysis.
Types of fleet management solutions
As you begin your hunt for a fleet management solution, it’s important to know there are a few general categories—it may help narrow down your search by deciding which of the two are the best fit for your fleet.
Fleet management with GPS fleet tracking
Modern fleet management solutions offer much more than dots on a map when it comes to GPS functionality. Look for software that locates, tracks, and manages your fleet vehicles (ideally in real time) with interactive maps to help you respond faster to what’s happening on the road and efficiently manage resources. Advanced GPS fleet tracking allows you to find and dispatch drivers instantly, set geofences with alerts, share ETAs with customers, and review full trip histories.
Fleet fuel and speed management
Do you know how much fuel is costing you every month? Should you be spending that much, or can your fleet be more fuel efficient? Fuel can be controlled more than maintenance costs, and the best fleet management technologies can help you do that. Your fleet management system should provide reports on fuel consumption and trends, driving behavior that contributes to inefficient usage (such as hard braking), and the like.
Fleet management with video
Video can change the way you operate and protect your business. Your fleet management software should offer cloud-connected video that tells the true story of what’s happening in your fleet. Some video devices have the ability to continually record and are able to parse out specific incidents based on triggers you set (for example, collisions or speeding).
Video is a powerful tool that many fleets have already adopted. Video helps fleet managers improve fleet performance and reduce costs by:
Verifying incidents quickly so they can know what is going on in their vehicles in real time.
Providing hard evidence against false claims that can save companies thousands in legal fees.
Leveraging human review and machine vision with artificial intelligence to identify clear examples of risky driving behaviors that can be used to coach drivers.
Having video telematics as part of your fleet management solution is quickly becoming a standard for a fleet management tool, versus a “nice to have.”