What is fleet management?
Fleet management refers to the management of a group of commercial vehicles over a large geographical area. It includes fleet tracking, handling finance, vehicle maintenance, navigation, replacement, routing services, etc.
Fleet management software allows business administration to manage and coordinate fleets in a central information system for the entire organization’s ease and convenience.
Without a proper fleet management system, it would have been difficult for businesses to manage many fleets under an organization. Incorporating fleet management software allows live tracking and algorithm-based predictions for vehicle maintenance, making fleet management and routing services easy as a tap and a swipe.
It is essential to have reliable, timely, and quality data for fleet managers to operate efficiently. Real-time data on your assets is everything, but fleet managers must make actionable decisions that will reduce operational costs without sacrificing the quality you provide.
1. Register vehicle assets in an asset management system
Running a large fleet means you have to keep track of its assets, too, like purchase orders, warranties, insurance details, and other documentation. You may need to have a proper eye on all these details without any flaw. But this becomes tiresome when you have a long queue of fleets, which needs to be checked often for the documents. Moreover, it would be best if you kept tracking each vehicle from its cradle to grave to have a complete understanding of how well your equipment assets are performing.
Concerning all these, it is essential to invest in a quality Enterprise Asset Management System (EAM) to help you track the entire fleet data by keeping inventories of parts of your fleet, warranties, services, and replacement and driver data. The EAM system will act as the foundation for a more effective maintenance strategy.
2. Plan for preventive maintenance
Breakdowns aren’t your friend. Lack of preventive measures, poor driving, and damaged parts- all these can add up to unexpected time and money loss. If you keep running your fleets until breakdown and then scheduling maintenance can result in an unacceptable amount of downtime.
To have a successful fleet management system in hand, you need to be proactive about your fleet maintenance. You need to stay ahead of the problems by handling issues before they arise and keeping your fleets healthy in the best way possible.
Routine fleet maintenance like oil changing, airing the tires, etc., needs to be done promptly to avoid inconveniences later. An EAM system will help you track these issues by sending alerts at the right time, and thus you can give proper care to your fleets in the most appropriate way. When you have a proper preventive maintenance workflow in effect, you can avoid facing unwanted issues and keep your fleets running on the road.
3. Stay on top of technicians and tools.
One of the essential things many fleet managers don’t pay much attention to. It would help if you looked through how your mechanics and technicians are spending their time. Using shop management and time tracking tools, you must ensure you complete their work orders rightly and in a reasonable amount of time. If your mechanics fail to do specific jobs quickly enough or may have to do certain jobs repetitively, they need better training or lack specific right tools to get the jobs done.
For example, if all your mechanics have proper knowledge of performing tire inspections most accurately, it can significantly extend vehicles’ lives. So, it is essential to keep control over your people daily and make sure they have all the right tools to get their jobs done, assuring quality and better service.
4. Track your vehicles and fuel expenses
Fuel is one of the highest costs in fleet management. Proper fleet management should keep your drivers away from running through high-traffic roads regularly to waste time and money. Proper driver training also can avoid unhealthy driving practices. So it is essential to keep your drivers informed about the traffic alerts and use the optimized routes possible to use fleets efficiently and not wasting fuel.
As a fleet manager, you need to enhance your fleets by using advanced technologies and onboard computing systems to make your driver receive real-time alerts. Moreover, outfitting your drivers with wearable technologies like smartphones or smartwatches can help to communicate in real-time so that you can keep your routes and fuel expenses in control. Responding to customer issues can also be done instantaneously.
Fleet operations will witness a revolution in the future when autonomous vehicles, IoT, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication enhance the fleet management system.
5. Manage your parts inventory
You need to make sure you always have the parts ready with you, or else you may end up running out of stock. See that your storage rooms don’t get messed up with the components you no longer need. EAM systems can help you manage inventory parts and help you sort out obsolete or redundant inventory.
To sum up
Ultimately tracking all the operational information in the right way can give you insights into your fleet management system. It will provide a clear picture of everything from inventory management to running your vehicles on the road.