Behind every successful transportation company, field service business, and transit agency lies a good fleet management system. Being able to track drivers and their performance, along with the routes themselves and the current position of a given vehicle on them, as well as all the vehicles and other assets along the way from acquisition to repair to retirement, is a key part of an efficient operation.
An effective fleet management system can help reduce the total cost of ownership, as well as protect investments in assets, by keeping an up-to-date asset inventory, ensuring that scheduled preventative maintenance is done in compliance with the vehicles' OEM guidelines, and reducing repair costs by improving fleet safety. In addition, tracking and analyzing vehicle and driver performance can lead to optimizations that increase productivity and mitigate risk, which in turn lowers costs over the long-term.
Tracking of vehicles and drivers and routes, and collecting that data for analysis and reporting, can yield improved efficiencies across various aspects of operations. Unsafe driving habits, unreliable equipment, and problematic routes can be quickly identified and addressed, and routes, drivers, and practices that help increase fuel efficiency and decrease risk can be put into play and evaluated effectively. Safety training for both drivers and maintenance staff alike, along with regular inspections and encouragement of participation in the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification Program, can also improve reliability and reduce potential risks.
"Behind every successful transportation company, field service business, and transit agency lies a good fleet management system."
Managing drivers, scheduling, and vehicles and routes effectively can be addressed with good time management practices, as well as enabling a clear chain of accountability and open communication in order to improve customer service and increase employee satisfaction. Automated and integrated reporting systems can streamline information-gathering in order to compare performance over time, as well as to support an informed decision-making process when it comes to both financial and operational aspects of the agency. Managing the data and documents for both fleet and facility in a timely manner is also required for regulatory compliance, and avoiding financial or other penalties is an important piece of the puzzle.
Fleet management companies can provide not only for the customer-facing side of operations, such as the routes and the vehicles and drivers, but can also deliver facility and asset management services. Fleet assets and the facilities in which they are housed, including other non-vehicle assets, can and should be tracked and maintained with the same diligence that outward-facing elements of the business receive. Preventing or reducing loss and inefficiencies at every step of the way allows for reduced operational costs and increased productivity, leading to a more successful operation.
In order to get the most out of their vehicles, their services, and even their staff, transportation companies and service providers alike benefit from having a good fleet management system in place, with everything from vehicle to route to driver and beyond being tracked and measured for optimum productivity. With fleet maintenance professionals working to regularly inspect, maintain, or repair vehicles and other assets, operational costs can be minimized, and with expert advice about new equipment acquisition or retirement of current assets, the total cost of ownership can be kept as low as possible.