Leveraging Technology and Best Practices for Better Fleet Management

Fleet management is evolving alongside business demands across all industries. Any enterprise that owns automotive assets now needs the best performance, a smooth operation, and reliable monitoring systems to control their corporate vehicles.

As accomplishing it manually becomes unrealistic, businesses use fleet management software development as the means to enhance their management models and get a competitive advantage. This technology is so promising, experts predict its global market to grow from $14.6 billion in 2019 to $50 billion in 2027.

In the upcoming 2021, managing corporate cars effectively is likely to become virtually impossible without custom-made software.

Vehicle fleet management software allows enterprises to function more effectively and cut logistics costs. It assists with efficient resource allocation, fleet planning, vehicle maintenance, and boosting your employees’ productivity.

In this article, we’ll define what benefits and possibilities fleet management technology can offer to your business.

What is fleet management software (FMS)?

Fleet management solutions strive to centralize the management of a corporate fleet, combining software and electronics to achieve this. In most cases, the software constitutes a cloud platform and additional service applications for drivers. The primary objective of an FMS is to bring companies a single interface to help them keep an eye on their vehicles, use performance data for business planning, and make travel safer.

Specialized applications enable enterprises’ management teams to receive regular updates regarding each vehicle’s speed, location, fuel level, engine temperature, route, objectives, status, and other parameters.

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Why use fleet management software?

The discussed technology may be largely beneficial for any industry that relies on corporate vehicles to function. From Eastern Peak’s experience, an application for fleet management is a sound way to achieve enhanced service and cut down costs for businesses in delivery, retail, manufacturing, logistics, and the automotive industry.

How does this technology work?

Most corporate applications for car management work by the principles of the Internet of Things (IoT). It connects all company’s assets to a management system via in-built electronics and networks.

Vehicle-to-station communication occurs through telematics hardware. It can be connected to the car’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) port or Controller Area Network (CAN) port. Telematics for fleet management is tasked with gathering the information from the car’s sensors and uploading it into the system for the management team to analyze.

The sensors monitor engine temperature, speed, hours spent driving, when the last maintenance session occurred, and acceleration to identify braking patterns and collisions. A GPS fleet tracking system is typically present as well, showing the management department where each asset is at any moment.

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The benefits of leveraging technology for fleet management

Vehicle fleet management applications frequently reduce expenses, boost safety, and enhance customer experience. Below are the five main positive impacts this technology can have on your business.

1. Maintenance

Fleet telematics data includes information about each car’s engine, fuel consumption, average speed, and other characteristics. The monitoring is typically automatic, meaning the system will gather the data from the sensors and process it, generating reports for human employees to analyze. If some parts are becoming worn out or close to malfunctioning, the software will alert the driver and managers, specifying which part might soon need repairing.

This preventive approach helps cut operating costs and decreases the risk of car crashes.

2. Needs forecasting

Business planning is easier with the analytical insights fleet management software provides. You can examine what demand your fleet can handle during a certain period and how effective the current system is. Trusting the software to do the math might help remove excessive assets from your fleet by boosting its performance and, subsequently, cutting down costs.

Typical management applications increase efficiency by enabling better route planning, forecasting staffing needs, faster deliveries, and automation.

3. Improved safety

Fleet management solutions use various sensors, cameras, and processing software to monitor drivers’ behavior. These systems can identify hard braking, near-miss collisions, and distracted driving. All the data is gathered and sent for processing to help the company improve the regulations, training programs, and control mechanisms for ensuring compliance. Also, smart applications can send alerts to drivers when their behavior deviates from safe parameters.

Another perk of this technology is GPS tracking devices for fleet vehicles. These pieces of hardware are used to locate each of your vehicles at any given moment. This data can help the management team react to accidents faster and get a better chance of recovering stolen assets.

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4. Better service

Our experts stress that the impact of telematics in fleet management touches not only the company but your clients. For customers, fleet vehicle tracking supplies updates about how soon they will get their items. To improve satisfaction and loyalty, your clients can get access to a mobile application or a section on your website where the precise location and ETA of their delivery person are visible. Specialized software also helps deliver on time by adjusting the route when your car approaches a serious traffic jam.

This technology also presents some benefits to drivers. For instance, by installing a camera inside the vehicle, the company can easily negate any false accusations about running late, tampering with the products, or being the cause of a road accident.

5. Big data and analytics

Telematics fleet management supplies significantly larger volumes of information than conventional methods. These pieces of software gather information about each vehicle’s performance, drivers’ productivity, and cost efficiency. They also include analytical toolkits to process the data and derive valuable insights.

Leveraging big data enables you to distinguish the most beneficial and perilous relationships with vendors and manufacturers, cut down the time of delivery, fight staff shortages, and assist in creating the most efficient schedules. The big data approach is incredibly useful for business planning and financial analysis.

The main applications and features of fleet management solutions

The most widely appreciated fleet management software features revolve around optimizing travel, boosting safety, and cutting the company’s operational costs.

Let’s take a look at several applications of this technology and how they can aid your enterprise’s fleet vehicle management.

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1. Routing and ETAs

Vehicle tracking. Telematics hardware collects dynamic data about where all your vehicles are. This helps get a comprehensive view of your fleet, assess the availability of drivers at certain locations, adjust delivery schedules, and subsequently manage orders more effectively.

Routes and ETAs. GPS tracking for fleet vehicles makes it possible to design the routes while taking into account the time of the day, the weather, and traffic conditions at specific sections of the road. Based on the results that the system generates, managers can also calculate more accurate and dynamically adjusted estimated time of arrivals (ETAs).

Personalized corporate maps. Fleet tracking solutions enable companies to create their own maps with specific markers, standard routes, legends, shapes, and environment views.

2. Fuel monitoring

Idling. Idling happens when a driver keeps the engine running while the car is stationary. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that vehicles in America waste as much as 6 billion gallons of fuel each year. The exhaust fumes and engine wear that idling generates are devastating both to the environment and the budget of your enterprise.

A custom-made mobile application is convenient for drivers as it can send alerts when the car is nearing excessive idling time, thus reducing fuel expenses.

Fuel cards. Most businesses use fuel cards to control their fleets’ expenses. Specialized apps can refine fleet operations by recording the data from fuel cards automatically, removing the requirement for drivers to input this information into the reports by hand and saving the receipts.

Tank monitoring and automatic reports. Fleetmatics software equips drivers and managers with invaluable information. Drivers get updates about how soon they will need a refill. Enterprises can apply fuel usage reports to identify where and on which route each driver uses the most amount of fuel, and thus can consider optimizing the path. Our clients also find it useful to know what cost per mile their assets have and how they can reduce fuel consumption, further decreasing their expenses.

Fleet emissions. Besides taking care of corporate vehicles, enterprise fleet managers carry the responsibility of minimizing the environmental impacts of the fleet’s activity. Software solutions for fleet monitoring provide information about greenhouse gas emissions of your vehicles for a certain period, compare it to previous reports, and generate insights into how to make your fleet greener.

3. Controlling your drivers’ behavior

Behavior monitoring. Fleet management apps automatically remind drivers to take breaks, tracking the distance traveled. The technology can also include an accelerometer to measure the g-forces in the car, delivering statistics on how frequently the driver engages in risky behaviors on the road or displays the signs of fatigued driving.

Driver records. Storing your drivers’ records in a single electronic system helps access them easily, allowing you to modify some items, and notify an employee when they are due for a medical exam or license renewal.

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4. Vehicle maintenance

Real-time status updates. The engine control module (ECM) and other IoT devices in the car allow companies to run diagnostics remotely. This helps check how well each asset is performing and checks whether any maintenance will be necessary in the nearest future.

History of repairs. Maintaining an orderly service history of each vehicle helps detect which parts are prone to wearing and what budgeting requirements your enterprise may face in the future.

Alerts. A smart fleet management app can automatically send notifications about a car’s fuel consumption, engine temperature, and any scheduled maintenance.

5. Documentation

Fleet management software can hold all documentation regarding corporate vehicles in an electronic format. These papers include tax reports, driver licenses, medical records, insurance documents, and fuel expenses. If some of the records don’t match the expected inputs, the system sends alerts to managers, accountants, and other responsible parties. This helps avoid missing the expiration dates on licenses and keeps corporate documentation organized.

Such software can also use the data it receives from your vehicles to fill out tax reports automatically.

6. Theft and vehicle security

Besides helping businesses optimize routes and decrease resource waste, vehicle tracking also makes it easier to find stolen cars. The in-built hardware can send signals regarding unplanned turns, and a fleet management application might let you lock the doors remotely, control the accelerator, and contact the police with the geolocation of the stolen asset.

An example from our experience: Reforming the fleet management industry with Kaftor Business

Kaftor Business is an example of fleet technology we at Eastern Peak have developed for small enterprises that need comprehensive vehicle management.

Even the most attentive and professional drivers can increase their productivity with the fitting software. Kaftor enables companies to make the most out of their automotive assets by enriching the staff with relevant and actionable data.

The solution that we present is focused primarily on improving the safety and efficiency of an enterprise’s logistics. To achieve that, our software scans all assets on your fleet for any abnormal activity and sends immediate alerts if some malfunction or emergency is detected. Drivers also enjoy the official application that lets them manage their assigned cars and schedules.

With Kaftor you can

  • enable GPS fleet tracking;
  • record the route, stops, and other data during each trip;
  • automatically notify emergency services if collisions, theft, or other accidents occur;
  • use a mobile application to review the specifications and details about your fleet;
  • maintain a constant connection with your drivers/managers;
  • examine daily trip reports;
  • send and receive notifications; for many tasks, you can set up automatic alerts that depend on other parameters, for instance, a reminder to take a break after the driver reaches some mileage threshold; and
  • log into the system by code or Touch ID. 

 

How to get started?

Enterprise fleet management software is evolving rapidly. Companies across numerous industries are turning to technology to improve their assets’ efficiency while reducing the operating expenses and risks on the road. Integrating the software for logistics into your business is a vital step towards gaining an edge in your industry.

Eastern Peak developers have extensive expertise in creating applications for vehicle management and connected technology. If you’re thinking about utilizing the potential of a personalized fleet control system, contact our professionals today to discuss how we can help your company achieve its goals.

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