What is fleet management and its benefits?
At its bare bones, fleet management is the tracking and monitoring of commercial vehicles, private vehicles used for commercial purposes and non-powered business assets. Fleet management involves monitoring the whereabouts of fleets and offers information associated to these assets.
Fleet management can interlink with many other elements of a business – whether that’s providing data to support health and safety, enabling the effective maintenance of vehicles or supporting with customer service.
In fact, there’s a lot more to fleet management than simply ‘knowing where a vehicle is and what it’s doing’. With data available via intelligent fleet management technology, companies can reduce costs, improve customer service, cut time consuming processes, and improve employee engagement and compliance. In fact, we would go as far as saying that the data provided by fleet management technology can put companies a cut above their competitors and transform the way they work.
It's time to throw out the outdated view of fleet management as simply the tracking of physical assets. It’s time to look at how fleet management can be so much more than that...
What does fleet management involve?
For the majority of businesses with commercial vehicles, fleet management will involve:
The tracking of vehicles to provide visibility of where they are and the vehicle’s status. GPS and telematics technology are often used to track vehicles and pinpoint their location, and whether they are driving, parked, or idling.
Electronic logging of journey and driving data
Fleet management can also involve the logging of hours and mileage covered in vehicles by employees and drivers. Telematics technology can help companies to record this information in a compliant way, for both driver safety requirements and HMRC. We explore the multi-fold benefits of electronic logging a little later in this blog, so keep reading...
Whether a utilities, breakdown, haulage or logistics company, optimising routes can bring obvious time and cost saving benefits. Effective fleet management will factor in route optimisation so that vehicles can take the quickest (or most cost-efficient) route to their destination. Alternatively, route optimisation can mean that nearby vehicles or assets can be delivered to a customer more rapidly – for example, in an emergency breakdown situation, the nearest recovery vehicle could be called to attend.
Supply chain management
Fleet management and supply chain management often go hand-in-hand. Ensuring good control and management of a fleet will also help to smooth supply chain logistics – helping companies to monitor the progress and delivery of goods, potentially across borders and passed between different companies.
What technology can be used to enable effective fleet management?
Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of good fleet management you might be wondering how it can all be achieved. The good news is that there are very effective solutions available that won’t break budgets either.
Thanks to GPS and telematics technology, effective fleet management can be at the fingertips of any business - and that means the data available via this technology is also available to those businesses too. And it’s this data that can really make all of the difference.
With the right fleet tracking technology in place your business could improve productivity of fleets, save time, reduce risks and cut costs. And that’s exactly what the ABAX solutions offer. Whether you’re sending out drivers to carry out deliveries or you have a sales team visiting offices, ABAX fleet management products and software help you know where your vehicles are, how they’re being driven, and when they need servicing.
What are the benefits good fleet management and fleet tracking?
Good fleet management can lead to a multitude of cost reductions. For example, businesses can see reduced insurance premiums, perhaps thanks to improved driver monitoring and safety, or through usage-based insurance such as our partnership with Zego.
As we explore later, fuel costs can also be cut. Vehicle maintenance can also be kept on top of and potentially costly jobs rectified sooner rather than later. All of that means the fleet is kept in top condition and businesses can have their full workforce on the road.
Driver safety compliance
Ensuring safe driver behaviour is important but can be difficult. Fleet tracking technology can monitor driving behaviour and spot any trends and ensure drivers are driving in a safe manner. This enables you to identify drivers who may be driving harshly and provide additional training or constructive feedback where required.
Safe and responsible driving can also help reduce vehicle maintenance and servicing costs.
Easy, efficient mileage logging
This helpful feature keeps a record of your mileage, compiling it into a report for you to use later when filling out important documents such as HMRC forms. Even better, all reports are standardised, helping to reduce admin time, too.
Improved customer service
Just think about how much more informative customer conversations could be if you were able to tell them how far away a response vehicle was, or where their goods are currently located. You could pre-empt potential delays and let customers know before it becomes an issue.
Fleet tracking technology allows you to do just that. What’s more, you can use the data to analyse business critical information such as average response times or where recurrent issues arise with deliveries or journeys. That data can then help you to streamline your operations and manage customer expectations.
With the right technology in place, you can get reports based on areas you create and divert drivers around bad traffic ensuring your business can operate efficiently.
Fleet management and tracking systems can help you save money when it comes to fuel, as you can send drivers on more economical routes, which results in less fuel being required and, therefore, savings for the business.
Monitoring the status of the vehicle can also help to cut out idling (which can rack up fuel costs over time) and improve poor driving habits, which we all know can waste fuel unnecessarily.
You might notice your employees and drivers drive more carefully when a tracking device is installed. It’s important to let them know this is not a micromanagement tool, but to help your fleet management and customer team ensure vehicles are safe and serviced when they need to be, tax and mileage is claimed correctly, and to provide accurate arrival times to customers.
And that can all lead to...improved brand perception and positive business results!
Those benefits combined can be extremely powerful.
Quicker response times, safer driving of branded vehicles, more proactive conversations with customers and a team spending less time on repetitive tasks such as mileage logging – all of these factors can lead to a more positive brand image for your company, from your employees and your customers.
According to Curatti, 73% of consumers love a brand because of friendly customer service – so equipping your customer services team with useful data could make a real difference to your customer retention and recommendations.
If you’re like many businesses trying to shine a light on their sustainability credentials currently, then you would be right to do so – and saving fuel and choosing efficient routes will need to factor in to that. In fact, Customer Thermometer even state that 13% of consumers would pay 31-50% more for products or services if they were under the impression that the business is making a positive impact on the world. So, not only will you be making a difference to the world we live in, but you will be saving money and potentially supporting your bottom line too.
The data you can access through the right fleet management and tracking technology can be transformative.
At ABAX, we’re passionate about not only providing intelligent, quality fleet tracking technology – but we’re passionate about the insight it can give businesses too. Fleet tracking data can help with optimising routes, giving despatch teams unrivalled fleet overviews or helping to assess where lost revenue happens frequently, due to wasted time or fuel or even lost or stolen assets. All in all, that can all be instrumental in making your business run more seamlessly, with an improved brand image, cost-efficiency and productivity.
If that all sounds like something that could benefit your company and its bottom line, get in touch with the ABAX team on 01733 6698888 or visit our quotes page and tell us what you want to track.