Like most forms of technology, fleet management apps, software and gadgets seem to evolve by the day. To show how quickly it’s growing, Rickard Andersson, a senior analyst with Berg Insight AB, told TechTarget that North American market penetration of fleet technology will grow to nearly 22 percent by 2017 from 11.7 percent in 2012.
For contractors who are used to working off of sheets of paper, it may be hard to tell what is useful and what may be useless as far as technology goes. With the right tools in place, Fleetmatics’ FleetBeat report from earlier this year found that there could be some big benefits, including:
- A 20 percent reduction on hours on the clock per day for every vehicle
- Approximately $76 in savings per vehicle for heavy contractors
- One additional stop per day
- Just under $75,000 saved per year for a small business with just five trucks
“It’s a technology that is gaining in adoption at a very fast rate,” says Dale Willis, director of product marketing and business intelligence for Fleetmatics. “But it’s also something that has a relatively small penetration, especially in the small- to medium-size business segment.”
So which new age tools should you have at your disposal? Here are four features we believe are imperative to efficient, modern fleet management.
Elite efficiency with GPS
GPS, the acronym for Global Positioning System, is handy for any fleet. A good GPS tool can help increase the productivity of drivers, speed delivery times, bring efficiency levels sky high and give businesses a pool of data that they can study to ensure operations are running smooth.
The Aberdeen Group found that firms using GPS for tracking will outperform their peers by 43 percent when it comes to utilization of the workforce. GPS-based fleets are also two times more successful than those without at meeting service response windows.
Cost analysis, tracking for improved efficiency
Good management is well-informed management. The American Trucking Associations’ Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards gives companies gives companies the ability to make the best decision for themselves every time. Food Logistics said this tool will allow managers to analyze the cost of repair by type, giving price comparisons in order to let them make the choice they feel is right.
Mining for gold with big data
An oil well of data is sitting under every company’s fleet management system. With a proper big data or business intelligence solution in place, companies may be able to figure out better routes, improve customer service and make driver safety better than ever, among many other creative applications.
Braxton Vick, senior vice president corporate planning and development at Southeastern Freight Lines, told Trucking Info that his business has utilized big data to properly cost their freight, as well as reduce loading times with certain customers that may normally take longer. Once a company starts digging into the pool of data its fleet produces, they should be able to figure out ways to become more efficient and strategic than ever.
Keep your head in the cloud
For small businesses, especially, cloud-based fleet management technology has been extremely helpful. Andersson told TechTarget that smaller companies are not usually able to host systems on their miniscule in-house servers, so cloud-based fleet management software adoption can be hugely beneficial to save money and create efficiencies.
John Edmunds, managing director of cloud solutions, at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, told Automotive Fleet in an interview that the main benefit of using a cloud-based service is the ability to have more ability and flexibility. This way, when fleet management software evolves, businesses can also evolve with ease.
Do you have any other fleet management technology or tools that have been useful for your company? Let us know!