Do you know, what is the secret behind a successful fleet business? A strategic fleet manager. Yes, you heard right. Being a fleet manager is not an easy job. They have to juggle several tasks to boost the fleet’s efficiency and make a business more profitable.
A Fleet manager has to make and implement different strategies and plans to make the whole business more profitable. But in the meanwhile, they have to face several challenges. In this article, we will discuss various hurdles faced by a fleet. And ways to mitigate these obstacles.
What Is Fleet Management?
Fleet management, in simple terms, can be understood as a management of a group of vehicles or assets. It includes a range of functions, and a fleet manager is responsible for them.
A fleet manager is responsible for the complete coordination of a fleet. They manage and look over every stage of the vehicle usage, i.e., from purchase to disposal. They are responsible for streamlining workflow, reducing operational costs, mitigating risks, ensuring driver’s & asset’s safety, and thus improving the productivity of the fleet.
Common Challenges Faced By Fleet Managers
A fleet manager, throughout their career, has to face and overcome different challenges. The first step to solve them is identifying them. So let us discuss them one by one.
- Time Consuming Administrative Works
There are different administrative works in a fleet, like creating invoices, keeping regular checks on their customers, scheduling maintenance, making bills for the clients, drafting reports, etc. They are time-consuming work, but in the transportation business, time is money. How? Because spending more time on doing management work means less time devoted to revenue-generating activities.
- Fluctuating Fuel Costs
The prices of the fuels are fluctuating. Moreover, the fuel consumption is directly proportional to your fleet’s operational cost. But different events such as vehicle idling, improper vehicle maintenance, reckless driving can contribute to higher fuel consumption.
- Vehicle Maintenance
Vehicles are the backbone of any fleet. By continuously running on the road, they face regular wear and tear. It can lead to unexpected breakdowns causing harm to the business. The main challenge is that a fleet contains different vehicles.
And therefore, it is humanly impossible for a fleet manager to remember different vehicle maintenance dates.
- Communication Gap Between Fleet Manager and Driver
The other significant challenge the fleet manager has to face is to fill the communication gap between them and drivers. The drivers are always on the road and therefore away from the main office.
There are times when fleet managers lose contact with the drivers. And therefore, they are left to estimate when the driver will deliver the cargo. It can harm the business’s reputation heavily.
- Driver’s Driving Behavior
Without proper measures, the fleet manager cannot monitor their drivers. On the road, the drivers are their boss. And if they are accustomed to reckless driving, your fleet is at serious risk. Why? It can lead to unfortunate events and compliance. It can also lead to vehicle breakdowns. Additionally, idling on the road can increase operational costs.
- Asset Protection
Another common challenge a fleet manager tackles are protecting their assets from theft, unauthorized usage, and vehicle idling.
How Can A Fleet Management Software Help?
A fleet management software is an answer to the different challenges of your fleet. Here are some common ways of how it can help you to mitigate these challenges.
- Replace Paper-Based System With Electronic
You can solve the problem of heavy administration work by employing a fleet management system. By automating administrative processes, you can save time & effort. Moreover, it will improve transparency and reduce errors.
- GPS Tracking Solution
By employing a real-time GPS fleet tracking system, fleet managers can reduce the communication gap between them and the drivers. Additionally, we can monitor different vehicles hitting the road on a single dashboard. It will improve the transparency between the business and the customer.
For example, suppose you are a fleet manager of a can business. Now your customer may want to access real-time location updates of them or their loved ones. With the help of a GPS tracking system, you can easily share the updates with them and improve your customer service.
Additionally, you can check on your driver’s driving behaviors and respond fast in case of emergencies. In any case, you detect any reckless driving behavior among your drivers and can schedule training events for them.
- Regular Maintenance
As discussed above, it becomes challenging for fleet managers to remember different maintenance dates of the vehicles. In such cases, ELDs and other telematics solutions can save the day.
A fleet management software stores the data of different vehicles in one place, so you can schedule several events such as fuel refill, inspections, and maintenance dates. It will send you an alert on the day of maintenance.
Additionally, ELDs can erase any possibility of unexpected vehicle breakdown. How? You have to plug the ELD into the vehicle’s diagnostic port. The ELD derives the data directly from the engine, and as soon as it detects any minor fault code, it can send your real-time alert. And you will have the time to remove it and maintain your vehicle’s longevity.
- Fuel Management
With the help of advanced telematics technology, you can reduce the overall fuel consumption of your fleet. How? With the GPS tracking solution, you can restrict vehicle idling and unauthorized access to your assets. On top of that, you can also monitor reckless driving behavior among the drivers.
- Route Management
With the help of fleet management software, you can improve your route management. For example, it can help you know the road before the vehicle hits it. You can check the weather, road, traffic conditions and choose the optimal route.
Additionally, it also allows you to change the route flexibly afterward. For instance, your customer suddenly changes the location of delivery. The vehicles are already on the road traveling on the predestined path. With the help of a telematics system, you can change the course, inform them and deliver cargo on time.
- Protect and Restrict Unauthorized Use Of Assets
Businesses, such as construction or car renting, have to lend their assets remotely. The owners cease to have any information about them and rely on the customers for their safety. You can avoid such scenarios by employing a GPS tracking solution. You can attach a device to the asset and receive real-time location updates. In case of theft, you can switch to aggressive tracking mode and try your belongings fast.
- Compliance With Rules
A fleet management software will also help you stay compliant with prevailing rules and regulations. For instance, you can use the modern telematics solution to monitor your driver’s working hours. The system will send a real-time alert to your driver as their shift completes. It will help you to stay in compliance with HoS rules. Similarly, an ideal fleet management software will come with ELD hardware. And so you can stay in compliance with the ELD rule too.
To conclude, we can say that an ideal fleet management software is vital for your business and can help you tackle different challenges. It can reduce operational costs and improve your fleet’s productivity.
Do you have queries? Let us know in the comments section below, and our experts will readily solve them for you.