How to Enable Sturdy Distribution Processes with Fleet Management


What Is a Fleet Management System?


Integrating fleet management technology has helped many companies reduce their operation cost. But what is Fleet management and what do you need it for?


A fleet management system is a critical component of distribution management processes. Those who are implementing advanced fleet solutions are seeing optimised returns on their business. It is software-based logistics management that connects vehicle tracking (GPS) with onboard diagnostic devices to fulfill an operation’s efficiency. It provides insight into data regularly, optimises the logistics of the fleet and keeps service at its best quality and speed, removing the distracting administrative steps and involvement of multiple teams or team members. Fleet management systems help you gain real-time visibility into operations to ensure continuity. Distributors and Logistics operations can then use this accurate reporting to make reliable predictions that keep you ready for the future.


“Every 22 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on UK roads” (source: brake.org.uk). However, “42% reported considerably fewer safety incidents since using fleet tracking software to monitor driver behaviour” (source: .g2.com). Every business must replace the age-old practice of using spreadsheets and paper with centralised fleet management that allows everyone to have a look at the current situation and act fast. Digitising the way you manage your fleet will help you address this, amongst a host of other challenges. In this blog, we will discuss why and how to adopt a fleet management system.


The Impact of a Fleet Management System


Real-Time Visibility

The fleet management system allows you to get visibility into real-time activities happening in the field. You get updated on the latest status of the vehicle moment, deliveries, driver’s safety, or any issues being faced.


Optimise Productivity

Visibility into the activities helps you cut down the idling time and delays of the driver, ensuring constant work deliveries which reduce operational costs. This will increase the number of deliveries they make in a day, allowing you to assign a sustainable number of deliveries to each driver.


Lower Operational Costs

A fleet management system will also regulate fuel emissions and cost, widening margins for the overall business. You can monitor your vehicles and ensure they are performing well and giving the highest returns by being constantly operational. This will also extend your vehicle’s life.


Business Intelligence

All the data gathered daily is saved and displayed using visualisations that help you utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to plan your fleet as well as possible.


Compliance Readiness

Fleet management enables compliance readiness for your business, letting you manage the hours of service (HOS) for truck drivers, keep regular checks on licensing, and tax reporting.

Increase Customer Retention & Satisfaction

Accurate and fast deliveries with minimal calls to customers, and a constant update on delivery status result in happy and satisfied customers.


Streamlining processes with a Fleet Management Solution


Here are some features that are essential to factor in while selecting a new fleet management system/software.



Image: Fleet Management Impact & Features


Vehicle Checks

“At least one in three (31%) fatal crashes and one in four (26%) serious injury crashes in Britain involve someone driving for work” (source: brake.org.uk). The fleet management system will allow you to create formal reports on commercial vehicles, pre and post-every inspection, and raise details of any defects encountered, saving such incidents. Vehicle checks also allow room for the driver to identify a problem or issue beforehand, report it in time, and take the vehicle for a preventive maintenance schedule.


These mandatory vehicle checks ensure road safety of the drivers and reduce vehicle downtime cases while a driver is on the road. Besides, safety checks are a legal obligation if you are operating in the UK, which are used to ensure safety measures to avoid any situations of collisions or fatalities that commercial vehicles can cause.


Fleet Management Features for Vehicle Checks:

  • App to raise issues/defects

  • Central system to access all the data

  • User-friendly dashboards

  • Vehicle inspection workflow

  • Scope to add/integrate more systems

Route Optimization

Route optimization in fleet management is more than just finding the shortest route to a place. You need to factor in other aspects of delivery such as: how many deliveries can be covered on a route, delivery windows, traffic situation on different routes, other constraints in the fields, and fuel available on the route at the time the driver will need it. Taking out the guesswork from your route choice optimises your deliveries in a way that ensures business continuity most effectively, saving cost and time, maximising the outcome.


Fleet Management Features for Route Optimization:

  • Manage schedules

  • Quick driver dispatch

  • Driver mobile app

  • Territory management

  • Multi-stop route planning

  • Guided navigation

  • Real-time tracking

  • Mileage tracking

  • Performance metrics

  • Reports & Analytics


Driver Tracking

Driver tracking or vehicle tracking is critical to keep the whole fleet management under control. Inspecting a vehicle’s movement allows you visibility into the situation on the road, helping you reduce fuel and labour costs, ensure fleet safety. Besides, this also lets you send real-time updates to customers on when they will get a delivery, improving customer satisfaction. Here are some features that outline high impact for a business.

Fleet Management Features for Driver Tracking:

  • Email and text alerts

  • Routing

  • Fuel card integration

  • Free APIs

  • Inform customers with automatic alerts

  • Up-to-date arrival time

  • Track accurate fuel & mileage readings

  • Work order management

  • Vehicle, Equipment & Fuel Management

  • A mobile app


Delivery driver being tracked on its way to a customer, shown on a mobile device
Tracking Drivers in Real-Time with a Fleet Management System

The Power of Predictive Analytics for Managing Fleets More Effectively

Data empowers predictive analysis for a business, helping them future-proof it. But how does it work in fleet management? It helps you predict when a vehicle is likely to experience a fault or shall need maintenance, based on statistical data from historical trends. A properly captured data can help you avoid downtime for the fleet, reduce losses, and ensure that your business stays high-performing at all times, while also saving lives.


Data gathered from daily deliveries is aggregated to identify patterns in fleet activities, which helps in planning the entire fleet movement in a way that keeps it accident and breakdown proof. It also enables the fleet managers to take necessary measures before time, resolving issues before a breakdown happens. It keeps the fleet up and running at all times, saving last-minute fixes.

Predictive Analysis for Fleet Management:

  • Driving risk evaluation

  • Equipment analysis

  • Fleet schedule planning

  • Vehicle maintenance schedules

  • Optimised Vehicle Routing

  • Plan Vehicle Availability

  • Reduce Downtime and Increase

  • Improve Dispatching

  • Fuel Consumption Control

  • 24×7 Visibility into Fleet Operations


Proof of Delivery

An electronic proof of delivery system for your fleet to streamline processes and communication. It reduces the paper-based entries of all the data, instead, capturing it automatically on mobile and sending updates to the business, saving them the hidden cost of paper for distributors. This addresses several challenges for a business, such as: preventing disputes with customers, safely storing of important documents and delivery records, quicker payments, transparency, and traceability of deliveries, enhanced customer experience, and smooth flow of deliveries.

Fleet Management Features for Proof of Deliveries:

  • Mobile app for proof of delivery

  • Quick customer signature capture

  • Get photographs of deliveries

  • Quick and easy reporting


Endnote

Customer expectations are evolving, as they demand more transparency and accountability in the whole process of delivery. Besides, the business owners are facing several challenges posing a threat to their future and on-road safety, which needs redressal. Explore the emerging technologies for management of Logistics and transportation operations.


Move to a robust new-age last-mile delivery management software that puts the entire control of the deliveries in your hands, by empowering you with real-time insights and predictive analytics that keep your business sustainable.






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