Efficiency is key when managers look to cut fleet operating costs, and nothing can help more in this area than advanced telematics systems. With the right systems that meet the specific needs of a commercial fleet, managers can trim costs and gain an edge in a highly competitive transportation market.
Fleets face a unique set of challenges that require specific solutions. The first step in addressing those challenges is to identify the areas of need for a fleet, which typically fall into the categories of productivity, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs, and driver performance and safety.
Professionals who work in telematics can connect fleets with the right systems to address challenges with vehicles, non-powered assets, and even compliance with government regulations.
The Importance of Efficiency for Fleets
For fleet managers, the most important aspect of streamlining fleet operations is the increase in productivity and profits. Most of those who commit to cutting fleet operating costs will find potential improvements in areas such as fuel consumption and route optimization.
An efficient fleet also leads to better customer service. For example, optimized routes result in faster delivery times, reducing wait times and increasing customer satisfaction. This also gives fleets a competitive advantage as customers see the fleet’s commitment to reliable service, giving fleets a better chance to retain customers and grow their business.
Key Areas To Cut Fleet Operating Costs
By establishing metrics to measure performance in the following areas, fleet managers can set strategic goals that will improve performance and boost the bottom line. Telematics systems and connected devices are strategic tools that can help managers achieve those goals.
Fuel consumption is an issue every fleet manager focuses on because of its impact on the budget. Telematics can provide data on fuel usage and driver behavior that can be used to reduce fuel costs. Telematics systems offer solutions in a number of ways, including using in-cabin dash cams and connected software systems to alert drivers when they engage in fuel-burning behavior, including excessive idling, speeding and sudden braking. Fuel cards connected with a software system allow managers to better control when and where fuel is purchased, as well as find insights into purchasing patterns that may lead to areas where they can save.
Safety and Driver Performance
Nothing impacts fleet safety and success like driver performance. Drivers carry both the highest upside and biggest risk for fleets. Those who practice good behind-the-wheel habits make fleets much more efficient. But issues such as distracted driving and not following safety rules can lead to soaring costs for fleets. They also may result in a fleet not meeting government regulations for safety.
By using data gathered through telematics systems, managers can create individualized training that addresses areas where drivers need improvement. This lowers the risk of injuries and expensive crashes. Some systems also provide real-time alerts to drivers that help them avoid or mitigate the cost of accidents.
The cost of roadside breakdowns is high. Telematics systems help fleets cut down on the number of breakdowns, keeping vehicles and drivers on the road. While vehicles are on the road, connected devices can monitor engine performance, providing alerts when detecting issues that lead to engine failure. They help managers address these issues before they become major problems.
AI-driven systems also can create a comprehensive maintenance plan that schedules tire rotations, oil changes, engine tune-ups and other routine maintenance during times where they will impact ongoing operations the least.
This area focuses on fleet productivity. With the ability to factor in millions of data points in a matter of seconds, telematics systems can provide up-to-date information on each possible route for a delivery, allowing dispatchers to select the best choice.
These systems can also draw on historical data and make recommendations for the best vehicle for a specific route. With driver information, they also can match the best driver with the right vehicle and route. These enhancements make fleets more efficient with deliveries, which raises levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Telematics systems assist modern fleet managers in overseeing complex fleet issues, helping make operations more cost-efficient. For those looking to cut fleet operating costs, telematics is a critical component to their plans.