Fleet managers who want to stay ahead of the curve and maintain fleet efficiency have a variety of areas where they can focus, improving one area before moving on to the next. The goal in each case is to reduce costs and improve productivity. Ultimately, it benefits the bottom line.
Telematics systems offer managers a proven way to improve fleet efficiency and reduce fleet costs. These innovative digital tools make it much easier to achieve and maintain optimal performance across fleet operations.
Areas of Optimization for Fleet Efficiency
By establishing performance metrics in each of the areas below, fleet managers can then apply telematics to determine where they stand and what changes are required. Improvements in any of these areas can lead to safer, more productive fleets – and larger profit margins.
Fuel costs make up one of the biggest line items in every fleet’s budget. Telematics offers solutions in a variety of ways. For example, in-cab cameras connected to advanced software systems allow managers to monitor driver behavior and watch for actions that burn fuel such as excessive idling or aggressive driving. Automated systems can also alert drivers in real-time when they engage in these behaviors.
Fuel cards also offer a proven approach to better management of fuel costs. They allow fleet managers to control when and where drivers purchase fuel. Fuel cards also offer high levels of security, requiring a driver ID/PIN to make purchases.
The success of a fleet depends largely on the quality of fleet drivers. Fleet managers benefit by making driver training a priority, cutting down on costly crashes, potential liabilities, and injuries on the job. It’s a key component of any plan to improve fleet efficiency.
Create Maintenance Schedules
Creating and following a maintenance schedule limits the chance of breakdowns on the road that can lead to high-cost repairs and missed deliveries. Telematics systems automate the maintenance schedule process, alerting managers when the time for maintenance is approaching. These systems also monitor engine performance in real-time using connected devices that alert drivers and managers of any issue before it becomes a bigger problem.
Route optimization presents managers with a complicated challenge to solve. Every route offers a wide range of variables and a route with multiple stops can offer thousands. Getting from the warehouse to the client in the most efficient way possible is much easier through the use of telematics that calculate routes, taking into consideration delivery windows, driver schedules, vehicle capacity, potential traffic congestion and more. Route optimization is an area where data-driven decisions that consider every possible variable lead to the best outcome.
Accurate Cost Estimates
Choosing the most efficient course for any business involves understanding the costs associated with different strategies. Automated systems can help compile data on all issues that are in a fleet’s budgets. That includes the total cost of vehicles (the purchase price and cost of maintenance, minus depreciation) and fixed costs such as fees, licenses, and lease and loan payments.
Variable costs have a bigger impact on a fleet’s cash flow because they can shift in unexpected ways, such as the price of fuel skyrocketing in 2022. Variable costs also include vehicle repairs, the costs of crashes and collisions, the impact of route changes on fuel costs, and driver performance. Telematics offers help in all these areas, and also can provide a better estimate for these costs based on large sets of data from recent years. Using connected devices and innovative software systems gives fleet managers the advantage over competitors. These digital tools improve fleet efficiency and allow managers to make data-driven decisions that lead to better business outcomes.