International Finance

Innovate & adapt: Next-gen fleet management

IFM_ Next-gen fleet mgmt
Managers may access all the fleet-related data they require in one location with the help of fleet management software

As per the management consulting firm MarketsandMarkets, the fleet management industry, which includes telematics and GPS tracking, will increase at a compound yearly growth rate of 11.3% from $19.9 billion in 2020 to $34 billion by 2025.

According to the report, the main drivers of development are the stringent government regulations, the growing adoption of cloud-based solutions, the expanding Internet of Things (IoT), and the growing need for big data analytics.

The concept called Fleet Management

Fleet management is, to put it simply, the administration and planning that goes into managing company cars. The ultimate goal is for businesses to have complete control over the fleet’s lifecycle, which will enable them to boost production, lower expenses, increase efficiency, lower risks, and guarantee regulatory compliance.

Work vehicles play a significant role in practically every industry and the economy as a whole. Hauliers, couriers, the sales, maintenance, and repair sectors, utilities, public transportation, the distribution of gas and oil, and emergency services are among the businesses that own fleets.

Even if a certain company doesn’t own a fleet, it probably depends on one for some aspect of its supply chain, which it may contract out to another business.

Decoding the nitty-gritty further

GPS is used in fleet tracking to keep an eye on workers, equipment, and vehicles. It gathers data in real-time via telematics technology so that fleet managers can immediately benefit from relevant insights.

This increases overall operational productivity by giving management the ability to act quickly and intelligently when it comes to things like dispatching vehicles, forecasting return times, answering customer enquiries, and rerouting drivers for a safer route.

Managers may access all the fleet-related data they require in one location with the help of fleet management software. It functions as a database efficiently, helping businesses monitor costs, driver dispatching, compliance duties, driver conduct, and fuel usage. As part of a suite, some of them will require various apps; nonetheless, the data might be retrieved from the entire database, greatly improving the efficiency of the administrative process.

Black boxes are usually installed inside cars as part of telematics systems to track their whereabouts, measure their performance, and give fleet managers information on driver behaviour. It can alert them, for example, if a driver is braking or speeding excessively, which will increase fuel expenses.

Telematics systems gather operational data on driving style, gearbox, vehicle speed, miles per gallon, fuel consumption, load weight, and braking force. Furthermore, certain telematics systems can notify the fleet management when the panic alarm goes off, when the ignition is turned on, and when the doors of a car are open. The information is transmitted either directly to the company’s computers or to a vendor’s server that an organisation can access.

Typically, security is not offered as a stand-alone programme or feature but rather is integrated into the solution.

Cybersecurity threats have increased along with technology use. For this reason, before choosing any gear or software, a fleet manager must thoroughly inspect them. It is more likely that those with identity and access management, encryption policy, and security validation have the required measures in place to secure the software.

A thorough understanding of the infrastructure being used, the location of data storage, and knowledge of third-party providers are all essential for guaranteeing effective cybersecurity measures.

The majority of other security considerations centre on keeping the driver and the car safe. Driver identification, which enables drivers to quickly identify themselves when operating a car using biometrics or a key fob, is one of the features offered by certain solutions. When it comes to third-party insurance claims or speeding citations, this tool is really helpful.

Furthermore, cars can be configured to only start when it detects the presence of an authorised driver. When combined with door opening and closing notifications, this informs the fleet manager of any questionable activity.

Fleet managers can quickly act by utilising tracking technologies like GPS tracking and telematics to identify risky driving behaviours and foresee possible collisions. To guarantee the safety of the asset and its contents, they can also assist in locating distant assets or vehicles.

Organisations can schedule and monitor each vehicle’s maintenance and repairs with the use of maintenance software, which is frequently, included as part of fleet management packages.

In addition to sending bills to clients via its platform, a robust maintenance system can also generate purchase orders for suppliers and parts. It can also hold additional papers, including complete maintenance records, provider information, warranties, and claims.

Managers may automatically monitor engine hours, fuel consumption, and distance via GPS fleet tracking. They can programme notifications to notify them when a car needs maintenance or repairs, based on their preferences.

This calculated action enables managers to plan how to make the most efficient and economical use of their workforce, budget, and assets in addition to guaranteeing that the cars are constantly in perfect condition. Furthermore, this will increase the vehicle’s return on investment.

Distinction between GPS tracking devices

There are two varieties of GPS trackers available for fleet management: active and passive. Either of these fleet tracking solutions could be beneficial to your company, depending on your requirements.

GPS coordinates, vehicle speed, and other information about driver behaviour can be stored by passive tracking devices. Consider them as a kind of data logger.

They work similarly to the GPS trackers found on many fitness watches, recording data that can be downloaded and viewed after the car is linked to the fleet management system.

Passive tracking systems are perfect for fleets that don’t need real-time monitoring capabilities, just wish to track mileage and basic data, and have a limited budget.

Active systems use 4G and 5G cellular networks to transfer data immediately to the server, eliminating the need for manual data downloads and accesses. This implies that companies can process and send data in real time without requiring the device to be connected to the server to download it.

Fleet managers who wish to ensure that their drivers receive messages and alerts wherever they are, as well as gain a better understanding of their fleet’s real-time position and vehicle information, will find this to be excellent.

Fleet managers can exert better strategic control over their fleet with the use of these capabilities. For instance, delivery services and public transportation managers can real-time redirect their drivers to increase productivity.

Companies using active tracking systems can create a geofence or a predefined area on a map. This implies that the fleet manager will be notified whenever the vehicle enters or exits the geofenced region. Since active tracking systems enable fleet managers to trace the whereabouts of a stolen vehicle, a lot more security precautions are in place for these systems.

Active GPS trackers are more expensive than passive ones because of the extra functionality they include. Software vendors will counter that the extra efficiency and productivity from employing active trackers will make up for the price difference.

In summary, critical data is captured and stored by passive trackers so that it can be accessed later. However, in addition to recording and storing the same data, active trackers also communicate it in real-time, giving fleet managers even more options for how to use the information.

Fleet management software, GPS tracking, and telematics have revolutionised the way businesses with vehicle fleets operate, offering an expansive array of features and benefits that extend far beyond mere administrative simplification.

These technologies serve as the backbone of modern fleet management, enabling organisations to optimise their operations, enhance efficiency, and drive down costs through a comprehensive suite of functionalities.

At the heart of these solutions lies their ability to streamline administrative tasks, providing a centralised platform for managing critical functions such as quoting, invoicing, driver dispatching, and expense management.

By automating these processes, fleet managers can significantly reduce manual workload, minimise errors, and improve overall productivity, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives.

Moreover, the integration of GPS tracking and telematics capabilities brings unprecedented levels of visibility and control over fleet operations. Fleet managers can monitor vehicle locations in real time, track fuel consumption, and analyse driver behaviour patterns to identify areas for improvement.

Insights gleaned from telematics data, such as excessive idle times or inefficient routes, empower managers to implement targeted interventions, optimise fuel usage, and ultimately reduce operational costs.

In addition to operational efficiency gains, fleet management software offers robust maintenance scheduling features, enabling proactive maintenance planning based on factors like vehicle mileage, usage time, and historical performance data. By staying ahead of maintenance needs, organisations can minimise unplanned downtime, extend vehicle lifespan, and reduce repair costs, ultimately contributing to a more reliable and cost-effective fleet.

The communication capabilities embedded within these platforms further enhance operational coordination and customer service levels. Mobile applications enable seamless communication between fleet managers and drivers, facilitating the efficient dissemination of orders, instructions, and updates. Real-time tracking and status updates allow for enhanced transparency and accountability, ensuring customers are kept informed and satisfied throughout the service delivery process.

Furthermore, the integration of fleet management software with other business systems, such as accounting, route optimisation, and human resources management, creates a seamless ecosystem that enhances overall operational efficiency. By automating tasks like payments, optimising route planning, and managing driver schedules, organisations can further streamline processes, reduce administrative overhead, and improve resource utilisation.

Beyond operational benefits, fleet management solutions also play a critical role in ensuring regulatory compliance and risk mitigation. By maintaining up-to-date records, issuing timely notifications for compliance deadlines, and providing comprehensive audit trails, these platforms help organisations navigate complex regulatory landscapes with confidence, minimising the risk of penalties or legal issues.

All the above-mentioned transformative tools are empowering businesses to unlock new levels of efficiency, visibility, and cost-effectiveness in managing their vehicle fleets. By harnessing the power of these technologies, businesses can optimise operations, enhance customer service, and drive sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Fleet management is a crucial aspect of any business that owns a fleet of vehicles, from hauliers and couriers to public transportation and emergency services.

The use of GPS tracking, telematics, and fleet management software enables fleet managers to automate administrative tasks, monitor driver behaviour, streamline maintenance procedures, enhance security, and reduce costs.

With the projected growth of the fleet management industry, it is evident that businesses are recognising the benefits of implementing these technologies to optimise their fleet’s performance and improve their bottom line.

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