To improve fleet efficiency, fleet managers must have complete asset visibility and a way to collaborate with their team in real time. Software solutions streamline workflows and boost communication to maximize efficiency.
Improving Your Fleet Efficiency
Your organization’s success and profitability hinges on fleet efficiency. Unfortunately, many fleets have a lot of room for improvement due to outdated management methods.
Paper and spreadsheets are inefficient tools, resulting in hours of data entry and unorganized records. Couple those with playing phone tag with your team, and your operations can grind to a halt.
A fleet management strategy that puts a premium of visibility and collaboration improves fleet efficiency. Many fleet managers are leveraging software to get the most out of their data and maximize productivity. Here are a few ways you can increase fleet efficiency across your operation.
1. Implement Fleet Management Software
Our society relies on modern technology to improve processes and stay connected with others. Leveraging technology to manage your fleet produces the same results. When it comes to fleet management, connecting with your team in real time helps you make the best decisions to ensure success.
Paper processes and messy whiteboards have long been the norm in fleet management. Not only are these methods unorganized, but they don’t foster collaboration. Fleet management software keeps you connected with your team to improve uptime and help you achieve more.
Leveraging software to manage your fleet allows you to surface information in an instant. Managers can store all driver and vehicle records and easily access them when needed.
Fleet management software is both intuitive and scalable. While implementing a new software sounds cumbersome, fleet management software is easy to use. Managers can maximize efficiency from the start by bulk importing VINs to receive 90+ specs.
2. Stay Connected With a Mobile App
Staying connected to your team is paramount. Having a way to effectively communicate with your team keeps everyone in sync and improves fleet efficiency.
The best fleet management software bridges the gap between field and office. With a robust mobile app, team members can complete inspections, update vehicle status and report issues from anywhere. All vehicle records are easily accessible via phone or tablet to ensure drivers are prepared for roadchecks and Department of Transportation audits.
This is also helpful for managers who are frequently away from their desks or working remotely. No matter where you go, all of your fleet’s data can fit right in your pocket. A mobile fleet management app enables you to communicate needs and stay informed at all times.
3. Automate Data Entry
Fleet managers are often slowed down by manual data entry. Entering work orders, expense data and other information into spreadsheets is a poor use of time and doesn’t provide a comprehensive view of your operations.
Fleet management software eliminates hours of data entry from your day. Fleet managers can receive real-time updates from their team and instantly pull information from integrated systems like GPS and telematics or fuel cards.
In addition to reducing your time keying in data, fleet management software also reduces the time it takes to surface your data. With a configurable dashboard and robust reporting capabilities, you can closely monitor operations and fleet performance.
4. Centralize Fleet Data With Integrations
Your fleet may already be using other tools like GPS and telematics or fuel cards to improve fleet efficiency. These are excellent ways to gain insight into your fleet, but trying to manage data across multiple systems can be difficult.
Fleet management software seamlessly integrates with other fleet solutions to provide a comprehensive view of your data. Centralizing your data increases its value by allowing you to easily analyze key metrics and keeping you better informed.
For example, telematics integrations automatically update odometer readings in fleet management software. These updates trigger service reminders to keep your maintenance schedule on track.
You can also leverage Fleetio’s Maintenance Shop Integration to consolidate billing and streamline repair approvals.
5. Conduct Mobile Inspections
We mentioned how using a mobile fleet management app improves communication. One way your team can leverage a mobile app to boost fleet efficiency is by completing digital vehicle inspections.
Paper inspection forms are frustrating for drivers. They don’t leave room for clarifying issues, and they’re often misplaced or delivered weeks after completion. This can slow down your maintenance process and even result in downtime.
Conducting inspections on a mobile app is fast and thorough. Drivers can take pictures and add comments to improve clarity, and results are uploaded instantly into your software.
Any uncovered issues can be sent to your inbox. Not only does this keep you informed, but you can immediately begin scheduling maintenance to increase fleet efficiency.
6. Keep Up With Preventive Maintenance
Downtime is often a result of inefficient fleet maintenance practices. Regularly servicing your vehicles keeps them in good condition and helps avoid unexpected breakdowns.
Creating preventive maintenance schedules is a proactive way to increase the lifespan of your vehicles. This can be challenging if you’re tracking schedules on a whiteboard or calendar. Using fleet management software to create and manage preventive maintenance schedules ensures you stay on track.
Setting schedules and service reminders in fleet management software automates the maintenance process. Fleet managers can set service reminders based on hour intervals or odometer readings to be alerted when routine maintenance is due soon. Having these reminders eliminates the guesswork and keeps your fleet efficient.
7. Collaborate With Your Team on Maintenance
One of the biggest issues fleets have with maintenance is communication. Time-consuming paperwork and limited communication often causes vehicles to stay in the shop longer than necessary.
Going paperless with mobile work orders boosts fleet efficiency by keeping your team in sync. Fleet managers can create and assign work orders based on vehicle issues and easily monitor progress.
Leveraging collaborative software to conduct maintenance ensures you stay informed no matter where you and your team are located. Managers, operators and technicians can communicate in real-time to efficiently complete tasks.
8. Track Service History
We all know that understanding the past can guide the future, but did you know that extends to fleet management? By analyzing service history, you can make better decisions to improve fleet efficiency going forward.
Fleet management software not only tracks real-time maintenance data, but it also keeps a complete record of completed service. Fleet managers can dig into past service records, including detailed line items and expense data, to spot maintenance trends and develop ways to improve your maintenance plan.
9. Calculate Your Fleet’s Total Cost of Ownership
No matter how many assets you have, managing your fleet’s budget can be challenging. Manually entering expense data into spreadsheets is a poor use of time and can result in inaccurate calculations. Not only is this inefficient, but it can negatively affect your bottom line.
Managing your fleet in a centralized software like Fleetio provides real-time expense insights and automatically calculates your total cost of ownership (TCO) right down to cost-per-mile. Understanding your TCO and knowing cost-per-mile empowers you to make data-driven decisions to boost fleet efficiency.
Fleet management software streamlines expense management to provide clear insight into your spending. In addition to tracking TCO, fleet managers can monitor and control expenses at a granular level. Tracking items like fuel, parts for in-house maintenance, and other recurring expenses allows you to reduce costs and improve your fleet’s efficiency.
Fleets who outsource maintenance can also take advantage of consolidated billing with Maintenance Shop Integration. Instead of a stream of invoices rolling in, you receive one monthly bill for all repairs. Not only does this save you the trouble of crunching numbers, but it affords you time for other tasks.
10. Develop a Vehicle Replacement Cycle
Your vehicles are the backbone of your business. Tracking vehicle performance and utilization helps you monitor efficiency and understand when it’s time for replacement.
Vehicle replacement is a delicate subject for many fleets, but taking a data-driven approach ensures you’re making the best decisions at the right time.
Fleetio’s Optimal Replacement Analysis tool estimates the time to replace vehicles based on factors like utilization, depreciation and operating costs. With this tool, you can forecast replacement and see how changes in your estimates can increase asset lifespan.
11. Analyze Performance With Fleet Reports
Understanding how your fleet functions is the best way to increase and sustain fleet efficiency. Measuring metrics like utilization, expenses, performance and maintenance give you insight into what’s working and what needs improvement.
While tracking every aspect of your fleet sounds difficult, fleet management software has robust reporting capabilities. Managers can easily generate configurable reports to view and share with stakeholders. This insight allows you to determine ways to increase fleet efficiency and improve operations.