To keep up with competitors, fleet managers across industries are searching for ways to maximize efficiencies and improve operations. Many businesses are ditching ineffective paper processes and leveraging fleet management software to comprehensively track and manage every aspect of their fleets.
Digitizing Fleet Management
Businesses that rely on their fleets to help generate revenue must have efficient fleet management processes in place. While paper processes used to be the only way for fleets to track and manage operations, society has advanced and paved the way for improved management systems.
Fleet management software is the most robust tool for managing fleet operations. By tracking all fleet data on a single, cloud-based platform users can quickly upload and access information from anywhere. Whether you’re on-site or working remotely, you can stay connected to your team and view all fleet information in real time.
Some fleets have used fleet management companies (FMCs) to outsource decision-making. Not only is this an expensive solution, but businesses lose out on viewing and analyzing data to increase fleet efficiency.
Using cost-effective software to manage your fleet gives you complete control of your fleet’s operations. With all of your fleet data easily accessible, you can make the most informed decisions for your business. Here are nine ways you can eliminate paper processes from your fleet management strategy and maintain control of your data.
1. Inspection Forms
Most fleets complete routine vehicle inspections to monitor vehicle health and maintain regulatory compliance. While essential for identifying problems, paper inspection forms are time-consuming. This often results in frustrated drivers breezing through inspection forms without thoroughly checking for issues.
Paper inspections also can’t be delivered quickly, causing communication gaps between field and office. A mobile vehicle inspection app allows managers to receive inspection results instantly and empowers drivers to conduct fast, thorough inspections.
Electronic vehicle inspections allow users to conduct inspections on the go. With simple clicks and swipes and the ability to take photos, drivers can quickly and clearly communicate issues to managers. Inspection results are easily accessible to create work orders based on identified issues and are stored in the software to help drivers quickly prove compliance.
2. Maintenance Schedules
Whether you have ten assets or ten thousand, keeping up with fleet maintenance schedules on paper can often result in your vehicles missing maintenance. Wall calendars are overlooked and sticky note schedules can be misplaced or damaged.
Fleet management software automates maintenance reminders to help you effectively keep up with maintenance tasks. Fleet managers can set service reminders by an asset or bulk manage schedules with Service Programs.
3. Work Orders
Creating work orders and overseeing maintenance can be a headache if you’re still using paperwork. They often cause communication bottlenecks, resulting in assets staying in the shop longer than necessary.
Leveraging software to create and manage mobile work orders streamlines your maintenance process and increases vehicle uptime. Fleet managers can create work orders based on uncovered vehicle issues reported in their mobile app.
Once a work order is created, fleet managers can track progress to ensure maintenance is completed on schedule and track labor and expenses down to the line item to monitor costs.
4. Service History
Reviewing service history is a great way to analyze vehicle health, expenses and shop productivity, but keeping up with service records and accessing them quickly is almost impossible if you’re still using paper or spreadsheets.
Managing fleet maintenance in a cloud-based software enables you to access comprehensive service history on all of your assets. Viewing task line items, details and costs can provide insight into asset health and help you make the best decisions about future preventive maintenance schedules, remarketing strategies and vehicle replacement.
5. Maintenance Invoices
If your fleet outsources maintenance to a third party, you’re no stranger to managing invoices. Keeping up with paper-based invoices is a poor use of time. Not only does manual data entry take hours, but you may run into clerical errors that upset your expense reports.
Fleetio’s Maintenance Shop Integration simplifies invoicing by providing you a consolidated monthly bill. All service costs are automatically combined onto an itemized bill that includes all of your vendors.
Fleet managers can view costs at a high level or take a granular look at line items to closely monitor expenses. With the hours saved on data entry, managers can analyze maintenance costs and make strategic decisions regarding the total cost of ownership (TCO).
6. Fuel Transactions
Fuel is one of the largest ongoing expenses for your fleet, so monitoring fuel purchases closely is integral to controlling your bottom line. Paper receipts are often misplaced, resulting in guesswork and hours spent manually crunching numbers.
Fleet management software provides a simple solution for monitoring fuel transactions and getting an accurate look at spending. If your fleet uses fuel cards, all transaction data is automatically pulled from the fuel card into software to give you an accurate, real-time look at spending.
For fleets who don’t use fuel cards, drivers can easily log receipts at the pump. Fuel transactions are logged into a mobile app, saving time and eliminating the need to keep up with paper receipts.
7. Vehicle Assignments
No matter how many drivers you have, vehicle assignments can be a balancing act. Knowing which vehicles are in use can dictate maintenance schedules and provide insight into asset utilization.
Using paper to track vehicle assignments can be difficult. Information isn’t always communicated properly and calendars aren’t updated as often as necessary, causing confusion across your team.
Using software to manage vehicle assignments ensures your team is on the same page. With a drag-and-drop calendar, you can quickly assign vehicles, automatically notify drivers of assignments and view utilization reports to get insight on asset usage.
8. Inventory Management
Fleet parts and supplies make up a significant portion of your fleet’s operating cost. Tracking inventory and ensuring you have an optimal amount of parts on hand helps avoid unnecessary downtime.
If you’re tracking inventory on clipboards and spreadsheets, it’s hard to get a real-time look at your inventory levels. Using a web-based inventory management system ensures you have an accurate view of inventory levels and can reorder items easily.
Fleet management software alerts managers when stock is low to help avoid part stockouts, reduce unnecessary spending and keep a lean inventory. By consistently monitoring your parts inventory, your fleet can reduce spending and avoid vehicles being out of service too long.
9. Total Cost of Ownership
We’ve touched on TCO earlier in this post, but the importance of knowing your fleet’s true total cost of ownership can’t be stressed enough. For your fleet to be successful, you must firmly understand your fleet’s operating costs.
Calculating your fleet’s TCO accurately may seem impossible if you’re managing expenses on paper. As your fleet is constantly evolving, manual calculations are ineffective and a poor use of time.
Leveraging a cloud-based software automatically calculates your fleet’s TCO based on real-time numbers. By using easy-to-read reports, you can share with stakeholders, identify overspending and improve allocation across your budget.
An accurate view of your fleet’s TCO empowers you to make the best decisions for your fleet’s future. By moving away from paper processes and leveraging modern tools, you can improve every aspect of your fleet and maximize your return on investment.