Fleet management is seemingly notorious for its challenging and sometimes overwhelming nature. With the vast number of responsibilities involved, it is easy to see why. The key to success is automating as much of the process as possible and making the most of the time you have available. Here are some tools, methods, as well as areas of focus that can streamline your fleet operations.
Time Saving Tools
Gone are the days where you are required to be at your desk for eight hours. There are plenty of online tools available today that can be accessed from any internet-connected device. So whether you are using a mobile phone, tablet or desktop, you should be able to log fleet data and access it from pretty much anywhere.
Fuel, being your most frequent entry, needs to be an easy add. If you are adding this information to an excel spreadsheet or waiting until the end of the month to add up receipts, then you need to re-evaluate the situation. Let the data do the work for you with automatic MPG as well as cost/mile calculations. Intelligent fleet software platforms make it very easy to get data in and get useful info out.
Fuel Card Integration
The easiest way to control fuel expenses is with Fuel Cards and fleet software that automatically links up with those cards. Typically, a fleet card comes with limited or separate reporting, but by connecting transactions from the pump to the rest of your expenses and activity, reporting is both easy and comprehensive.
Active or Passive Tracking
As a fleet manager, you can save a lot of time and effort by letting the vehicles talk to you. Onboard OBD devices or GPS hardware make this possible. Instead of relying on drivers to communicate issues or warning lights, diagnostic codes will show up automatically in your fleet management system. This helps with both scheduling and preventing unexpected downtime. Statistics like fuel usage, idle time and more are also just a few clicks away. There will typically be an added cost for this type of device, but it is more often than not well worth the investment.
Time Saving Techniques
Fleet management, by nature, touches a lot of employees in your company. Instead of putting all of the responsibility on the shoulders of one person, it is much more efficient to divide up tasks accordingly and let each person contribute in their specific capacity. If a driver is the one taking their vehicle in for maintenance, they can easily add that service record. Same goes with onsite mechanics. We talk to a number of fleets who redundantly transcribe information several times before it ends up in their software program. With an intuitive program, anyone should be able to do their job quickly with minimal or no training. If you prefer to limit permissions as well as access for users, most online applications will allow the fine-tuning of roles.
Responsive Maintenance Scheduling
By automating PM activities start-to-finish, you can drastically cut down on time and headaches. An intelligent maintenance system will allow you to create email reminders that alert appropriate users when a task is due soon, due or overdue. Instead of waiting until that overdue notification, it is in your best interest to get that service on the schedule. This will ensure maintenance gets done in a timely fashion. It also allows for plenty of planning to work around a vehicle that is in the shop.
Centralized Document Storage
Whether you fall under DOT regulations or not, it is of the utmost importance that you always know where The collective glove boxes and file cabinets at your company simply won’t cut the mustard. Choose a convenient home online where you can upload important photos as well as documents. Then you will always know where to look. If a surprise inspection comes knocking, you and your company will already have those ducks all in a row.