Have you ever wondered how fleet businesses manage so many running vehicles at the same time? Well, it sure sounds very intimidating. But the fleet management software has a huge role to play in making the process simple.
Manual management methods consume a lot of time. This reduces the productivity of both the managers and drivers as well. These methods are also very prone to errors. When a fleet is dealing with high-value consignments, these errors can amount to huge amounts, the effects bleeding into a bad reputation for the businesses too.
So how exactly does a fleet management solutions help fleet companies become profitable with a large clientele? Its robust features of course. Before we get a detailed explanation of these features, let us understand what fleet management software is in the first place.
What is Fleet Management Software?
A fleet management system is a real-time tool that makes fleet businesses more visible, helping them manage each part of their operations separately. This system involves a wide array of features that automate manual procedures executed in fleet businesses, thus making work easier for managers.
The primary role played by fleet management software is that of vehicle tracking. It allows managers to monitor their vehicles in real-time. But this is not the only role that this software plays. It has many features that when used together can help businesses become profitable.
Let us have a good look at these features in broad detail.
Features Integrated with Fleet Management Sleep
Some of the commonly integrated solutions with fleet management software are:
In its simplest form, telematics is the long distance transmission of information between devices using wireless methods. Vehicle tracking falls under this category quite perfectly. It uses GPS tracking devices to collect information and then this information is sent to the system. While the servers receive this information in binaries, it decodes it into legible data.
This data is then used to optimise the fleet business operations. A fleet management system is a form of telematic software that helps business managers make data oriented decisions towards optimisation.
An example of telematics is the system taking data from OBD devices. It provides the system with information about everything related to the vehicles. This can include vehicle diagnostics, seatbelt status, engine health and so on. This information is then used to decide if a vehicle needs to be serviced or not. This way it maintains good health for a long time.
When a vehicle is out for completing tasks, the drivers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. They have to not only maintain efficiency but also keep the vehicle and consignment safe. But there is no way for managers to ensure that their drivers are actually adhering to good driving practices on the roads.
This is why it is very important that the fleet management system allows them some form of monitoring of their drivers’ activities.
Well, driver behaviour monitoring solutions aim to do exactly that. It allows managers to maintain the driving ethics of their fleet business. Some of the features that aid this process often included with this solution are:
- Alerts: The system alerts managers every time their drivers involve themselves in an event considered bad driving. These events include overspeeding, abrupt braking, sudden acceleration, harsh cornering and idling. They negatively affect the fleet vehicle’s health and also use more fuel, ultimately proving to be harmful to the business.
- Driver Documentation: It is not possible to randomly employ drivers for a fleet. They need to have the correct documents and training to be fit for the role. This is why fleet managers need to collect these documents for proof, But manual documentation can be just as time wasting as it can be error prone. The fleet management system does it virtually, storing the data in the server.
Sensors play an important role in the operations of almost all industries managing a fleet. They make the surveillance process much easier by transmitting information to the software. This data helps in the optimisation process. Some commonly used sensors with fleet businesses are:
- Fuel Sensor: These sensors help managers keep track of the real-time fuel levels of their vehicles. This means they can monitor their fuel consumption and make decisions to make their fleets efficient.
- Load Sensors: Let managers know how much weight their vehicles are carrying in real-time. It is useful to choose what vehicle should take which route for deliveries in relation to the route density.
- Door Sensors: Allows managers to check if the door to their vehicle is closed or open. Thus maintaining the security of the goods. With cold chain vehicles, it is very helpful to ensure there is no major change in the temperature by sealing the doors of reefers properly.
- Thermometers: Help managers monitor the temperature of their reefers for the cold chain supply chain. Managers can inform drivers if the temperature is below/above the one desired. Thus, immediately rectifying the issue.
- Tilt Sensors: For construction fleets, this sensor can let managers know if their cranes are moving involuntarily. Such activities might be due to some loose element in the machinery and can be hazardous if ignored.
- Waste Level Sensors: For fleets dealing with the waste management system, these sensors come in very handy in ensuring that none of their designated bins is overflowing. When the garbage in the bin reaches the set limit, managers will receive alerts. They can dispatch a vehicle accordingly.
Route planning solutions, as the name suggests, are used to form paths for vehicles running under a business. But why is it so important? That is because managers can use these solutions to ensure that their vehicles travel via roads in conditions, reducing risk of damage.
They can also ensure that their drivers travel through roads that are time efficient and less prone to heavy traffic. These features include:
- ETA: The system provides managers with an estimated time of arrival for their vehicles. This analysis is done by using things like road traffic, vehicle speed and so on. Sharing this information with customers allows fleet businesses to increase their reputation as well.
- POD: Once the task has been completed, drivers can upload proof of delivery on the system. This is done by sending OTP or QR code to the customer that they share with the drivers on task completion. The system also allows managers to collect automatic POD for their vehicles.
- Geofence: This feature allows managers to put a virtual boundary on the map for their drivers. Every time the driver enters or exits the area marked by this area, managers will receive alerts. Thus, managers can use it to either mark their task locations or forbidden areas for their drivers.
- Route Deviation: What if your drivers decide to not adhere to the designated routes but instead travel through ones they decide themselves? All the planning done will go to waste. Thus, managers receive alerts every time their drivers decide to stray from the route. Managers can investigate the reason behind this deviation.
- Trip History: Every trip that the drivers embark on, their activities are recorded. This history is saved on the system for six months and managers can use them to look for pain points in their fleet operations.
Video telematics is created to allow fleet managers to keep surveillance over their fleet with the use of dashcams. While normal telematics depends on textual data, video telematics takes this to the next step with visual data.
Through this system, fleet businesses try to keep their vehicles safe. Visual evidence also helps businesses cut down their insurance costs. Thus, investing in video telematics solutions for fleet management systems can be very profitable.
Video telematics can be mostly categorised into two categories, each playing a different role. Let us have a quick look at their operations.
- DMS: The driver Monitoring system uses a driver-facing camera that, with the help of advanced AI, analyses the driver’s body language. Thus, it helps eliminate any instance of distracted driving. Fleet managers get an alert every time a driver yawns, smokes, is drowsy, uses a mobile phone or is absent.
- ADAS: Advanced Driver Assistance System is integrated with video telematics to aid both the fleet business and drivers on the roads. It uses road-facing cameras to detect any potential risks to the vehicle. Thus, if the vehicle is getting too close to an object, an instant alarm rises to notify drivers and also alerts the managers. Thus, fleets remain safer.
We have now gone through a basic guide on what a fleet management system entails. While this is just the tip of the iceberg, it gives you an idea of just how the system can benefit your fleet business. Struggling to look for a system compatible with your fleet? Do not worry we have you covered.
TrackoBit is the leading GPS tracking system in the market. It is the combination of all the features we mentioned above and so much more. Its customisable nature allows you to use only the features you require. Why pay for everything after all? Request a demo and watch the system work its wonders for you.