Good fleet management is at the heart of every transportation company’s operations: It improves efficiency and productivity, increases driver safety, and eliminates unnecessary costs.
An effective fleet management strategy is goal-oriented: Fleet managers should define achievable targets for measurable KPIs in advance and base their strategy on meeting these goals. The following recommendations can help you develop a plan that covers all important aspects.
A transportation company’s drivers and vehicle fleet are its most important assets. This makes ensuring work safety and vehicle maintenance the core of every fleet management strategy.
Effective fleet maintenance involves strict check-up schedules for all fleet vehicles, as well as adequate controls to make sure they are adhered to. As a fleet manager, you will have to keep an eye on every truck’s service history and mileage - and ensure every safety check is performed correctly before it hits the road. This way, you can prolong the life of your fleet and keep your drivers safe. If you notice a sudden increase in maintenance cost, it may be time to sell your older vehicles and invest in new ones.
To improve road safety, also invest in ergonomics and training. Your drivers should be aware that they need to avoid risky driving behavior, adhere to the mandated rest periods, and adopt healthy work habits. These measures will minimize absences and increase your staff’s loyalty.
Involve your drivers
While developing a fleet management strategy, don’t forget to speak to the people who actually spend their time on the road. Not only will this provide valuable insights that raw data cannot give you, but it also shows your drivers that they have a voice in how the company operates.
Solving problems as a team ensures that any changes to operations will be adopted quickly and won’t disrupt other workflows. Be sure to check in with your drivers later to see whether they feel things have improved for them.
Use data to uncover hidden costs
Effective fleet management uses data analytics to monitor fleet performance and expenses like fuel cost. But just collecting as much data as possible can hamper your ability to make sense of it. Instead, focus on those factors that directly affect your operating costs while respecting your drivers’ privacy.
For example, by analyzing routes alongside gas mileage, you could find ways of improving fuel efficiency through better route planning. If your vehicles transmit telemetry data, you may notice signs of poor driving behavior, like sudden braking and acceleration, which increase wear and put your drivers in danger.
Regular in-house audits are another source of valuable data. Not all hidden costs are necessarily connected to your fleet. You may also uncover inefficiencies in administrative workflows. Talking to people in all positions helps you identify these problem areas and find suitable solutions.
Take advantage of fleet management software
Fleet managers can implement these measures much quicker using powerful fleet management software. With the right tools, you can consolidate data, easily track key metrics, and monitor adherence to maintenance and training schedules.
They are not just useful for managers, though: Using a mobile application, drivers can communicate with headquarters even when they are on the road.
Before deciding on a vendor, clarify with your team which features you actually need, so you won’t end up with complex functionalities you never use. Make sure everyone is on board with the final decision to ensure maximum adoption among all employees.
Mobile document scanning is a crucial feature that can drastically improve your fleet’s efficiency, because it allows your drivers to scan and upload paperwork like waybills, proofs of delivery, or bills of lading on the go. You can buy fleet management software that already includes this functionality or integrate it into your own app.
Companies like SCG Logistics and Motive have integrated our Document Scanner SDK into their digital workflows. As a result, they have reduced their document submission times to mere seconds. Since our scanning solution doesn’t require an internet connection, drivers can capture data even when cell coverage isn’t guaranteed, giving them maximum flexibility.
Better and broader interconnectivity, digital platforms, and data analysis drive digital trends in the logistics sector. What are the cornerstones enabling this digital shift?