When your business depends on long haul vehicles—whether a handful or several convoys—you need a way to keep track of them. From drivers and maintenance to safety and efficiency, any number of factors can impact your outfit’s bottom line, so it’s important to know where your fleet stands.
Many companies have turned to fleet management software to help monitor their vehicles. A GPS digital tracking solution can serve as a centralized system that manages drivers, dispatch, the life of a vehicle, maintenance schedules, routes, fuel economy, compliance with health and safety regulations, and more. Some solutions are standalone fleet tracking tools, while others are built into a larger suite of supply chain management software.
For those still on the fence about making an investment, the following four signs indicate a strong need to purchase:
Too Many Accidents
Traffic accidents have always been an assumed risk in the long haul business. With numerous drivers on the road at all times, accidents are sometimes unavoidable.
Fleet management software can help reduce needless accidents. By tracking driver performance through metrics like mileage, braking, idle time, speeding, and adherence to schedule, managers will have the chance to coach drivers and improve their performance. This can help weed out unsafe drivers or indicate where improvement is necessary.
If an accident does occur, a manager can also use fleet management software to review how the driver was behaving at the time of the incident and determine if they were at fault. That information can inform the insurance claims process and determine whether disciplinary actions need to be taken.
Consistent Failure to Meet Deadlines
If your fleet regularly misses delivery deadlines, you have a problem. Long haul drivers must make their journeys as efficiently as possible so employers can use them more often and capitalize on more opportunities.
By using GPS tracking fleet management software, long haul businesses can pick out the most efficient possible routes and make sure their drivers stick to them. It’s incredible how much time and money this saves. Imagine what that level of optimization could do for your long haul business.
Recurring Maintenance Problems
Wear and tear on long haul vehicles is natural, but preventative maintenance is much more cost-effective than having to make a fix after disaster strikes.
Embedded sensors can relay diagnostic, performance, and location information back to fleet management systems, which allows long haul businesses to remotely monitor vehicles and predict when a malfunction may occur. By dealing with maintenance issues before they leave a driver stranded on the side of the road, your outfit can save money on both fixes and downtime.
Steadily Increasing Fuel Costs
According to some reports, 30 percent of a fleet’s total operating costs go to fuel. That means every drop counts, so any gas saving methods can be a boon for long haul businesses.
Fleet management software can provide tools for managing fuel economy like route optimization, local gas price identifiers, consumption tracking, and fuel card support. When used appropriately, these features will make huge differences on gas consumption and your company’s bottom line.
Unfortunately, fuel theft is a common occurrence in the long haul business. Some drivers have been known to steal company gas and pocket the profits or take inefficient routes for personal reasons. With fleet management software that can pinpoint fuel use and the exact location of every vehicle, drivers will no longer be able to misuse company assets without oversight.
With these challenges in mind, it’s not so much a question of whether you need fleet management software, but how much productivity and resources you stand to lose without it. If you’re ready to try a new system, sit down with your logistics team and decide which features are important to your operation and how much you’re willing to spend. After that, compare pricing, run demos, read reviews, and build a shortlist of options to weigh. You know the drill.
About the Author
Peter Chawaga is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com with years of experience as a reporter and editor for publications around the country. He’s covered arts and culture in Philadelphia, business and development in Greensboro, and healthcare and technology in Nashville.