The New Normal: Fleet Management in the Time of COVID-19
What does a successful fleet management program look like during a national pandemic? How can you effectively run your business remotely? Is the remote work style brought about by COVID-19 the “new normal” for our industry? GPS Trackit investigates.
When lockdown measures started in early March 2020, many businesses found themselves having to navigate continuing “business as normal” when the national pandemic made it anything but. This was particularly true for fleet managers, who needed to continue running, managing, and maintaining their fleets remotely. According to a recent survey from Fleet News, close to 75% of fleet decision-makers said they were working from home during the pandemic, and that 66% of respondents suggested that working remotely would become their new “normal.”
Given the move toward remote working, more fleet managers, owners, and operators have turned to fleet management technology to help them successfully manage their business for both now and the future.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Business
The U.S. outbreak of the novel coronavirus in March caused a rapid shift towards the American workforce working from home — trading offices and cubicles for kitchen counters, living rooms, and dining room tables. According to mid-April Gallup Panel data, 62% of employed American adults said they were working from home specifically out of concern for the coronavirus outbreak. Given the present situation, it would appear that most US offices aren’t looking to return to the “old” way of working, despite government schedules of reopening.
Considering a huge share of the U.S. workforce is now reporting to work remotely, businesses and workers are now considering if this “new normal” may actually become the new way to work. In May, Gallup conducted a poll of remote workers about their preferences for heading back to the office once restrictions are lifted:
- 26% said that if it were up to them, they would return to their workplace once businesses and schools reopen.
- 25% responded that they would rather work from home because of concerns about COVID-19, but would consider returning to their regular workplace once that concern subsides.
- The other half of the remote workforce polled said that if it were up to them, they would continue to work from home because they prefer it.
Given this seismic shift in how the American workforce typically experiences their employment, many companies are now reconsidering the role of a traditional office and their remote work policies during both the time of the pandemic and beyond.
Remote Fleet Management During COVID-19
While the fleet industry has been experiencing the same issues as most American businesses, they have also dealt with the increased demands placed upon them as their drivers became essential frontline workers. Fortunately, fleet management technology has proved to be a valuable investment to keep fleet businesses both successful and on-track.
Here are the key elements and tools you need in your arsenal to keep your business on the road during COVID-19:
Focus On Employee Health
With no foreseeable end to the fight against COVID-19 in sight, keeping your employees safe and your drivers on the road is key. From providing cleaning tools such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for truck cabs to migrating office employees to working from home, a healthy game plan is mission-critical to keeping your business fully operational and on the road. Additionally, keeping your business up-to-date on best sanitation practices and CDC guidelines is more than just about your business, it’s also essential for the public at large.
Login From Anywhere
GPS Trackit’s all-in-one fleet management solution is based in the cloud, meaning you don’t need to have software installed on your computer to access it. Simply visit the login page from your mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop and login to get real-time information on your fleet. Additionally, with unlimited logins and set user permissions, you can easily run your fleet and your business from anywhere.
Use Mobile Apps
Your fleet is mobile, so your management tools should be too. With GPS Trackit’s mobile apps you can stay connected to your business from anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Quickly and easily access your fleet management dashboard, create and customize driver behavior and event alerts and even access reports easily and quickly from anywhere.
Know the HOS Exemptions
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) responded to the coronavirus pandemic with an Emergency Declaration and expanded Hours of Service (HOS) regulatory relief guidelines in March 2020. These new regulations change frequently and knowing how it impacts your business is essential to ensuring you’re in compliance. Keep an eye on the GPS Trackit Blog for regular updates on the information you need to know.
Adapt with Real-Time Tracking
With real-time tracking information, you can stop wondering where your fleet is and start tracking with detailed, dynamic interactive maps. With live information, you can better route your drivers, set Geofences to maintain control of locations, get customized alerts, and view breadcrumb trails to help streamline your operation.
Keep Tabs on Maintenance
With everything going on in the world, fleet maintenance is easy to overlook. However, it’s mission-critical not only to keep your vehicles on the road but also to increase their lifespan. With GPS Trackit, you can easily set reminders for maintenance based on calendar dates, odometer readings, and more. By having a regular fleet maintenance program, you can increase your vehicle lifespan by up to 35%.
Monitor Driver Behavior
Drivers are at the heart of your business, but ensuring they’re using your vehicles appropriately is essential to both safety and your business’ bottom line. From wasted fuel to vehicle wear and tear, your drivers’ behavior can have major implications and consequences to your business. By using the Driver Scorecard and Driver Trends features in the GPS Trackit solution, you can easily identify key issues before they become a problem.
Fleet Management Beyond COVID-19
By implementing fleet management technology into your business now, you can better prepare for the “new normal.” With nearly 7 out of 10 American employees working remotely part or all of the time at present, it’s likely that a return to the traditional office environment is unlikely anytime soon. Additionally, nearly half of those polled by Gallup stated they would like to see this shift remain permanent as a personal preference. By reconsidering remote working as a regular business practice, fleet companies can easily retain essential employees who might otherwise seek employment opportunities that allow for more remote work.
How has your business been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? Do you foresee making remote work the “new normal” in your business? Visit GPS Trackit on LinkedIn and let us know!
Are you ready to get started with the essential fleet management tools you need to make your business successful during the pandemic and beyond? Speak to one of our expert Fleet Advisors who can help you find the right fit for your business.