As a fleet manager, you are probably always trying to figure out cost-effective ways to get the most out of your fleet. What you need is a state-of-the-art fleet management solution. Knowing how to select a fleet management solution can go a long way towards improving the efficiency of a fleet, reducing the operational costs and streamlining the process of maintaining a fleet. The question is “How do you select a fleet management solution that works the best for your team?”
Well, to answer that, the first thing you need to understand is that every business is different. You need to analyze the needs of your business, the limitations you are dealing with. That will help you in determining your expectations from the GPS tracking system. It does sound a bit overwhelming, but we’ll walk you through the entire process of how to select a Fleet Management system. Some of the most important criteria are mentioned below:
The size of the fleet should be at the top of your priorities when you start your search for a GPS tracking system of a fleet management system. The requirements of a small fleet vary greatly from that of a large fleet of vehicles. So, investing in the same system will be wastage of both money and resource for businesses that are running a small fleet of vehicles.
If you have a small fleet of vehicles (ten or less), you don’t have to invest in a fancy GPS tracking system. Looking for a cost-effective solution is probably the best. While information on real-time fuel efficiency is certainly welcome, it isn’t a necessity for a small fleet of vehicles. The priorities should be on:
- Real time GPS tracking.
- Improving the service call.
- Improving the driver response time.
- Increasing the number of trips per day.
- Reducing operational costs.
Running a medium sized fleet can be quite tricky. While the fleet managers might be tempted to go for an all-round system with cutting-edge and geeky features, the cost considerations hold them back from doing so. So, a medium sized fleet needs a GPS tracking system that has all the benefits of an entry-level fleet management system along with some advanced telematics features. A medium sized fleet should look for:
- Vehicle diagnostics.
- Reduction of fuel consumption.
- Good user interfaces that will help monitor a significant number of vehicles from a single screen.
- Driver behavior analytics.
It goes without saying that a large fleet will need a fleet management solution with a ton of goodies. But, spending top dollar on a system without judging the pros and cons isn’t too wise either. So, if your business involves maintaining a large fleet of vehicles, the focus should be on reducing costs as well as on other factors such as the security of vehicles, driver behavior, vehicle diagnostics, etc. Not to mention, real-time monitoring and fuel expense reduction are equally important for large fleets and small fleets alike. These parameters will help you narrow down the choices.
- Detailed vehicle diagnostics such as engine temperature, on-off time, stopover time, idling, fuel levels, speeding, etc.
- A dedicated server or cloud to store these massive amounts of data generated from the vehicle diagnostics.
- Other standard features.
Basic Features of a Quality Fleet Management System
A quality fleet management system should provide some basic features and these features must be available irrespective of the size of the fleet and the budget. Additional features are welcome, but shouldn’t be aimed at locking the customer in.
1. Real-Time tracking – A lot of fleet management solutions don’t offer real-time tracking. The data always comes in late and in chunks. This is a big NO. While choosing a GPS tracking system, make sure your provider is offering real-time vehicle monitoring facility.
2. Vehicle diagnostics – A quality fleet management solution should offer vehicle diagnostic features and data to analyze driver behavior.
3. Flexible and scalable – Quality fleet management systems are flexible and have the ability to scale itself up in line with the needs of the customers. With such systems, you can start with an entry-level plane and gradually scale up as your fleet grows.
4. Clean UI – A clean and easy-to-use UI is the hallmark of good fleet management systems.
5. Cloud based support – Cloud support is an excellent feature and a quality fleet management system should provide that without fail. With cloud-based support, the fleet managers can monitor their fleet anywhere, anytime and from any device of their choice.
Still Can’t Decide?
If you are still in doubt, here’s a quick summary on how to select a fleet management solution
- Look for a flexible and scalable system.
- A good User Interface makes the monitoring easy. Go for such a system.
- Choose the one which offers a “real” real-time tracking and not a system that lags.
- A system with the ability to offer vehicle diagnostic feature when needed.
- Choose a system that’s cost effective.
- Last but not the least, cloud-based support does a great job. Don’t miss out on that.