Fleet management is a fast-paced, constantly evolving role that often finds fleet managers juggling priorities and buried in an unending to-do list filled with time-consuming tasks.
Finding efficient ways to handle these tasks is imperative to a fleet manager’s success in keeping the fleet running smoothly. Without evaluating task efficiencies, these can become costly, both with money and time. And we all know time is money.
A fleet manager must first identify the most common challenges the fleet faces, then develop a plan to overcome them. While there can be many, tackling them in priority order can help promote productivity and arm the fleet manager with the best resources.
Here are the top six fleet management challenges and how to overcome them.
1. Administrative Tasks and Manual Reporting
Many of the priorities routinely bogging down fleet managers are administrative tasks. Scheduling, invoicing, creating quotes, and communicating with customers are just a handful of examples managers face.
When the priority is only on the day-to-day, this leaves less time to focus on the revenue-generating activities that will help the company’s bottom line long term. Automation can cut down on errors that come from miscommunication or being overworked. Ensure deadlines are met on maintenance or customer orders by automating these tasks.
Manual reporting is another time-consuming process that fleet technology can easily automate. Track your KPIs and metrics in one place, making it easier to generate reports comparing monthly or yearly numbers to identify trends.
2. Managing Vehicle Maintenance
A fleet must regularly maintain vehicles to increase their longevity. Keeping track of every vehicle’s maintenance schedule is one of the biggest fleet management problems today. It’s challenging to stay on top of every service need and the daily schedule. Not staying on top of it, though, incurs unexpected wear and tear and, ultimately, lost productivity.
Overlooking even minor service issues can result in cost inefficiencies down the road. For example, not regularly monitoring tire pressure can result in tires being used with low tire pressure, driving up fuel consumption and cost.
Keeping up with vehicle maintenance is a full-time job in itself, one that — despite its importance — fleet managers don’t have enough hours in the day to commit to fully. This makes automating maintenance reminders a simple solution to ensuring maintenance occurs regularly, maximizing your vehicle’s lifespan.
3. Communications with Drivers
You’ve invested a lot in your drivers, and managing them is an ongoing daily activity for fleet managers to maximize that investment. One of the most critical assets of any fleet, the drivers and their behaviors must be regularly monitored, which requires regular communication.
It is costly to lose a driver, so providing adequate training and developing safety programs will keep common issues such as speeding in check. Driving behaviors such as sudden braking or accelerating are hard on vehicles and can cause unnecessary wear and tear, not to mention being hazardous to others out on the road.
Ongoing communications with your drivers can help curb dangerous behaviors. Still, the caveat is that you shouldn’t communicate with them while they are driving and instead let them focus on the road. Distracted driving is the most significant hazard of all.
To solve this problem, automation once again plays a part. Technology can send automated location updates on your driver’s whereabouts without them taking their eyes off the road. This will let you know their ETA and an exact location. It can send messages to drivers that they can check on their driving breaks and respond to without taking their hands off the wheel.
4. Managing Distant Team Members
Your fleet may be in various different states, time zones, or even countries at any given time. Managing a team that is never in the same place at the same time and constantly on the go is a challenge every fleet manager faces.
You need to be able to track them quickly to maintain communication with the driver. Tracking their locations will give you real-time insight into their whereabouts and how much time they have left until they reach their destination.
An integrated fleet management system can track the various locations of your drivers for you and communicate with them remotely, ensuring their safety.
5. Asset Management
You may have a large fleet with many assets to manage. As a fleet manager, you must stay on top of your asset utilization and measure each vehicle’s productivity. Tracking whether an asset needs to be replaced, or a vehicle is idle and could be sold off can help reduce overall costs.
Tracking your asset utilization can help with future purchasing decisions on when to buy other vehicles, what kind, and whether or not to get rid of existing vehicles that are not in use.
6. Fleet Data Management
Whether your fleet is large or small, there is a lot of data to track and sort. Managing this data and then keeping it in order can be a lot of information to review daily. Organizing data to turn it into actionable insights that can aid in decision-making is much easier when you use tools that can streamline this process.
What’s more, if you’re currently using a software system, you’ll want to integrate your fleet management data with a software system that does so seamlessly, so you don’t end up having to enter the data manually.
Fleet Management Problems — Solved
We’ve defined the most common fleet management challenges, and they all seem to have one recurring solution: automate the tasks associated with these challenges with a fleet management software system. The future —and present, for that matter— is digital. Storing everything in one centralized location saves time and money and generally makes things easier for the already-busy fleet manager.
You’ll reduce errors and be able to track everything, bringing visibility to everyone on your team with a way to hold them accountable. Keep your fleet running at peak performance with an intuitive, scalable software management system that can interpret and derive insight from the data and boost your productivity.
Azuga’s fleet management system offers all this and more. Schedule a demo today to get started and improve your company’s bottom line.