If you’re looking for fleet maintenance software for your small business, you’re making a positive step toward improving operational efficiencies that impact the bottom line.. Small businesses face many challenges that larger fleet operations simply don’t encounter. A small business has to be very careful with its budget and resources and has far less room for error than a large corporation. Your priorities are much different, and you need to find solutions that improve driver retention and cut costs while overcoming your unique challenges.
Fleet maintenance software may seem like a solution that only large businesses need. Yet you may be surprised by how this software can improve your business’s operations, cost savings, and driver retention. If your business isn’t using fleet maintenance software, you may consider it once you understand its benefits.
Challenges for Small Businesses
As mentioned, small businesses face challenges that larger firms simply don’t. These challenges make it difficult for small businesses to stay afloat during difficult times, but those who are creative will find ways to navigate these challenges a bit more easily. What are some of the challenges that small businesses face, particularly during these times? We will break them down below.
All businesses have competition; that’s the nature of business itself. However, small businesses have the unique challenge that many of their competitors are much larger than themselves. This means they have to compete against companies with far more resources and tools at their disposal, along with an already-established customer base and more employees. It can be a massive challenge for small businesses to get off of the ground with this competition. There are many steps that a small business can take to compete with its larger counterparts. For example, small businesses must act on customer feedback to ensure they are continually improving. They should hire the best employees possible to get the job done right every time. It’s also a good idea to take on an active role in the community to build a positive reputation. Most importantly, businesses must seek out tools and resources to streamline their operations as much as possible.
Small businesses don’t have as much money coming in as large businesses do, making it difficult to improve or grow overall. Working within a small budget can be incredibly challenging, especially when looking to expand, gain more customers, and hire more staff. That’s why small businesses should always seek ways to cut costs without any detriment to their business. There are many ways that fleet businesses can save money, such as cutting back on fuel costs or searching for insurance premium discounts. One of the first steps to cut costs is documenting all of your expenditures and seeing where you can cut down. No matter the size of your fleet, you should keep car-specific records so you can see if your money is being spent more in one place than another. It may seem tedious to keep all of these records, but it becomes a breeze with the proper fleet management software. We will even discuss how your business can save money with fleet maintenance.
Less Room for Error
Small businesses have another challenge in that there is very little room for error in their work. If your small business makes a mistake, it can cost money that you don’t have or lose a customer you can’t afford to lose. Large businesses have larger cushions that they can fall back on, but small businesses don’t have that luxury. This is why it is so important that businesses keep detailed records regarding everything from safety to maintenance to finances. Any mistake can be catastrophic for your business’s bottom line, and if you’re careful, they’re perfectly avoidable. Your fleet management software can help you keep track of all your data in one easy-to-access place so you can always make your decisions with the information you need on hand. Not to mention, with proper fleet maintenance procedures in place, you can ensure that your fleet always runs smoothly so that breakdowns aren’t an issue.
Features of Fleet Maintenance Software
Fleet maintenance software is not just for large businesses. Small companies can enjoy its benefits as well and even use it in different ways. You may be surprised at the advantages you can harness with fleet maintenance software. If your business faces any of the above challenges, fleet maintenance software may have the solution you need. We will break down what you can do with fleet maintenance software below.
Get Maintenance Alerts
Your maintenance software uses telematics to determine whenever your vehicle has issues with any of its parts. Whenever it detects a problem, it will alert you immediately so you can take action right away. Of course, if you have a preventative maintenance plan in place, you are likely already performing routine inspections at regular intervals, but it is still possible to miss things. These alerts are an extra step that doesn’t leave any room for error. Not to mention, if a problem occurs while your driver is on the road, the alert will pick that up and you can address it as soon as possible.
You don’t only get alerts when issues arise. You also get alerts when it’s time for your routine maintenance. When you have several vehicles, it can be easy to miss your routine maintenance appointments for them. However, these maintenance alerts make it easy to ensure you always catch your maintenance appointments on time. Having regular maintenance appointments is critical to ensure that your vehicles are always in their best condition.
Keep Track of Maintenance Logs
If you’re currently trying to keep track of your maintenance logs manually, you may be struggling to keep records and keep up with all of the details you need. The more vehicles you have, the harder it gets to keep track of them all. One of the most critical steps in creating a fleet maintenance plan is digitizing your fleet maintenance records. If this seems like a tedious challenge, you don’t have to worry. Fleet maintenance software helps you complete this with ease. It houses all of your fleet maintenance logs. The fleet maintenance log includes five things:
- Date and mileage
- Service provider
- Service description
- Condition of the vehicle
- Service cost
All of this information can help you make important decisions regarding your fleet vehicles. If you don’t have this information, you may end up making the same repairs or spending too much on fixing your vehicles. It’s critical to look for fleet maintenance software that helps you track this information.
It’s even better if it integrates with your fleet management software, so you can easily generate reports that show you how much you’re spending on maintenance, what parts frequently need repair, and the overall condition of your vehicles. These reports also help you make important decisions with the information you need available right at a glance.
Keep Inspection Logs on Hand
Inspection logs are just as necessary as maintenance logs. Whenever your drivers or mechanics perform an inspection, all of their notes are housed in your fleet maintenance software. This information is required for Department of Transportation inspections that can take place at any time. During a DOT inspection, the inspector will always want to see a DVIR. So many fleets get docked for not having this on hand, but this will never be an issue for your fleet with fleet maintenance software. Drivers can easily pull up any DVIR at any time, right on their phones. Keeping compliant with FMCSA regulations is vital for small fleets as it affects their reputation, prevents them from paying costly fines, and ensures vehicles aren’t taken off the road.
How Fleet Maintenance Software Helps Your Small Business
Considering the issues that small businesses specifically face, how does fleet maintenance software offer an advantage? There are various ways that fleet maintenance software improves your business’s operations and eases the difficulties we mentioned earlier in this article. We will break down how exactly fleet maintenance software can make life easier for small businesses below.
Cut Down on Costs
When vehicles have breakdowns, it is not only a major inconvenience; it actually hurts your business. When a vehicle breaks down, that usually means a part needs replacing, and that’s always a major expense for your fleet. However, routine maintenance prevents these issues from occurring in the first place by keeping your vehicle’s parts in the best shape possible.
It may seem like doing more routine repairs would cost more, but this is not the case. Some of these routine repairs cost hardly anything. For example, regularly changing your vehicle’s oil makes it less likely to blow an engine gasket. A blown gasket is an expensive repair that takes time and money that your business simply may not be able to spare.
Not to mention, routine repairs also improve the lifecycle of your vehicles. Often, vehicles are replaced when a needed repair is more expensive than a replacement vehicle. When you’re regularly maintaining your parts and keeping them in their best condition, vehicles will last their full lifecycle and you’ll save money not having to replace them early.
Keep Your Business Efficient
Your business needs to be efficient to compete with its larger competitors. You can’t leave any room for error or mistakes. Breakdowns and major repairs take a vast chunk of time where your fleet is left struggling to pick up the slack. More routine maintenance actually means that your fleet will spend less time in the shop being repaired. Not to mention, you can plan for routine repairs and ensure your operations are covered by other vehicles or modify your workflow. You can’t prepare for parts breaking, and it causes a major hindrance to your business. By keeping up on fleet maintenance, you’re sure to see a vast improvement in the time spent in the shop instead of on the road.
Maintain Customer Satisfaction
Customers nowadays have higher expectations than ever before regarding on-time services and clear and consistent communication. Bigger businesses have many tools to keep up with their customers’ needs, but you’d be surprised how far fleet maintenance software can go to improve your customer relations.
If your drivers are consistently late due to mechanical failures and breakdowns, your customers are sure to lose patience with you. That’s why planning for maintenance needs and ensuring that your operations are covered is so important. When your customers are satisfied with your services, they’re sure to share with the community, improving your business’s reputation and helping you grow. Growth is essential for small businesses, and without customer satisfaction, your business won’t get very far.
Attract the Best Drivers
Competitive pay, sign-on bonuses, and good benefits all attract good drivers, but their main priority is their own safety behind the wheel of your vehicles. If they don’t feel safe on the road, they’re not going to stick around to work for you. You can’t have your drivers in vehicles that are falling apart when the job market is so competitive in their favor. They will simply find another fleet that prioritizes their safety. Keeping vehicles well maintained and having your drivers perform regular inspections shows them how important their safety is to your business and will help keep them happy at your company.
Get the Best of the Best Fleet Maintenance Software
When it comes to fleet software, Azuga has you covered on all fronts. Our fleet management software is a comprehensive solution to all your fleet’s needs and includes fleet maintenance software. Our fleet maintenance software has all of the features mentioned in this article and integrates seamlessly with our fleet management software to help you create a seamless fleet maintenance plan. Try out a demo on our website and see what you can do with our software!