When the average driver sees a fleet vehicle on the road, what are its odds of being an Amazon or UPS vehicle? It often is. Amazon, UPS, and similar delivery companies have zeroed in on the fleet industry and perfected it. How have they managed to do this? They take advantage of the variety of technologies at their disposal to streamline operations and maximize efficiency. What technology do they harness, how do they utilize it, and what can other fleets learn from them?
Amazon fleets and UPS fleets are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to maximize their productivity. For example, Amazon fleets have invested in delivery via autonomous vehicles and drones, which will surely take off in coming years. Meanwhile, UPS has answered traffic congestion and pollution caused by growing populations in cities by attaching delivery carriages to bicycles. As a result, delivery drivers can easily deliver despite traffic conditions. Both companies have found ways to respond to the changing world around them, which is an essential ability for any fleet business.
Computer Assisted Scheduling
Fleet management software is a must in any sized fleet, but Amazon and UPS take it to the next level with the automatic scheduling of fleet drivers. Combined with technologies like route planning, CRM systems, and other fleet management features, companies can streamline the entire process into a simple, automated plan for drivers to follow on their daily schedules, and fleet managers to check on and not babysit. Amazon has over 500,000 delivery drivers, and UPS has about 444,000. Manually tracking half a million people throughout the day is nearly impossible. On this scale, fleets must automate.
The Internet of Things
Amazon, in particular, is famous for its role in popularizing the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT refers to devices that communicate with one another remotely. Amazon uses these devices to get alerts, collect data, and even track maintenance and notify managers of changes to routes. IoT is beneficial both for drivers and fleet managers, and as it becomes popular in workplaces worldwide, it will become more common among fleets as well.
Automation is necessary for both optimizing efficiency in workflow and reducing human error. For example, Amazon and UPS have automated much of their delivery operations using fleet management software that schedules, dispatches, manages customer information, creates and analyzes reports, and tracks and collects data from vehicles. This system also tracks inventory from before it arrives in the warehouse until it reaches the customer’s front door. As a result, a fleet manager can check on any item, driver, or procedure at any point in the process. Managers can then easily find the information they need with just the click of a button.
One advantage that Amazon and UPS have over other companies is that they have enormous numbers. As mentioned before, together, they employ nearly one million drivers in addition to their stores, warehouses, and hubs. Having so many drivers allows them to make more deliveries quickly and keep up with higher customer demand. They also split their fleet into regional zones to more easily control and better manage their operations.
Track Fleet Health
Tracking vehicles is a vital part of any fleet manager’s job, and Amazon and UPS are no different. Fleet tracking devices plugged into the vehicle’s OBD port can track speeding, idling, and fuel consumption to tell managers exactly how a vehicle is used. Fleet management software can compile this data into easy-to-read reports that show where resources might be wasted. This data is not only helpful in tracking fleet information, but it is necessary at fleet inspections. These trackers keep track of hours of service and other critical telematics data required for compliance purposes.
Amazon and UPS are leaders in the fleet world, and there is much to learn from them. They are taking advantage of the technology available to all fleets, both large and small, to succeed in their businesses. Azuga offers fleet management software, dash cams, and other fleet technology similar to what Amazon and UPS use every day for their fleets. If you’re interested in checking out what Azuga has to offer, check out our website or blog.