One of the biggest buzzwords in automotive fleet management today is telematics. This technology combines GPS tracking with big data to improve fleet management capabilities across the board. If you’re not making the most of this technology, you’re going to fall behind quickly. Here are just a few of the ways telematics technology is changing the way enterprise fleets are managed.
Improve Fleet Communications
When you have dozens or hundreds of vehicles on the road on a daily basis, it can be a challenge to keep track of everyone. When telematics and GPS first were adopted in commercial vehicles, the technology was primarily used to keep an eye on drivers as they go about their jobs. Today’s telematics systems can offer so much more.
Many telematics systems offer the ability for fleet managers to communicate with drivers directly while they are in the field. This means your fleet can be more flexible. They can change routes and update schedules on the fly to handle problems that may arise. If something urgent comes up, it’s a simple process to add a stop to a driver’s route or reroute drivers in the area to avoid a problem spot.
Keep Track of Automotive Fleet Resources
In an enterprise fleet, it’s easy to lose track of fleet resources. Without good data, you may not be able to pinpoint where each of your automotive fleet resources is stored at any given time. It’s also easy to misallocate assets, leaving some sitting idle while others are overworked.
A good telematics system allows fleet managers to see, at a glance, exactly where each asset is at any given time. Advanced reporting means you’ll always know which vehicles are regularly in use and which are surplus.
With geofencing capabilities, you can be alerted when an asset is moved from its designated area. This means you can alert authorities to a theft in progress or prevent unauthorized use of your vehicles and equipment.
Simplify Automotive Fleet Maintenance Jobs
Monitoring the mechanical and maintenance needs of your entire fleet can be a daunting task. Instead, let your fleet tracking software keep track of maintenance concerns for you. A telematics system connected directly to your vehicle’s onboard computer can predict maintenance needs before they become problems. And the software can help you keep track of routine maintenance tasks so you’ll never miss an important fleet maintenance job.
Since most modern telematics systems can handle multiple vehicle types within a single fleet, you can even set unique schedules for each vehicle. That means older vehicles can be serviced more regularly while newer ones can spend a bit more time on the road between maintenance stops. You can even schedule maintenance based on miles traveled rather than by date, for a more accurate schedule.
Develop a Culture of Safety
As a fleet manager, the last thing you want is to worry that your drivers are unsafe while they’re on the road. Instead, you want to ensure that they take safe driving practices seriously, no matter the situation. Telematics helps you encourage safe behaviors with a proactive, positive approach.
Coach drivers toward best practices by rewarding safe driving behaviors instead of simply punishing drivers for incidents that may or may not have been out of their control. A good driver safety rewards program will help you create a positive atmosphere among drivers and motivate them to improve their safety ratings. When you incorporate positive approaches to safety training, a culture of safety is a natural progression.
Retain Good Fleet Drivers
When GPS first began to be adopted by commercial fleets, many drivers were distrustful to say the least. The last thing they wanted was “big brother” watching over their shoulders as they went about their jobs.
Today, GPS monitoring is mandated by the FMCSA. This means in most fleets, every vehicle has a GPS tracker installed and active. Yet some fleets have still not addressed driver mistrust concerns.
Believe it or not, telematics can help here too. Be honest with your drivers about what information is collected and what is not. Treat your fleet management software as a method for good driver communication rather than a way to catch drivers in the act if they make a mistake. Reward drivers for good practices at least as often as you may reprimand them for problems. With a helpful, team-focused attitude toward telematics, you can help bring reluctant drivers on board and improve their job satisfaction at the same time.
Reduce Fleet Vehicle Downtime
Nothing kills fleet productivity like downtime. This can be due to mechanical problems, accidents, or even bad routing. No matter the cause, downtime can be a significant problem for a busy fleet.
Predictive maintenance means fewer breakdowns. And when something does go wrong, you can pull the diagnostic codes and make sure the parts are ready to go before the vehicle even makes it back to the garage. This means less time spent on repairs and more time spent on the road.
While telematics safety programs can’t eliminate all accidents, they can greatly reduce their number. An integrated dash cam system can provide you with all the information you need to file insurance claims efficiently and put to rest any questions over who was at fault. This means less time spent dealing with documentation in the aftermath of an accident and a quicker return to the road.
Of course, there are many more ways that telematics is improving fleet management practices. Each fleet can put this technology to use in ways that serve their own unique purposes and vision. Want to know more about how enterprise fleet management software can boost your automotive fleet business? Contact Azuga today.