Choosing the best fleet management tools for your business can be a challenge. Every fleet is different with unique requirements, but these simple tips will help you find the right fleet management tools for your situation.
What Are Fleet Management Tools?
Simply put, fleet management tools are any tools that make managing a fleet easier or more achievable. These software tools typically combine GPS tracking and other onboard technology with telematics, AI, and data science. They take the raw data provided by technology in the cab of your fleet vehicles and turn it into actionable insights and valuable reports.
If you’re not already using fleet management tools to help your fleet become more efficient and effective, you’re missing out. These tools offer vital data that you may not be able to obtain through any other method. They can also help you unlock savings on fuel costs, insurance premiums, and more. You can also access better routing and dispatch, customer management, and communications tools.
How To Choose the Best Fleet Management Tools
Choosing the best fleet management tools for your company can be overwhelming. There are so many options available and no one-size-fits-all solution because each fleet is different. The first step should be to discover what types of tools exist and then match them up against any pain points you’re currently facing in your fleet management. From there, you can begin to decide which tools are right for you and which you can maybe bypass for now. Here are some of the most common tools you’ll find when you shop for fleet management software.
Analytics seems to be the buzzword for nearly every industry right now, and fleet management is no exception. This blend of data and computer analysis can give you insights and visibility into your fleet that you won’t find anywhere else. Look for a tool that offers custom reporting so you can see exactly the data you need without having to wade through everything else.
It’s no secret that fleet managers have to communicate with the drivers and staff they manage. The best means of communication allow you to alter routes, add or remove stops, see where each driver is at a given moment, and reschedule jobs on the fly. If you still require drivers to call dispatch after each stop to find out where to go next, it’s time to update your fleet communications.
Government regulations seem to get more and more technical as time progresses. For most US-based fleets today, you must have an ELD in each vehicle to track your drivers’ hours of service. You also need to conduct daily vehicle inspections, maintain IFTA compliance, and follow a host of other federal and state rules and regulations. Good fleet management tools can keep your fleet in compliance with ease.
There has been an uptick in fraudsters intentionally creating accidents with commercial vehicles to cash in on settlements from their insurance companies. Dashcams are one of the best ways for fleets to protect themselves against this type of fraud. When you can show concrete proof that your driver was not at fault, you’re typically in the clear.
Geofencing allows fleet managers to draw an imaginary line around a property, neighborhood, or other area, then receive alerts whenever a fleet vehicle crosses that line. This is helpful for knowing when vehicles leave the yard or return, and can also help you quickly identify unauthorized use or theft.
Maintenance is a big piece of any fleet manager’s job. It’s your responsibility to keep all of your vehicles in good working order and stay ahead of routine maintenance tasks such as oil and filter changes, tire and brake checks, and more. Good fleet management tools can help you with scheduled maintenance and also alert you to any mechanical issues that may arise within your fleet.
Gone are the days of cumbersome paper maps, and that’s a good thing! Today’s high-tech navigation tools can show your drivers the best way to get from point A to point B, sure, but they can do so much more. Now they can navigate around traffic, road construction, accidents, and other hazards, find the closest fueling station that participates in your fuel card program, and know exactly where to find each stop on their route.
Safety should always be a primary concern for any fleet. A good fleet management system will allow you enough insight into your drivers on-road behavior to help you coach them toward best practices. Look for options that allow you to reward safe driving behaviors and gamify your safety program to get more driver buy-in.
Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s not something you should simply ignore and hope for the best. Look for a fleet management tool that will help you track and offset carbon emissions across your entire fleet. Not only will you be benefiting the planet, you’ll also gain goodwill among the community and your clients.
Finally, tracking your vehicles is still a vital part of fleet management. You need to know where your drivers are and what they’re doing. You should be able to offer ETAs to clients and see who might be in the area if a dangerous situation pops up during a shift. Be sure that your fleet management tools offer top-notch real-time tracking features.
Azuga Has the Fleet Management Options You Need
You could look for individual tools for each of these ten fleet management needs, but that’s going to take a lot of time and expense to manage. It’s also not the most efficient way to run a fleet. Instead, look for a single solution that meets all of your needs and can scale with your fleet as you grow. Contact the team at Azuga today to see how we can help with all of these fleet needs and more!