Unstable tire pressure or unanticipated high fuel consumption may seem like small issues when dealing with a single vehicle, but across an entire fleet of vehicles, you're looking at a costly scenario. Fleet managers must also contend with other issues, such as driver safety and performance, regular and comprehensive vehicle maintenance, and route management.
Until recently, all of these different areas of maintenance, safety, and cost efficiency have been managed on paper. Once fleets began to adopt computers in their home offices, they were handled through the use of often outdated, unreliable software.
In today’s mobile tech world, some fleets still use basic apps that are not synched up with drivers or the fleet in general. But now, thanks to the Internet of Things, or IoT, fleet managers can rest a little easier. They can have more faith that they're working with the most current and reliable data, and be better equipped to get the data they need in a more focused and efficient manner.
Here are just a few of the ways IoT is revolutionizing fleet management:
IoT Improves Engine Performance Visibility
Through the use of remote diagnostics and monitoring, IoT field service management allows fleet managers to see an in-depth analysis of the most critical engine components. This view gives supervisors the ability to stave off trouble long before the "check engine" light comes on. Fleets now have the time to order engine parts they may need before they cause problems for drivers and technicians out in the field.
What's more, remote diagnostic tools available through IoT can also give managers onboard data alerts and fault codes for diagnostics on their virtual dashboards before drivers see trouble on the road. This makes field operators safer and more at ease as they move from one job to the next and allows managers to understand exactly how each vehicle in their fleet is doing at any given point.
Finally, by remotely seeing and understanding how all fleet engines are operating, performance optimization is possible. This makes fleet management IoT the best new solution for maintaining a spare part inventory for the entire fleet.
IoT Brings Automated Preventative Maintenance
When using IoT for your fleet, each vehicle will need to be outfitted with sensors that communicate various messages and alerts to the manager's dashboard. Once these sensors are in place, IoT fleet technology can send notifications about each vehicle's monitored parts.
What's more, administrators can do manual checks of different parts of each vehicle to forecast when any given part may be due for maintenance or replacement. Both automated and manual notifications and reports alert drivers that a specific part will soon be due for maintenance or other upkeep. This includes things like oil changes, battery replacements, coolant replacement, or transmission maintenance based on any given vehicle's mileage within the fleet.
IoT Improves Efficiency in Fuel Usage
If you work in field service management, you likely already know that different people drive differently. How they handle a vehicle in general, how they react to other operators on the road, and whether they are moving through the city or on the highway can impact their fuel efficiency or lack thereof.
IoT-equipped trucks and other service vehicles can be monitored to check how driver behavior may impact your overall fuel efficiency. It allows you to see which technicians use unreasonable amounts of fuel, often due to habits like accelerating or decelerating too quickly or too frequently, harsh and frequent braking, and speeding.
IoT Automates Trip Planning and Keeps Drivers Safe
As a fleet supervisor, you're probably already using some form of software or other systems to plan trips to client addresses and remote company sites. IoT adds to this trip planning in a manner that keeps your technicians safer by including numerous alert types to help them ascertain potential dangers in areas on their routes — and it notifies administrators too.
For example, inclement weather warnings built into IoT fleet management systems make it possible for drivers to reroute or reschedule trips for customers located where there are thunderstorms, flash flooding, or excessive snow. They can also be routed around road construction, accident scenes, and other road hazards.
A Host of Other IoT Benefits for Fleet Service Management
In addition to the multiple benefits listed above, IoT fleet management technology makes it significantly easier to enhance admin and technician invoicing accuracy, better manage the time technicians spend on the road, and ensure compliance with governmental regulations. IoT also brings you multiple methods for enhancing overall operationsal efficiency, including the optimization of fleet logistics. All of this adds up to happier, more satisfied customers, and a better bottom line for your business.