Fleet managers in the utility industries have unique challenges from other fleet industries, particularly concerning efficiency and safety. When any utility fleet challenges crop up, managers must be prepared, or they will fall behind their competition. Luckily, telematics can support you in every aspect of overcoming fleet obstacles. Let’s explore 12 tips for adapting in 2023 to new utility fleet challenges.
What is Telematics?
Before we jump into our tips, let’s explore the technology that supports them: telematics. Telematics combines telecommunications, computer science, and vehicle technology. This term refers to the communication between vehicles and operational software systems, like fleet management software. Telematics has a wide range of applications in fleet management, from improving fuel efficiency to boosting driver safety.
Challenge No. 1: Lack of Driver Visibility
Have you ever experienced the frustration of not knowing where your drivers are? When you have to contact your drivers to pinpoint their location, it can slow down your day immensely. One benefit of telematics is that you can implement real-time GPS tracking. Your telematics system can send your vehicles’ current location to your fleet management system, where you can view all of them on a map. You can even set up features like geofencing to receive alerts when drivers leave or enter a particular area.
Challenge No. 2: Tracking Data
To stay ahead of the competition, you should track all the data you can. Data can help ensure you keep your fuel costs low, your safety levels high, and your customers satisfied. Some data points you can track include route planning, driver behavior, and driver retention. Fleet management software allows for reporting features where you can quickly review and analyze data to help you make decisions about your fleet. When you have all the data on your side, you can more easily pinpoint the areas you can best improve.
Challenge No. 3: Unpredictable Fuel Costs
Fuel costs have been fluctuating wildly, and it is a massive challenge for utility fleets. Unfortunately, the price of fuel itself is out of your control. However, you can control how much fuel you use. Driver behavior is a large part of what wastes fuel in our fleets. Think of behaviors like rapid acceleration, harsh braking, excessive idling, and speeding. All of these are fuel-wasting behaviors that you must watch out for. A fleet management solution comes with fuel monitoring tools that can help you gather data on your fleet’s usage. Once you’ve pinpointed the problem, reducing your usage is much easier.
Challenge No. 4: Asset Tracking
As a utility fleet manager, you have more assets than just vehicles. It can be challenging to manage it all. That’s why asset management tools exist. These tools help you better manage your assets by tracking them and providing reports on how they are used. You can determine if you have assets being used in the wrong place or if they are sitting idle and going to waste.
Challenge No. 5: Job Tracking
A unique element of utility fleet tracking is that you have customers waiting for your technicians to arrive and complete a job. This means that you must know which jobs your technicians are scheduled to, where they are, and how long it will take to complete them. Fleet management software with telematics can help automate this process and simplify dispatching. An automated process reduces errors and keeps the customer updated on the driver’s status throughout the day.
Simplify Your Operations with Azuga
Azuga works with utility companies, both big and small, daily to simplify operations and get you the data you need to accomplish your goals. Our robust, telematics-powered fleet management system supports you in all aspects of fleet management, including fleet tracking, reporting, safety, maintenance, savings, and more. Learn more about what we can help you accomplish by contacting an expert for a demo.
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