Medium to large businesses have the potential to reap massive benefits from working with reputable fleet management companies (FMCs). As a fleet owner, understanding what to expect from organized management is the first step towards enjoying optimum benefits. Each FMC is unique from the other, and understanding their offerings should guide you to choose the best one.
Fleet management companies oversee a host of essential tasks on behalf of a commercial fleet. They handle fleet maintenance and general performance to improve business productivity, work towards fleet safety, and minimize operating costs.
Truck fleet management is a process that takes a hands-on administrative approach, enabling companies to work with fleet vehicles to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure full compliance with government regulations. Fleet management also helps with tracking mechanical diagnostics and monitoring driver behavior. Special fleet management software makes it possible for FMCs to track vehicles from a central point, but essentially, it helps to ensure proper vehicle use.
A committed FMC takes company priorities seriously and takes good care of your fleet. Look for a company with the sole goal of improving the efficiency and performance of your business. Every fleet owner draws a list of priorities. Some intend to reduce their cost of ownership or fuel costs, while others want more efficient fleets or both. It is the responsibility of fleet management companies to identify the most strategic solutions for client needs.
The purchasing price of a vehicle is often seen as a good deal, but in reality, you are always paying extra for the dealer to earn some commission. But how can a fleet management company ensure you get the best deal? Existing relationships with manufacturers and dealerships ensure brokerage fees are minimized, resulting in lower vehicle purchase costs, and ultimately much lower total ownership costs.
That’s not all – a good fleet management company can save you money on fuel and fleet maintenance costs, as well as other expenses related to running your fleet. Reducing your total ownership cost allows you to direct your money to other equally important budget items.
Handling fuel costs, upgrades, and general maintenance can take a lot of time if you manage your fleet on your own. Getting overwhelmed means the job won’t be done satisfactorily.
Delegating those duties to fleet management companies comes with huge benefits to the company. First, it frees up the person or team previously responsible for fleet management, allowing them to dedicate their energy to other areas.
Secondly, fleet management companies are afforded the platform to implement unique solutions for business. For instance, companies without proper tracking for fuel and other service fleet costs can benefit from innovative solutions only available from these companies.
There are several aspects that businesses should look for when sourcing the ultimate fleet management company. Below, we take a comprehensive look at the qualities to consider when choosing the right partners, and the criteria to use.
Fleet management companies operate differently, and while some might be open to making changes in their operations to incorporate varying customer needs, others are too rigid. Clients need partners who are flexible and willing to listen to their preferences.
Flexibility could also mean the ability to respond to emergencies quickly. For example, in the event of a roadside emergency, clients need to know that their FMC has someone working to get the vehicle back on the road.
To help you identify a flexible fleet management company, ask the following questions:
Truck fleet management is a broad industry, and not every FMC will be able to meet your needs. Some specialize in areas that do not match yours, and they may not be the ideal partners for your type of business. A company that primarily works with long-haul fleets won’t be a good choice for a local service business and vice versa.
Seek answers from the start. Ask the sales representative about their area of expertise and talk with them about what you do. Some of the standing principles of fleet management are consistent across industries, but understanding specific industry needs and trends gives FMCs an edge in terms of reducing operating costs.
During your first interaction with the FMC sales representative, ask the following questions to determine their understanding of your specific industry:
Most businesses are apprehensive about handing over control of their fleet. There is always the doubt that the FMC you approach may not quite be up to the task, and would not be able to fulfill their promises.
To that effect, establishing a strong client-FMC relationship – by checking in regularly, following through on promises, and ensuring that the client is content with how their fleet is managed – is an essential quality of a good fleet management company.
To help you determine the kind of client relationship to expect, here are important questions you must find out:
Customer service is paramount in successful fleet management, and your FMC should be willing to train your team on how to use their GPS fleet tracking platform.
We discussed some of the benefits above, but it wouldn’t be fair to skip over the very real negatives of using a fleet management company.
The main one to watch for is the lack of integration within your firm. The drivers communicate with each other in a certain way and have camaraderie. Having outsiders manage them may cause social friction, and there are some insights that won’t be picked up from the outside.
Additionally, there are considerable benefits to having someone in-house that knows how your company works. When new deals come through or there are changes happening in processes within your company, this person will be able to observe and react, rather than waiting to be updated as a fleet management company would.
The final problem is the lack of accountability that fleet management companies have. An in-house operator feels more obligation to do a great job and will pay more attention to risk and costs. This is in sharp contrast to someone who doesn’t know your team and likely has several other fleet clients to juggle.
Azuga offers plenty of fleet management solutions, all of which use technology to facilitate more efficient operations. These products include fleet and asset tracking.
With Azuga GPS fleet tracking software, fleet managers can easily track their vehicles wherever they are. Also, they collect valuable data through special vehicle diagnostics that make maintenance and reporting easily manageable. The devices collect data every step of the way, including driver actions and alerts, which enhance driver efficiency and road safety.
Finding the right fleet management company that is flexible to your specific needs is a massive step in your business. A company that shares your business goals and invests its energy and resources to help you achieve them is what you should look for, no matter how much time you spend. Profitability is not everything without the peace of mind to deliberate on other essential aspects of a business.
Dispatch software is a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your dispatch process and keeping operations streamlined. It offers a variety of features that make daily procedures so much easier, from fleet tracking to reports that help businesses make decisions. What features does dispatch software offer, and how do these features benefit fleets? We will break this down for you.
It is easy to assign and monitor jobs with dispatch software because it uses fleet tracking. Fleet tracking allows you to assign jobs to crews in the field. If you need a lead technician for a job, it’s simple to attach that lead tech to any job you need. You can even sort jobs based on their status, whether they’re one-time, recurring, or multi-day, or based on urgency.
When workers finish jobs, they can mark the job as complete on their end. This way, you can know when each job concludes and when your technician moves on to their next task.
Back and forth calls between technicians and managers are no longer a problem. With dispatch software, you simply input the job you want your technicians to address. Your technicians access it from their phones and know what to do from there. When they’re done, they can mark it complete and view their next job right away. They can track their time, update their schedules, and input notes all while on the go. Everything you need to know will be on your screen when you need to know it, no need to track the information down.
Dispatch software can improve your business’s customer service reputation in a variety of ways. Firstly, GPS tracking allows for route optimization software, which gets your technicians to their destinations quickly and efficiently. No more late technicians making your customers wait. Furthermore, dispatch software allows you to assign technicians to customers they already know, building an improved relationship with your business. And with all of your customer information in one place, it’s easy to respond to disputes and issues in a timely and personal manner.
All of your client and order information is available in a field service CRM that details everything you need to know about your customers and the jobs you’ve done for them.
Azuga offers state-of-the-art dispatch software that your business is sure to benefit from every single day. These benefits will improve your fleet’s daily operations, boost customer service, and maximize productivity among your workers. These features and more bring your fleet to its maximum potential, allowing you to focus on making important decisions to help the business grow and thrive. Find out everything you can do with dispatch software by trying out a free demo today. You’re certain to be impressed with the improvements.
A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety.
The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption.
Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information.
There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel.
If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!
If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business.
Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.
A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team.
A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.
Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums.
Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field.
Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!