What Are Fleet Management Services?

< Back to Glossary

Introduction

Purchasing fleet management services has become a popular way for businesses to handle their fleet’s management and maintenance. 

It is no wonder that when outsourcing fleet management and maintenance to experienced professionals, they can help improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of fleet operations. 

Many businesses that have opted to outsource fleet management services wouldn’t dream of switching to in-house fleet management and maintenance divisions. 

In this glossary entry, we will outline what fleet management services are. We will also highlight the benefits of fleet management services, including liberating internal resources, providing a better customer experience, and lowering operating costs. Lastly, we will go over the downsides of fleet management services, including losing insights and employees lacking communication channels. 

What are Fleet Management Services?

It takes a lot of time, dedication, and hard work to run a fleet in-house. Some companies opt to outsource fleet management and maintenance to a qualified fleet management business instead. 

Professional fleet management companies offer fleet management services. These outsourced firms can increase your fleet’s productivity and income generation in addition to lowering your expenses.    

Outsourcing fleet management services involves delegating fleet management and maintenance responsibilities to a third-party firm. Companies need to give up some control over their fleets in order to benefit from fleet management companies’ experience, extensive training, and knowledge. 

When companies choose to purchase fleet management services, their fleet's day-to-day operations are managed by a third party firm. This can be hard for some hands-on managers to come to terms with. However, they are often won over by the superior efficiency with which fleet management firms operate their fleets.



Fleet management companies perform all sorts of work on the fleets they are responsible for, including monitoring drivers, facilitating routine maintenance, and even managing parts inventories. In addition, they often lease vehicles to the companies that own the fleets they manage. 

Some fleet industry members believe that outsourcing fleet management services is a better overall option for fleet management than in-house management. 

However, as with any decision, there are benefits as well as downsides to outsourcing fleet management services you should consider. 

Benefits of Fleet Management Services 

There are a ton of upsides to utilizing fleet management services. Many businesses are opting to outsource their fleet’s management and maintenance operations to professional third parties. The work can often be done more efficiently, cheaply, and to a higher standard by a professional service. 

Here are some of the many benefits of fleet management services. 

Liberate Internal Resources

One benefit of outsourcing fleet management services is that doing so liberates internal resources. 

When your business offloads fleet management and maintenance responsibilities to a trusted fleet services firm, you free up your internal team to focus on business activities that provide the most value to your company.  

Having more free resources allows businesses to engage in more operations that generate income and improve their firm’s productivity in general. 

Provide a Better Customer Experience

Another benefit of outsourcing fleet management services is that it allows you to improve your relationships with your customers and optimize their experience. 

This is made possible because of the first benefit of freeing up internal resources. You can focus on other projects knowing that experienced professionals are operating your fleet maintenance and management divisions.  

Lower Operating Costs for Your Fleet 

Fleet management and maintenance divisions can be quite expensive to operate in-house. Outsourcing fleet management services can greatly lower the operating costs of your fleet in a number of ways. 

One way is by reducing the cost of man-hours needed to perform maintenance services by employing experienced and professional mechanics. 

Another potential way is via leasing. Fleet management companies often offer fleet vehicle leasing. Instead of purchasing fleet vehicles, leasing puts the cost of ownership on the fleet management business, not you, which can save you money. 

These are just a few of the ways that outsourcing fleet management services lowers operating costs. There is a potential for long-term cost savings when outsourcing. 

Outsourcing fleet management services unlocks direct cost reductions that are highly valuable, which can help you grow your bottom line and improve ROI. 

Downsides to Fleet Management Services 

Despite its incredible upsides, there are also some downsides to fleet management services worth considering. 

Outsourcing isn’t the right option for every fleet. Some companies are better off operating their fleet management and maintenance divisions in-house. 

Here are some of the downsides to fleet management services. 

Loss of Insights 

When businesses fully outsource fleet management services, they can lose out on valuable insights. Companies that absorb fleet management into other departments, such as human resources or finance, also may lose out on discovering important insights. 

When fleet management is operated in-house, team members are often exposed to more aspects of the business. A dedicated in-house fleet specialist can tap into their years of experience to generate insights that increase your fleet’s efficiency and lower its expenses. 

Employees Have a Lack of Communication Channels 

When companies choose to outsource fleet management services to a professional fleet management firm, drivers often get caught in between the two companies. 

Drivers may feel like they lack communication channels with company team members as they deal mostly with the outsourced fleet management firm. Or, they may feel like there is too much bureaucracy when dealing with the outsourced company. 


When businesses opt to run fleet management and maintenance divisions in-house, drivers always have a point of contact to address their questions and concerns. This person is the fleet manager. 

A good fleet manager builds relationships with drivers in addition to local insurers, account managers, and dealerships. In-house fleet management involves more of a personal touch than outsourcing does. Drivers appreciate the longstanding relationships they build with fleet managers. 

Conclusion

Remember that despite outsourcing fleet management services to qualified professionals, it is you who is ultimately responsible for your fleet at the end of the day. 

Outsourcing isn’t right for every fleet, and it does have its negative aspects. However, when outsourcing works, it can be a gamechanger. Outsourcing fleet management services can supercharge fleets’ efficiency and lower their costs, along with freeing up precious company resources. 

< Back to Glossary

Fleet Dispatching

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. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

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.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

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 Dispatch Software from Azuga

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!

Read More

Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

Read More

Last Mile Carrier

Last mile carriers are the shipping companies that carry out last mile deliveries. Examples of last mile carriers include UPS, FedEx, USPS, and regional carriers. Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, which may be a residence or a retail store. Last mile carriers offer many benefits, which we will outline below. 

Tracking

Many last mile carriers allow customers to track their package on a map or see how many stops away it is. Other providers give customers a very specific estimated arrival time. Previously, it could only be estimated within windows of several hours, so this is an impressive and essential feat for customer service. 

Ability to Communicate with the Driver

If anything is needed when delivery drivers are on the road, it used to be impossible to get in touch with them. Now, apps allow customers to communicate directly with their drivers to update them on any changes that come up during the delivery window. 

SMS Updates

One benefit of tracking drivers is sending SMS updates if a package is ever delayed, and even update customers on when it arrives so they can plan their day accordingly. They no longer need to worry about expensive packages being lost or stolen, since they can pick them up right away. It’s ideal for keeping customers updated and satisfied. 

Delivery Ratings

Customers can rate how their deliveries went and leave feedback that delivery companies can use to improve their methods and improve customer service even further. Customers appreciate their voices being heard, and companies need to hear how their employees are doing. 

Conclusion

Last mile carriers are an integral part of the last mile delivery system. Last mile fleets must have the technology to track delivery drivers and update customers with necessary information. Azuga offers this technology and more to help streamline operations and keep everything running smoothly with the entire last mile delivery process. Find out more on our website.

Read More