Every fleet business is unique, as are the managers who run them. Yet, whether you’re a manager in a fleet of a last-mile carrier, of school buses, facility trucks, or passenger vehicles, your goal is one and the same: to improve fleet efficiency. After all, you know that in doing so, you can rise above the competition, and scale up your business.
On the other hand, this means that you are challenged to tackle many different efficiency-related issues within your business; which, more often than not, are difficult to deal with. That said, how can you address them, in order to optimize your fleet’s efficiency?
But before we go on with that matter, let’s see first what fleet efficiency means.
What is fleet efficiency?
Fleet efficiency is a trending subject in the industry, since, finding ways to improve it, can increase both productivity and profitability. So, what is fleet efficiency? To get right to the point, it is the result of streamlining your fleet operations and processes, using the minimum amount of resources. In other words, getting the most out of your fleet, while saving time and money.
For you, as a fleet manager, this may seem like uncharted territory, calling for extensive research; not to mention, a well-structured strategy and long-term planning. Nonetheless, fleet efficiency can be monitored, hence, it can be improved. How? Read on to find out!
How can you improve fleet efficiency?
As we’ve established so far, the success of your business hinges on finding ways to improve fleet efficiency. A vehicle management strategy that focuses on real-time visibility into fleet drivers and vehicles is, indeed, a strategy that can improve fleet efficiency. But, how are you going to even start setting the building blocks of such a strategy? Well, simply by implementing an intuitive vehicle management system.
Implementing vehicle management software
When it comes to fleet efficiency, monitoring your fleet in real-time can indeed make all the difference. After all, monitoring is the launch pad of measuring; and, you can’t streamline your fleet operations, without metrics.
To start measuring the metrics that matter for your business, you need an intuitive vehicle management system. Leveraging such a system, allows access to actionable insights in a matter of seconds. In essence, you can track your fleet vehicles, while monitoring driver behavior, and fuel consumption; as well as your fleet’s needs in maintenance.
Below, we touch on three simple and smart ways to improve fleet efficiency, using the aforementioned capabilities.
Three ways vehicle management software can help to improve fleet efficiency
1. Monitor driver behavior and ensure driver safety
Without a doubt, dangerous driving can have serious repercussions; not only for your drivers and other road users, but for your company, as well. And, being a fleet manager, you already know that you just can’t improve fleet efficiency, unless fleet safety is ensured, first. That’s why it’s important to identify the drivers in your fleet that may be behaving poorly on the road; for instance, they may be speeding or harsh braking, etc.
The good news is that by using a fleet monitoring system, you can analyze your crew’s driving patterns, and pinpoint both high and low performing drivers. More specifically, with a driver scorecard feature, you can calculate ‘safety scores’, and rank your drivers accordingly.
On one hand, this will allow you to provide low scoring drivers with valuable feedback; even create a safe driving program that will help them develop both the right mindset and driving skills. On the other hand, it will assist you in setting up a reward plan for your high scoring drivers, too. This way, you’ll improve driver retention and motivate low performing drivers to improve their driving behavior.
2. Track fuel consumption
Another smart way to improve fleet efficiency is to track fuel consumption. Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for a fleet company; thus, it’s imperative to achieve fuel economy, to ensure the company’s sustainability. Again, this can best be achieved utilizing the capabilities of vehicle management software.
A thing to keep in mind — as a baseline, when aiming for fuel economy — is the relation between fuel and mileage. Overall, you need to make sure that the miles driven — per trip and per vehicle — correspond to the fuel used. If not, then you should look for excessive idling or fuel fraud occasions in your fleet; along with any driving behavior issues, as previously mentioned.
Thankfully, with a vehicle management system, you can drill down through vehicle and driver activity; and, get metrics that will help address fuel problems.
3. Keep up with preventive maintenance practices
Vehicle breakdown is often a result of inefficient fleet maintenance. Keeping your fleet vehicles in good condition, with regular maintenance checks, helps avoid unexpected repairs. All in all, creating a preventive maintenance schedule is a proactive way to improve fleet efficiency. How? By reducing downtime, while increasing the lifespan of your vehicles.
To that end, a fleet maintenance management system notifies you when there is a malfunction in a vehicle; so that you can take immediate action, to prevent costly deterioration and breakdowns, and even accidents. In addition, it allows you to set up a preventive maintenance program, automating the whole maintenance process. Along these lines, such a system helps eliminate guesswork, and keep your fleet efficient.
Addressing fleet inefficiencies, once and for all
Among the biggest bets in the fleet industry today, is whether companies will manage to improve fleet efficiency. Not only to meet the increasing demands of the market, which includes the most recent advances in restaurant and retail automation; but also, to gain a competitive advantage. For this reason, fleet managers are shifting towards innovative solutions, to address inefficiencies within their fleet, once and for all.
For the most part, this means investing in an all-around vehicle management system. Besides, well-informed managers know that technology offers an easy and effective way to gain visibility into their fleet. In any case, leveraging a fleet monitoring system’s capabilities, can help tackle issues that would be impossible to tackle, otherwise; and that brings great value to any fleet manager who aims to streamline their business processes.