Do you really need fleet maintenance management software?

A fleet company’s viability depends on its fleet vehicles, and their capability to accomplish the daily operational goals. That goes to say, in order to deliver high-quality fleet services, it’s important that all vehicles are well-maintained. Consequently, fleet maintenance management software becomes a necessary tool for the modern fleet manager, for establishing a strong preventative maintenance system;  and other — equally important — fleet-related tasks.

Additionally, this type of software helps manage, organize, and coordinate all vehicles, using a central system that monitors and evaluates the entire fleet. As anticipated, the goal is to reduce the overall cost, improve fleet performance, and increase the company’s bottom line.

The problem of not using fleet maintenance management software

The main problem of not using fleet maintenance management software is that the company becomes vulnerable to possibly high costs; that’s a direct result of vehicles wearing down over time — even stop working completely. Generally speaking, some vehicles continue to operate well past the suggested mileage; namely, a few miles over the recommended tire or oil change timespan. However, a fleet manager may not be able to afford the potential long-term consequences.

It goes without saying, if a manager doesn’t have sufficient visibility into the fleet’s maintenance needs, unanticipated repairs and part replacements will likely crop up. Without a proactive maintenance system in place, chances are that fleet vehicles will break down unexpectedly; often requiring expensive urgent repairs.

Investing in preventative maintenance software — as early as possible — is the most effective way to ensure the fleet is running smoothly, and less time is spent on emergency repairs and downtime. Especially, if the management intends to expand fleet business operations.

Why fleet maintenance management software?

A fleet manager is responsible for the health of the fleet — among other things —  and this primarily includes vehicle maintenance. Since maintenance costs are hard to deal with manually, fleet managers turn to software to acquire in-depth insights into the health of their fleet. So without fleet maintenance management software in place, the manager’s job becomes almost impossible.

To elaborate, vehicle management software collects vehicle data through the OBD II device, providing valuable real-time information about the vehicle’s status. All in all, these insights pinpoint which vehicles need preventative service — and, what kind of service. Also, such software notifies the admin when a maintenance check-up is due. Furthermore, it sends instant alerts when a vehicle has been involved in an accident;  plus, it helps track it down if it has been towed.

Above all, fleet Telematics can help implement a proactive maintenance plan effectively, to avoid problems, well before they occur. By extension, it helps the fleet manager reduce unnecessary maintenance and repair costs, and boost fleet performance.

Catching the competition

Keeping fleet vehicles in top-notch condition is crucial to establish a successful fleet business. If fleet operations are hindered (or halted) due to lack of vehicle care, this greatly reflects on the company’s ability to deliver what it promises; which, more often than not, leads to client dissatisfaction. This means that the unhappy client(s) will turn to competition to satisfy their needs, whereas, your fleet business will be running far behind.

To catch the competition, a fleet company must —  at least — have a well-maintained fleet that will keep the business going. To that end, fleet maintenance management software allows fleet managers to prevent unnecessary downtime and maintenance costs, and streamline fleet operations.

14 Benefits on the bottom line

Understanding the benefits of fleet maintenance management software will help a fleet manager make an informed decision as to whether a Telematics system is a wise investment for their fleet business. 

Evidently, a fleet manager knows that with each breakdown and every unscheduled repair the company loses money. Conversely, given the fact that fleet maintenance is a heavy expense for the company, with each dollar saved, the bottom line is immediately increased. 

That’s why implementing a preventative maintenance plan is so important. It’s the only way to get ahead of those service-related issues, and the costs that follow. To illustrate, the benefits that come from utilizing a fleet maintenance management system, include:

1. Automated scheduling for fleet maintenance

As it often happens, fleet maintenance negligence results in costly repercussions down the road. Luckily, Telematics comes in to ensure that preventive upkeep is done on time. In other words, fleet maintenance software allows a fleet manager to set up maintenance tasks for all vehicles, in advance. This smart scheduling capability helps minimize downtime — therefore unexpected repairs — and keep the fleet in peak operating condition. 

2. Optimal, preventative maintenance

To clarify, preventative maintenance involves identifying potential problems in the fleet, before they become problems; in this case, ​costly repairs. The truth is that managers may view this type of maintenance as unnecessary, thus, decide to postpone it. Nonetheless, unexpected repairs (and parts replacement) costs outweigh the overall costs of preventative maintenance, in the long haul. And to take it further, it’s not just the costs; first and foremost, it’s a matter of safety.

At the end of the line, preventative maintenance is actually predictive maintenance; one has to predict an event to prevent it. If anything, this ensures that the fleet continues to operate as expected, and of course, in accordance with safety protocols. When maintenance is conducted regularly, vehicle breakdown is minimized — even eliminated — and driver safety is ensured.

3. Maintenance logs per vehicle

On one hand, the vehicle maintenance logs, retained in fleet maintenance software, offer insights into the condition of each vehicle; therefore, indicating imminent service needs — if a vehicle is found to be underperforming. On the other hand, maintenance logs allow the mechanic to thoroughly understand what caused a certain malfunction and quickly repair the damage. This will significantly reduce downtime, and, subsequently, increase fleet efficiency.

4. Parts inventory

Vehicle parts inventory management is an aspect often overlooked, but crucial for efficient fleet maintenance. With this in mind, managing an updated parts inventory is a tall order without fleet maintenance management software. 

Through the parts inventory platform, a fleet manager instantly knows which parts are readily available, and which ones they have to procure. In short, it keeps all information regarding parts in a conveniently central location.

That said, having the necessary spare parts for immediate use helps mechanics and technicians to conduct any service task, within a reasonable timetable. In conjunction with this, proper inventory management assists in keeping fleet maintenance on track; thus, reducing unnecessary downtime.

5. Centralized warranty management

Most vehicles — along with most of their parts, and equipment — come with a warranty of some sort. For a fleet business that operates more than one vehicle, keeping up with warranty information without fleet maintenance management software is very challenging. That being so, fleet maintenance management software automatically keeps track of all vehicle and equipment warranties in a central system, for easy management. On top of that, it promptly notifies when a warranty is near its expiration date.

6. Fleet expandability

A fleet manager is mainly responsible for the smooth operation of their fleet; which, for the most part, includes:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Vehicle replacement/acquisition
  • Fuel economy management
  • Route scheduling and driver dispatching
  • Regulations compliance (both internal and governmental)
  • Driver safety

Considering that everything runs smoothly, there comes a time when the manager aspires to expand the fleet business. As the business starts to grow according to plan, the aforementioned responsibilities grow correspondingly. 

Without a vehicle management system up and running, the manager’s job becomes daunting, to say the least. On this account, Telematics comes as the ultimate solution to monitor and manage every task — especially concerning maintenance — while scaling up the company.

7. Real-time DTC visibility

For some things, like the check engine, transmission or temperature warning lights coming on, every single minute that passes without resolving the indicated issue, exponentially increases the possibility of a vehicle breakdown. 

Nowadays, the modern fleet manager has direct access to critical vehicle diagnostics information, via OBD II devices, connected to vehicles and the centralized fleet maintenance management platform. Whenever the software detects a problem at hand, it sends an alert directly to the application dashboard, indicating a specific Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). 

Real-time DTC visibility, offered by fleet maintenance management software, helps identify (a potentially serious) issue before it leads to a breakdown. 

8. More effective fuel management

Fuel is, by far, one of the largest operational expenses for a fleet company; but it’s not without a solution. To that end, a vehicle management system can assist a fleet manager reduce fuel waste within the fleet; while building a wholesome fuel management strategy

Truth be told, unjustified fuel usage is not that uncommon among fleet drivers. In some cases, there may be an even more serious (underlying) problem linked to fuel consumption than, say, excessive idling; for instance, unsafe driving behaviors and fuel theft. By having access to actionable data on fuel consumption, the manager can address fuel misuse incidents and resolve them promptly. 

9. Automated reporting

Having a bird’s eye view of the fleet is key for efficient vehicle management. In general, a good Telematics system produces automated maintenance-related reports that offer insights on:

  • Fuel 
  • Mileage
  • Vehicle health (engine, battery, temperature, tires, etc.)

Automated reporting can help a fleet manager maximize asset utilization and optimize maintenance scheduling. Altogether, it’s an effective tool to keep up with maintenance needs and improve fleet productivity.

10. Less downtime, more productivity

Truth be told, when fleet vehicles are well-maintained, unexpected breakdowns — and, thus, unnecessary downtime — are no longer an issue for the fleet company. On the whole, using a preventative maintenance system helps plan vehicle maintenance at the optimal time. This eventually translates into achieving maximum vehicle uptime; hence, streamlining fleet productivity down the line.

11. Safer fleet

Keeping vehicles at good condition and drivers safe are priorities for any fleet manager. And fleet maintenance management software is the ideal solution to create — and maintain — an all-embracing safety philosophy in the company. 

Making the most of fleet data, such as driving behaviors, along with real-time alerts and in-depth reports, not only helps reduce costs, but also, safeguards the company’s most valuable assets; above all, its employees, and then, its vehicles. 

12. Better insurance rates

An in-vehicle system, like GPS tracking software, not only keeps drivers safe, but also helps eliminate accidents — which means, lower vehicle insurance costs. Without a doubt, staying on top of maintenance needs, ensures that fleet vehicles operate smoothly. Subsequently, this leads to lower insurance premiums and higher insurance credits rates. As to the latter, it’s common practice for some insurance companies to offer discounts to fleet companies that use in-vehicle software, as it practically improves driver safety.

13. Better fleet lifespan and higher resale value

Undeniably, proper maintenance extends a vehicle’s longevity and increases its resale value. A useful rule of thumb to achieve both is to abide by the service schedule suggested by the manufacturer. However, this will largely depend on how the vehicle is being operated; as well as its maintenance needs, arising from its use.

Fleet maintenance management software helps a fleet manager stay in control of vehicle maintenance, by monitoring metrics, like fuel consumption and mileage. Using this data, the manager knows when each vehicle is due for repairs. 

Presenting interested buyers with consistent mileage logs, driver behavior reports (scorecards), and maintenance records, shows how the vehicle fleet has been used and maintained under the company’s ownership. When all is said and done, well-maintained vehicles stay robust for longer periods; thus, boosting their Return on Investment (ROI), while maintaining optimal resale value.

14. Business viability and continuity

In a nutshell, fleet Telematics software helps fleet managers stay proactive and prepared against fleet emergencies that may be detrimental to the fleet business. Utilizing such software, helps a fleet manager reduce operational costs and increase the company’s profitability. 

With business viability ensured, mapping out an expansion plan seems to be the natural course of action for the fleet business. Within this framework, business continuity implies that the sensitive viability threshold is overcome, and the business can finally scale up to greener pastures.

TL;DR — Fleet maintenance management, it is!

Fleet maintenance management software can be a game-changer for fleet companies, since it provides insights into the lifecycle of each fleet vehicle, right at the manager’s fingertips. As a result, it helps extend the life of the vehicles — hence, the entire fleet.

The benefits of vehicle management software extend far beyond just informing a manager where their drivers are at a given time. An intuitive Telematics system not only provides the hands-on analytics necessary to stay up-to-date with fleet maintenance; but also, it practically outlines the actions a manager must take to improve overall fleet efficiency. 

This instantly saves the company money that would otherwise be lost to extended downtime, lost man-hours and costly repairs. In conclusion, proper maintenance optimizes ROI, makes the fleet company profitable, and lays a healthy foundation for business growth.