Being part of an industry that many people and companies rely on means, you must be organized and prepared to take on challenging situations along the way. The transportation and logistics industry supplies many businesses with materials, food, equipment, and other freight. Therefore, companies that arrange this type of transportation must understand the importance of proper fleet management and the implications a poor management system can have.
Managing large amounts of vehicles and drivers is not an easy task since there are many elements to consider. Hence, management teams must invest in creating a comprehensive plan that considers the importance of fleet management and implementing a fleet management system.
What is fleet management?
Before talking about the importance of proper fleet management, it’s essential to understand what it means.
Fleet management refers to processes and tools that companies use to control the entire cycle of their vehicles or vehicles they work with. Having this in place allows companies to organize, coordinate, and determine any vehicle’s workflow. Additionally, fleet management also refers to the maintenance of these vehicles and taking care of any mechanical issues they may present.
In broader terms, fleet management tracks the vehicles’ movements, vehicles maintenance, and driver safety.
Areas fleet management considers
In fleet management, not everything is about the actual vehicles themselves. As mentioned, fleet management also considers the driver. Therefore, these are the two main areas of fleet management:
Through fleet management systems, companies track the vehicles and collect relevant data from the truck when in service to ensure they’re well-maintained and 100% operational.
To make sure trucks are managed adequately, companies must consider the following data:
Real-time location data
Real-time status updates
Vehicle maintenance schedule
Fuel cost tracking
Drivers are also included in fleet management. All the recollected data is used to assess the vehicles and therefore maintain high safety standards for the drivers.
To ensure drivers are safe, companies must consider the following:
Driver hours of service
Efficiency in communication between dispatchers and drivers
Optimal route planning
Driver overall health
Why is fleet management important?
Now, let’s discuss the most significant reasons why fleet management is important.
Maintains and ensures driver health and safety
The most important aspect of the entire process is the human aspect of the transportation industry. Therefore, maintaining driver safety is and must be at the forefront of any proper fleet management. Considering their service hours, breaks, and days off is a critical part of the transportation process. When evaluated correctly, it provides incredible results like better-performing drivers and decreases the chances of accidents due to lack of rest.
Through collecting relevant data, dispatchers may come up with better, faster, and more efficient routes for drivers. Which in turn, allows drivers to deliver their freight faster and have more time to take care of other well-paying and time-efficient loads.
By implementing tracking and fleet management systems, fleet managers can have a complete overview of the entire process, having a whole scope of what’s happening and what’s going wrong. These key insights will allow them to make well-informed decisions that will ultimately benefit the entire operation.
As mentioned, data is essential during the entire process. Collecting as much information as possible will allow fleet managers to find the operational gaps and areas where the company needs work and make the proper decisions to avoid any issues and improve the process.
For instance, through the information gathered in fleet management systems, you’ll be able to track fuel consumption and make drivers aware of simple things they can do to reduce fuel usage. By reducing fuel consumption, you’ll significantly reduce overall operational costs.
Ensures vehicle safety
By paying close attention to vehicles through your fleet management systems, you’ll be able to schedule regular maintenance checkups, avoid any issues during their journey, and ensure truck driver safety.
Improves customer satisfaction
Having a well-structured fleet management system that provides relevant and helpful information and ensures your drivers and vehicles are safe will ultimately impact your relationship with customers positively. You’ll be able to provide the information they need and deliver their freight on time, safely, and according to the standards in place, which will help them trust your business and continue working with you.
The evolution of fleet management
With technology in the picture, almost all company processes have changed and produced, in most cases, incredible results. It’s the same for fleet management in the transportation industry.
Nowadays, companies are bringing in more vehicles, and there are many more regulations in place. Therefore, companies must take a step back to fully grasp the importance of correctly managing the vast amount of data. With so much information, more eyes are required to digest it and make better and appropriate decisions.
Fleet management has become a crucial part of the entire process since it creates a smooth, safe, and cost-effective operation.