Managing and maintaining a large fleet of profitable vehicles is no easy task. As a vehicle fleet manager, you’re on a perpetual quest to simultaneously maximise productivity and reduce expenditure.
Therefore, to create a more cost-efficient, reliable and safe fleet operation that outperforms rival companies – a deep understanding of how your fleet is functioning is crucial.
In fact, the intelligent use of tangible information about your company vehicles will inform and clarify business decisions that help generate better returns.
FLEET TELEMATICS SYSTEM FOR INTELLIGENT INSIGHTS
Fortunately, modern fleet telematics solutions unlock new revenue streams by using accurate real-time data to improve productivity.
Investing in a cutting-edge fleet telematics system will likely pay for itself when the data gathered is applied effectively and proactively to solve problems and streamline operations.
With a fleet telematics system device in every vehicle, sending real-time data to a secure cloud-based management system – that generates relevant reports, automated alerts and key performance metrics about fuel, repairs, usage and operation – you’ll feel ‘in touch’ with your entire fleet.
In essence, your vehicles are communicating real sure-fire ways to optimise efficiencies and save money; your fleet telematics system simply provides the means to help you listen.
So, what are your fleet vehicles telling you?
Here are several key responses to know and act on:
1. WE NEED TO USE FUEL EFFICIENTLY
Fuel economy is a major, if not the most important, factor for companies to manage and control when running a profitable fleet of vehicles. The cost of fuel is high and fluctuates unpredictably, therefore every effort to save fuel will help boost profits.
On-board fleet telematics GPS vehicle tracking, when integrated with map navigation systems, offer powerful ways to enhance fuel efficiencies such as:
- Optimised routing and navigation planning substantially reduces travel distances and fuel use
- Re-routing trips in light of traffic data avoids congested roads and reduces the likelihood of being stuck in traffic idling, thus saving time and fuel
- Smart route planning for delivery vehicles arranges drop-off locations in the most energy- and time-efficient order
- Intelligent dispatching using vehicle GPS data matches the closest operators to each job location in real time, reducing the distance to jobs, saving time and delighting customers through responsive service delivery.
Furthermore, because fleet telematics systems calculate individual vehicle fuel consumption with great accuracy, and can sync with company fuel accounts and on-board payment cards – fuel theft can be detected and, better still, prevented.
Likewise, data relating to fuel slippage and other fuel performance factors is valuable for informing decisions on better vehicle use and minimising fuel costs.
2. WE NEED ENGINES THAT RUN WELL
Indeed, maximising engine efficiencies saves on fuel costs, yet well-running vehicles offer additional cost-saving benefits.
In short, an efficient, healthy and well-monitored engine spends more time on the road, and is less likely to breakdown and become sidelined for unexpected repairs.
- Issuing service reminders at designated engine hours used, kilometres travelled and/or days since last service
- Creating engine diagnostic, odometer, delivery and driving reports – to improve servicing decisions and ensure that only necessary or worthwhile ‘extra’ repairs are done
- Detecting changes or abnormalities in specific engine metrics that may flag a problem, allowing it to be promptly fixed before becoming a bigger problem
- Repairing engines for more efficient fuel use.
Understanding the current engine status of fleet vehicles makes co-ordinating what vehicles to service when, versus what to keep on the road, easier. Proactive preventive engine maintenance via intelligent scheduling reduces the likelihood of inconvenient and costly breakdowns.
Additionally, the rich detail of engine data collected by the fleet telematics system, aside from enabling better servicing, helps optimise spare parts inventories – so everyday items such as replacement fluids, filters, belts, hoses and so on are on-hand ready for timely repairs.
3. WE NEED TO BE FULLY UTILISED
As a capital expense and depreciating asset, productive use of every vehicle in your fleet is essential.
To do this effectively, fleet managers need accurate up-to-date information to support decisions such as:
- What vehicles are doing the most, and least, work?
- How can we optimise vehicle use accordingly?
- Which vehicle assets have expended their working life?
- When should they be traded in?
- What type of new vehicles will be best to replace old vehicles and add the most value to our operations?
A better understanding of vehicle and equipment asset usage via a fleet telematics system leads to:
- Selling off what you aren’t using
- Reducing and optimising daily running and maintenance costs
- Reducing insurance and registration costs on idle or under-used vehicles
- Identifying new ways to maximise fleet efficiencies.
Occasionally, some businesses lose track of what they own. Then – in order to fulfil their services uninterrupted – they pay to hire an equivalent asset, effectively spending double and sabotaging profits. Thus, clarity on held assets saves unnecessary rental expenses and improves business revenue.
Day to day, the GPS vehicle tracking from a fleet telematics system pinpoints all vehicle asset locations on a map in real time. This enables:
- Vehicle assets and drivers to be monitored, and jobs to be assigned appropriately
- Dangerous or unsafe roads or territories to be avoided; for instance, due to bad weather, road works, traffic accidents or other avoidable delays
- Co-ordinated and rapid on-the-ground responses to arising issues based on mission-critical intelligence.
Plus, if a vehicle gets stolen, your fleet telematics system will instantly show you where it is, minimising recovery costs, recovery time, insurance claims and downtime losses.
4. WE NEED TO BE DRIVEN SAFELY & EFFICIENTLY
The final factor influencing your vehicle fleet’s performance and your bottom line is how your drivers operate your vehicles. Fleet telematics systems can be used to alter individual driver behaviour, enhance driver productivity and optimise whole-of-fleet efficiencies.
Aside from less engine wear and tear, less maintenance costs, less traffic fines and lower insurance premiums when your vehicles have good safe drivers, a fleet telematics system can further improve driving behaviour and unlock extra revenue.
Strict rules can be implemented to change driving behaviour for better fuel consumption and, more importantly, for safer driving to minimise accidents and the associated expense of repairs, downtime, injuries, increased insurance costs and so on.
A fleet telematics system can detect individual driver and vhicle data such as:
- Speeding and harsh braking of potentially dangerous and costly driving, to highlight where driver improvement is needed, plus monitor and reward good driving habits
- Unnecessary periods of engine idling and wasting fuel, to determine how to improve the way vehicles are used and, thus, adapt operations to ensure less idling occurs
- Identifying vehicle faults via compulsory pre-trip inspection reports, to ensure that potential mechanical hazards are repaired and OHS compliance requirements are met before the vehicle is driven
Furthermore, a vehicle fleet telematics system designed to enhance driver safety and vehicle efficiencies provides:
- Optimised routes and workflow predictions that support staff to work effectively, reduce overtime, reduce driving times and improve fuel efficiency
- Real-time in-cabin alerts that notify drivers of unsafe and/or inefficient driving so they can make prompt corrections and improve their driving
- Vehicle re-fuelling data that is monitored, recorded and authorised to keep banking and personal information secure, plus minimise fuel losses from theft
- Automated up-to-the-minute reports and monitoring to support drivers to comply with EWD fatigue management and other vehicle inspection laws, for peace of mind and better performance.
In summary, fleet telematics systems offer comprehensive fleet management control – to ensure better use of vehicle assets your company owns; continually unlocking extra revenue and optimising your fleet operations. Talk to Leopard Systems today about implementing a scalable fleet telematics system that will enhance your business operations.
Check out our other useful articles on:
- Heavy vehicle fatigue management, electronic work diary (EWD) solutions and telematics
- Improving driver safety and OHS compliance with vehicle telematics
- Strengthening supply chain partnerships via vehicle fleet telematics systems
- How telematics data can help solve diverse business problems across your entire operation.