11 Fleet Management Problems – And How Fleet Tracking Systems Can Help You Solve Them
1 October 2015
Fleet operations run on a schedule. Your credibility and your reliability are intrinsically linked. Do you find that your schedule is always going out the window? That drivers don’t arrive when they should? That the knock on effects make planning your fleet’s activities a nightmare?
These are common problems for fleet managers, which are normally caused by two other issues mentioned below.
You can’t optimise your routing
Without vehicle tracking, it is difficult to see the route your drivers take.
There may be problem areas and patterns that can emerge with the kind of data fleet tracking software & telematics can provide. Is there a particular route that gets slowed down at the same time every day?
Knowing this kind of information can allow you to improve the efficiency of your drivers’ journeys.
You can’t monitor driver breaks
Unscheduled downtime, idling, or long breaks can throw your timings out, but it’s impossible to find out if this is the problem without data.
Equally, you don’t want to come down hard on all your drivers as many of them may take perfectly reasonable breaks – their delays may be caused by other problems.
This is closely linked to another problem many fleet managers have mentioned below.
When it comes to your drivers, you don’t know the good from the bad
Whether we’re talking about aptitude or attitude, tracking and monitoring solutions allow you to determine which of your drivers are and aren’t operating at the standard you expect.
Fleet tracking systems will also allow you to accurately assess your driver’s performance, so you can incentivise good driving and reward your best drivers. It will also allow you to determine where additional training may be required.
Your vehicles suffer unsustainable amounts of wear and tear
Irregular amounts of wear and tear can be caused by a multitude of factors.
Drivers not being given enough time to complete their journeys will cause them to rush which will put undue stress on their vehicle. Equally, harsh acceleration and aggressive breaking will put a strain on your vehicles.
Fleet management software will allow you to determine what is causing excessive wear and tear – and then you can work out what to do about it.
You are dealing with the reality (or the risk) of vehicle theft
Ultimately, tracking systems allow you to ask a simple question – “where are my vehicles?”
Whether it is recovering a stolen vehicle, or simply having a peace of mind that if this worst case scenario comes up you will know where your vehicle is, fleet tracking can put this major headache to bed.
You can’t check on your fleet vehicles in the event of a crisis
A crisis can put both your driver’s safety and your vehicles at risk, with anything ranging from a major accident on a main road to an unexpected extreme weather event. Fleet tracking quickly informs you if you have any assets in an affected area in real time, giving you peace of mind and the ability to take action if necessary.
You spend too much time doing reports and paperwork
As a fleet manager you have a large number of responsibilities. You need to make sure customers are happy, that your drivers are motivated, and that your fleet’s vehicles are in good condition.
Unfortunately, we find that many fleet managers end up over-stretched and unable to tend to their duties. Why? They have to spend all their time doing paperwork.
With our dashboard, metrics are collected from your tracking systems and then delivered through reports and statistics that will massively reduce the paperwork you have to do – meaning you can focus on managing your fleet.
Your operating costs are too high
Fuel management, insurance, vehicle maintenance, the lists of costs your fleet can incur will go on and on. Your fleet is a business venture, and you want it to turn a profit. Even if you already turn a profit, increasing that margin can only be good for you, your business and your drivers.
That’s why it’s important to optimise. If better routing can reduce fuel costs or improved driver behaviour can reduce insurance costs, then investing in the technology to do this will result in an upturn in profits over time.
Your customers are unhappy
You might see unhappy customers as your only problem, but it’s more likely that this is an indication of other issues.
If you’re suffering from one or more of the above issues, like late deliveries or aggressive driving, then the end result of that will be that your customers won’t be getting good service. That, in turn, means they will be unhappy with your company.
Ultimately, you are losing money!
Unnecessarily high fuel consumption, speeding fines, excessive maintenance costs, unhappy customers discontinuing their business. All of these things lead to your fleet making less money.
Fleet management systems allow you to find out what the real problems in your business are, get the data you need to fix them and make your fleet a more profitable, less painful venture.