7 Ways Vehicle Tracking Can Reduce Your Business Costs
2 February 2016
We are often asked to explain the benefits of vehicle tracking and what it can do to help drive down costs. Years of experience have shown us that both fleet managers and business owners are often surprised by the efficiency savings they can make by employing a vehicle tracking solution.
Let’s take a look at 7 ways that vehicle tracking could help to reduce your fleet operating costs.
1 – Reduced Fuel Costs
Vehicle tracking allows you to monitor things such as vehicle speed, the severity of acceleration and deceleration, and time spent crawling along in congested traffic – all of which help you put together a picture of exactly why fuel consumption is higher than it ought to be.
This has some overlap with driver behaviour monitoring and the training/moulding of your employees into efficient drivers. Tracking things like vehicle speed and ensuring an ethos of defensive/efficient driving will lead to a reduction of speeding events and a more acceptable level of fuel usage.
While driver behaviour monitoring can lead to a reduction in aggressive acceleration (a major cause of fuel waste), vehicle tracking itself can help ensure that your fleet is keeping the speed down and thus improving your fleet’s fuel economy.
2 – Optimised Routing
The next logical benefit of vehicle tracking follows from the last – if you’re tracking your fleet and know where they are going you can soon work out which drivers are not taking advantage of the optimal routes. The shortest route could lead to longer journey times, while a combination of urban and suburban driving might not be as fuel efficient as an alternative way.
Fleet managers who optimise route planning will reap the rewards – quicker deliveries, lower costs, reduced waste in terms of time, and will create a more efficient fleet.
Tracking will also help to weed out inefficient drivers and counter problems such as unauthorised breaks, vehicle misuse (e.g. personal errands), and excessive journeys without rest periods.
3 – Reduced Wear & Tear
As a fleet manager, if you are improving the routes your drivers are taking and at the same time enhancing the efficiency of their driving then you will experience the knock-on benefits of reduced vehicle wear.
Less aggressive braking means reduced wear on tyres and brakes. Meanwhile, an Improved driving style will result in a less negative impact on the engine and optimised routes will naturally lead to shorter journeys and therefore lower mileage over time. These improvements naturally lead to a higher residual value for your fleet vehicles in the longer term and reduced servicing and fleet maintenance costs in the shorter term.
4 – Reduced Waste
Whether stuck in traffic or taking a well-earned rest, many fleet drivers fall into the trap of allowing their vehicles to idle for excessive periods. This sort of idling leads to unnecessary fuel waste that again could be reduced with effective vehicle tracking and driver guidance.
While the vehicle tracking system will point to extended periods of vehicle idling, behaviour monitoring will help educate drivers on how to reduce this sort of waste. Also, consider things like overuse of air conditioning or cab heating during their everyday journey.
Working with your team on the little things like this can make a big difference over the year.
5 – Minimised Theft Risk
Although vehicle tracking will not necessarily prevent theft it will at least help to reduce the chances of it becoming a significant problem. Monitoring your vehicle’s whereabouts allows you to easily report to or work with the authorities to recover any fleet vehicle that has been stolen. Furthermore, it is not simply the value of the vehicle you need to consider, but also the associated costs such as increased employee downtime, rising insurance premiums, additional transport costs, lost equipment, and damaged customer relationships.
6 – Reduced Paperwork
Vehicle tracking software means a reduction in the amount of paperwork across the company. Drivers no longer need to monitor their metrics such as mileage, record their journeys or fill out vast swathes of other fleet-related paperwork you might have had in place before.
By automation, previously manual processes will not only free up time for more important tasks and core business activity (improving efficiency and productivity) but also keep back-office administrative costs to a minimum.
A vehicle tracking system can also be used to replace time sheets, tracking vehicle operational hours to ensure drivers are properly paid for the hours they worked with all overtime claims accurately verified.
7 – Insurance Considerations
From all the points above you will begin to see the trend towards better, safer, more efficient driving, which is the sort of thing insurance companies will lap up. Vehicle tracking lends itself to reduced premiums and a better relationship with your insurance provider.
Once you take all of these benefits into consideration, it’s easy to see how vehicle tracking quickly becomes an essential part of a fleet manager’s toolkit to improve their bottom line!
Keep an eye on our blog for more tips on the ways vehicle tracking can improve your fleet management endeavours.