Whether you're overseeing 15 or 1500 vehicles, managing a fleet involves many complex logistical challenges. Common issues like time management or lack of visibility might seem like par for the course but they chew up significant amounts of time and hurt your productivity. Overcoming these obstacles will have a huge impact on your operational efficiency and revenue goals.
Becoming a data-driven organisation alleviates many of the daily fleet management struggles by drastically minimising the time you spend on manual or administrative tasks. Fleet management software can increase visibility into driver behaviour and insights into vehicle usage will allow you to streamline any areas of business that are holding you back. Here are four common challenges that analytics can help to overcome:
If you're spending more than one day a week crunching data, you're wasting valuable time when a machine could do the job for you. Acquiring, understanding and making use of data can be a time-consuming process, but with data analytics you can set key parameters and track your fleet's performance against those benchmarks automatically. Analytics can also eliminate the need for manual processes like filling out timesheets. Log exactly how many hours your drivers spend on the job, from the moment they start the vehicle, and free up your staff to focus on what's important for your business.
Lack of Visibility
Do you struggle to build an accurate picture of how your assets are being used, how drivers are performing and how operating costs are tracking? With analytics you can get a daily update on the metrics that matter to you, incorporating all of your business rules and accessing the information wherever and whenever it suits you. Increased visibility also allows you to highlight potential issues before they become a problem and identify areas of performance in need of improvement. For example, by tracking usage you might find a significant number of vehicles are underutilised while you're wasting money on hiring extra capacity. Armed with this data, you can implement changes to save money and improve the efficiency of your fleet.
Fuel accounts for a significant portion of operational costs. Analytics let you track fuel economy, cost and even theft to provide a clear picture of fuel consumption. You'll have visibility down to individual vehicles and drivers, giving you the ability to monitor different areas of your business. You may be able to reduce idle time, which can save up to two litres of fuel per hour, or pull accurate reports on speeding violations. When your drivers speed, it wastes up to 25 cents for every eight kilometres over 100kph travelled. Creating visibility and changing behaviour will lead to significant cost savings in fuel usage and a reduction in penalty notices.
Driver safety is of paramount concern for fleet managers but it's difficult to monitor driver behaviour, particularly on long drives or in remote areas with limited access to mobile phone reception. Having access to data analytics will provide valuable information about driver habits like gear changing, acceleration, cornering and braking. Using this information, you can build an individual profile for each driver and track their behaviour against core KPIs to ensure compliance. Real-time data also enables you to track drivers in remote or hazardous areas, taking proactive measures to reduce risk and responding quickly if an incident occurs.
Data analytics will give you greater visibility into the operation of your whole fleet, significantly reducing the time you spend on manual processes. As well as saving time, you'll have the data you need to identify areas where you could be reducing costs or reallocating resources. Analytics will dramatically increase the efficiency of your fleet, freeing you up to focus on the things that matter most to your business instead of constantly dealing with day-to-day challenges.