The logistical challenges of managing a vehicle fleet mean you're focused primarily on reducing costs and improving efficiency. Yet for those prepared to take a data-driven approach, there's also an opportunity to embrace innovation and carve out a competitive advantage over your rivals.
Data provides increased visibility into all components of your operations, identifying issues before they become a problem and highlighting opportunities to do things differently. Use cases vary from one industry to the next but here are some good examples of how fleet analytics could make your business more competitive:
Analytics can be configured to track the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter to your business, and deliver valuable insights on a daily basis. If you have a large fleet covering long distances, maximising fuel efficiency is one of your primary concerns. Analytics provides accurate data showing how much fuel is being consumed by every vehicle in the fleet so you can develop policies to reduce inefficiencies. This might mean reducing the amount of time drivers spend travelling over your agreed maximum speed or harsh braking. Then there's fraudulent activity to consider. If a driver with a diesel vehicle is using the company card to pay for unleaded fuel, you'll know they're filling up their own car on the company's dollar.
Be more productive
Rather than making decisions based on assumptions, analytics will let you make informed choices on important metrics like asset utilisation and driver performance. This kind of information can help you continuously improve efficiency. With the ability to track exactly when vehicles are arriving and departing from sites, you'll be able to isolate areas of wasted time and refine your operations to eliminate them. If you're managing a fleet of plumbers, you may want to minimise the time they spend on the road and generate reports about time spent on site. If you're in the construction industry, you might be looking to reduce idle time as trucks wait to be loaded.
Plan more efficiently
The advantage of business analytics lies not only in historical reporting, but in generating predictive intelligence. With rich data sets that tell you exactly what you're doing right and what problems you still need to solve, you'll be able to better plan for the future. If managing lease arrangements is a key challenge, use analytics to compare usage against contracts and adjust accordingly as vehicles come up for renewal. You can also use historical data to inform company policy ? maybe you notice that drivers are not taking enough breaks on long journeys, exposing the business and their personal safety to unnecessary risk. Armed with this knowledge you can implement policies around scheduled breaks and use the data being generated to enforce them.
Improve driver experience
Improving the efficiency of your operations with automated data can also have a positive impact on driver experience. This is often overlooked but the morale of your drivers has an impact on the performance of your fleet and even your company culture. Although some will initially be averse to change, removing manual forms and other mundane reporting tasks will be welcomed. A sharpened focus on driver safety should also make them feel like a more valued part of your business. In turn, this will contribute to the overall efficiency of your operation.
Data analytics can help streamline all areas of your fleet, providing you with an opportunity to improve productivity, reduce inefficiency and maximise profits.