It can be a very exciting prospect to start up a fleet management operations company. But making a profit from your business and getting a leg up on the competition is always a challenge. Even if you’ve got some great ideas for starting up your business, it can be difficult to convert those ideas into reality and achieve business success.
There’s more involved with fleet management operations than just owning a fleet of vehicles and having them efficiently operated. It also involves coordination and management of that fleet. This covers all phases of a vehicle lifecycle, from purchase to operation and maintenance, and then into retirement.
The aims of any fleet management operation are to mitigate risks, ensure reliability and safety, reduce operational costs, and improve the overall efficiency of vehicle operation.
Here are some ways you can improve the efficiency of your fleet of vehicles, thereby becoming more profitable.
Improve Fuel Management
It can be a real challenge to effectively manage fuel costs. Yet it is one of the most crucial areas for any operation which attempts to manage a fleet of vehicles.
Your budget and bottom line will be directly impacted by the amount of fuel consumed by your fleet of vehicles. That means it will be to your advantage to install a GPS tracking system. This will help you monitor the performance of your drivers, and ensure that they are taking fuel-efficient routes whenever they are headed to a destination.
It can track idle time and speed so that you can gauge any inefficiency associated with their driving habits.
Any good fleet management operation will have the ability to track all vehicles in real-time, so you’re aware of all movements and driver habits. When you have a GPS-based tracking system installed, you’ll know the specific location of your fleet at any time.
Fleet operation managers will have peace of mind by knowing exactly where fleet vehicles are, and where they should be. If there are any accidents with your vehicles while on the road, you will be aware of the specific location, and that will allow you to take appropriate measures as quickly as possible.
Another very useful tracking feature of a GPS-based system is geofencing. This will allow you to be aware of any situations where drivers are entering or leaving a particular geographic border. It will also allow your customers to be aware of when their rides arrive, and it will alert your drivers to the fact that they are nearing a zone designated for no entry.
A good fleet management system will be able to predict the useful life of all vehicle parts. This will be very helpful because you’ll know exactly when it’s time to replace any part of the vehicle.
Also, it will help you maintain your fleet of vehicles in good operational order, increasing safety levels for your drivers. If it turns out that you eventually sell any of these fleet vehicles, you’ll get a higher resale value because they are in good operating order.
Along with parts replacement, preventive maintenance can go a long way toward solving minor issues before they become major problems. Your fleet management system will allow you to schedule regular preventive maintenance on your vehicles, so they can all be kept in optimal running order.
You will be able to schedule all routine services well ahead of time, for example, wheel inspections, hose inspections, fluid refills, oil changes, and any other lubrications which are necessary.
Having a regular preventive maintenance schedule will allow you to service your vehicles at the most convenient times, and will always save you operational time and extra costs, because you’re being proactive about maintaining vehicles, as opposed to reactive when they break down.
Another interesting feature of a good fleet management system is the ability to find the most efficient route when driving to any destination.
The route analysis feature will help you to manage traffic better and to avoid congestion and snarls which can cost you time and money while driving. By knowing where construction is currently underway, for instance, you can avoid those areas and spend less time in reaching the desired destination.
The more efficient your drivers are servicing specific customers and locations, the better it will be for your bottom line.
Scheduling Your Fleet Management Operations
The scheduling feature of a fleet management system can help handle a significant number of vehicle operations.
As an example, you can assign products for dispatching, receive orders from customers, terminate deliveries, prioritize deliveries, and a number of other functions as well. The scheduling feature will also allow you to monitor delivery vehicles currently in progress, and which ones are free.
This will help you have a better handle on the actual status of your fleet vehicles at any given moment.
Another very crucial aspect of a good fleet management system is the ability to comply with all current safety regulations.
It’s crucial that you stay in compliance with all local laws and regulations because otherwise heavy fines can be imposed. That will be counter-productive to your ability to earn a profit. There is a good deal of sensor-based safety management equipment attached to all vehicles, and this comes into play on every single route they take on.
For the sake of the drivers and the vehicles, it’s essential that you maintain safety equipment in good working order.
Tracking the warranty on all your vehicles is an important feature of a fleet management system because it keeps you aware of the coverage you have on a vehicle and all its parts.
It will also provide you with notice when any particular part requires maintenance or replacement. This will always end up saving you a significant amount of money on unexpected expenses.
This is not something you would do manually on your own. So it’s a good feature to have as an automatic background function, which tracks warranties on your behalf and keeps your vehicles performing well.