If you hear the term “fleet management” and assume its only importance is to keep track of your fleet and the location of your vehicles and drivers, then you’ve assumed wrong.
Over the past several years, fleet management software has evolved beyond the basic tracking system most people expect from it and the number of business owners choosing to implement it is growing every day.
Fleet management may not be challenging if your company has only a few vehicles, but if you have hundreds or thousands of vehicles, you’ll need to implement fleet management software, because the manual labor needed would be completely out of hand.
Managing your fleet manually leaves a lot of room for potential issues. To name just a few, you might struggle to get in contact with your drivers when necessary or, if an accident occurs, you’ll run into more complications when filing an insurance claim.
Using fleet management software alleviates these problems and helps avoid any new problems that may arise.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is fleet management?
- What is fleet management software?
- Benefits of fleet management software
- Key features of fleet management software
- Tips for choosing the right fleet management software for your company
- Best fleet management software
- How to use Process Street to streamline your fleet management
Before we dive into the different fleet management software mentioned in this article, here’s a quick list of useful fleet management templates:
- Facility inspection checklist
- Forklift inspection checklist
- Inventory management process
- ISO container inspection checklist
- Order fulfillment
- Order processing checklist
- Vehicle inspection checklist
- Warehouse safety checklist
- Scheduled maintenance notification
- Vendor management: Supplier evaluation
- Vendor management: Contract negotiation
If you’re not sure what a Process Street template looks like, check it out here:
What is fleet management?
Fleet management can be defined as the tools and tasks used to manage employees, goods, money matters, and administration for commercial vehicle operations.
These tasks used to be done manually and therefore demanded thorough and skillful filing, communication, and record-keeping. All of which takes time and leaves more room for human error.
Fleet management software has made the management of all these things easier, faster, and more accurate than ever. Implementing software boosts efficiency and simply makes your job easier.
What is fleet management software?
Fleet management software is an umbrella term used to describe a set of tools that are used by businesses to help keep track of and manage commercial vehicle operations.
Fleet management software is utilized by many companies across various industries to automate time-consuming processes, minimize unnecessary expenses, enhance performance, and to ensure their company is running in accordance with government regulations.
Tim Uttenbroek, founder of Blinklist.com and former fleet manager, shared how he relied on fleet management software:
“…to manage the vehicles and keep track of the performances of each vehicle and to ensure that the system is running smoothly.”
Fleet management software typically uses a small device that is connected to the company vehicles to collect data, such as:
- GPS location
- Distance traveled
- Fuel usage
- Vehicle speed
- Any vehicle mishandling
The data is then sent to online software and organized into reports that can be used to keep track of your business.
Benefits of fleet management software
There are many proven benefits to the implementation of fleet management software, such as:
Improved customer service
A positive customer experience is one of the most important aspects of company growth. According to Bain & Company, a 5 percent increase in customer retention results in a 25 percent increase in profit.
As well as that, it’s been proven that about 90 percent of customers read reviews online for companies before even reaching out, so your customer service must be strong to make sure that not only does your company have better customer retention, but also better lead generation.
Here are a few ways that fleet management software can be used to improve customer service:
- Customers can receive automated driver ETA notifications
- Drivers are more likely to be on-time as a result of efficient software-generated routes
- Software is quickly able to locate the driver closest to the customer, resulting in faster response times
Automating manual tasks
We’ve all heard the saying ‘time is money’, and it’s true when it comes to business. The more time you and your employees spend on tedious, recurring tasks, the less opportunity you have to grow your business further.
Fleet management software can help save you and your company’s time by automating many repetitive, manual tasks and therefore, allowing you to focus on growth.
Here are a few examples of manual tasks that could be automated with the use of fleet management software:
- Collecting and organizing proof of deliveries, fuel receipts, any other forms
- Having to manually call drivers for ETAs
- Locating specific vehicles or equipment
- Putting together vehicle inspection reports
Many companies with commercial vehicle operations necessitate high costs that need to be closely monitored or else it could seriously impact your profits.
Fleet management software can help lower your company expenses and boost profits as a result of:
- Less fuel consumption
- Preventing vehicle mishandling
- Detering vehicle malfunction
- Increasing day plan efficiency, resulting in fewer vehicles and employees being needed for more work completed
Accidents are always a danger for companies that are vehicle-dependant. It’s incredibly important to practice safety whilst on the road and the financial repercussions of accidents can also be very damaging. On average, an accident will cost a company $91,000, and if there’s an injury, the cost jumps to $200,000.
It’s also important to note that your drivers and their behavior on the road represent your company. If someone witnesses your employee driving dangerously in a vehicle with your company name on it, they might see your company under a negative light moving forward.
Fleet management software can help your company:
- Determine whether you have any dangerous drivers on your team
- Help correct bad driving practices before an accident occurs
- Track and record driving history and trends
- Protect yourself and your company if an accident occurs that isn’t your fault
Key features of fleet management software
Fleet management software features: GPS tracking
The main and most recognized feature of fleet management software is its GPS tracking capability. This allows management to view and track the location of your vehicles and drivers in real-time.
Without the implementation of software, companies had to manually call their drivers to receive ETAs and then call customers to tell them how long they would be. But now, fleet management software automates this process and customers are instantly sent ETA notifications with the help of your system’s GPS tracking feature.
Similarly, if a customer needs a driver quickly, you’re able to immediately find the driver nearest to them and assign them to the customer, rather than having to contact multiple drivers and try to work out the best option yourself (with room for potential error).
In addition to this, fleet management software can also record a history of your drivers’ whereabouts using historical GPS tracking. This is important because you’ll now have the ability to see precisely where your vehicles were at any given moment and if they’re being misused by employees, for example.
The historical GPS tracking also comes in handy during customer disputes if someone claims your driver was late. You’d be able to quickly and easily check the vehicle history and see the truth of the matter for yourself. Some fleet management software even includes a dashcam for further recording.
Fleet management software features: Vehicle Diagnostics
When your vehicles break down and have to undergo repairs, it can be not only costly for you, but it can also get in the way of your company’s performance and even make customers angry.
That’s why many of the top fleet management software offer a vehicle diagnostic feature that is constantly monitoring your vehicles for any potential issues.
If the system happens to find anything wrong with a vehicle, it will also compile all of the relevant information into a report for you. The report can then be quickly handed off to a mechanic and it will allow them to easily repair every issue in the report at once and help avoid any future complications.
You also have the option to have your drivers alerted in real-time if the software detects any critical issues with the vehicle. This can allow your driver to pull the vehicle over and avoid any further damage or accidents.
Fleet management software features: Fuel and Vehicle Use
It’s probably true that your vehicles and fuel supply are some of your most significant expenses.
Luckily, fleet management software makes it effortless to determine if and how you may be wasting fuel or not utilizing each of your vehicles as much as you should be.
For every hour a vehicle spends idling, it burns almost an entire gallon of fuel. With the use of fleet management software, you can find out if your drivers are spending too much time idling and step in to change that.
When it comes to vehicle usage, you could look through your vehicle drive-time data that the fleet management software records, and easily see if any vehicles aren’t getting much use. This will make it much easier for you to be able to consider perhaps selling some of the vehicles that don’t get much use, and save more money over time.
Fleet management software features: Driver Safety and Dashcams
Many fleet management software also implement safety features that keep a record of your drivers’ performance on the road and make it easy to determine if any of your employees are driving dangerously.
Some top pieces of software are even able to analyze hazardous driving behavior and conclude whether or not your driver was to blame. This analysis can later be reviewed by management and the issues can be addressed.
Without the use of these safety features, it’s almost impossible to be aware of your employee’s potential dangerous driving behavior, unless an accident takes place. This is how the implementation of fleet management software can be incredibly powerful; it can prevent accidents, and therefore, avoid any of the lost time, expenses, and potential injuries involved when accidents occur.
But even with the safest drivers, accidents are always a possibility. And with the help of your system’s dashcam footage, you’ll be able to have video evidence to review and potentially use to protect your company from any liability if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Fleet management software features: Driver Communication
One of the most potentially frustrating aspects of operating a business with commercial vehicles is the communication between management and drivers. This communication usually ends up disorganized and spread across various platforms, making it incredibly difficult to not only simply get a hold of your employees, but also to be able to review your communication history.
Fleet management software tackles this issue by offering real-time instant messaging and compiling all company communications into a single, easily accessible location.
Tips for choosing the right fleet management software for your company
It can be a bit daunting to decide on which fleet management software would be the best when there are so many options out there. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of five tips to keep in mind when choosing the right fleet management software for your company:
- Read the reviews. This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to separate the best software from the worst, right off the bat. Narrow your list down to only the top reviewed fleet management software.
- Make sure it offers top-notch support. This fleet management software will become a very important part of your company’s success, and you need to be able to count on them at any point in time. That’s why it’s crucial that the software you choose offers 24/7 support with no exceptions.
- It should offer a variety of features. Much of the software on the market unfortunately offers little more than basic GPS tracking. And whilst that is an important feature to have, there is much more to gain from fleet management software offering multiple features, such as; dashcam, instant messaging, and vehicle diagnostics.
- Integration is important. Your fleet management software should be able to be integrated with your other devices and technology for the most streamlined experience.
- Avoid contracts. There should not be a need to have to sign any contracts locking your company in with a specific piece of software for an extensive period of time. If a provider insists on this, it’s generally safe to assume that their product isn’t strong enough on its own to keep their customers for very long. Take it as a red flag and keep looking.
Best fleet management software
Momentum IoT is a GPS tracking software designed to help automate business processes and provide live vehicle tracking. Its users can easily pinpoint the location of specific vehicles from their personal devices and track distance between destinations.
Chris Spano, a fleet manager at Traffic Management Inc., uses Momentum IoT for his company, and said:
“We reduced speeding events by 83%. We also saw big reductions in idle time, as we were able to go after the repeat offenders with specifics.”
Some of Momentum IoT’s key features include; vehicle tracking, location history, vehicle diagnostics, and real-time notifications. Management and drivers can monitor vehicle fuel levels, voltages, and distance traveled and the system also detects whether the vehicle is in motion, or idle.
In addition, management can receive automated text and email notifications when their vehicles arrive and leave job sites, allowing for better supervision and overall employee performance. You’re also able to generate speed and trip length reports for your vehicles to help inform future business improvements.
Verizon Connect is a piece of fleet management software that implements easy-to-use smart dashboards and reporting tools to track and analyze driver behavior and measure vehicle performance.
Verizon Connect’s key features also include; vehicle tracking, location history, vehicle diagnostics, and real-time notifications. You’ll be able to efficiently manage any dangerous driving, or misuse of your vehicles.
GeoTab is a piece of fleet management software designed to streamline commercial vehicle operations. It allows you to easily access and manage driver and vehicle reports from a single platform.
This system also makes it possible to keep track of your driver’s hours of service, so that you can make sure all of your employees are working no more than they should be. This encourages fewer accidents, injuries, or vehicle misuse.
Another great aspect of GeoTab is its heavy security. It utilizes authentication, message encryption, unique IDs for every device, independent third-party expert validation, non-static security keys, and digitally-signed firmware.
How to use Process Street to streamline your fleet management
It’s designed to streamline and automate your day-to-day workload and can be applied to optimize your fleet management as well. Here’s a quick webinar that covers how to use Process Street to work optimally with your clients, vendors, and suppliers:
Here are some other fleet management resources that may interest you:
- 8 Logistics Management Processes to Perfect Your Supply Chain
- 8 Tips to Improve Your Company’s Shipping Processes
- How to Build a Better Purchase Order Workflow with Process Street
- How to Support €38.8 Billion Revenue: Tips from IKEA’s Supply Chain
Check out these resources below, if you’d like to learn more about Process Street or BPM:
- Ultimate Guide to Small Business Automation with Zapier
- The Complete Guide to Business Process Management
- The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation
We’d love to know what fleet management software you use at your company. Leave a comment down below and let us know!