In recent years, the rate of commercial fleet driving accidents in the US has increased by about 20%.
The fleet management industry has responded in turn with a re-emphasis on the importance of vehicle and driver safety, chiefly due to the preventable nature of many of these vehicular accidents.
Fleet management systems have grown more and more complex; far beyond the basic cc tracking system of its past.
Today, more vehicle-dependent businesses are implementing these systems to improve the monitoring of their drivers and vehicles, encourage safer driving habits, and facilitate better company-wide transparency.
If your company is managing a large fleet of hundreds or thousands of vehicles, a fleet management system is key to keeping track of everything related to your employees and assets.
Managing your fleet without a system in place inherently leaves room for potential complications and human error, even if your fleet is smaller in size. For example, if a driver gets into an accident, you may run into problems when filing an insurance claim, or it might be difficult to quickly reach your driver to obtain an ETA for a customer.
Fleet management systems are designed to mitigate these potential issues and help strengthen your daily processes, making them more efficient and organized than ever before.
In this Process Street article, we’ll be covering:
- What is fleet management?
- What is a fleet management system (FMS)?
- Key responsibilities of a fleet manager
- Advantages of fleet management systems
- Fleet management templates
- How to use Process Street for your fleet management system
What is fleet management?
Fleet management is a set of tools used to manage commercial vehicle performance. It can take the form of vehicle tracking, diagnostics, maintenance, monitoring driver performance and fuel consumption, etc.
These tasks were historically done manually and called for tedious and time-consuming record-keeping and filing, which also leave room for human error.
Implementing a fleet management system (FMS) makes all these necessary tasks faster, simpler, and more precise than ever before.
Fleet management systems address issues such as poor task management and lack of automation, vehicle maintenance, and generally help manage and analyse employee performance.
What is a fleet management system (FMS)?
A fleet management system is any system in place that helps manage and operate vehicle fleets. When managing transportation, especially a large fleet, vehicle surveillance is incredibly important to consider. Fleet management systems provide this.
There are two types of fleet management systems: Offline fleet management systems and online fleet management systems.
An offline fleet management system is when there is a recording unit in the vehicle and the collected data is later processed and analyzed. In time and with the implementation of technology, this system evolved into an online fleet management system, when the vehicles use software to connect to a server over the internet and provide real-time data analysis.
An online fleet management system allows you to improve the efficiency of the processes and duties involved when managing a large fleet.
A fleet management system can include features such as:
- Vehicle diagnostics and location tracking
- Vehicle maintenance
- Fuel usage management
- Safety management
- Driver performance management
- Remote tachograph monitoring
Key responsibilities of a fleet manager
There are many responsibilities to juggle when it comes to managing your fleet. And it can be easy to lose sight of what’s most important to focus on when establishing your company’s fleet management protocol.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of key responsibilities that should inform your decision-making as your move forward with your fleet management:
Documenting and regularly updating accurate data on all details regarding your fleet
Example: Keeping comprehensive records for all the vehicles and making sure information is easily accessible to employees, for instance, if they need to find the exact date of a specific vehicle’s last tire rotation.
Determining the possible risks at every stage of your company’s processes and working through how to minimize them
Example: Providing extensive driver screening policies, as well as safe-driving training programs to minimize traffic accidents while on the job.
Reviewing recorded data and addressing any issues noted to avoid any further setbacks
Example: Fleet managers having the capability to review the common routes their drivers take and offering them alternative routes that may avoid heavy traffic and decreasing travel time.
Building processes, or standard operating procedures, specific to a variety of situations your fleet and employees may come across
Example: A fleet management program with a thorough plan of action for situations such as: traffic accidents, vehicle breakdowns, failed inspections, etc.
All of these responsibilities are interconnected. You can’t address any issues without having documented data and regularly kept it updated, for example. This is why it’s valuable to think of fleet management as a kind of business process management.
Utilizing a BPM software like Process Street can help you keep track of all your processes and responsibilities, ensuring you don’t miss a step along the way.
Otherwise, managing all these processes by hand can easily become messy and disorganized, especially if everything is still being documented on paper.
Former fleet manager, Tim Uittenbroek, emphasized the importance of using checklists to help manage his fleet:
“With the checklist on my fleet management software, I do a perfect job…even with a lot of distractions. It helps me get ahead of any potential problems and I can easily manage the performance of the drivers when I am not around.
My checklist in the fleet management software helps me in monitoring the progress. I make sure that I measure well against each checklist to get the fleet operations in the flow. With the software, I can document every progress digitally against every checklist.”
Process Street allows you to keep all of your processes and tasks in one place and makes it quick and easy to make any changes if needed.
Advantages of fleet management systems
The goal of a fleet management system is to monitor vehicle performance and maintenance to ensure that everything is running efficiently. It allows for companies to reduce the risks involved with vehicle use, boosts productivity and efficiency, lowers overall costs and encourages compliance with any SOPs or government regulations.
Some benefits of the implementation of an online fleet management system include:
Automates your fleet reports and manual tasks
Many fleet management systems are able to synthesize all of its recorded information into hourly, daily, or weekly fleet reports, without you having to put any extra work in. This feature allows you to be able to easily get an overview of your employee performance and vehicle health, while also having the ability to make any changes based on the reports if needed.
Some other examples of manual tasks that could be automated with a fleet management system:
- Locating specific vehicles
- Documenting fuel receipts, proof of deliveries, any other forms
- Writing vehicle inspection reports
- Manually calling drivers for ETAs
Increases profitably by improving fuel efficiency
As a result of the fleet management system’s increased vehicle supervision capabilities, fleet managers are able to get a much better look into the behavior of their drivers and are much better equipped to manage their fleet. For example, a fleet manager would be able to easily see if a specific driver is idling their vehicles regularly and wasting fuel, where otherwise it would have been impossible to know.
Some systems even keep records of fuel receipts, which offer more information about driver fueling habits and the vehicle itself. Having access to this kind of information allows management to be able to make changes to minimize fuel waste and monitor these changes to make sure they’re carried out.
Improves safety and reduces driving violations
Not only would you be able to monitor your drivers’ fueling habits with a fleet management system, but also their driving behaviors. This allows for fleet managers to assess the driving patterns of individual drivers and if necessary, bring any unsafe driving habits to their awareness and as a result, reduce the number of vehicular crashes and driving violations while on the job.
Protects your company and improves insurance benefits
Unfortunately, not all accidents are preventable, but implementing a fleet management system ensures that you’ll be able to provide proof to insurance companies when your drivers weren’t at fault.
Not only this, but an insurance company might also provide discounts or bonuses for companies that use fleet management systems because they understand these companies are more likely to have safe driving practices and minimize accidents overall. Just ask your insurance company if they offer any incentives based on the implementation of a fleet management system, or other safety policies.
Improves customer satisfaction and loyalty
Most fleet management systems are able to provide customers a more efficient and dependable service, with ETA notifications and reduced wait times. As with any business, if customers are receiving a high-quality product or service, they’ll likely to remain loyal to your business and keep coming back.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you operate, if you’re managing a large fleet of vehicles daily, you need some kind of fleet management system to make sure that your fleet is running safely, efficiently and just simply the best it could be. A fleet management system is key.
Watch this quick intro video to get an idea of what Process Street is all about:
Process Street is a BPM software with many features built to save you and your team unnecessary time and effort. Many of the root issues at blame when it comes to poor fleet management are related to poor process management.
With all the processes and responsibilities inherently needed to properly manage your fleet, it’s easy to see how software like Process Street can help make things simpler.
As an example of how you might use Process Street to optimize your fleet management, we’ve put together a few of our custom templates that we built for common fleet management processes.
Fleet management templates
Here’s a list of the templates in this article, if you want a shortcut:
- Monthly fleet management report checklist
- Fleet management internal audit checklist
- Fleet management driver safety checklist
Fleet management internal audit checklist
Audits are important to ensure your fleet management system is in compliance with relevant internal or external policies, government compliance regulations, and any related standards or requirements.
With this custom fleet management internal audit checklist, you’re able to easily follow the step-by-step instructions, making sure that you don’t overlook any crucial details when performing your audit.
Monthly fleet management report checklist
Every year, a fleet manager should run through this report checklist to ensure that the fleet management system in place is running smoothly.
This monthly fleet management report checklist covers internal standard operating procedures and will allow you to systematically assess the current state of fleet management, including areas for improvement.
Fleet management driver safety checklist
Fleets without safety programs place themselves in financial jeopardy and are likely out of compliance with local, state, and federal rules.
Fleet safety is also a social responsibility. Company vehicles are interacting with the motoring public, and the safety of your vehicles directly affects other drivers on the highway.
This fleet management driver safety checklist covers all the steps necessary to mitigate accidents and correct potentially dangerous driving habits.
Here are some other fleet management related checklist templates we’ve built:
- 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
How to use Process Street for your fleet management system
Using the templates above can help you and your company save time, money, and headaches by breaking down all of your recurring processes into concise, and easy-to-follow checklists.
You can use the custom templates we built as is, or easily edit them to better fit your procedures. They can help quickly teach new employees your processes, minimize error rates overall, and make your life easier.
Process Street can be used for fleet management and even more. It’s a strong BPM software that was built to streamline your workflows and save you and unnecessary time and effort.
Feel free to sign up for free to get access to all the templates we shared here and more — it only takes a couple of minutes!
Here are some more resources on fleet management:
- 8 Logistics Management Processes to Perfect Your Supply Chain
- How to Build a Better Purchase Order Workflow with Process Street
- 8 Tips to Improve Your Company’s Shipping Processes
- How to Support €38.8 Billion Revenue: Tips from IKEA’s Supply Chain
And if you want to learn more about Process Street and business process management, here are some great guides:
- The Complete Guide to Business Process Management
- Ultimate Guide to Small Business Automation with Zapier
- The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation
Does your company use an offline or online fleet management system? Are there any other fleet management processes you’d like us to build into templates? Leave a comment down below and let us know!