Most fleet-based businesses have considered the prospect of implementing some form of fleet management system whether it be a simple solution or a more comprehensive one.
For companies that choose to go without a solution, the reasons are often the same – high cost; pushback from staff; it’s not a necessity, etc. The reality is solutions often pay for themselves, staff like to have a solution to help them improve productivity and safety, and once businesses are able to get visibility into their day-to-day operations they often can’t imagine how they lived without it.
Let’s debunk the most common misconceptions.
“My drivers don’t think we need to track their vehicles.”
The most common concern regarding fleet tracking has to do with trust. Many fleet managers believe introducing a GPS solution is equivalent to telling drivers you’re no longer willing to take them at their word.
Trust goes both ways so drivers need to understand that a fleet management solution helps make everyone’s jobs easier and safer. After all, accidents involving company vehicles are commonplace and costly. Most importantly, drivers should know that management is investing in their safety and giving drivers a way to be recognized and rewarded for jobs well done.
Fleet tracking not only monitors driver behaviour, but it’s a powerful tool to help drivers work smarter and more efficiently. Tools such as route optimisation help staff reach their destination more quickly, and live traffic alerts mean they can avoid long tailbacks and roadblocks, which can ultimately cost businesses time and money. In addition, near-real-time location data allows businesses to provide customers with automatic estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) and advanced warning of any delays – which can result in more satisfied customers.
“All solutions are the same.”
Another common misconception is that all fleet management solutions are the same, but there can be major differences in fleet management solutions and their usability. Some solely track location data and take some back-end knowledge to run reports and analysis. Others can offer a full 360 view of fleets, providing vital information on driver behaviour, fuel efficiency and fleet productivity, while automating processes such as payroll and timesheets. It’s not just about drivers’ whereabouts – fleet tracking can extend vehicle life and protect the wellbeing of an entire fleet.
“Systems can be complex and complicated.”
Like most technology, telematics systems evolve and improve over time. If a system is already in place, users may not be utilizing all of the features and functionality, or at their full capacity.
The right system should allow users to automate key processes such as scheduling and planning and help improve the business’ safety, security, productivity and efficiency. If it doesn’t, then it’s not working as it should be.
Ultimately, fleet management software brings a host of benefits to a mobile business – from driving efficiency across the fleet and improving safety, to improving end-user satisfaction. However, not all systems are created equal – be sure to consider which solution best suits the organisation’s needs, and engage with employees throughout the implementation process to achieve the best results.
Derek Bryan, VP EMEA Fleetmatics, a Verizon company