When operating a business, there can be many areas where you’d like more information. It is usually the case that having more information can help you solve problems you might be having and improve your business. If your business operates a commercial fleet of vehicles, there can be several critical areas where a lack of information and unanswered questions could be costing the business money.
Fleet management services can help businesses better understand precisely how their commercial vehicles are operating and where improvements can be made. It can also help businesses provide better service overall, which can help with client retention. Below are some of the key questions which companies with commercial vehicles may be looking to answer with fleet management services.
How can we improve driver safety?
Driver safety is an area where every company which operates commercial vehicles should be asking themselves if they can do more. It is vital to prioritize the safety of your employees, particularly when they may be operating large commercial vehicles. The risks here are not only to them but other road users.
By using a system which provides in-cab audio and visual feedback, businesses can ensure their drivers are alerted to any dangerous actions. These include actions such as speeding, harsh acceleration and harsh braking. A study showed that when drivers were warned about these actions, the number of times they occurred reduced when compared to drivers who received no alerts. Reducing the number of dangerous actions reduces the risk of an accident and therefore improves driver safety.
Furthermore, thanks to vehicle tracking, fleet managers at companies of all sizes can look at the data recorded showing the number of dangerous actions, such as the ones mentioned above, and design training programs. These programs can be tailored to specific drivers to address issues with their driving and help them carry out their job in a safer way.
How can we save fuel?
The cost of fuel can be a significant expense for companies operating commercial fleets and working out how they can save fuel can be a challenge. With fleet management services businesses have access to a wide range of data, generated from their own vehicles, which can be analysed to find areas where fuel can be saved.
Firstly, the in-cab vehicle coaching systems mentioned above also alert drivers to actions which contribute to high fuel usage, such as engine idling. As with dangerous actions, by alerting drivers to this, they can self-correct their driving style. Secondly, as commercial vehicles within a fleet go about their business and build up an archive of journeys which are tracked, this data can be analysed to find areas of improvement. By identifying problem areas which frequently occur on a popular route or simply finding out that drivers are taking routes which are longer than necessary, changes can be made. Through changing the routes drivers take, a fleet manager can improve the efficiency of their commercial fleet and see a reduction in fuel usage. The less miles a driver takes the less fuel they use. This reduction could also result in significant financial savings for the business.
When expanding how do we choose new vehicles?
With the help of fleet management services, companies can make much more informed decisions when looking to expand their commercial fleet. The first part of this process is deciding between buying or renting your commercial vehicles. Regardless of how the company operated in the past, with a better understanding of running costs thanks to fleet management services, businesses can make a decision which is the most financially viable for them.
A difficult part of expanding a commercial fleet is often working out how many new vehicles to add to the fleet. Thanks to all the data produced from the current fleet, it should help clearly show the productivity levels which could be achieved by adding one, two, three or more additional vehicles.
There is also the question of choosing the vehicles to add to your fleet. As mentioned above, fuel usage is a crucial part of operating a commercial vehicle so finding a vehicle with good fuel efficiency along with being practical is vital. Because of the fuel usage data collected with fleet management systems, you should have a baseline figure for fuel usage for any new vehicle. Furthermore, with the introduction of Ultra Low Emission Zones in cities such as London, it is worth understanding how many times your vehicles enter these zones and if it is worth investing in vehicles which comply with the emission regulations in place to avoid entrance payments. With the data produced from business vehicle tracking, fleet managers can see exactly how many of their vehicles enter such zones and therefore calculate if it is worth investing in a vehicle which complies.
Is it possible to serve more customers each day?
Regardless of the sector a business operates in, being able to serve more clients each day is a positive and can generate more revenue for a business. To do this, some may believe you need to expand the number of vehicles within a commercial fleet. However, by using fleet management services, there are ways to increase the number of customers a business can reach each day. Through planning more time-efficient routes, which is made possible by analysing route data, a commercial fleet can reach more customers each day.
Another advantage of using fleet management services is that it allows fleet managers to see the live location of each vehicle, equipped with vehicle tracking technology, within their commercial fleet. The benefit of this is that in the event of an emergency, say for a company who deals with electrical issues, the closest vehicle to the emergency can be dispatched and get there as quickly as possible to hopefully resolve the issue.
Having the ability to utilise fleet management service can answer some questions which are crucial to any business running a commercial fleet. As businesses continue to face challenges posed by increased competition and the uncertain business environment COVID-19 has created, being able to better understand the commercial vehicles your business is operating can be really beneficial.