True fleet management in the future world of fleets

Research indicates that the global fleet management market is expected to reach USD 34 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% during the forecast period.

These stats reflect some fleet management services, but primarily GPS/location methodologies and maps – which are not a holistic representation of the entire market, but rather just the components of it.

As with so many industries, COVID-19 has massively disrupted the fleet management arena to an extent never seen before. Delivery disruptions, order cancellations, non-payment of accounts, and many other influences have forced business executives and fleet managers to reassess all of the factors that affect fleet operating expenses.

All companies are resolutely focused on reducing costs, mitigating risk and improving safety. The fleet industry is no exception, with many companies finally beginning to understand why they need to implement a Fleet Management Information System (FMIS) solution.

Fleet management can be defined as a set of theories and applications that are combined to produce an end result of reduced fleet total cost of ownership (TCO) and improved return on investment (ROI).

Through a process of consolidating all costs related to a fleet of vehicles, an FMIS covers the entire spectrum, from procurement to disposal. Plus, it encapsulates all data for complete fleet management including depreciation, maintenance, tires, fuel, insurance, GPS/tracking, accident management, license records and the management of fines.

In a nutshell, the “right” FMIS solution will control:

  • Driving license and renewal of professional driving license.
  • Renewals of vehicle permits, certificates of aptitude.
  • Tire maintenance and management, including service interval warnings.
  • Fuel management, including major exceptions such as overfills, overconsumption and fuel fraud.
  • Integration with GPS/tracking providers.
  • Fines − in accordance with the legislation.
  • Accident management.
  • Vehicle inspections performed by smartphone app.

Reporting is an essential part of any deployed system. For example, standard reports, as well as exception reports, will immediately highlight problem areas. These reports can be scheduled to run automatically at predefined times. Reports can be emailed to selected recipients regardless of login.

The goal of an FMIS is to lower the total cost of ownership and improve the bottom line in terms of cents per mile.

Dashboard indicators allow the company to see the status of its fleet at a glance. Exceptions are flagged and can be investigated further, with immediate analysis of the report.

The goal of an FMIS is to lower the total cost of ownership and improve the bottom line in terms of cents per mile. Basically, FMIS enables control of the entire fleet with real-time data, improved operational efficiency and inevitably better return on investment.

FMIS is a particularly attractive proposition for fleet managers/supervisors because they operate their drivers as assets (rather than liabilities).

Software vendors in the industry are integrating more out-of-the-box features for driver management/behaviour monitoring – the latter is crucial, because without the ability to modify driver behavior there is no improved return on investment.

It enables companies to manage, monitor and control their fleet with real-time data, improved operational efficiency and better insights that enable faster and more informed decision making.

Drivers and vehicles are among the core components of fleet companies and managing both is vital, not only to keep costs down, but also to ensure the business is running as efficiently as possible.

Vehicles are expensive to buy, equip and maintain, and no matter how many vehicles a company has, fleet costs are likely to make up a significant percentage of the budget.

It is common knowledge in the industry that the operating costs of most unmanaged fleets are 10-15% higher than they should be.

Besides the depreciation of the vehicles themselves, fleet costs include things like maintenance, tires, fuel, accidents, licenses, permits, tolls and fines. Based on the average cost of running a vehicle, each vehicle is likely to cost between R6,000 and R12,000 per year more than is actually needed.

Fleet administration is time-consuming and labor-intensive, involving the filling out of many forms and time consumed in traffic services each time a vehicle- or driver-related problem arises.

Additionally, if a company is unaware of additional requirements, such as ID copies, driver’s licenses, medical certificates, etc., this simple exercise can turn into an ordeal that requires multiple trips. and unnecessary administration.

As well as increasing complexity and administration, it is vitally important that all fines incurred by vehicles and drivers are handled correctly, as mistakes or misunderstandings can lead to invalid driving licenses , or even the loss of a driver’s license.

It is crucial to limit downtime of vehicles and drivers. If they’re not on the road, they’re not making money. Vehicles parked in a shop or sheet metal worker, or awaiting permits or licenses, are not productive, and a driver awaiting a permit or public driver’s license cannot go out and earn money for the business.

More importantly, companies cannot afford to send vehicles or drivers without a license, as the financial risk and potential liability can be crippling.

An FMIS enables informed decision-making and negates all of the above – it basically boils down to using the latest technology to run fleet businesses optimally and it is imperative for survival and growth.

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