Fleet management continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the US, with over 500,000 active trucking companies comprised of small to large businesses. Delivery shipments are responsible for generating $791.7 billion a year, thanks to the increased demand for e-commerce and transportation services in the last decade.
Whether you’re managing ten or a hundred vehicles, operational success relies heavily on your ability to manage maintenance costs, fuel, and finding the most cost-efficient routes. Here are our top five tips for fleet managers who want to set their fleets on the road to success.
Improve Monitoring and Security
Several factors, including the driver, vehicle, roadway, and environmental conditions, can contribute to higher accident risk. Prioritizing monitoring and security measures can help keep your drivers safe and minimize costs in the long run. For instance, the use of fleet dashcams has become standard for most operators in the country, with dashcams accumulating a market size of $3.2 billion in 2020. Dashcams will allow you to have a record of accidents, fight insurance fraud, monitor unattended vehicles, and even help improve driver performance. Dashcam footage can also block the chances of a sudden premium increase, in case of vehicle insurance policy changes.
Automate Data Collection
As a fleet manager, you’re responsible for staying on top of data collection. But collating everything from vehicle costs to drivers’ documentation can be difficult to accomplish, especially if you’re working with a small team. To make it easier, it’s advisable to hire experts who can develop specific software for fleet management. Many companies hire software engineers and developers for this purpose because they can create data collation software tailored to company needs. QR codes and telematics are two data collection tools that have proven to be useful for many fleet companies nationwide.
Reduce Fuel Costs
Fuel prices are on an unceasing upward trend. Statistics have shown that vehicles create about 6 million gallons of fuel waste per year, which roughly amounts to $21 billion. It has been proven that most of this unnecessary fuel is used when drivers speed up, idle their vehicles, or brake and accelerate harshly. Fleet managers can optimize vehicle fuel usage by correcting poor driver habits. You can use your management software to develop a scoring system that can help you reward or incentivize drivers that meet certain requirements or have shown significant improvement. Proper driving habits will also reduce wear and tear on vehicles, which will in turn lower fuel and repair costs.
Optimize Routes and Schedules
Customer satisfaction is crucial, especially for fleets that handle product or service-related deliveries. Optimizing schedules and routes will not only benefit your company’s ratings but will also allow you to save up on fuel costs and improve your overall productivity. With the use of a GPS tracking system, you can easily plan and optimize routes in real-time as traffic changes throughout the day. The constant updates will also hold employees accountable, which discourages them from making unnecessary stops during the workday. Moreover, efficient time management and less energy wasted on the road can reduce driver fatigue as well.
Pay Attention to Customer Feedback
By providing accessible avenues for communication, you can help assure customers that their shipments are always in good hands. Parcel tracking, live-chat assistance, and driver ratings are a few implementations you can consider to improve your customer service. Fortunately, the use of smartphone apps for deliveries and services makes this easier than ever. Increasing customer engagement will also improve your reputation among your current customers, while possibly gaining new prospects as well.
With a proactive approach to fleet management, it’s very much possible to exponentially boost efficiency and productivity, lower costs, improve employee behavior, and much more. The role data plays in fleet management is undeniable, and fleet managers will need to learn to adapt to new tech in order to maximize profitability.
This article was specially written for blackvue.com by Alicia Palmer