Managing a fleet of vehicles is no easy task, and even if your fleet consists of only a few vehicles in a small region, you can benefit from a fleet asset management plan. If you’ve been trying to keep track of vehicles, drivers, shipments, and administrative tasks in separate spreadsheets, you may feel like it’s information overload.
Thankfully, there’s a number of tools available to track data and create reports that will help you manage your fleet more efficiently. Fleet management software is becoming the new normal for fleet managers and carriers, but before you choose software, it’s helpful to gather important information about your fleet. Read on to learn more about what you need to create a comprehensive fleet management plan and the benefits of using software.
1. Analyze Vehicles in Fleet
It may seem like an obvious step, but it is the most important one: analyze all vehicles in your fleet. Without details about your fleet, it will be challenging to create an effective management plan. Even if you plan to use, or already use software to help you stay organized, you’ll still need to gather information about your vehicles. To get started, analyze and record data about the following:
- Fuel Economy: Each vehicle will have different metrics regarding fuel consumption depending on the type of vehicle, what it’s transporting, how it’s being driven, and road conditions. Keep track of metrics like cost per mile and individual driver performance to gauge what changes can be made to save you money.
- Maintenance Logs: Keeping accurate, updated maintenance logs is necessary to assist technicians servicing vehicles and helps with managing the overall health of your fleet. It’s important to make sure each vehicle is receiving routine maintenance, which requires detailed records of when and what was done. Taking time to review maintenance logs will help you understand the immediate and future needs of your fleet and appropriately budget.
- Do Comparative Analysis: Take time to analyze the vehicles you currently have with other vehicles on the market to optimize fleet assets. Taking that data, you may find there are vehicles and resources that would better serve your business. This information can also be easily added to a fleet management system to generate cost comparisons and other useful metrics.
2. Analyze Driver Performance
Drivers are a major part of fleet asset management. Their safety records, training, and driving history are important to track so that you can trust your fleet in their hands. Keep track of an analyze:
- How and when drivers are screened.
- Driving records, licenses, certifications, and any infractions they’ve incurred.
3. Understand Insurance Needs and Options
Any good fleet management plan includes detailed information about insurance needs. Insurance can change depending on the size of your fleet, drivers, types of vehicles, region, and a number of other factors. Keep track of any data that may affect insurance, as it may end up saving your company a considerable amount of money in the long run. Here are a few tips:
- Conduct regular reviews on fleet assets to assess if you are carrying enough coverage.
- If you plan to grow your business, check if your current insurance coverage can scale with your growing fleet.
- Research which discounts may be available from different insurance companies. Some offer discounts for using fleet management software, training drivers and other employees, managing safety records, and securing vehicles.
Benefits of Using Fleet Management Software
You can take the information you receive in your initial analysis and easily organize it into fleet management software to create an efficient, data-driven fleet management plan.
The main advantage of using software is saving your company time and money. With the numerous features offered by fleet management software, your entire team, from drivers to administrative staff, can access the information they need to do their job more effectively and efficiently. Let’s take a look at some of the primary benefits of using software to manage fleet assets.
1. Automate Fleet Reports for Easy Access
Customize reports to include as much granular information as you need. You can control how often reports are produced, who has access to them, and the information they contain. Reporting helps you make accurate decisions based on real-time data about your fleet and its drivers.
2. Know How Drivers and Fleet Are Performing
Keeping track of each driver and vehicle can help prevent issues before they occur, such as vehicle maintenance or driver performance problems. Instead of keeping logs in spreadsheets and files, software helps you easily manage the details about each vehicle and each driver with the click of a button. Additionally, you’ll have more control of driver schedules so there is no confusion or customer service issues.
3. Streamline Administrative Operations
Fleet management doesn’t just concern drivers and vehicles. Behind the scenes, numerous people are responsible for organizing files, schedules, payroll, and customer service. With fleet asset management software, each team member has unique access to the information they need in real-time.
4. Improve Communication
At the end of the day, communication is the key to successful fleet management. To aid with communication, fleet management systems offer apps and other tools to improve communication and make it easier to share information, even remotely.
It also helps you manage communication with clients to improve customer service. Easily track conversations, invoices, emails, and any other communication that can help you provide exceptional service in a timely manner.
Upgrade Your Fleet with a New or Used Trailer
If your fleet is ready for an upgrade, or you’re considering new or used trailers for sale, contact Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel, Inc. to discuss our commercial trailer options. A trailer rental may be a good option to help you with a comparative analysis of fleet vehicles that will help you create a great fleet asset management plan.