Have you ever wondered how managers navigate and monitor their fleets? There is a lot that goes into making sure a fleet is not only efficient but also long-lasting. While the fleet management Software system optimises these fleets to a large extent, managers also play a crucial role in this process.
Before we get into managers and their roles in fleet businesses, let’s learn about issues faced by fleets in the absence of proper management through this blog.
Challenges Faced by Unoptimised Fleets
Managing several vehicles at once is very difficult. It goes without saying that the informational organisation without any technological aid can get messy. This is why it might end up causing your fleet more harm such as:
All vehicles experience some form of wear and tear while they run on roads for extended periods of time. They could have run-down tires or damaged windows. In any case, the more such damages pile up, the worse it is for a vehicle’s health.
A poorly maintained vehicle is likely to cause higher pollution levels than one in good shape. This means better-preserved vehicles will be less likely to get fined for excessive pollution as well.
It is difficult to maintain each vehicle in a large fleet. Managers cannot keep track of all individual fleet vehicles. This is a major reason for fleets losing money. With lowly maintained vehicles, there is a constant need for vehicle replacement which costs a hefty amount as well.
Fuel prices are touching the sky and there is nothing fleet owners can do to bring these rates down. On top of fuel consumed by vehicles while travelling, there are also issues like drivers stealing fuel for personal profits.
In a fleet management system’s absence, it is easy for drivers to pilferage fuel through odometer manipulation. Faking invoices or direct drainage from tanks are also methods that drivers use to steal from fleets.
Impersonal Training Programs
In most fleets, drivers go through basic training before getting their tasks. But without proper driver analysis these training sessions become more ritualistic than precautionary. Not all drivers have similar strengths nor are they lacking in the same fields. This means that devising the same program for everybody wastes both their time and resources.
But it is also true that studying each driver personally is impossible for managers. Thus, inefficiency is inevitable with such management methods.
It is easy for fleets to get stuck in a single management method. But in an age where technology is improving at a rapid pace, it is very important for businesses to change as well. It is a competitive world and there is no doubt that all industries are slowly moving towards automotive management methods. Similar is the case with fleet industry.
First, the basic fleet management software was made for vehicle tracking and now there is a system meant to do so much more. Businesses not keeping up with these changing trends will find themselves fading over time as businesses with better facilities take over.
High Operational Cost
Lack of a proper management process in a field can be the reason behind a lot of extra costs that make a business lose money. Bad driving practices wear down vehicles when there is no driver behaviour monitoring. This adds to both the maintenance cost and also escalates vehicles' downtime. Thus, reducing fleet productivity
With rapid vehicle wear and tear, the need to buy new vehicles also increases. Optimisation can prevent these unnecessary expenditures. Harsh driving also endangers consignments that drivers are transporting. Brand reputation can take a major hit in these cases and businesses pay for liabilities.
Unsupervised drivers can use their fleet's resources for personal profits. Such practices waste not just fuel, but also the time that he could have used on task completion. Thus, his actions cut down the fleet's productivity.
For example, a driver has options of travelling from two routes A and B. Route A is shorter while B is longer. His received instructions state that he has to complete tasks by taking route A as it is more economical. But the driver has personal work on route B. Thus, he takes the longer route to reach his end location, wasting the fleet’s resources.
Who is a Good Fleet Manager?
Leadership qualities and the ability to optimise are just some requirements for a good manager. For such a high-responsibility job, it is very important to be aware of market trends. They should know how to keep their fleets up to date with such trends.
A manager is responsible for a fleet's management. Traditionally, they were the ones who had to not only study but also execute strategies on the collected information. Now, with aid from a fleet management system, they just have to come up with strategies that will help run a fleet smoothly.
Communication is another aspect of a fleet business that falls under the job description of a manager. They are links between drivers and owners, relaying tasks to teams and forwarding drivers' concerns up the hierarchy. They also stay in touch with clients, forming a network within businesses.
Role of Managers In Using Fleet Management Systems
Managers play a very vital role in any fleet’s optimisation. They hold the power to amalgamate all fleet monitoring software’s features. This helps them come up with management methods unique to their fleets alone. While technology has a very big role to play in management, it will be difficult in the absence of humans.
So how can fleet owners solve their issues by appointing the correct managers to use their fleet management software? Here are some methods:
A fleet management software analyses a fleet's working and comes up with insightful reports. But these reports alone will not help a fleet optimise itself. It requires a human factor in between to study this knowledge and make informed decisions. Otherwise, fleet management will be of no use to businesses.
The system provides managers with several reports including fuel consumption, distance travelled, idle summary reports, and so much more. These reports contain information that can help managers ensure the best outcome for their fleets.
For example, through idling reports managers can get to know about drivers who waste fuel while completing tasks. Idling is also responsible for the wastage of time that fleets can use for task completion. They can also enrol drivers with frequent ill reports into driver programs for better training.
You might think why assigning tasks is a big deal. All a manager has to do is equally divide tasks amongst their drivers, right? Well let us tell you, there are a lot of things that go into fleet tasks assignment.
Before assigning tasks, it is very important to study fleet health in detail. This ensures that vehicles that have depreciated and are consuming more fuel than normal are not given long-distance journeys to cover. This slows down old vehicles' rate of wear and tear while new vehicles bring in profits for the business.
Managers play a key role in this process. They are the ones who analyse their fleets and decide which vehicle is suitable for what task.
Fleet management software has many amazing solutions that can aid fleet optimisation. Route planning is one such solution. It gives managers control over the paths their vehicles travel. All managers have to do is add halts into the system followed by their sequence.
The software then gives them all possible routes for this trip. Ultimately, managers can select a route most suitable for them. Fuel consumption or road conditions can influence this choice.
Managers are therefore entrusted with optimising fleets in a way that ensures fuel preservation and reduced vehicle depreciation.
Monitor Operational Costs
As we previously discussed, managers are responsible for assigning tasks to their drivers. They assign tasks on the basis of their fleet’s performance. If certain vehicles are performing better than others, it is a manager's responsibility to utilise this agility. Having better-quality vehicles running on roads for longer periods of time will ultimately increase the fleet's profitability.
Managers are also responsible for route planning for their vehicles. This gives them the freedom to choose routes that cause the least amount of wear and tear.
Vehicles travelling on bad condition roads will definitely depreciate their quality. These precautions can save the fleet business from losing money on unnecessary repairs.
While deciding correct routes for vehicles, managers can also be mindful of tolls. Choosing paths with the least amount of tolls can save a huge sum if we consider a large number of vehicles under a fleet.
Servicing and maintenance feature of fleet management software is very useful for fleets. It allows managers to schedule all servicing procedures for their registered vehicles. As these dates for servicing draws closer, the software reminds managers. These reminders come in a couple days before their due dates.
There is so far technology can aid this process though. Ultimately it is the managers who have to get their vehicles maintained for them to work in their optimal state.
Reduce Fuel Cost
As we know already, fuel costs are constantly on rise. They make running a fleet even more expensive than before and can lead to losses. So how can managers aid the process of fuel optimisation for their fleet?
The fuel monitoring solution of fleet management software has several features. These include fuel level tracking, and fuel refill and drainage reports. Managers have access to their vehicle’s fuel levels at all times and they can optimise their fleet based on their consumption level.
Instant refill and drainage alerts allow managers to keep track of a vehicle’s fuel usage. In case of a refill alert, managers will know that there has been a fuel purchase. On the other hand, if a tank loses fuel, managers can check for either leakage or pilferage.
Keep Up With Alerts
A majority of fleet management system's features use alerts.
For example, route deviation can lead to unnecessary fuel consumption by a fleet. This is why every time a vehicle moves away from its designated path, managers stay informed. They can further enquire about the driver's reason behind this de-tour.
When managers receive alerts regarding their fleet’s activities, they are responsible for solving the issues caused. Incompetence in working on alerts can not only cause loss for the business, but it can also give employees a free pass to continue their ill practices.
Alerts help managers monitor their fleet well. With old forms of technology, managers still had the burden of spotting discrepancies in reports. This left a huge margin for error or negligence. But with personalised alerts, managers are more aware of their responsibilities.
Monitoring Driver Behaviour
Drivers are a huge part of a fleet's functioning. Optimising driving habits on roads can not only save fuel but also improve the fleet’s health. Irresponsible driving practices like overspeeding, abrupt braking, excessive acceleration, harsh cornering, and idling can pressurise a vehicle's engine into consuming more fuel than optimal.
A fleet management system's driver behaviour monitoring solution alerts managers if any of the above-mentioned events occur. Managers can act appropriately on these alerts. Managers can arrange special training for drivers with constant bad driving alerts.
Having good drivers can ensure minimised costs for a fleet as well as vehicle safety. Managers can also study driver behaviour reports. They can consult these reports before deciding which drivers to entrust with high value or fragile consignments.
We hope you are now more aware of how a fleet management system works through managers. It is crucial for businesses to choose someone who is good at leading but is equally aware of market trends. They should also have the critical thinking skills needed for such high responsibility jobs.
Let us introduce you to TrackoBit, the leading fleet management software in the market that will allow your managers to have seamless control over your fleet. Get in touch with us to learn more about the software and its features.