January 31, 2024
As a business owner or fleet manager, you will be aware of the enormous amount of time, money, and energy that goes into running a fleet of vehicles.
Perhaps the most important aspect of successful fleet management is customer satisfaction. Late or incorrect deliveries are bound to create a bad impression, and if it happens on a regular basis, you could end up losing customers to the opposition.
Fleet management includes regular maintenance of vehicles, eliminating untimely breakdowns, extending the life of your fleet, and saving on fuel costs. This impacts the financial status of the business to a large extent.
Efficient planning of vehicle routes and maximizing drop-offs per vehicle have financial implications, too, as you save on time and fuel costs, freeing up vehicles and staff for potential volume increases as a result of your efficient service.
In this article, we give some pointers for improving your fleet’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The four fundamental requirements for the successful management of a fleet are regular vehicle maintenance, monitoring fuel consumption, effective route planning, and vehicle tracking. Together, these activities ensure a cost-effective and efficient operation.
Without regular maintenance, vehicles will break down, causing backlogs in delivery schedules and the unnecessary costs of dispatching a repair crew. These costs include paying overtime rates, additional fuel expenses, and possibly food and accommodation.
Monitoring fuel consumption serves as an indication of vehicle efficiency and can help identify misuse of the vehicle.
Accurate route planning ensures timely deliveries, cost savings in terms of fuel and maintenance, and more efficient utilization of vehicles and personnel.
Once dispatched, vehicles can deviate from the planned route or experience breakdowns and even hijackings. An efficient route planning and vehicle tracking system can identify any unplanned stops, deviations in terms of time and distances traveled, irregular fuel consumption, and emergencies such as accidents and hijackings.
Maintenance of vehicles means improved fuel consumption. Correct route planning also improves fuel consumption. A system that monitors fuel and vehicle efficiency and provides effective route planning and tracking facilities empowers management to run a successful operation, saving resources, costs, and time.
Efficient route planning is essential for optimizing fleet efficiency and saving costs. Route planning takes into account the size of the vehicle and the weight and nature of the cargo. It calculates the number of stops that can be made on any one route per vehicle, taking into account driver comfort stops, geographical outlay, and more.
By having an accurate route planning system in place, organizations are able to realize substantial savings in terms of fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear, ultimately increasing productivity and profits.
An automated route planning system can make a considerable difference in terms of time and efficiency and can be considered a cost-saving asset to your business. Consider a system that will not only find the fastest route for your vehicles but also calculate the number of vehicles at your disposal and the maximum number of drop-offs possible per vehicle.
Track-POD’s all-in-one route planning system coordinates drop-offs across the range of available vehicles, thus increasing vehicle availability. If required, it takes the nature of your cargo into account and ensures timely delivery of perishables and emergency supplies.
By maximizing the efficiency of vehicle deliveries, you save fuel costs and keep your customers happy by providing them with a tracking tool with which to monitor their deliveries. Once on the road, the Track-POD driver app enables you to monitor progress and gives the drivers detailed route updates, enabling them to change course in the case of traffic snags or accidents up ahead.
With automated PODs, both you and your customers have access to proof of delivery documentation via Cloud storage.
Track-POD’s dynamic route-planning system is easy to operate and enables all of these steps with a few clicks of a mouse.
Effective management of a fleet of vehicles comes down to the following interventions:
A regular preventative maintenance schedule will prevent breakdowns and maximize efficiency in terms of fuel consumption. Maintenance schedules include the inspection and replacement of worn parts, lubrication and fluid replacement, and a thorough check of tires and breaks.
Monitoring fuel consumption provides information about the efficiency of the vehicle. If vehicles are in good running order, their fuel consumption should be at a satisfactory level.
Heavy fuel consumption may be due to any one of the following:
Fuel patterns can be analyzed to determine the reasons for heavy fuel consumption. It could mean that heavy acceleration is taking place, and a look at the geographical layout could confirm that. Route planning can be adjusted to take these dynamics into account so that the routes taken are the most efficient from a fuel point of view.
Driver patterns can be measured and monitored with the aid of computerized tools. Activities such as unnecessary idling and heavy acceleration will also have an impact on fuel consumption. A driver who tends to break hard and suddenly will cause extra wear on the vehicle components, shortening their lifespan and creating a safety hazard on the road.
When a new driver is employed, training could be included in the induction process, with regular refresher courses thereafter that include all drivers, updating them on any changes in tracking technology and acting as a general motivation to observe good driving practices. This should improve driver performance and safety on the road.
Automated route planning will select the most efficient routes for your deliveries, taking into account the number of vehicles at your disposal and maximizing the number of deliveries possible per route and vehicle.
Having the Track-POD route planning system in place automatically enables fleet managers to track their vehicles while doing deliveries. Vehicle tracking produces a host of useful information that dispatch and fleet managers can use in their quest for efficiency.
Vehicle tracking will sound a warning if the truck deviates from the route. A full-screen dashboard enables managers to view the vehicle route on a real-time basis, informing them of traffic jams and suggesting alternate routes to be taken where possible.
It can also help managers detect unscheduled or lengthy stops, which may indicate a driver comfort stop or an incident on the road.
Communication channels between drivers and despatch staff or fleet managers should be open at all times, as it may impact their safety or that of your vehicles at some point. Track-POD enables drivers and managers to communicate through a smartphone app.
Regular maintenance minimizes the possibility of breakdowns and accidents. An automated vehicle tracking system enables you to pick up problems such as accidents or hijackings and to execute contingency plans timeously.
Replacement of vehicles before they become a burden on finances and adequate insurance of vehicles and drivers is an essential part of efficient fleet management. If administered correctly, fleet insurance should save the company money in the long run.
By optimizing the efficiency of your fleet of vehicles, as discussed above, you are ensuring regular and timely deliveries, satisfied customers, and happy staff. This, in turn, should improve sales and the financial status of your company.
A well-run fleet also improves finances in terms of cost savings regarding reductions in distances traveled, fuel savings, and reduced maintenance costs.
By optimizing route efficiency you are not only saving time and money, but you will reduce your impact on the environment. Compliance in terms of vehicle licensing and obeying the rules of the road are also important factors that should be enforced within the organization.
Timely deliveries are proof that a supplier is organized and customer-centric. Successful Track-POD customers give testament to the fact that the installation of an automated route planning and tracking system has helped their businesses in many ways.
Skuba, a truck and trailer expert with 180 branches in Europe, has committed to a two-hour delivery time from receipt of an order.
Track-POD has helped them overcome their scheduling difficulties by providing detailed route plans and supplying customers with precise ETA information.
Skuba’s HQ states that they have managed to double their number of orders while retaining the same number of drivers and working hours.
Eagleship, a courier company specializing in the delivery of heavy parcels around Lithuania, has increased its despatch management capacity from a maximum of four vehicles per dispatcher to an impressive twelve vehicles per dispatcher due to the automation of Track-POD in their business.
This equates to a saving of 75% in operational expenses, resulting in a planned increase in the size of their fleet and doubling up on warehouse space.
ACDC Dynamics, a manufacturer and distributor of electrical products, has reported a 4% savings in fuel costs.
One of the factors is the email system that allows customers to notify delivery personnel via email that they will not be available to accept the delivery, thus saving unnecessary trips. The automation of their routing and tracking system has meant a reduction in manual deliveries and increased efficiency in the routing process.
Petal&Post, a flower and gifting delivery service, has utilized the Track-POD system to enhance its customer notification and tracking experience, highlighting the ease of use that the system provides, accurate deliveries, and great time-saving features.
From safety issues to breakdowns in the middle of nowhere, anyone who manages a fleet of vehicles will have a story, or two, to tell. Traffic is unpredictable, vehicles break down, and delivery details get lost. Here are the most frequent challenges a fleet manager may encounter:
Track-POD facilitates real-time electronic proof of delivery (ePOD), which includes the necessary signatures. Signed or pin-confirmed ePODs are stored in the cloud and are easily accessible by administrators, despatch personnel, logistics managers, and customers. Timestamps and geotags, as well as pictures are captured as proof of the time and place that the delivery occurred.
Track-POD takes care of collections and customer returns, recording the quantities, the reason for collection, the driver’s comments, and customer feedback.
Any mismatch between quantities ordered and delivered will be recorded.
Track-POD uses state-of-the-art technology to facilitate accurate barcode and QR code scanning.
Advanced data analytics and Track-POD’s unique reporting tools enable informative management reports, basic route-tracking reports, and everything in between.
Last mile delivery companies using Track-POD enjoy having access to historical information stored in the cloud and retrieved via the analytics reporting system.
In addition to thousands of other integrations, the Track-POD API allows integration with ERP systems, updating financial information, and accessing stock records.
Fleet drivers and management can directly through Track-POD via its driver app and the dispatcher’s desktop application, allowing them to be aligned on the matter and helping them avoid mistakes and inefficiencies.
As requirements for zero-emission vehicles escalate, companies should be considering replacing older vehicles with electric or fuel-cell trucks. When considering the change to energy-efficient vehicles, fleet managers need to investigate the specific tracking needs and whether their current tracking system and electronics are compliant.
Fuel tracking technology is also set to improve as fuel costs escalate and the environmental impact becomes more urgent.
As with most modern technology, telematics - the long-distance transmission of computerized data - is set to improve communications with vehicle fleets.
Data security will become more vital as fleet management systems gather increasing amounts of sensitive information. Ensure that your security systems and data integrity are up-to-date and that data storage and retrieval methods are functioning properly.
Fleet managers need to keep abreast of changes in technology so that they can make informed decisions when considering the acquisition or replacement of vehicles and electronic equipment.
A fleet management system is essential for any business that relies on its vehicles for multiple deliveries every day. Automation of this process means enhanced efficiency in terms of both vehicles and logistics.
If set up correctly to utilize all features necessary for your business needs, the Track-POD systems will save enormous amounts of time, resources, and money.
Whether you opt for one module at a time or go all in and implement a full suite of fleet management software, the benefits of automating your operation should become apparent almost immediately. The Track-POD system is easy to use and flexible in its functionality. Embrace change and give the free option a try; you can’t lose.