Third party services and products can offer additional, powerful functionality to your fleet operations, but they are far more effective when integrated seamlessly.
To clarify, this article is referring to integration of third party products and telematics solutions into your business operations, not complete fleet outsourcing or outsourcing to a third party logistics provider.
GPS tracking has made massive impacts on modern fleet management, and there are many other tools and technologies evolving, including more advanced telematics devices. However, many companies use well over 100 apps or SaaS in their operations. This means there is a lot of useful or even necessary data that can be collected and used, but in most cases, each of these devices, apps, or services stand alone, and if information from them needs to be extracted, it involves labour time.
Fleet management software with application programming interface (API) functionality can enable participating apps and devices to talk to each other. Integration of these means you can monitor all at the same time from one platform, information from several sources can be collected and compared against each other for meaningful information.
Agile software and telematics solutions are essential, to enable integration with the ever-growing third party solutions, so companies can take advantage of new ones.
Third-party devices can be software or hardware. Software integrations that allow data to be collected from a telematics device and sent to the cloud is popular. Embedded hardware devices to gather and pass on data is another option. Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow you to retrieve this telematics data over the internet on a set platform.
With new technologies on the market, third party solutions can offer unparalleled real time visibility into a fleet's operations. They can help make operations more cost effective, as well as help greatly with managing a fleet. The potential is limited only by existing technologies and the imagination to see how those different technologies could be used better with the right integration.
Third party solutions address many of a fleet manager's challenges.
Fleet managers have many challenges to handle. A robust telematics and fleet management software solution, partnered with various third party devices and software can solve many of the challenges faced by fleet managers.
Integrating means your fleet manager can easily extract actionable information from all of the participating or integrated devices and apps. Professional or expert level reporting and analysis of all sources can be done automatically, allowing you to have the same expert tools in house that a third party fleet management company can offer.
Compliance initiatives can be a headache, but third party solutions can help. For example, integration with ELDs help ensure HOS compliance. ELDs are mandatory, and integrating them seamlessly with fleet management systems and software make a fleet manager's job easier to monitor and act as necessary. A range of tools are now out there, so combining them easily can offer managers a level of oversight not previously possible.
There are many third party solutions emerging to help with safety issues. By tying in with your systems, alerting, reporting and tracking are all facilitated.
There are working alone safety solutions, with personal alert systems and GPS tracking drivers when they leave the vehicle.
360 degree cameras can now be linked in, offering full visibility, plus recording abilities for liability and insurance factors. In the past, if there was an incident, a manager would have to get a physical recording from the vehicle, but with integration and new solutions, automatic recording of events and forwarding on with alerts is possible.
Telematics tracking of driver behavior and text-to-speech technology allows automated, immediate safety coaching to drivers, and notification systems warn of severe weather, work zones, rest areas, crashes or sudden slow-downs ahead, and more. Some third party apps have even created a gamified experience to encourage buy-in.
Route optimization systems take information from planned destinations and GPS tracking of vehicle location to reduce travel distances. More efficient routes can be created and readjusted as necessary for unexpected travel blockages. Telematics solutions can also be tied into your fuel provider information for nearby locations to prevent detours, while leveraging real time traffic information. This ensures full efficiency, even when circumstances change.
Third party devices help with messaging and dispatch to coordinate these efforts, and can even provide other advanced solutions like fuel consumption tracking and monitoring of fuel cards for potential abuse or theft.
Save money on fleet maintenance, too. Vehicle manufacturers enable engine diagnostics and fault codes to be automatically transferred to your third party provider of maintenance, along with recommendations of work, to reduce time in the shop. Other third party provider apps track tire pressure.
This functionality can also be used by another third party solution that enables proactive predictive maintenance, which offers significant time and cost savings by allowing fleet managers to tackle problems before they arise. Vehicle failures can be reliably predicted weeks in advance to allow maintenance to be optimally scheduled and keep repair costs minimal.
Maintenance history and scheduling can be linked in and stored even if they are completed by a third party, to make it effortless for the fleet manager to track work and have intuitive reports.
Fleet managers have increasingly complex roles, and a lot of responsibilities with tighter safety and compliance requirements. Lots of fleet data can be dumped on them, but they don't get meaningful information they can use or easily review.
A lot of the data at the fingertips of fleet managers can be further integrated to ERP systems for the business to track costs that roll up into larger business decisions. Combined with your fleet management software solutions, it's possible to get automatic, comprehensive reporting and comparisons to set metrics, for more informed decisions, without additional effort.
Their jobs can be further simplified with third party automated forms solutions, weigh station bypass and toll payment solutions, or a wide range of other solutions that are increasing.
Third party products allow for a range of different vehicles and niche information to be tracked and made actionable, from temperature monitoring of trailers, granular or liquid spreading data, the ability to connect non-traditional fleet vehicles, like golf carts or boats, and more.
Expanders and add-ons allow you to leverage the benefits of top brands for vehicle equipment and additional assets, while still being able to incorporate everything under one system, visible on a single platform.
At Connected Vehicles, we help companies set up tailored, integrated fleet management systems that fully meet their needs, are scalable to grow as they do, and are flexible so third party solutions can be added on as operations change. We ensure you can take advantage of the rapidly-increasing solutions available. We work with companies with large or small fleets of commercial vehicles of all types, including non-traditional fleets, and can even help third party logistics providers.