It's well known in the business world that what doesn't get measured, doesn’t get managed, so it makes sense that data collection and data analytics are essential for fleet management. If you can’t objectively measure performance, and analyze it for insights on how to improve, you are missing out on opportunities to improve efficiency.
Making sure to collect a wide range of essential information and data, and converting it into meaningful metrics and reports helps you make informed decisions on how to boost efficiency.
Fleet managers have to collect and organize huge quantities of data on deliveries and other jobs, routes, fuel consumption, driver behavior, vehicle maintenance, and the list goes on. Most of this data can be hard to track accurately if a good system isn't in place.
However, just collecting this data doesn't help you unless it is organized and analyzed properly. Thousands of sheets of maintenance reports don't help you unless the raw information can be presented in reports and graphs breaking the information down, so you can see if commercial vehicles in one region are performing more poorly, vehicles of certain drivers break down more often, one garage tends to take significantly longer to complete repairs and charges more, and so on.
Data analytics sort and present information in such a way as to allow informed decisions to be made in a timely manner, as the reports are created, and needed information is just a click away. It provides insights on issues and areas of opportunities to improve operational efficiency. It can guide process changes, purchasing policies, training, and more. However, if collecting and analyzing data is too burdensome, or if it isn't accurate or well done, the process can be ineffective and not improve fleet management efficiency.
Improving your data analytics highlights areas to improve fleet efficiency. Managers can start with a full review of existing fleet data, current analysis, and workflows. If a fleet manager can't easily identify issues and trends that enable predictions or data-driven-decisions, it is worth making changes to processes and tools to ensure that this can be achieved.
A fleet manager can benefit from data analytics in a few ways, in key areas of fleet management.
A critical way to use data analysis to reduce inefficiency is for fuel usage. The right information can help you reduce fuel consumption and fuel costs.
Understanding refuelling patterns, determining more cost-effective locations to fuel, identifying excessive idling or speeding that wastes fuel, the impacts of maintenance on fuel consumption, and other factors, are critical to managing this major expense.
To reduce fuel costs, fleet managers need to be able to fully track routes and distances, maintenance, driver behaviour, and other elements that impact fuel usage. The amount and variety of data that needs to be collected to understand the different trends impacting fuel usage is daunting, but necessary to enable data driven decisions.
Obtaining data on driver behaviour, individually and by division or supervisor, helps fleet managers identify unsafe driving, and gauge whether training, policy, or other initiatives are helping. Getting on top of poor driver behavior can lower fuel costs by reducing idling and speeding and maintenance costs by reducing hard driving habits that add wear and tear. Costly accidents are also reduced.
Again, getting the right information is essential, to know what issues are happening, and when, so that fleet management can determine the best ways of addressing them.
With good data analysis, baselines are identified, so appropriate targets can be set, and training programs or other initiatives can be established. Measurement against the baselines ensures progress is being made.
Analyzing data on vehicle utilization allows fleet managers to determine if vehicles are being underutilized or overutilized, because some are forgotten in remote branches, routes are not optimized properly, or maintenance processes are creating excess downtime. This can include identifying opportunities to consolidate shipments or optimize routes.
Good data helps manage preventive maintenance processes, and determine optimal maintenance schedules, or when vehicle performance is too low and the vehicle should be retired. Great data, with appropriate analysis, can enable predictive data. Error codes from vehicle engine data can help you monitor vehicle performance and predict when maintenance will be needed, so it can be scheduled at the optimal time.
For a data-driven approach to fleet management, fleet managers need to know what data is available. Recent advances in technology have enabled a wider range of data to be collected. With telematics technology, data on vehicle engine health, traffic, asset sensor information, GPS location and movement, and much more, is now available.
What's more, with fleet management software and artificial intelligence analyzing data for fleet managers, all of this data can be integrated under one platform, and combined meaningfully for powerful reporting. Information is easily accessed by anyone, and can be integrated into your other business systems and processes to improve efficiencies.
With all of these key areas, getting the right data, and analyzing data for meaningful results is essential. To do this, you need the right tools.
Telematics technology and fleet management software can help you collect and analyze data. Fleet managers can do their jobs much more easily if they can access accurate, quality data and have powerful tools for data analysis.
Telematics solutions and fleet management software give them the support they need, not only saving them the huge amounts of time that manual administration would take, but allowing them to leverage powerful analytics and insights to make strategic decisions for boosting fleet efficiency.
Fleet management software solutions provide insights for the entire fleet management team and other business departments, to develop strategies to increase productivity and efficiency, while helping with centralization, so anyone can access needed information.
1. What is the role of data analysis in fleet management?
Data analysis plays a pivotal role in fleet management. It allows fleet managers to measure performance, analyze various facets of the fleet (like fuel consumption, maintenance schedules, and driver behavior), and make informed decisions to boost efficiency.
2. How does data analytics contribute to fuel consumption management?
Data analytics can significantly aid in managing fuel consumption. It provides insights into refuelling patterns, identifies cost-effective fueling locations, and highlights excessive idling or speeding that waste fuel. Data-driven decisions, therefore, can lead to significant savings in fuel costs.
3. How can data analytics help improve safety and driver behavior?
Data analytics provides crucial information on individual and collective driver behavior, allowing fleet managers to identify unsafe driving practices. By comparing this data against established baselines, managers can set targets, establish training programs, and initiate policy changes to ensure progress.
4. What is predictive maintenance and how is it facilitated by data analytics?
Predictive maintenance is a proactive maintenance strategy that uses data analysis to predict when a vehicle will need maintenance. It leverages error codes from vehicle engine data to monitor performance and schedule maintenance at the optimal time, thus improving efficiency and reducing downtime.
5. How does fleet management software assist with data collection and analysis?
Fleet management software, combined with telematics technology, provides robust tools for collecting and analyzing fleet data. The software can integrate diverse data into a single platform for easy access, enabling powerful reporting and insights. This data can be leveraged to make strategic decisions, increase productivity, and boost fleet efficiency.
Connected Vehicles Technology offers telematics technology and fleet management software to improve fleet management. With accurate data and powerful analytics, our solutions save time, boost efficiency, and support strategic decision-making. Visit us at 405 Laird Road Guelph, ON N1G4P7 or call +1-833-561-0373 for more information.