In many ways, fleet management has never been more difficult. Booming inflation and gas prices continue to eat away at the bottom line of companies that are fleet reliant. With so many economic pressures on fleet-heavy industries, the time has never been better to reduce operational costs in fleet management.
Reducing fleet operational costs requires a multi-pronged approach. The use of real-time data analytics and notification such as route optimization, fuel usage, predictive maintenance tracking, idle time reports, driver congregation notifications, geofencing for optimized productivity as well as a comprehensive safety driver scorecard combine to ensure your drivers and operators are delivering on your brand promise. Real-time reports and notifications also ensure your fleet is efficient, safer and more productive leading to saved time and money.
If you are a fleet manager looking for ways to trim your costs, while improving the customer experience or simply looking for ways to utilize the vehicles in your fleet better, then consider these 5 ways to cut operating costs in your fleet management.
Optimizing the routing of fleet vehicles to maximize efficiency is a complicated task even for the smallest fleets. When you rely on individual employees to plan routes, it could take hours – or longer – to configure a route schedule.
Utilizing a route planner application can cut planning time down to minutes, not hours. This is particularly the case for fleets that experience changes to routes throughout the day or week. A planner application can re-optimize immediately, on the go, keeping your fleet efficient by ensuring you’re taking the quickest path, reducing waste regardless of how many route changes occur.
Beyond simply optimizing route efficiency, a route planner will make your fleet more nimble and responsive, improving customer service. Improved customer service means fewer delays, complaints or fines. Have you considered sending a customer notification via route planning?
Reducing costs for your fleet begins and ends with a preventative maintenance (PM) plan. Too often fleets will wait until something breaks down to fix it as they need to make the run. Optimizing and tracking your PM Currency ratio(s) are a very important metric to ensuring maximum uptime.
Using a PM plan to ensure problems with your fleet are caught before they balloon into something big can save many thousands of dollars over the year. A PM plan can be as simple as doing pre- and post-safety and mechanical checks to establish annual maintenance goals for your entire fleet. Many software programs track vehicle maintenance scheduling, however it can be imperative to microtarget components that may update from year to year or form model to model, especially with all of the recent emission changes to engines.
Putting your PM plan from paper into software ensures that everyone involved in the fleet, from drivers to management, has the same set of procedures for preventing mechanical issues through the streamlining of safety checklists, service records, inspection reports and more.
The recent surge in fuel prices seems more permanent than ever, which is all the more reason to implement fuel tracking systems into your fleet. Using applications to track fuel consumption in your fleet can inform fleet managers about what sort of changes need to be implemented.
Aggressive driving and idling time are two of the most common culprits when it comes to excessive fuel use in a fleet. Fleet telematics can monitor when a car is on, but not moving for long periods. As idling can use up to a gallon of fuel per hour, cost savings over time could result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. It may also be important to select a telematic provider that can allow for customization of idle time settings, for instance in a car, idle time maybe 3 min, however a heavy commercial vehicle maybe 5min for the idle time rule.
As well, tracking applications can also note the speed and movement of fleet vehicles, allowing you to better understand and curb unnecessary driver habits. A mid-sized vehicle that drives efficiently can save anywhere between $500 to $1500 a year when averaging 15,000 miles a year; now multiply that by your vehicle count
Insurance companies value safety, and safe drivers, so it is in the best interest of fleet managers to ensure drivers are driving safely all the time. According to Driver’s Alert, the average cost of a non-fatal accident was around $16,000. Failure to eliminate these costs could be crippling to a fleet.
Instituting driver safety programs into a fleet can reduce the incidence of collision by nearly 10%. Over a given year for a standard fleet, these cost savings would be in the thousands of dollars.
Combining a safety program with the use of driver tracking applications would further reduce the incidence of accidents, which would in turn reduce insurance premiums, maintenance costs, and fuel consumption.
Fleet productivity is all about making your drivers and fleet managers more productive. The use of fleet telematics is critical to improving efficiencies within your fleet. These applications will track fuel consumption, streamline and improve routing, and safety.
The use of reports provided by telematics applications such as Geotab can ensure your fleet operators are working at peak productivity. While no employee is capable of 100% efficiency all the time, reports can tell you where fixed and variable costs of your fleet can be trimmed.
Custom reports can also provide reports for fleet drivers and maintenance staff. This encourages a ground-up approach to productivity that allows all staff to engage in fleet efficiency, reducing the responsibility of fleet managers to micromanage drivers and other fleet staff.
Telematics are your first choice when reducing your fleet management operational costs. Utilizing this one change can effectively allow you to better manage your fleet’s fuel efficiency, safety, maintenance and overall productivity.
Telematics and big data are essential to any business that wants a better bottom line. But just having the data even if it is real time is not useful. That is why we deliver more actionable data to help you realize higher ROI and better fleet performance. Connected Vehicles uses Geotab technology so you can measure what matters. You can automate your back office, mileage, HOS, DVIR and IFTA reporting, etc.
Geotab collects over 900 million points of data each day. Two thirds of these records are related to the engine data. Geotab’s team of of engineers and big data scientists have been working with engine data since 2004.
We share this data with you to improve and transform your business – You operations become safer and more secure and predictable. You will not only know where your vehicle locations and how they and your drivers are performing, you can also see trends such as driving habits, component wear and tear, fuel consumption, etc. This in turn will help you to predict your service and maintenance needs and help you reduce your downtime and lower your costs.
No all telematics services are created equal. You might want to consider asking your telematics provider to answer these questions:
Download this evaluation checklist from our partner Geotab and find out if your current telematics provider have what it takes to get your fleet moving into the future.
Getting actionable data just got easier! –
Here are new custom fleet management reports from Geotab. These report templates were custom-designed by our in-house Geotab Solutions Specialist and are available for free.
Telematics Device Issue Detection Report helps you detect performance issues by device and how to address them,
Watchdog report allows you to monitor communication status minute by minute and shows the devices that might be offline. You can set email notification so the report is sent directlty to you inbox.
Dynamic Vehicle Maintenance Reminder report helps you plan maintenance and better asset utilization. You can set up email reminders of service due, according to set rules for Due Date, Due Distance, or Due Engine Hours.Get the Report
Fuels Savings Customer Reports is here to boost your fleet’s fuel efficiency. You can easily see how driver behavior is impacting the total cost of operation (TCO) of your fleet.
Here is a helpful hint: Idling burns roughly 1 gallon of fuel per hour and vehicles which idle more than 50% of their on time experience higher maintenance costs. Here’s the kicker – Increased maintenance costs are also associated with aggressive driving behavior.
Average Fuel Economy Report n essential fleet management report for those looking to decrease their total fuel costs. Reducing fuel expenses can lead to a more efficient and profitable business operation. This report provides an easy-to-understand visualization of the average fuel economy for your fleet based on either liters per 100km (L/100km), MPG US, MPG IMP, or KML.
CO2 Emissions Report can help decrease your fleet’s carbon footprint and lead to a more efficient and profitable business operation.
Trips and Exceptions Reports can help you save time when it comes to reporting on driver safety trends and exceptions.
Exception Detail with Trips History Report shows customizable list of asset exceptions at a more granular level. Click on a link within the report sheet to directly open the exception’s trips history information.