How do Fleet Management Solutions Work?
The process of scheduling, routing, and maintaining a fleet of vehicles is a time consuming and often a challenging task. And it only gets more challenging for companies with larger fleets of trucks to oversee. Getting one or two trucks out on the road and monitoring their movements is already difficult enough, but some larger companies have fleets in excess of 1,000 trucks or other transport vehicles.
To monitor all this movement, shipping companies seek the help of modern fleet management solutions and software platforms.
Fleet Management Software (FMS) is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that is a critical component of most modern logistics network management efforts. However, as technology has progressed over time, these platforms have significantly expanded their roles in the logistics industry. So much so that, as with other logistics software, it is now rare to hear of a company that isn’t utilizing it to monitor their fleet.
Furthermore, most of these systems are cloud-based, allowing them to be accessed remotely from a variety of devices. This flexible level of access allows fleet managers to keep up to date with their fleet from anywhere in the world and at any time. There is no longer a need to be physically present in front of a warehouse computer in order to make changes or push out notifications.
But, how do fleet management solutions work? More importantly, what does it take to implement these solutions into the daily operation of a large fleet?
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!
Explaining the Role of Fleet Management Solutions
These days, companies use fleet management solutions to keep track of vehicle records for maintenance, taxes, registration, and much more.
These software solutions are the go-to platforms for monitoring the activity of trucking fleets. However, as we mentioned previously, the role of these platforms are always expanding. Part of this expansion sees them often used to track and monitor just about any other piece of equipment in addition to fleets of trucks. Some other trackables include railway equipment, boats, or construction equipment.
Additionally, there are tasks that an FMS provides when custom-designed for the end-user. In fact, a few of these duties include registration and insurance storage, driver KPIs and reports, maintenance records and scheduling, fuel efficiency and mileage reporting, and more.
What Do Fleet Management Solutions Involve?
Like most of today’s SaaS solutions, the modern FMS resides in the cloud. This means that all software resides on a server and is accessible from remote locations. The user sets up an account which they can access from just about any device with an internet connection.
Several of these apps permit users to organize their data based on the size of their fleet, unique departments, or the comfort level of the user.
When configured for optimal efficiency, a fleet management system can provide users with multiple benefits and features. Some of these features include the following:
Any good FMS should have the ability to manage the tasks associated with any type of vehicle. Since the individual record is usually organized by a number, users can set up vehicle management files for all types of equipment. Also, the software is usually configured based on the vehicle inventory level and is scalable, which permits users to enhance their network as their needs increase. Some of the specific functions available to users include:
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Registration, licensing, tax or department of transportation payments
- Insurance data
- Cost analysis and management
- Recycling or environmental reporting
- Fuel mileage and economy reporting
The second phase of operation offered in most fleet management solutions is driver management.
In this section, users can set up files for each driver or operator. This sort of set-up creates an easy to access storage platform to review driver performance and a variety of KPIs. They can store driver license data, view traffic violations, accidents, and access additional training information. Additionally, they can also update all driver certifications on the fly!
Some of the more advanced Fleet Management Systems offer real-time vehicle tracking. Generally, this requires that telematics and GPS hardware is installed in each vehicle and synced up to the FMS.
This system provides fleet managers and dispatchers an accurate and updated record of driver activities. Keeping their customers in the loop throughout the delivery is one of the secret weapons that the best shippers and carriers use to dominate their industry niche.
Lastly, this data can be used to modify routes, be alerted to possible delays, and ensure that your carrier is doing their job efficiently.
Working with an experienced 3PL will streamline the process of setting up and implementing any new FMS solution. If you’re looking to upgrade your fleet management software, contact Redwood Logistics today!