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Proper fleet management is a time-consuming process. It is also one of the most important aspects when it comes time to put a truck back on the road for days, or maybe weeks at a time.
For starters, the vehicle must be in good working condition and be able to pass various inspections. Are the tires good? Has the oil and other fluids been changed and topped up? And so on!
Secondly, there is the aspect of actually scheduling all of the deliveries that your trucks will make on any given day.
And as with any process that takes place over a period of time, it lends itself to plenty of opportunities for mistakes.
Whether you are maintaining vehicle service records, scheduling repairs, or just trying to analyze fuel mileage, an FMS platform is what you really need.
Fleet Management Software is what we refer to a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. SaaS platforms are services that you hire another company to perform for you, through the use of software. A well-built FMS can be customized with tools that are applicable to specific industries.
So, whether you operate a taxi service, a warehouse distribution facility, or any other type of fleet-based business, a 3PL company can set up an FMS platform to meet all your criteria and other preferences.
In this blog post, we will dive into modern FMS solutions. We will discuss how they are built and some of their more notable features. Most importantly, we will be discussing how they can help businesses with multiple vehicles to keep track and maintain accurate and vital service records.
Ready to get started?
In the logistics world, FMS refers to a Fleet Management Software program or solution. It’s a software platform that helps companies keep track of the vehicles, pieces of equipment, or number-assigned commodities.
For example, some companies use this platform to manage and maintain inventory control for construction equipment. Other companies use an FMS to keep accurate service records for delivery trucks, employee cars, and even boats or containers.
This type of program used to be a computer-specific software solution, meaning that all records were stored on an individual computer or server. Today, as with most other tech services, they are mainly cloud-based. Hosting the software in such a way permits multiple users to access all data records and FMS programs from any computer with an internet connection. Many of them now feature the ability to be accessed via smartphones and tablets thanks to standalone apps.
The FMS helps maintain accurate records for group-based or individual vehicles or equipment including important items like:
Most insurance providers agree that maintaining accurate service records is critical for protecting a companies liability.
If an accident were to occur, and it was allegedly due to maintenance issues, having a record that can be easily accessed can save that company from significant financial loss. Unfortunately, business-related paperwork runs the risk of coming up missing, thrown away by accident, or filed improperly.
However, with an FMS platform, this is never an issue. There is no physical filing of records, no special computer it must be logged at, and deleting the entry might result in a second screen asking if you are sure. Just pull out your mobile device or laptop, log in, make your entry as needed. Save the changes, and you are good to go about your day.
Better yet, if your driver needs to stop for any other repairs along a delivery route, it is just as easy for them to quickly make an entry detailing it. Within just a few minutes they can be back on the road without any additional paperwork to worry about keeping track of.
A fleet management system can also keep track of important dates. A couple of dates that all shippers need to track is when vehicle registrations or insurance renewals are due. Would you believe us if we told you that this is actually a rather large problem for many shippers?
Companies who ship, sometimes literal tons, of goods to customers on a regular basis have a lot on their plate already. All those moving parts, all that paperwork, and all that scheduling. The sheer logistics of what a mid to large-sized shipping company deals with on a weekly basis is astounding.
Amidst it all, the need to remember to renew a vehicle registration often goes unchecked.
An FMS is capable of scheduling basically anything you need it to remember. Furthermore, you can set it to send out reminders when it's time to get moving!
How do you improve shipping speeds and customer service? You track vehicle and driver performance and make adjustments as needed.
Of course, that isn't the only thing needed, but it is one very important part of the equation, indeed. And a well-rounded FMS is able to keep track of overall shipping performance. Many of them not only collect data but also give you suggestions for the areas needing improvement.
By monitoring this data, shippers can increase delivery speeds, better plan shipments, and provide a much more consistent customer experience.
FMS platforms are rather simple to acquire and get up and running. Just reach out to us here at Redwood Logistics and let us know that you want to get set up with an FMS solution. Our team will then walk you through the entire process from development to implementation. Finally, we customize a solution based on your industry, business type, size of the fleet and most importantly – your budget.
Ready to try out an FMS platform? Drop us a line here!