By Mark Forrest, general manager, Trimble Field Service Management
Fleet management technologies have gained recognition as powerful management tools and businesses that have rolled them out have recouped the benefits, with increased utilisation and productivity, improved driver safety and reduced fuel consumption, all factors which can lead to a rapid return on investment.
Gaining insight into what is happening across fleet operations in real time is proving to be a crucial business objective and fleet management technology can assist with this.
Proven to improve fleet utilisation by up to 32% and productivity by up to 9%, it provides real-time visibility into the location of a vehicle on the road, which can help make more informed decisions in the planning and allocation of work across a fleet.
Fleet managers are also able to pick up on any vehicles that are being under-utilised, helping to increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs.
Careless driving can also cost businesses dearly.
For every £1 spent on the direct costs of an accident, up to £36 is spent on indirect costs.
However, with the data collected and analysed from driver safety solutions, recommendations on training can be made for individual drivers, resulting in fewer accidents and reduced liability.
A leading security company recorded a 58% reduction in driver-caused collisions and a 50% reduction in speeding events following the deployment of a driver safety solution across its fleet.
In addition, businesses can optimise schedules and route planning, helping to reduce unnecessary mileage and improve fuel efficiency and driver proficiency. Unauthorised vehicle use can be reduced as well as lowering vehicle idling times by up to 90%.
Regular services and efficient management of vehicles help to extend life and preserve assets.
Vehicle diagnostic products take this a step further, providing real-time data so information can be drawn directly from the vehicle, helping to improve vehicle maintenance, service scheduling and uptime by getting fault codes and alerts about engine difficulties before they become a major problem.
Exact fuel use can also be monitored helping identify where fuel is being wasted on poorly performing vehicles.