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Beverley Wise, Director UK & Ireland, Webfleet Solutions, explains how smart fleet management strategies hold the key to a profitable post-Covid future.
UK businesses can have cause for optimism. Following the free trade agreement secured with the EU, the vaccine roll-out continues apace.
The road ahead, however, remains an uncertain one, and recovery, for many, will not simply happen on the back of lockdown restrictions being eased. Businesses will need to be rebooted, strategies will need to be rethought.
For fleets, smarter and more efficient ways of working are called for – accelerating the need for digitised processes across all areas of operation.
Telematics solutions have long been the go-to technology, providing the data insights needed for improved decision-making. Today, the business case has become more compelling than ever.
While the deployment of any new technology comes at a cost, the return on investment (ROI) warrants close scrutiny. Companies introducing telematics systems, for example, can realise ROI within six months of installation, if not sooner.
And as businesses plot a course for recovery, these potential cost and efficiency savings can make the difference between success and failure.
Prices at the pump have once again been on the rise, with the prospect of a fuel duty hike for the first time in almost a decade. For fleets still to make the electric transition, the need for greater control over mpg has been reignited.
The spotlight turns back to telematics, which continues to drive dramatic fuel savings through optimised routing, more efficient allocation of jobs and improvements in driving performance.
The driver remains one of the biggest factors behind fuel inefficiency, with mpg impacted through speeding, idling or simply failing to drive at optimum speed. Fleet management solutions such as WEBFLEET will profile drivers on a range of performance indicators and empower them to correct their driving style through real-time feedback.
Furthermore, such improvements will positively influence vehicle maintenance costs – another significant expenditure which telematics reporting data can have a vital role to play in reducing.
WEBFLEET’s vehicle maintenance planning tools, for example, can enable fleet operators to make use of the real measured mileage to plan maintenance intervals, with reports offering overviews of everything from servicing to MOTs.
Throughout the pandemic, telematics has helped support communication between remote workers and office staff, enabling efficient business planning and customer service.
With business resources stretched, these digital solutions that streamline workflow and drive higher rates of productivity will remain in sharp focus – from tools for dynamic scheduling and job dispatch to mileage logbook apps that automate mileage capture and expense reporting.
Delivering greater flexibility
Contingency planning for all possible forks in the road over the coming months will be extremely difficult, and businesses will be looking for greater decision-making flexibility.
Economic volatility may lead to sudden opportunities for growth and a demand to swiftly add to fleet or equally, to scale back operations.
Connecting vehicles with fleet management software has now become quicker and more convenient, circumventing the need to install, or de-install, aftermarket telematics hardware.
Mercedes-Benz, BMW and PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Opel-Vauxhall) have all joined the Webfleet Solutions OEM.connect programme, with their in-built telematics APIs now able to communicate directly with WEBFLEET with no additional hardware installations required. As a result, manufacturer approved telematics data from certified models can be relayed to users in the same standardised way, on the same interface. Full control over privacy remains with both the fleet controllers and the drivers of the vehicles.
Shifting into recovery mode for progressive companies will mean adapting to the new business environment – and investing in technology to support smarter working practices. These companies will be the ones to bounce back stronger and gain that all-important competitive advantage.
To find out how WEBFLEET can help you, visit www.webfleet.com or call 0208 822 3605.