Guest Post by Robert J. Hall, President of Track Your Truck
Managing a fleet of vehicles is no easy task — and it’s even tougher when your management system isn’t working as well as it could. That’s why savvy small- business owners don’t settle for just any fleet management solution. Rather, they look for the option that will best suit their needs for cutting costs, reducing waste, improving routing and more. Then you can use this knowledge to see where routes are inefficient, where overspending is occurring, etc. That way, you can ensure that you're not enlisting in a freight factoring company or a lending service needlessly.
So how do you find this kind of system? What are the things to look for in a system that will work well? To help answer these questions, here is a checklist of what to look for before selecting a specific fleet management system for your business:
1. Cloud-Based Technology: With a centralized point of contact, you’ll be able to track all data at one place, whether that’s driver routes, fuel card usage or time efficiencies. Thanks to cloud-based technology, this kind of software is less expensive than it used to be, as well as updated seamlessly and quickly.
2. A Way to Track Mileage: Thanks to modern GPS tracking software, it’s easier than ever for companies to monitor the distance covered by their vehicles and how much fuel gets used in the process. And since fuel costs account for 20 to 30 percent of a vehicle’s whole-life costs, according to HR Zone, this is data worth knowing. When you have an accurate concept of what’s going on in your fleet’s mileage, you’re better able to identify inefficiencies and cut costs.
3. A Way to Track Spending: According to the Fleet Locate blog, “The key to operating a successful company vehicle-tracking solution involves not only keeping a close eye on your spending, but identifying areas where cost improvements can be made.” Ideally, your fleet management system will streamline this process for you, making it easy to see where money is going and why. Then you can use this knowledge to see where routes are inefficient, where overspending is occurring, etc.
4. A Solid Preventative Maintenance Program: When it comes to minimizing costs and downtime, preventative maintenance is key. That’s why you want to implement a solid program for routine maintenance and upkeep, one which includes clear records of maintenance, makes it easy to identify reoccurring problems or issues, sets in place a clear schedule for future maintenance and boosts the efficiency of the way you care for your vehicles.A good GPS fleet management system can handle this, too, regularly reminding your drivers when it’s time for oil changes, tire rotations and more.
5. Proven Return on Investment: When you’re evaluating different solution options, ask for a record of return on investment (ROI) from the provider. One study done in 2008 showed that GPS fleet management applications increased productivity by an average of 27 to 28 percent, for example, while also saving thousands of dollars per vehicle. When you see what a solution has been able to accomplish for other fleets, you can move forward with confidence.
6. Better Routing: Good fleet management software makes it possible to send out and monitor your drivers in a way that means more efficient operations overall. Choose the best routes that minimize unnecessary fuel costs and cut down on travel times, and give your drivers the benefit of turn-by-turn directions along the way.
The fact is, a GPS fleet management solution can be a wonderful asset for your business. Simply by better tracking and monitoring operations, it can help you cut fuel costs, maintenance costs, manpower hours and more — not to mention improve what you’re able to deliver to your clients through more efficient operations. Use the tips above when you’re trying to select the right system for your company and find out what a difference it can make!
Robert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a leader in fleet management and GPS vehicle tracking software for small and midsized companies.
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