Wed Nov 08 2023
Developing Your Fleet Management Blueprint
A fleet could mean anything from a set of vehicles to a group of planes. Regardless of the type, proper management is critical and can be complex.
When crafting your fleet management plan, you must account for various components that will ultimately impact your fleet's efficiency. These could be internal, such as maintenance and training, or external, such as regulations and environmental factors.
Noting these things, you can then create an effective fleet management blueprint that incorporates software solutions like Trackunit - a telematics platform that offers real-time fleet data. Read below to learn more.
How to develop your fleet management blueprint
We'll begin by saying that a fleet management blueprint is not a one-and-done deal. It's an ever-evolving process that needs constant monitoring and adjustments. So, follow the standard steps but tailor them to your fleet's unique needs.
Step 1: Identify your goals
What do you hope to achieve with fleet management? Is it better efficiency or lower costs? Do you want your company to stand a better chance against the competition?
Whatever your goal is, it should be SMART. That means:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Relevant
- T: Time-based
Let's clear this with an example. A non-SMART goal would be reducing costs. Meanwhile, a SMART goal is reducing costs by 10% within six months.
With a set timeline and a defined target it’s easier to choose the key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your progress.
Step 2: Evaluate your current fleet efficiency
Before improving anything, you need to know where you currently stand. Look at your fleet data and identify areas for improvement. These could be vehicle maintenance, fuel efficiency, technological capabilities, etc.
For example, if your vehicles are idle for too long and not being used on certain job sites, you can work on optimizing them.
Step 3: Select the right software solution
The next step is to select a fleet management software. It should have features like:
- Real-time tracking and monitoring of vehicles
- Route optimization
- Vehicle maintenance scheduling or predictive maintenance
- Fuel efficiency tracking
- Reporting and analytics
A solution like this makes fleet management better streamlined. You see all metrics in a centralized dashboard. Depending on the task, you can share data with stakeholders like your partners.
Fleet management tools also integrate with other solutions like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. That gives you a comprehensive view of your fleet operations.
Step 4: Incorporate technology
The addition of technology will only make your fleet management strategy more effective. Look at options like telematics, electric and autonomous vehicles/equipment, IoT (Internet of Things), artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
For example, AI can automate logging operator hours, whereas IoT sensors are helpful in inventory management. Similarly, telematics systems assist you in site monitoring, while GPS is for theft prevention.
Step 5: Train your employees
Fleet management is not just about managing your equipment, but also helping to manage the people who operate them. It’s important for drivers and equipment operators to have an understanding of any new technology.
Create a means of training them and keep the discussions open to your employees feel heard.
Train them on safe operating practices, fuel-efficient techniques, and vehicle maintenance procedures. They should also be prepared for emergency situations.
Step 6: Review and update regularly
Fleet management strategies are not meant to be static. Strategies can change as technology and needs change. Review your strategy and tweak it to keep up with changing industry trends, customer demands, performance data, and the needs of your clientele.
Here’s our six-step guide to creating a functional fleet management strategy. Note that while each point and step is important, these are just the building blocks. You can choose to arrange them in the best way that suits your business.