Fleet Management, in real life, is the term most of the companies use in their own way and many people depending on the position they hold use it for different purposes. Truth is that fleet management can mean a few different things and can cover multiple areas of fleet operations Today, I am going to focus on fleet management software.
Huge expansion of fleet management software started to happen 20 years ago when the first GPS system for real-time tracking were launched on the market. Over the last 20 years we saw that market becoming highly saturated and that many providers offer very similar types of services.
Here, I’m going to write about the next generation software that will allow companies to gain a competitive edge and increase profitability.
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Software is making a transition from servicing the company to service that also impacts their customers and clients. Software is becoming more and more important and allows companies to provide higher level of service Software plays a big role in the sales process whether it’s at the beginning when closing a deal with a big client or later on down the road when we need to service that client and its customers..
So having said all this, what are the features that the next generation Fleet Management Software needs to have?
Transportation and logistics is an industry with a lot of seasonal affect, which can heavily impact the number of vehicles in the fleet that are active at any one time. Effective software needs to be able to adapt prices accordingly and allow companies to use only the functionality they need.
The concept of pushing companies to sign a multi-year contract is outdated since accurately predicting business for multi years is not possible anymore. It is for that reason that doing away with fixed contracts and pricing flexibility is a must.
Modular Feature Approach
Not all the companies are the same and by the same token, not all the companies need the same features. Why should you pay for something you don’t need or don’t want to use? A standard product and service offering should include giving companies the option to determine what their specific needs are and the features they want to use or customize and pay accordingly.
For example, an automotive carrier company and a car rental company both have very different and specific software needs, even though they are in the same industry space. Software should be flexible enough to have features to support both companies. Software no longer needs to be “off the shelf” and “one size fits all” in 2019.
In today’s world, we see that many clients are demanding special features. They want to ability to see data regarding vehicles in real-time as well as have access to the vehicle movement specific to higher value load, theft, recovery or routing.
Software needs to be able to fulfill these requirements as they are becoming a mandatory request from the brokers. If you are not able to provide this functionality and give 3rd parties access to your system you will not be able to win the business.
Customized features like those mentioned above are being requested more and more by logistics and transportation companies to help them adapt and deliver to their clients. Having a software that delivers on these features makes it easy to satisfy your clients.
Fuel Management Functionalities
According to the last transportation and logistics study performed by Continental, Fleet Management solutions are ranked #1 on the wishlist of the fleet managers and company owners.
Very often we see a situation where fuel is the biggest expense related to the fleet operations. In trucking for example, up to 30% of generated revenues can go towards fuel spend. It is becoming mandatory to manage fuel expenses in a better and more cost effective way.
A software feature pertaining to fuel purchase routing goes above and beyond any existing solution on the market. It will navigate your vehicles to the least cost fuel stations on every route , taking into consideration complex data from fuel card, fuel prices, weather and deliveries – with end results of savings upwards of $300 vehicle/month.
Individual Driver Analysis
Having a detail analysis of each driver performance is becoming crucial with the huge truck driver shortage companies are experiencing today. Now more than ever, being aware your drivers and their driving habits is very important from both a safety and financial standpoint.
Your software needs to provide the company with the ability to collect driving style data and use that data in an actionable way to improve driver performance, increase safety and reduce fuel expenses. This valuable data also be used for driver training sessions, driver assessments as well as safety and insurance related programs.
Software should also be used as a means to increase employee satisfaction – increasing driver happiness within your company. Recognizing good drivers and rewarding them for implementing their safer driving habits is a must.
Fleet Management Software plays a crucial role in this area and allows companies to reward and incentivize the drivers in real-time with some well liked perks. . These small signs of recognition will increase driver loyalty and bring value to the company. A few examples of best appreciated perks are:
– meals at a favorite restaurants
– free showers at the truck stop
– free mobile internet hotspot for one month
– complimentary gym monthly passes
– Visa gift cards
Remote Equipment Diagnostic & Maintenance
Tele-diagnostic is something every company will use in the next 5 years. At this moment, only the equipment manufacturers have direct access to this service feature. It is projected that this will change heavily over the next 5 years and companies will benefit greatly.
You will be able to remotely inspect your vehicle and determine the reason or cause for any malfunctions. This will be a time and money saving feature that eliminates huge costs and repairs of roadside assistance. You will be able to focus on the items that need to be repaired or replaced and service shops will be forced to introduce better transparency into their daily operations.
Custom Reporting Capabilities
Besides custom features, a software platform should also need to support custom reporting. Software should be focused on delivering the reports that will help you better run your operations in addition to the relationships with some key accounts or clients.
As trends continue to move business to a data driven businesses environment, reporting modules will play a significant role. Reports that gets you the data on how the temperature controlled environment of cold storage behaved over the 2000 miles journey can be very important to understanding how transportation is affecting the quality of products.
This or any other similar example now can be covered with custom software reports. You just need to be able to identify specific needs and the reports will become available. Imagine the endless reporting possibilities and the thousands of ways of improving performance!
Software as a Sales
This is a new terms that has not been used very much – but it actually describes what your software is all about very well. Your new fleet management software needs to bring you new business revenues.
Using software that makes your users and customers happy or more productive is of utmost importance. It must be powerful, yet simple. Branding reports, ability to send or share with third parties and making sure people have access to the data that will assist in running their business are becoming very important sales features.
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