Recently many companies showed rising interest regarding control of the location of different moving objects like workers, goods, drones, etc. With the steep increase in a load more businesses are thinking about how to increase the efficiency of special vehicles, emergency services, delivery and logistics in general. A good thing is that we don’t need to develop new technologies as they already exist. Today it’s most commonly for services like taxi, police, cash-in-transit services and delivery.
Let’s say you are running a taxi service. You hire a driver, set him up with a car and he’s ready to bring profit to your business. However, not long after the driver comes back with a problem – the car is in a bad shape, it’s malfunctioning and requires maintenance. You’re obviously bummed since the car is pretty new and was thoroughly inspected before being assigned to the driver.
In cases like this fleet management software will help you set up good communications with your drivers and properly manage all vehicles by using a blend of technologies like software system and GPS trackers.
It’s a good investment for businesses that need to keep their assets in order, especially if you work with commercial vehicles.
Fleet management system: What is it and how it works?
Let’s take a closer look at is fleet management software and see exactly how it can benefit your business.
The main purpose of fleet management software is to control any motor vehicle such as a car, truck, ships, or a plane. It enables you to track, manage and remotely maintain any vehicle. Nowadays such systems are an inherent part of any business that deals with transportation. It boosts efficiency by reducing costs for resources and extends the life of the fleet.
Besides vehicle fleet management software can also be applied to control employees, goods, and other moving objects. There are plenty of functionalities that can be implemented in such a system.
Fleet management software enables us to track any stuff from a single location and see how it is used. You can even monitor workers’ behavior, as some systems include useful add-ons like screen sharing, speed limiting and more. For instance, you can limit works zones and receive notifications when the object leaves the desired perimeter. You can also process orders on-the-go and easily make adjustments to the initial itinerary.
So how does the fleet management system work?
At the heart of the fleet tracking software lies a satellite-based navigation system. Using the GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers, it allows to easily identify the location of any object. You can remotely connect to a specific object and get information about it. The process is similar to collecting data from different locations and transmitting it back. More advanced GPS trackers use satellite systems to determine a more precise location.
Are you finding those systems amazingly helpful? Let’s dig in into more details.
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Fleet management systems: Global market state
This technology was widely adopted over the past years. As Zion Market Research report shows, the market of fleet management systems accounted for $11.9 billion in 2017 and expected to reach $43.5 billion by 2024 at a compound average annual growth rate of 20.3%.
Given fast pace growing innovations in North America and Europe, those regions are expected to dominate the market.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region. The key driver of growth in China and India, triggered by the mass adoption of mobile and web-based businesses.
Key factors that are expected to burst the fleet management market:
- the wide adoption of wireless tech;
- international trade increase.
Fleet managers also need to deal with basic problems such as effective staff management and cost-saving. In addition to those, fleet managers have to face multiple real-time issues.
1. Employees’ safety and productivity
Safely is crucial when it comes to fleet management. To ensure the safety of your employees and equipment, it’s important to organize safety training programs and post-regulation updates. These measures will help reduce the possible cost of unnecessary repairs and avoid any downtime.
2. Cost efficiency
Managing fleets are getting more expensive as costs always tend to grow. What affects the overall increase? First of all, the development of new tools and resources. Alongside are factors that are out of our control and can be hardly forecasted. For, example, an increase in fuel price.
But the price of fuel is not the main concern. The more vehicles you have, the higher are maintenance costs, insurance fees, and staff expenses. When expanding, your costs will grow exponentially with feet size. The following tips will help you manage your business through the expanse:
- cut down the number of vehicles;
- keep track of your vehicles (state and conditions) on a regular base;
- invest in and motivate your staff to avoid hiring new workers.
3. Fuel costs instability for transportation
As fuel prices are volatile; they are difficult to predict. For companies with large fleets, fuel makes as much as 35% of all costs. So, fuel prices have a significant impact on the profitability of your business. But if you can’t forecast the future price of fuel, the only option left is to reduce its consumption. Here are a few ways that can help you through those challenging times:
- use fleet management software to track drivers’ performance;
- train them to drive rationally and save fuel;
- monitor the costs by calculating the average mile per gallon.
Many specialists believe that new arising technologies will help to overcome those hardships. According to MarketsandMarkets, the market will hit $28.66 billion by the year 2022, which is very impressive and shows lucrative potential.
Fleet management systems: Main features
Most fleet management solution providers work with businesses of all sizes. What sets those companies apart is the range of solutions they offer. While some offer very specific niche features, others are more universal thus run a global business.
Below is a list of standard features offered by fleet management software providers.
GPS vehicle tracking
GPS tracking allows you to easily access information about any vehicle: general state, fuel burn, speed, route, current location and more. According to GPS Insight, GPS technology can significantly improve fleet maintenance and also cut down fuel and labor expenses.
Fleet maintenance software reduces possible operational costs and enables you to keep your fleet in good shape so it can serve good longer. Using it will help you prevent any cases of malfunctioning vehicles in the future.
Scheduling the shipments
Timely allocation of your resources will increase fleet general performance. This feature allows you to check the schedule in real-time, effectively manage and solve any problems to avoid possible delays and make sure the shipment is on time.
Fleet management systems: Challenges of customed software
Building your own fleet management software is a complex process that requires professional expertise, time and good planning. So, it’s more important than ever to consider any possible factors that might cause problems in further development. Let’s take a look at the most common challenges teams face at this stage.
A lack of skills and bad communications
It’s common for the company management to delegate its in-house IT team to write their own personalized software. At some point, the development team faces the situation when their competences and knowledge are not sufficient to deliver a great code which results in a solution full of bugs.
With this said communication are very important. Even if you choose to hire an outsource team, stay involved to create healthy communications among the members.
When developing your own software, it’s important to have a clear vision. After all, the success of your project and further revenue are determined by good planning. What features are looking for, what’s going to be in your MVP, do you need a user-friendly interface? If you’re struggling to answer these questions, hire a professional who can process your thoughts to create a fully-featured platform.
How to build your own fleet management software
The adoption of new technologies will stimulate the development of fleet management software. To prepare yourself for transformation, check out important tips.
- Hire a software developer with a good track record and vast expertise in this field. Browse thoroughly through their portfolio and don’t hesitate to contact the references. Experienced software developers can calculate and test the right requirements in several days or even hours. Ask the vendor you sympathize with different questions regarding the process of laying out requirements and actual software implementation.
- When allocating the budget to create your customized fleet management software, make sure you consider important things like writing down specifications, running tests, hiring a server admin, software development, and further maintenance. Make sure you have a necessary budget for each stage from idea to actual deployment.
- Make sure you know exactly what features you need and how they will work. Go over the list with your contractor to ensure you are on the same page.
Development costs for such software start from $10,000 a month. The cost of fleet management software depends on the following:
- fleet size;
Let’s go back to the question, “Why exactly do we need a tailored fleet management software?”
Well, there are plenty of benefits – to keep track of your fleet and monitor their real-time location, control the state of the fleet, monitor drivers’ behavior, access analytical information to improve your business processes, and reduce the possible unnecessary costs that could easily be avoided.
Fleet management systems are the best investment you can make today. Let’s face it - after the worldwide events of spring 2020, the world will never be the same.