Fleet Management Definition
Fleet management consists of the administration of commercial vehicles ranging from light-duty automobiles to heavy-duty commercial trucks and buses. This can consist of the purchasing of vehicles, maintenance, driver training, data analysis, fuel procurement, safety compliance, and accident management.
How Does Fleet Management Work?
To properly manage a fleet, managers need to employ the use of policies and procedures surrounding safe driving behaviors, proper vehicle use and maintenance, route optimization, and preliminary and ongoing training. Fleet management can be performed by the company itself or it can be handled by fleet management companies, which focus on everything related to vehicle use.
What is Fleet Management Software
Fleet management software offers fleets insight into how vehicles are being used and can help to streamline efficiencies, reduce costs, and extend vehicle life. The software is tied into the vehicle telematic systems, giving fleet managers real-time data on vehicle location, speed, fault codes, and even poor driving behaviors. Fleet can use this to optimize route efficiency, reduce poor driving behaviors, and even consolidate multiple routes into one to help reduce vehicle wear and fuel costs.
What is Enterprise Fleet Management?
Fleet management companies, or FMCs, offer a variety of services for fleets to help manage their vehicle operations. Oftentimes, FMCs own a large fleet of vehicles that they lease out to businesses, so they do not have to worry about purchasing or maintaining the cars or trucks themselves. In some cases, the FMC only helps maintain and track the vehicles, but does not own them. They also offer a variety of technological resources, from telematics to driver training, and even maintenance scheduling.
What is Fleet Management in Logistics and Shipping?
FMCs can also assist fleets that transport goods and freight around the country. Aside from vehicle tracking and driver supervision, FMCs can also assist these carriers with efficient scheduling of shipments, tracking hours-of-service compliance, and monitoring fuel costs, as well as ensuring proper driver and vehicle safety.
Fleet Management Costs
To run an efficient and successful fleet, companies need to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) for each vehicle they own or lease. By calculating fixed costs (taxes, insurance, depreciation, licenses/permits, lease payments, etc.) and variable costs (maintenance, tolls, parts replacement, parking, etc.), fleets can determine the annual cost to run each vehicle. This can then be broken down into a cost-per-mile TCO, which helps fleets determine vehicle replacement cycles, possible route optimization, maintenance strategies, and whether to buy or lease vehicles.
Benefits of Fleet Management
There are several benefits to fleet management that can save money and time, as well as reduce stress. Fleet managers experience reduced overall fuel costs, the elimination of theft and waste, lower labor and maintenance costs, and better route planning. The drivers are happier and more productive in most cases, and customer service is improved, boosting revenue and profits.
Fleet Management Challenges
Even with the benefits of fleet management, whether through software or FMCs, fleet managers still face some challenges. Driver recruitment and retention are still affecting fleets of every shape and size, with some predicting a shortage of approximately 250,000 drivers by the end of 2022. Rising fuel costs are hampering some fleets from seeing the same profits as years past, with some looking to alternative fuels to reduce TCO affected by fuel costs.
Future of Fleet Management
With fuel costs rising and an ongoing driver shortage, some fleets are looking for new ways that technology can help cut costs and increase profitability. Battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles are being piloted by fleets big and small, with some seeing advantages over fossil fuels, even with the increased upfront vehicle and infrastructure costs. Autonomous vehicles are also being tested around the country, with fleets seeing if different levels of automation can help alleviate the driver issue and increase overall safety.
How Does LifeSaver Mobile Supplement Fleet Management
LifeSaver Mobile’s cell blocking technology is a component of fleet management in the area of distracted driving. As a distracted driving prevention software that blocks drivers from using their phones while operating commercial vehicles, LifeSaver Mobile assists in safety compliance and accident management in the ecosystem of fleet management.