Fleet management has long been a need for businesses that engage in deliveries, whether they’re delivering their own company’s goods to consumers, clients, and retail stores or they’re handling the transportation of goods for others. This used to be done on paper and with the use of communication devices like CB radios, for example, and to an extent, such strategies could still play a role.
However, the world is definitely moving toward more computerized and mobile modes of fleet management, and fleet management software and devices working together can help businesses track and analyze data for a variety of purposes. You can track driver routes in real time, calculate fuel usage, and keep digital records of shipments, among other things. This only helps you to better plan and manage scheduling, costs, resources, maintenance for fleet vehicles, and more.
It’s especially important to upgrade to appropriate fleet management solutions now because businesses are required by law to implement certified electronic logging devices (ELDs) in order to accurately record hours of service by December of 2017. Still, there are a lot of programs and options to consider. How can you choose the fleet management solutions that are right for your business? Here are a few things you might want to look for.
Scope of Work
How big is your fleet? Many software solutions are scalable to grow with your operation, but if you don’t necessarily anticipate major changes to your business over the next several years, it might make more sense to select software and devices that are designed for your general fleet size and type of vehicles.
You run a business and the bottom line is of the utmost concern. That said, there are certainly cases where you have to spend money to make money, or where spending a little more now will save you down the line. Whether you gain benefits from buying fleet fuel cards or you stave off disaster with frequent maintenance, your budget strategy is important.
How does this apply to fleet management solutions? You’re going to have to decide how much you want to spend on new hardware and software for tracking your fleet, and the initial costs could be considerable, especially if you have a large fleet of vehicles.
The good news is that choosing the right software can help you to balance these concerns. You don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive options, but neither should you skimp. The trick is to understand what you need, what you’re getting, and exactly how your management solutions are going to help you reduce waste, increase efficiency, and boost profit. If you do this right, the money coming back will make your initial expenditure worthwhile.
What do you want out of fleet management solutions? Do you want greater visibility on overall scheduling and routes over time? Do you want to track drivers in real-time, en route? Are you interested in ensuring driver safety and good behavior? Are you interested in fuel management? When you know what you need going in, you are better able to comparison shop and find the fleet management solutions that are perfect for your business.