Fleet software is essential to ensure that a company’s fleet operates smoothly, minimizes running costs, continually enhances the performance, and ensures the fleet vehicles comply with various regulations. Fleet software includes database management software as well as telematics and GPS monitoring software.
To reap the most from your fleet, you must have fantastic fleet monitoring systems in place so that you and your fleet managers can be aware of your vehicles’ whereabouts and can monitor all their activities.
The following are some things you need to know about fleet software:
Selecting the appropriate software package
Due to the many software packages available in the market, it may be a daunting task to choose the one that suits your fleet needs. As you consider which software to acquire, you need to bear in mind your fleet’s needs, the kind of data that you intend to collect, and the level of analysis that you anticipate.
Also, consider the system the software should run. It is important to consider the fleet’s future needs as well—look into the next five, seven, or ten years to come and plan for your fleet’s requirements as you acquire software that considers cultural and technical progress. If you are upgrading software rather than setting up an entirely new one, you should ensure that the new one mirrors the existing one, while also improving efficiency and cost savings.
Software enhances compliance
The various aspects of fleet management are recorded in a centralized location and are automated, thereby ensuring that all relevant management information is available to the fleet managers. Such things as driving license checks, Ministry of Transport tests (MOTs), trainings, and more can be entered in the system with automated reminders via text messages and emails to ensure the requirements are always up to date.
Fleet management software offers a comprehensive, easy-to-understand, concise, and automated audit of the activities that relate to a fleet. It also shows that the company adheres to all data collection, handling, and utilization regulations, including seeking the individual’s consent to use the data related to them that they have accumulated.
The software can be customized in line with the size and type of your fleet
Handling the current fleet’s needs is paramount when buying fleet software, but that is not enough; it should also be configurable and flexible to ensure that it is possible to move with changing times and needs. Fleets may reduce or grow, and there may be changes in the legislation and industry standards.
The fleet software should comfortably accommodate such changes without incurring substantial extra costs and interrupting the management of the fleet operations. The size of the fleet is not as important a consideration as risk management, the duty of care, and safety and legal requirements, as these apply to all sizes.
However, data management varies with the size of the fleet. Fleet management software should ideally fit in seamlessly with other functions systems such as finance, HR, payroll, and external systems like fuel and maintenance cards, telematics, and more. You should avoid a personalized design because of its inflexibility and instead go for a modular one that is sustainable, takes care of changing needs, and makes sure all vehicle needs are covered.
Fleet software can enhance safety and duty of care
Fleet management software can significantly improve vehicle and fleet operating staff safety. One way in which this can be achieved is by maintaining proper records of daily vehicle checks to ensure that they are fit to be on the road.
It is possible to get alerts on overdue services, MOTs that are due, and see that the daily vehicle checks are done—all from one screen. Fleet managers may also activate high priority alerts, such that they may receive alerts when there are gaps in the duty of care, for example when a vehicle that is not inspected is taken to the road.
Prioritizing is crucial, as it is possible to get used to data and resort to doing nothing with it.
The software can lessen administrative work
It may be entirely impossible to do away with paperwork, but software dramatically does away with spreadsheets, thus enhancing efficiency. It collects, arranges, and displays information instantaneously, making it readily available. This could not come at a better time, since fleet administration is on the rise.
The driver has barely any excuse to not update the relevant data thanks to apps that simplify picture uploading through mobile devices. The software also makes manual intervention unnecessary unless there is a need for quick action. Automating almost everything to do with the fleet—vehicle addition, job allocation, crew members’ clocking in and out, service timetables, and vehicle defects records, among others—is possible. Moreover, hardcopy forms can be replaced by online versions, such as inspection forms, incident forms, and more.
Maintaining online documents prevents the loss of some records and duplication, hence improving the fleet data accuracy and making it easily accessible to all. Also, making use of e-signatures and e-consents simplifies the processes.
The software can frequently be updated
Fleet software may need to be updated due to changes in law, development of new products, or emergence of new business practices. Such updates of fleet management system call for significant input in terms of time and money, thus it should give back good returns.
Poor aspects in the system, like incompatibility with other systems or the need for more human intervention than is practical, may call for a reassessment of the system. An appropriate system is one that allows the addition of tasks without needing additional staff. You should not take up a system that may force a company to work differently from the way it does due to adaptation problems.
If the provider commits to doing continuous product development and improvement, then upgrading should be devoid of problems. You need to understand the transfer of data from one vendor to another may need a reformation of data—an enormous task if it involves spreadsheets in software.
Factors to consider when picking the supplier
Getting into a partnership with a fleet management software vendor is a long-term engagement, so it calls for thorough research. The provider plays the role of your support team, tasked with ensuring compliance and automating the compliance.
The provider should carry ongoing reviews of your system and your needs and offer you added value. You need to research the market and understand what is going on and seek to understand the compatibility of the vendor’s software with other systems like HR, finance, payroll, etc. Other things to check include financial stability of the vendor, product investment (mandatory), and high standards in areas that you deem crucial to you, like legislation compliance.
Also, check out the clients of the supplier, see the software they use, and talk to those who use it—drivers and fleet managers—thereby obtaining management and user reviews. Satisfied that you have a reliable provider, you should proceed with the software trial to get hands-on experience, and get feedback from the users in your company.