Fleet management is often under the purview of the facilities department. Concerns about safety, costs, environmental compliance, and reputation impact this asset. What is your role in fleet management, and what are the issues your department faces in this role?
This article from Robert J. Hall, President of Track Your Truck, addresses how technology tools may benefit management.
The job of a facility management executive is often all encompassing. Not only do you have to manage employees and physical property, but if a facility or organization has a fleet of vehicles or equipment, these are also often managed by the facilities department. Fuel costs, maintenance costs, and in-use hours all must be tracked and managed. GPS tracking for a vehicle fleet is a tool that can help with this. Here are some ways in which to manage a facility fleet better, with the help of GPS fleet tracking.
1. Decrease Fleet Costs
The most obvious benefit seen with the implementation of GPS fleet tracking is a reduction in fleet costs. Fleet tracking lowers fuel costs by improving routing and dispatch processes of fleet vehicles. GPS tracking with real-time data can also provide facility managers with alerts about driver behaviors, like speeding or idling, that waste fuel. This can add up to significant savings. For example, one study from Ford found that one hour of idling time uses the same amount of fuel as 25 miles of driving. Preventing idling will lower the amount of fuel used. Other estimates have found that fleet tracking decreases fuel costs by as much as 30%.
However, fuel is not the only cost that can improve with fleet tracking. Maintenance costs can be reduced as well. Modern GPS fleet tracking systems are designed to provide maintenance alerts, allowing managers to bring vehicles or equipment in for maintenance at a time that is convenient for the facility. Improved maintenance decreases breakdowns and downtime costs as well, yielding significant savings over the life of a vehicle.
Finally, fleet tracking can lower insurance premiums for the equipment. Insurance companies recognize the improved safety and decreased risk of theft that comes with fleet tracking systems, and thus offer reduced premiums to fleets that install GPS fleet tracking on their equipment and vehicles. Reductions of up to 15% are possible, which adds up significantly with a large insured fleet.
2. Improve Fleet Usage
In addition to decreasing costs, GPS tracking allows organizations to use their fleet to its best advantage. With the right tracking system, managers can monitor where the equipment or vehicles are and some of the functions they are performing. This allows for not only ensuring that drivers and employees are using the vehicles efficiently, but also that any vehicles not getting sufficient use are removed from the fleet or rotated in to get used. This helps lower costs of maintenance and repair for vehicles that are not an asset to the facility.
3. Boost Facility Safety
Fleet tracking helps encourage safe driving behaviors. Every time a driver heads out on the road, the organization’s reputation is at risk. Unsafe driving practices reflect negatively as a whole and increase liability risks. Fleet tracking systems can help fleet managers to score drivers and to be alerted to those who need a bit of training in driver safety. In addition, many systems provide a way to safely communicate navigation directions with drivers, without the need for phone calls or paper maps.
4. Dispatch Vehicles Resourcefully
Finally, GPS vehicle tracking improves the dispatch process. Dispatchers can quickly communicate routing information through on-board systems in the vehicles, and using live traffic updates, this allows drivers to avoid unexpected delays. This, in turn, can improve customer service by allowing drivers to arrive to their destinations on time. In addition, facility managers can dispatch the vehicle closest to the customer or the job, thus improving the process and decreasing wait times further for customers.
Managing a facility is challenging, and adding a fleet to that responsibility increases the challenge significantly. With these strategies, GPS fleet tracking can improve facility management by making the fleet run efficiently and effectively.
Hall is President of Track Your Truck, a provider GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small and mid-sized companies. The firm operates locations in New Lenox, IL and Lynchburg, VA.