The Benefits of Using Fleet Management Systems for Your Power Sweeping Business

Fleet management software is directly related to fleet management. It originated on mainframe computers in the 1970s and shifted to the personal computers in the 1980s when it became practical. Fleet management software is a fairly broad term. It can be as simple as tracking your fleet assets from an accounting standpoint or as complex as using GPS hardware to track location of each vehicle, to determining how many stops your driver makes, what route he or she took and how fast they were driving on average. There are many commercially available software options that can better help you manage your fleet of vehicles.

Fleet Management Systems
A Fleet Management System (FMS) is a computer software program that facilitates accomplishing a range of tasks in managing all aspects related to your fleet of vehicles that you own and operate. An FMS actually functions like a complex information receiving, processing, and delivery system, whose main function is to gather, store, process, monitor, report on and export information to anyone linked into the system by computer or even your smart phone in many cases. Both external data or information such as gas pump processors, motor vehicle insurance databases, as well as internal data such as human resources needs and financial information can easily be handled by your FMS. Fleet management software should be able to manage processes, tasks and events, for example notification of routine maintenance, scheduled maintenance, tax and insurance due dates and driver license renewal dates.
Fleet management software has become increasingly necessary and complex as increasing amounts of vehicle related legislation has been brought in. If you own a fleet of trucks, or even just a few delivery vehicles, then you definitely need a vehicle tracking system in place for your drivers. Investing in an FMS is one of the most cost-effective and time-saving strategies you could add to your business.

Vehicle Information Management with FMS
Vehicles can represent a substantial investment for many businesses. Tracking that investment properly not only has tax ramifications, but it can help you more efficiently plan your overall costs, vehicle service, and asset maintenance so you are getting the most out of your investment. In addition to tracking financing costs, it maintain a history of other information related to the vehicle over its lifespan. You will be able to assign costs to the asset. Costs such as maintenance, fuel, and labor. Associate costs of the equipment as well as to specific jobs as well. Maintaining an accurate value and depreciation schedule can help you make sure you are properly identifying company asset values and minimizing the corporate tax burden. Another facet of having and FMS is what is called service management. That is, you can create alerts for scheduled maintenance. Maintain a historical list of maintenance performed and, for those of you who maintain your fleet of sweeper trucks internally, you can also track parts and materials used for maintenance.

The Basics of an FMS
As you are well aware, gas for your sweeper trucks is not cheap. In fact, gas expenditures are probably one of your most costly monthly payouts. What if you could keep track of everything your trucks do, just in terms of gas usage? How about if you could know the idle times of your trucks, how fast your drivers go, what routes they take, how many scheduled, as well as unscheduled stops they make, etc. Not only can you create a route for the vehicle with your FMS, but you are also able to see where the vehicle has been down to each turn, each stop and time at each stop. Route optimization will help you and your drivers to create the best and most efficient route that allows you make the most out of every driver. Also allows you to re-route drivers or technicians if needed. Decrease route times and hold your drivers accountable. The route mapping function also allows you to see when your drivers are driving faster than posted speed limits. Armed with this knowledge from your FMS could save you much on fuel costs.
How about if you could produce very detailed maps of every worksite, their relative distances to your shop, the fastest way to get there? In addition to again, helping with fuel costs, with this kind of detailed information, you can offer better customer service for each and every one of your clients because you could tell them exactly when each driver will arrive. Plus, planning each route in advance for each of your drivers is more efficient because it means they cannot get lost and waste time and money driving around looking for their client’s place. Your insurance company will very much appreciate the reports you could generate from your fully-automated FMS because it can also allow you to monitor speeding and accessing each drivers record, which, in the long run, will increase driver’s safe driving and even lower your insurance premiums. Being able to monitor driving history is especially useful for risk management. With a good FMS, you can also keep track of all commonly used parts including filters, oil, and fuel. It also lets you maintain an inventory of other parts that may not be used as frequently, but still be able to also track what is on hand by make, model and year. With the right fleet management systems, you can track usage of inventory and set up alerts to notify you when you are running low.
Because you are scheduling your service work, it is easier to maintain a small inventory and order just before the maintenance is scheduled. This allows you to keep a small number of items on hand, saving you time and money. When managing a small fleet, scheduling of work may not seem too difficult. When you are managing dozens of vehicles, scheduling becomes more important. You want to make sure you have the staff on hand to complete the work, the parts available and make sure you are able to get the vehicle back into service and back on the road. Finally, investing in an FMS just makes good business sense because having a connected fleet with up-to-date technology is a win-win for improving your business and staying on top of your game.

Story by Mark Joseph Manion

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