What Is Fleet Management? (The Complete Guide)
Whether your company owns one car that makes occasional deliveries or dozens of semi-tractor-trailer trucks that spend every day traveling the interstate system, it makes sense for you to adopt a fleet management strategy that gives you more control and security over your vehicles.
Since you’re asking “what is fleet management,” let’s start from the beginning to describe why you need it and which technologies will benefit you most.
The Basics of Fleet Management
At its core, the term “fleet management” can apply to any strategy someone uses to control vehicles. Decades ago, a company might have required drivers to provide location updates at certain times. That would have passed for fleet management at the time. Today, you have considerably better tools that give you more specific, accurate information.
Modern fleet management usually includes:
- Global Positioning System (GPS) devices that connect to vehicles and transmit data to central systems.
- Software that collects and analyzes data sent from GPS devices.
- Managers who oversee the system to enforce policies and discover abnormal behaviors, such as taking unapproved routes or stopping at unapproved locations.
What Industries Can Fleet Management Benefit?
Does your company have vehicles (including cars, trucks, snowplows, or boats)? Then you could benefit from fleet management. Some industries that rely heavily on GPS fleet management technology include:
You can find a much longer list of industries that rely on fleet management and asset tracking here.
Basically, if you have vehicles, you should explore your fleet management options. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of higher insurance rates, theft, and poor performance.
Some Common Benefits of Fleet Management
The benefits of fleet management vary depending on the devices and software you choose. Many companies that rely on LandAirSea find that they benefit from:
- Monitoring speeds and other driving behaviors to ensure safe, responsible driving.
- Improving policy adherence (drivers are more likely to follow the rules when they know you can track their behaviors).
- Better fuel efficiency from analyzing routes and choosing options that require less energy.
- Avoiding heavy traffic so drivers can reach their destinations on time and with less stress.
- Improving fleet efficiency by finding the shortest or fastest route between a vehicle and its destination.
- Providing existing and potential clients data that proves you can complete jobs well.
Effective fleet management can also help you recover lost or stolen assets. If someone steals a vehicle, you can report its precise location to law enforcement. Once authorities use the evidence to secure a conviction, they should return your vehicle and any assets inside it. That could save you thousands of dollars.
Types of Fleet Management Devices
For the most part, you will find that GPS fleet management devices fall into at least one of these three categories:
Waterproof GPS Devices
Waterproof GPS devices have gaskets that prevent water from getting inside their enclosures. The waterproof enclosures ensure that you can track all vehicles in a fleet, including boats and delivery trucks that might travel through flood planes.
Battery-Powered GPS Devices
Battery-powered GPS devices have internal, rechargeable batteries. Since you don’t need an external power source, you can place the systems anywhere on or in your vehicles. In “Low Power Mode,” the LandAirSea 54 has a battery life of up to six months long. The battery life lasts one to three weeks when sending position updates every three seconds to three minutes.
Hardwired GPS Devices
Hardwired GPS devices connect directly to an external power source, such as a vehicle’s electrical system or an external battery. As long as the external power source works, the GPS device will continue reporting its location.
Fleet Management Software
Stand-alone GPS devices provide the information that you need for fleet management. The software helps you make sense of that information so you can use it in the real world.
Fleet management software like SilverCloud uses Google Earth to show you the locations of your vehicles anywhere in the world. You get an accurate map with live geo-location updates. From within the SilverCloud GPS Asset Tracking System, you can perform several tasks, such as:
- Focusing on a specific GPS unit under your management.
- Changing labels so you can manage vehicles and other assets more easily.
- Creating geofences so you receive alerts when GPS units pass through specific locations.
- Sending notices to clients as fleet vehicles near their destinations.
- Finding the best routes.
- Recording movements and replaying historical data to see how units in your vehicles move over time.
- Designating certain locations as “favorites” with unique names.
- Seeing how current traffic trends will affect directions and travel times.
- Creating automatic alerts that notify you when employees drive recklessly.
- Setting security levels for all of your accounts.
The best fleet management software can also generate reports that show all the details of vehicle movements. You can keep these reports for your records and show them to potential clients to earn their trust.
Mobile Apps for Fleet Management
Today’s businesses don’t succeed by staying in one place. They need the flexibility of mobile apps that offer all the functionality of desktop software. SilverCloud’s mobile app lets you and managers track movement from anywhere. When you’re busy helping employees load a shipping truck, you can use your smartphone or tablet to see when the next vehicle will arrive. You get a more innovative way to work that fits what clients, business owners, and managers expect.
What Is Fleet Management? A Way for Your Business to Succeed
You can’t watch your employees and contractors constantly, especially when you run a business that involves moving across cities and states. Fleet management is a way for you to keep tabs on your vehicles and assets no matter how busy you get. With GPS devices and software, you can manage more aspects of your business to build greater success.
Harnessing the Benefits of Fleet Management
Only the best equipment and software can give you every benefit of fleet management. Contact LandAirSea to learn more about choosing a GPS system that matches your unique fleet management needs.