What Is Fleet Management And How Can You Use It To Increase Productivity
Business owners who rely on the use of cars, trucks, or semis to either transport workers or haul goods and equipment understand the importance of maximizing productivity and maintaining safety while minimizing downtime. That's why it's important to utilize an efficient fleet management system.
Fleet management is…
the overall system a company utilizes to acquire, manage, and maintain its fleet of vehicles. No matter if your company owns its fleet or uses a fleet rental service, someone is in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly. More advanced fleet management programs use AI (artificial intelligence) in combination with smart devices (the Internet of Things, IoT) to optimize production and efficiency for the company's fleet.
Fleet management, as a large component of project management, isn't an area where cutting corners will save your company time or money. In fact, it's just the opposite, but it's worth the investment.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of fleet management is that it streamlines the workload of the fleet manager, which ultimately minimizes the risk of human oversight or error. Here are some other benefits to companies through the use of fleet management
● Improves Safety
Most fleet management software includes features that monitor driver behavior and can alert managers of drowsy or distracted operators. Some AI can even autonomously make changes to assist in real-time.
● Remote Fleet Management
Part of improving safety involves the ability to manage vehicles remotely. Managers rely on GPS and other telematics to know where vehicles are located and can integrate with other software to monitor and improve driving routes or relay changes via messages to drivers.
● Fuel Management
Another remote system that is tied with driver behavior analytics is monitoring fuel usage and engine performance. This aspect can track driving behaviors that affect fuel consumption, such as time spent idling, and trigger a recommendation to managers or drivers for improving fuel efficiency.
● Reduce Costs
Using telematics, fleet management programs can offer insight into vehicle maintenance needs. Rather than applying the standard maintenance schedule, systems can predict when fleet vehicles aren't operating efficiently and recommend drivers to bring their vehicles in for servicing. This results in cost savings because potential failures can be addressed before they become problematic.
Part of managing a fleet means that managers can connect with their drivers in real-time. Fleet management platforms allow logistics coordinators, drivers, and customers to communicate instantaneously. This tool is useful in circumstances where there might be a delay in the delivery of products or a change in the route or order and ultimately increases efficiency.
While all of these benefits of fleet management are wonderful, they wouldn't be possible without advanced technology. At the forefront of these advances is none other than artificial intelligence (AI).
How Does AI Improve Fleet Management?
AI, also known as machine learning, refers to a computer's ability to learn and replicate human behavior and is prevalent in new automotive production. It follows then, that nearly every aspect of fleet management technology relies on some form of artificial intelligence and new vehicles will come equipped with interfaces that integrate advanced fleet management software, including advanced abilities to monitor driver behavior.
As the number one factor in maximizing fleet productivity, driver behavior directly relates to how efficient your company's fleet management program is. One of the most important ways AI adds additional streamlining for driver safety, maintenance, and reporting is by monitoring driver behavior to employ real-time responses and assist in avoiding catastrophe.
Sensors and smart technology such as lane-change alerts and facial recognition can add another level of protection for drivers. This AI technology can sense when a driver is fatigued by using facial recognition software that detects yawning and sensors that detect swerving or relaxed pressure on the gas pedal. This same technology can alert a driver that fatigue is detected and recommend they pull over. Automated smart technology can even take control of the vehicle in the event the driver falls asleep or is in an accident.
Another set of safety measures that are related to integrated fleet management platforms is crash indicators. Road conditions, other driver behavior, and operator errors can all be detected with AI and in turn, the AI can make intuitive changes on behalf of the driver to assist in avoiding accidents. For example, if the road is slippery, AI can automatically reduce the vehicle speed and a driver cannot override it.
At the end of the day, though, a company's main goal is to maximize profits. Things like poor planning, driver errors, and increased maintenance costs can drive up expenses. For fleet management, using the tools and technology at your disposal ultimately solves many of these issues. Everything from reducing cost and improving safety to managing fleets remotely can be simplified by utilizing a fleet management program.