Fleetr is a California-based company, and as one of the inhabitants of Silicon Valley, the company has always been passionate about marrying fleet management with data analytics since its inception. Fleetr is a subsidiary of Jooycar, a worldwide provider of IoT-based telematics solutions.
As of 2020, Fleetr serves around 20,000 vehicles and is continuously looking to adopt the latest Telematic technology to make fleet management possible for as many industries as possible.
The Fleet Management Industry
The fleet management industry has always been an area of interest for those in the technology sector. In traditional workplaces, management has all the information they need to keep employees accountable and gather data for business development. Managers can keep an eye on employees at all times, and evaluating employee performance is easy due to the number of eyes and ears available within the office.
Managing a fleet is different in a lot of ways. Managers can only check on their employees while they’re inside the company lot. Once a driver enters their vehicle and drives out of the lot, there’s no way for managers to supervise and check their performance. Unlike team-based departments, it’s impossible to assign team leaders or supervisors as this would mean you would need one supervisor per driver.
The fleet management industry has taken leaps and bounds with the introduction of Telematics. Telematics is a method by which data can be collected and organized through long distances using remote devices such as GPS. With telematics, managers can not only keep an eye on their employees while they’re on the road, but they can also gain access to important information that can be used to grow the business.
The Rise of Convenient GPS Fleet Tracking
Before Fleetr’s GPS technology, fleet tracking was not accessible for everyone. Typically, only large and successful fleets could afford to have a fleet management system. There were a lot of costs and technical know-how involved.
Back then, the only way to install a GPS tracking system into your vehicles was to hardwire it. This took a lot of time, technical knowledge, and work to implement. If a vehicle got damaged from an accident or bought a new vehicle for the fleet, you needed to uninstall the wiring first and install it on the new vehicle. Not only was the process costly, but it was also a huge time waster, and this meant that startups and newer companies couldn’t afford to have GPS tracking for their company vehicles.
Fleetr has always advocated convenience when it came to fleet management. The company introduced their OBD GPS tracker, which you can simply attach to your car’s OBD port. This allowed for newer companies and business owners who weren’t tech-savvy to DIY their GPS tracking installation.
Introducing Mobile Responsiveness to the Industry
Installing GPS devices is just one part of the equation. Even if you had the best devices, your fleet management system would fall apart if you did not have the proper software to receive, translate and organize the data that you collect from the devices. Years ago, the people who developed the software and those that manufactured the devices were different companies, so compatibility was always an issue. Esteemed companies resorted to hiring their own developers to create software to house the information gathered from their GPS devices.
As time went by, companies started offering the software and the devices as part of a package deal, but there was still a huge problem. Managing your fleet used to feel rigid and inflexible because telematic software used to be available only on your PCS and laptops. It meant that administrators who managed the software had to sit for hours with their eyes glued to the screen. Managers who were in charge of the software couldn’t do much of anything else since they were busy checking in on their drivers.
Why should managing your fleet be so limiting? Well, it doesn’t. Fleetr recognizes that most people do everything on their phones. They order food, watch movies, purchase goods and organize their schedules on their phone. So why can’t managers do that as well? Fleetr’s companion app has made the task of managing a fleet more convenient for the people running the business. You can go outside, have lunch meetings with clients, scout for better fleet vehicles, and more while staying on top of your business operations.
Changing The Way Companies Collect Data
Because Fleetr is mainly a tech company, we place a lot of value on data collection and analysis. While our GPS tracking system’s main purpose is driver accountability and visibility, our system is built so that companies have access to a plethora of information that they can use to grow their business. It’s not just about keeping an eye on your drivers – the technology is also meant to be a feedback system that continually gives business owners information about what’s happening in their daily operations, what areas need improvement, and what options are available to them.
The system provides you with real-time data, and it can store data for up to 120 days, allowing managers to see trends and patterns in how their drivers behave and which actions are costing the company. The app itself is extremely intuitive, which allows for easy compilation and organization of data, so it’s easy to create reports and put the data into practical applications.
The App That Keeps Consumers In Mind
When designing a fleet management system, it’s easy to focus on the companies that will be using it simply. How will these companies benefit from the system? This is why data collection and remote vehicle tracking are the most common concerns tech companies have when building fleet management apps. However, Fleetr takes it a step further. Instead of only focusing on the companies that will be using the app, we started brainstorming on how the app could be of use to the consumers of the companies using the app.
The easiest answer is improved customer service. We’re helping the companies who use our app and improve their relationships with their customers through improved vehicle routing and real-time tracking.
Communication is the lifeblood of customer service. Without a proper fleet management system, timely communication with customers is almost impossible. Imagine if a customer calls the office and complains about your employee being late for a job order. Without the ability to track your company vehicles, how can you give your customers an accurate update about the situation?
Fleetr’s real-time vehicle tracking allows you to see exactly where your employees are, as well as their ETAs. You can even set your service up to notify your clients automatically because you have the power to do so. And if punctuality is your biggest customer complaint, you can also use your Fleetr app to determine why your drivers don’t arrive on time? Is it because of traffic? Or is it because your drivers are not aware of more efficient routes to their destination? With fleet management, you can look for better and more efficient routes for your drivers to make sure they arrive on time, improving your customer service.
Ensuring Driver Safety
It’s not difficult to look for a fleet management system that boasts of great features that will benefit the business greatly. And while we also acknowledge that this technology is of great help to business owners everywhere, Fleetr also knows that the heart of a fleet is its drivers. Your company may have the most advanced fleet management system and the best cars, but your business could suffer greatly if you don’t have reputable drivers.
This is why, when it comes to designing Fleetr, we made sure our service took into account the well-being of drivers everywhere. Drivers are usually the biggest source of objections whenever the subject of vehicle tracking comes up, and this is understandable. If the company takes steps to track their driver’s movements via their vehicles, it can send a message to drivers that the company doesn’t trust them enough and wants to look over their shoulders wherever they go.
We want to stop this negative reception towards fleet management apps. We want drivers to discover that fleet management systems care about their safety and want to ensure that they come to no harm while they are on the road.
This is why we included a feature in our system called the Driver Safety Scorecard. The scorecard is an accurate evaluation of a driver’s adherence to safety while on the road. It keeps track of all instances of hard braking, rapid acceleration, speeding, and other forms of risky driving behavior. The evaluation is done on a weekly basis, which means that it’s easy for drivers who get a low score to redeem themselves after they are made aware of their habits.
At first glance, the system might feel disadvantageous towards drivers. It might feel stifling, and drivers may fear that the company could use this system to impose sanctions upon them. However, it is scientifically proven that these risky driving behaviors are accurate indicators of bad driving. This means that if you get a low score, you are more likely to get into an accident while on the road, which puts you at risk for injuries or even death.
We recommend to company owners that these metrics be used for education and not to severely punish their drivers. Risky driving behaviors can be remedied, and our evaluation’s weekly duration shows that we are allowing for room to grow. We also recommend that the system be used to educate drivers who practice risky driving behaviors and incentivize safe driving practices.
Flexibility in an Ever-Changing Market
Nothing is constant, and this applies to the fleet management industry as well. However, there is a recurring trend that’s noticeable in Telematics – the goal for each new advancement is more convenient and user-friendly technology. For example, the earliest forms of GPS tracking required hardwiring the device to your vehicle. There was some installation involved, and installing the device yourself without any technical knowledge can result in more problems down the line.
Technological advancements have played a huge part in developing new and more convenient ways of tracking your fleet. Our fleet management device of choice is the OBD II GPS tracking device, which does not need to be connected directly to your car’s wires. Of course, we have the technology to thank for that. By 1996, more and more cars were manufactured with an Onboard Diagnostics Port, which allowed GPS devices direct access to vital vehicle data without much effort.
We believe that convenient and user-friendly fleet management solutions are definitely the way to go. Because our devices simply connect to the vehicle’s OBD port without a fuss, even small business owners can afford to DIY their fleet management system. It has made fleet management more accessible for all, even newer and smaller businesses. Even mom-and-pop shops can afford to implement a fleet management system all on their own.
Our convenient fleet management system has also adapted to recent changes in the market. Before, fleets would be made up of drivers who are usually employees of the business. Nowadays, especially with the increasing demand for food delivery services, we see many “partnerships” and contractual services among drivers and business owners.
Nowadays, most drivers are not actual employees but contractors or, as some businesses call them, “partners.” This business model is prevalent in the food delivery and ridesharing industries. The companies usually have an app that all contractors have access to. They fulfill orders and accept jobs through the app without having to step foot inside the company building.
Because of this new business model, most vehicles used by the company are not theirs. The driver owns the vehicle, which makes fleet tracking a lot more complicated. First off, drivers may feel uncomfortable being tracked using the management’s system, and since the vehicle is theirs, they may not want it to be tampered with. Old school GPS trackers like hardwired devices don’t see much use here because the vehicle owners usually don’t want people tampering with their car’s wiring.
Quick personnel turnovers also create huge problems for the tracking industry. Because these drivers work for the companies as contractors, this is likely their second or part-time job. If a contractor decides to leave, any installed hardwired GPS systems need to be removed, which is a huge inconvenience for the fleet manager, especially if the driver goes MIA.
Our OBD GPS trackers work perfectly in this new environment. If your company has new contractors, simply connect the GPS device to their OBD port. You won’t have to remove parts of their car, so drivers won’t feel wary about installing the device. If the driver decides to leave the company, all you have to do is take it out of the OBD port, insert it into a new vehicle, and update the tracker information on the app. It’s that simple!
Fleet Management for Small Businesses
As mentioned earlier, fleet management systems used to be something only huge fleets and successful businesses could implement. This was not only due to the price of these fleet management systems, but it was also apparent in the way it was marketed. Fleet tracking devices were sold in bundles of 50s and even 100s, which meant that companies were definitely targeting huge fleets made up of several vehicles.
At Fleetr, we have decided to focus more on bringing fleet management solutions to small businesses. This may be a risky move because small businesses owners were made to believe that fleet management solutions were not for them. However, everything about our product and service reverberates with the same message – that fleet management services should be accessible to all, regardless of the size and the number of years.
We hope that our affordable device prices, simple app user interface, and easy device installation can level the playing field for small businesses and organize and manage their fleets in the same way that big corporations are doing. We believe that technology is a great equalizer, and with accessible fleet management technology, small businesses can compete with larger and more established companies in their industry.
The Future of the Fleet Management Industry
So what does the future have in store for the fleet management industry? Advancements in the industry are usually dependent on the discovery of new technology and adapting of new trends. Presently, electric vehicles are becoming a common sight on major roadways, so we might be seeing more fleet management solutions catering to e-vehicles or even self-driving cars in the near future.
Currently, most GPS tracking devices make use of 3G/4G networks, but with the expansion of the 5G network, we’ll be seeing more devices use this new network, which can mean a wider reach, stronger signals, and a smoother real-time tracker. So, where does Fleetr go from here? No matter what industry trends come up in the years to come, you can bet that Fleetr will be at the forefront of it, no matter what.