Business owners need no convincing of the benefits boasted by fleet tracking software data when it comes to streamlining fleet management and getting the best performance out of their employees. The ability to locate your vehicles on the map in real-time and issue direct orders based on the situation at hand allows managers to enhance the productivity of their drivers and thus drive up profits.
However, working with fleet tracking goes much beyond simply tracking a dot on the map screen, instead, the data transmitted by the hardware goes much beyond that.
To get the best out of your fleet management endeavors, you must use the system to its fullest.
In this article, we will explain precisely how you can do so.
Plan On Using A Fleet Management System For Your Business? Consider These Tips First
Here are our tips for managers planning on using a fleet tracking system to help them better manage their employees and get the best out of the fleet data:
Get Everyone On Board With The Idea
To get the best out of fleet tracking, you must get everyone to agree to the idea first. Your drivers may be reluctant at first, after all, who like being tracked and spied upon. But you have to show them that fleet management is much more than that.
Your employees need to see things your way before you can move on – show them how a GPS fleet tracking system is a valuable team management asset above everything else.
If you list down the merits of telematics and fleet management before them, especially in the areas where it concerns them, i.e. enhanced safety, better operations flow, less disturbance, etc., then they’ll surely get on board with the idea.
We mentioned this in the beginning for a good reason: it is a legal requirement for your employees to agree to the system before you go on and install the hardware. Unless you get them to agree with the whole fleet management idea, tracking their movements will be illegal, and they can even pursue legal action against you for accessing their location data without their consent.
If someone is creating unnecessary friction in the transition and is completely unwilling to cooperate, you can let them go.
Having your employees agree with the plan will also ensure that they’ll be more willing to accept the responsibilities that this change brings and embrace the opportunities it will create for job progression through better management and fair assessment of performance data.
The Selection Process Is Very Important
Not all telematics hardware are the same, you need to be sure that you get the best deal for what you’re paying. Most people hold back from the idea of fleet tracking and telematics simply because they feel that they won’t be able to commit to the terms and conditions set by the company, i.e. a minimal number of vehicles to start with, duration, and so on.
However, you can find services like Fleetr that won’t bind you with any contacts or demand that you have any number of vehicles hooked up or ask for you to agree to use the service for a set minimum duration. Instead, you’ll only have to subscribe to the deal, get a free tracker device, install it, download the app, and get tracking, it’s that simple!
The point is that you can find the ideal telematics deal for you if you just stick around for a while. Don’t surf through a couple of internet entries and then give up in despair. Instead, make sure that you explore as many deals as you can, compare and contrast the terms, find the ones that fit your needs the best, and then select one that you feel will be perfect for you.
For instance, Fleetr will be perfect for small businesses that wish to get started with fleet tracking without any hassle, commitments, or without having to contend with hidden fees. You need to define what is suitable for you before deciding in favor of a particular telematics option.
Plug-And-Play Or Hard-Wired?
This is another decision that needs a separate header for itself.
We mentioned how different telematics services have different features, but what about the hardware itself? Well as it so happens, this is also another point of discussion. You’ve got two options: plug-and-play devices and hard-wired ones.
Which one should you go for?
Here’s how you need to tackle this decision.
First, consider how you plan on using the hardware – is it primarily for security and fleet tracking or only for the latter? If the first is true then a hard-wired option will be better suited because it will incorporate well into the system and stay out of sight thus harder to remove in case of a theft.
This means that the device will stay active even if the vehicle has been stolen and continue to transmit your real-time location data so that you can act accordingly.
However, such hardware is not only more expensive but also needs to be installed, and this is something only a trained technician will be able to do. Thus if you plan on getting started right away with fleet management and executing orders without any particular security worries (i.e. if you have other anti-theft features), then plug-and-play type hardware will be more suited.
Whatever you go for, make sure you read the terms and conditions beforehand to know what you’re getting into. Usually, the terms are much user-friendly in the case of plug-and-play devices, however, that’s not to say that hard-wired devices are not worth their salt.
Go for what suits you the best.
Fleet Management Can Do Much More Than Tracking Vehicle Location
If you think that telematics services are only meant to help you trace the location of your fleet vehicles and drivers, then you are deeply mistaken. Although most people start on this road, thinking that their primary need is to be able to track all of their assets every time of the day, this is not even half of what the fleet tracking service is about.
Yes, you’ll get live updates about where your drivers are and where they’re headed, but that’s not all.
You can also go through detailed data about the condition of your vehicles, i.e. if there is any maintenance problem, you’ll know of it. Similarly, driving history and mileage information are also available at a single tap, allowing you to see the performance of your drivers.
Then there is the driver behavior monitoring feature in most services which allows you to see if your driver has been engaged in unsafe driving practices such as speeding, aggressive driving, or hard pressing the brakes. The idea is to create an alert for whenever your driver does so, allowing you to enforce safer driving habits.
If one of your drivers refuses to abide by your rules (for whatever reasons), you can let them go rather than risking public safety on the road and endangering your assets as well.
Just be sure to explore all the features of the telematics service you opt for because things don’t end with location tracking.
No More Idling & Fuel Wastage
Fuel cost is one of the most worrisome parts of any fleet business finance. You need to find ways to cut down the operations cost, and the first stop for this road is fuel consumption. But therein lies the problem: how can you not use fuel in the transportation business?
Of course, your vehicles will have to travel to wherever they’re headed, and thus fuel consumption is inevitable. However, fuel wastage has more to do with not traveling than it does with being on the move – the main culprit is idling. While you may not expect to lose much from idling per day but sum it up over the year, and the sum lost will be staggering.
Don’t you imagine that this money would better go to making your business more profitable rather than being utterly wasted? This is exactly what fleet tracking can help you with by alerting you about unnecessary idling and thus eliminating the wastage of fuel.
You should counsel your drivers about the matter, not only from an economic perspective but also from an environmental one (reducing carbon footprint).
You Can Ensure Enhanced Safety Via Fleet Tracking
Enhanced safety, especially against theft, is one of the biggest perks of fleet tracking. This is truer for hard-wired trackers, but that’s not to say that a plug-and-play tracker (as long as it evades detection) won’t be able to do the same.
In the case of theft, your vehicle will continue to give you location data, allowing you to keep track of where it is headed and thus inform the police about the matter. Moreover, if one of your vehicles moves outside the area of operation (a predefined radius), you’ll get an instant alert.
In short, vehicle theft is not that likely to succeed due to the fleet tracking system.
Couple this up with other anti-theft devices and a GPS sticker on the vehicle (as a deterrent), and your vehicles will be as safe as they can be.
Set Maintenance Reminders
Regular maintenance work can ensure that your vehicles operate optimally and never run into trouble out of the blue. However, in the ever-competitive and fast-paced world of transportation, it is easy to forget maintenance schedules and ignore the checks.
Even something as trivial as an oil change job can create some serious troubles for you if you continue to ignore it. Through timely maintenance alerts and reminders (courtesy of fleet tracking systems), you will be better able to cope with the issues and resolve them before they become any more problematic.
So be sure to place maintenance reminders if your fleet tracking system offers the option to do so, this will save you lots of time, trouble, and money.
Affordability & Cost-Effectiveness Should Be Your Prime Concerns
Lastly, it is easy to lose yourself to the variety of options being offered by the telematics services available in the market, but you need to consider your budget before anything else. If you go for the first fleet tracking system you come across, you may actually create a new financial drain for your business, instead of introducing more cost-effectiveness.
If you have a small fleet, then go for something meant specifically for your situation like Fleetr, to avoid wasting your money. Conversely, for larger fleets, use a fleet management system that is meant to handle more vehicles at a time.
Consider affordability and cost-effectiveness above all!
Fleetr Is The Perfect GPS Tracking Solution For Small Businesses
Fleetr is used and loved by thousands of businesses because of its versatility, ease of operation, and most of all: zero hassle in getting your hands on the fleet tracking system. If affordability and high-end features is the mixture you wish to use then nothing will be better than the deal that Fleetr offers.
We won’t ask you to sign any binding contracts, or agree to a minimum usage period, or pay any hidden fees. Instead, getting started with Fleetr is as simple as buying the subscription, getting your free device (yes, free!), downloading the app, and getting started with fleet tracking.
No extra obligations or hassle whatsoever.
Hopefully, the fleet tracking tips mentioned above will be more than helpful for you and enable you to make your management endeavors even more fruitful.
More power to you, and feel free to contact us if you wish to get set up with the perfect fleet tracking system for small fleets!