What Are Fleet Management Solutions?
Fleet management solutions are processes used by fleet managers to monitor fleet activities, optimize operations and make crucial business decisions. Think of it as a tool that offers fleet managers a helping hand in managing a fleet series with much ease, accuracy, and convenience.
Fleet tracking systems involve two critical processes that must work hand-in-hand to realize the numerous benefits. they include; Fleet management software and telematics devices
What Are GPS Telematics Devices?
Telematics is a hardware device installed into the vehicle to collect data. A telematics device comes with an in-built GPS receiver that collects and sends data to a central computer via a cellular network. The data is then processed into usable information by the fleet management software.
There are three types of telematics devices; plug-in, battery-powered and hardwired trackers.
Plug-in tracking devices are small units easily installed into the OBD II port. The devices collect diagnostic data from the dashboard interpreted and sent to the user as maintenance alerts.
The GPS also checks the coordinates and sends vehicle location updates in real-time. The devices can be removed and installed in another vehicle and send real-time updates.
Battery-powered trackers are usually mounted into the vehicle and need no installation. An internal rechargeable battery powers them.
Usually, the battery charging interval is determined by battery life and the number of check-ins in a day. The trackers can be positioned under the seat, front or rear bumper, glove compartment, or wheel. But it must be magnetic.
Hardwired trackers are positioned underneath the dashboard and drive power from the car. They usually come with three wires(power, ground, ignition) and must be paired with their counterparts from the vehicle.
Although hardwired takes more effort to install, they are perfect since it’s hard to remove, unlike plug-in devices.
What Is Fleet Management Software, and How Does It Work?
Fleet management software is a computer program that provides fleet managers with relevant information regarding the performance of their vehicles.
The program contains a sophisticated database with numerous applications that facilitate data recording, interpretation, and reporting. In other words, fleet management software provided fleet managers with the correct data in a straightforward format from a single application.
There are two types of fleet management software; web-based and cloud-based software.
Web-based software allows fleet managers to track vehicles using a web browser installed into a computer. On the other hand, cloud-based software is mobile-friendly, and users can track cars from their phones or tablets.
But before the data is passed to the software for recording, it is captured first, where telematics comes in.
Telematics is a technology that gathers data regarding individuals or a set of fleets using a global positioning system, vehicle engine data, and sensors.
Telematics devices transmit the data via satellite or cellular communication networks. The software takes over and interprets and visualizes the data.
Some Fleet tracking companies get the software from a third party, while others develop them through an in-house team. Whichever the case, the software comes with different capabilities and can be customized to meet particular business needs.
As much as fleet owners find it a heavy investment, they offer a dozen benefits that make fleet management easy.
How Do Businesses Use Fleet Management Software?
A fleet management system enables managers to manage single or multiple vehicles from a single application. Here is how businesses are benefiting from fleet software.
- Fuel Consumption Analytics
Businesses use the software for fuel management to monitor consumption and activities that lead to inefficient usage. For instance, the program provides data that enables them to see engine idling, acceleration, overspeeding, and unauthorized vehicle use. These activities unnecessarily increase fuel consumption and raise operating costs.
The live mapping app ensures fleet managers know the location of the fleets at any given time. The GPS signals track longitude and latitude points and send the data to the fleet manager via the live map feature on the tracking app.
Fleet management software allows managers to set maintenance alerts and reduce the chances of falling behind schedule.
It gets better since maintenance scheduling notifications are sent to several parties to ensure everyone plays their part to ensure vehicles remain in perfect health.
Additionally, Fleet management software analyzes diagnostic trouble codes on the dashboard regarding the battery, engine, and other components’ state and provides visibility.
The manager then takes the most appropriate action and avert a possible breakdown.
Fleet management software sends alerts when the driver accelerates, leaves the engine idling, over speeds, or takes a sharp turn.
The manager then identifies drivers with dangerous driving behavior and alerts them. They also plan for individualized training to enhance driver and vehicle safety.
The system automatically sends relevant trip data, such as hours of service. The manager then uses the data to ensure each driver adheres to the continuous hours of driving guidelines. The manager also receives data regarding the vehicle’s health that helps him determine if the car is road-worthy.
Fleet tracking software comes with an integrated feature that assists managers in finding the most convenient route.
The feature provides the shortest route, weather conditions, and traffic(both historical and forecasted). Route optimization reduces fuel consumption and promotes customer satisfaction.
The instant communication feature allows managers to alert drivers in route change, even in poor reception areas. It also ensures streamlined operations since information is promptly channeled efficiently to all the stakeholders.
The feature also comes in handy during emergencies and enables the driver to alert the manager with just a button push.
What Is a Fleet Tracking App?
Fleet management software should be paired with a tracking app for a fleet manager to benefit from telematics effectively.
A tracking app is a user interface that allows managers to track vehicles in real-time while on the go. It will enable managers to track vehicle location, get maintenance updates, monitor fuel consumption and driver behavior from their mobile devices.
Users can easily download the fleet tracking app from a google play store or app store within minutes.
These are some of the must-have features to look out for;
Easy To Use
Finding a tracking app you can quickly implement across the team is crucial. Everyone should easily find essential information or input details without hassle. If the least tech person in the group can operate the app, you are good to go.
You can also test its ease of use by going through the features. Make sure it is easy to navigate and configure details. Updating information should also be straightforward.
There are several stakeholders involved in every process of managing a fleet. It, therefore, means there should be a smooth flow of communication for better operations. Unfortunately, there are mobile apps that use per-user charging criteria.
Such price models are expensive and can lead to serious communication breakdowns. Therefore, ensure you choose a tracking app like Fleetr that allows unlimited users to facilitate desired collaboration across the team.
Imagine having a tracking app that requires you to download stored data to get updates?
What would happen if a driver is in an emergency or moves out of a geofenced area and you learn of it hours later?
Such an application cannot offer the help you need in managing the fleet. Therefore, choose a tracking app that sends real-time updates as things unfold on the ground and acts promptly to streamline operations.
Syncs Data With Fleet Tracking Software
Fleet tracking apps should match perfectly with the tracking software for users to access data on their mobile devices. The web-based tracking solutions should synchronize data on your mobile device for important tracking information.
A geofencing feature allows fleet managers to set a predetermined area in which fleets are supposed to operate. The virtual fence feature on the tracking app enhances better control of the fleet remotely, such as pairing a service call with the nearest fleet. It also increases security since the manager is notified once the vehicle enters or moves out of the marked area.
The Best Vehicle Tracking Device That Integrates Perfectly With A Mobile App
As mentioned earlier, a cloud-based tracking solution such as Fleetr is mobile-friendly, and users can track cars from their phones or tablets. The company provides tracking hardware, software, and mobile applications as one package at an affordable price. Here are some of the benefits of a cloud-based tracking device.
As your business grows, it meets new challenges, and upgrading into new software could be the only solution. Doing so can be expensive. Fortunately, providers of a cloud-based solution conduct regular updates that you pay for a monthly subscription, making it cost-friendly.
- High-Quality Product Support
A monthly subscription keeps providers on their toes. They do not solely focus on the point of sale but continually offer you all the product assistance you may need.
For instance, Fleetr has its in-house tracking software developed to meet all your fleet tracking needs. It means no third party; hence, experts address your concerns and offer support without consulting other providers.
They also ensure the software integrates perfectly with the tracking app and provides all data needed for day-to-day fleet management.
A cloud-based vehicle tracking device is easy to install and integrates perfectly with a tracking app. For instance, Fleetr can be downloaded from the google play store, app store, or the company’s website and is compatible with mobile phones, computers, and operating systems. The system also supports multiple users who can simultaneously interact and access the database.