Fleet Management

Cornerstones of the best fleet management plan

The new financial year and the return to, hopefully, normal working practices create opportunities for fleet managers to revamp their fleet management plans. The rise of dashboard, AI and performance tools in fleet management software can boost business efficiency and improve the cost of company fleet insurance.  

As normality resumes, many firms will have spent the last year learning the benefits of dashboard-driven services, the advantages of strong metric measurement and the rise of AI in business services. These tools helped remote workers and managers to keep on track of projects, helping to save on operating costs.

For fleet risk managers and others in senior fleet roles, a growing range of business tools are tailored to the fleet market. Whilst other areas of the business usually adopt digital solutions quicker, the management of fleet can be left behind when it comes to digitisation. During engagements with other departments like HR, planning and product teams, the benefits of digital and automated tools in these and other areas of the business should have been noted.

Many firms have seen where data supports business growth, and the creation or evolution of a fleet business management plan, treating drivers, vehicles, insurance and maintenance in a combined approach, rather than distinct areas to be managed individually. This type of approach can deliver greater efficiencies, support future fleet plans and allow fleet managers to adapt to changing conditions.

Data and dashboards point the way to fleet success

The rise of dashboard-based applications is a testament to the benefits fleet managers see in having fleet data in one easy-to-access place. Being able to see live or as-live updates and trends for vehicle maintenance costs, fuel efficiency and fleet vehicle insurance provides greater visibility for the department and for reporting up to higher levels. By centralising fleet data points, tracking your fleet business goals and building a team that is based around reaching those goals for fleet success, you create a better organised and motivated team.

Tools like fleet planning and driver risk management solutions provide dashboards that support planning business goals and team objectives. They show where costs are rising, where poor driving can increase maintenance or fuel costs, and where riskier driving may be pushing insurance costs up.

They also show where good performance can be rewarded, and highlight where positive behaviour can be taught to other team members to improve overall efficiency. Most of these efforts require some integration with third-party apps or services, but the return on investment (ROI) should be fast and of high value.

Smart apps demonstrate third parties are looking to innovate too, with insurers providing smarter products that improve their value to clients beyond the traditional insurance renewal period. Rideshur’s data-driven example highlights how the future of fleets and insurance can change rapidly, combining risk management and insurance, strengthening the insights and turning them into financial savings.

The key indicators of success

By creating key performance indicators of success, managers can monitor progress and track areas like fuel economy and fleet risk assessments. Using telematics insurance, managers can improve traditionally slow-to-change areas of business and lower driver risk, not only through improved driver behaviour, measured by factors like speed and acceleration but also using dates points such as weather, time and location. This ultimately results in fewer accidents and claims, a reduction in insurance costs and more revenue generation for the fleet.

Better use of data and analytics can turn around even the most traditional of departments or fleet teams, helping control expense management and delivering a strong ROI. Using data helps show drivers how to be more efficient and the impact their driving has on costs, maintenance, improving fleet uptime and other areas. Improving collaboration builds a team that delivers stronger fleet operations, focused on success goals.

Data presented through apps support plans for fleet expansion. It provides insights into updating the fleet or tracking the tipping points for using hybrid or electric vehicles as they become more common. And data provides a series of clear goals for new hire drivers to aspire to and aim for, rather than just being another driver in another vehicle.

Using data in dashboards and apps makes issues more visible to the business, with fewer places for poor performance to hide. Having live data goals to reach also means clarity for all operators, with no objectives lost in long emails or appraisal notes. It also means that in-policy reductions in insurance costs are made in real-time.

The plan is only as good as the tools in use, and managers should investigate apps and services that can integrate with existing business IT solutions, working with business fleet insurance products to create a single view of fleet operations.

Verified writer