What is Fleet Maintenance Software, And Why Do I Need It?
Fleet maintenance software is a management application specific to companies who control all sizes of vehicle fleets. It assists in preventive/preventative maintenance, as well as other tasks. These fleets includes aircraft, semi-trucks, delivery vehicles, field service trucks, construction equipment, public transportation, and more. The application helps manage, organize, and coordinate all vehicles in the fleet using a central system that communicates with the full fleet. The goal is to reduce overall cost, improve company performance, and assist in compliance with laws or regulations. The cost of this software depends on the size of the overall fleet, with smaller applications handling as little as five vehicles, and larger applications handling multiple locations within a company. Fleet managers often use reviews, lists from software magazines, and recommendations from partner companies to make an educated decision on the best option for their company.
Fleet management includes different functions, including vehicle maintenance, telematics, vehicle diagnostics, tracking, fuel management, and fleet driver management. These functions assist in the following tasks:
Companies know the exact location of every fleet vehicle using GPS while limiting illicit vehicle use.
Companies are assured a reliable, cost effective, and efficient transport system to meet the business operations.
The company is assured compliance with all government regulations.
The life of each vehicle is lengthened.
The productivity of the fleet as a whole is improved while costs are reduced.
Fleet managers are primarily responsible for the health of the fleet, including fuel management, vehicle acquisition, government compliance, and general vehicle maintenance. As fleets grow larger, these responsibilities grow bigger, and without specific tracking software, the job becomes nearly impossible. The software is the manager’s best option to help track every assigned task while maintaining a profit for the company.
GPS is only the beginning of how this software benefits a fleet manager, as well as the company overall. The software also helps a manager understand where to make changes to save money. As a fleet vehicle ages, for example, the software will alert the manager, who can then consider removing the vehicle for a newer, more cost efficient model. This system also keeps up with changes to legislation to ensure all fleet vehicles are following all regulations, as well as evaluating changes in fuel costs. Registration and vehicle maintenance information is fed into the program, which returns with updates on which vehicles need routine care, and when. Proper software also helps a fleet manager track drivers in the unfortunate event of an accident. The software will provide the correct paperwork, follow up procedures or repairs for both vehicle and employee, as well as any claims to be filed. As the responsibilities of a fleet manager grow, so too does the need for a software program to help manage it all.
While software features vary between manufacturers, there are five main features that are included in the most effective fleet management software: asset management, inventory management, work order management, labor and time management, and reporting.
Asset management pertains to the individual assets, or the vehicles. Each vehicle is tracked from purchase to disposal through the software. The manager has access to a list of different aspects of each vehicle, and can group them together according to their common traits, such as age or amount of use. Inventory management is accessible and manipulated by the full fleet. It is a central database that tracks all inventory, and a place where all employees may document inventory use. Parts are reordered through the system, located throughout the company, and tracked from purchase to use. This helps the company save money by negating loss and holds employees accountable for inventory use. Work management portions of this software include organization of all areas of the fleet. Service schedules are found here, as are work orders, vendor interactions, repair tracking, and more. Every work order is documented and able to be reviewed by employees throughout the company. Labor and time management helps managers understand attendance patterns, share important safety communications with employees, and ensure all certifications are up to date. A fleet manager may access reports on the above information through the reporting option of a well-constructed software system. All information is kept in a central location for retrieval, organization, and reporting to others within the company.
There are a number of additional benefits to fleet software, including:
Understanding where each vehicle is located at all times leads to improved dispatching and faster response times. The manager quickly knows which vehicle is closest to the latest request, which employee can respond fastest after finishing his or her current assignment, and much more. This leads to an ability to add more customers into the daily cycle. Customer satisfaction also improves, boosting the company’s overall reputation.
Software systems can be set to deliver more reports faster and with more accuracy. Understanding the habits of a full fleet has never been easier. The system allows for making adjustments quickly to improve productivity.
Fuel, and its rising costs, makes efficiency essential. A good fleet management software system delivers driving behavior back to the manager, who can then correct fuel wasting driving mistakes. A system that tracks refueling receipts will also help the manager monitor the health of the vehicle. This information helps the manager make changes to reduce the amount of wasted fuel within the fleet.
These management systems help maintain the safety habits of the employees. Data such as driving patterns, individual habits, and possible driving mistakes are relayed through the software. This helps managers not only keep drivers safe, but it also helps reduce insurance costs through accident avoidance. Some insurance companies may also give a discount to a fleet that utilizes this software, as it is proven to improve overall safety on the roadways.
Fleet management software pays for itself in money saved over time. If you have any further questions about this or anything else our company offers, please contact us today.