College football season demands organization from fleet managers

In the thick of college football season, transportation management software can help fleet companies meet the pressing needs of universities that fill their stadiums every weekend with spectators and fans.

IowaNow, an online news publication managed by the University Iowa's communication and marketing team, estimated as many as 70,000 people attend the school's home football games during the fall semester at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. That means each Saturday, university officials depend on the ability to coordinate more than 700 employees to assemble tailgating fields, stock concession stands with food and beverages, and otherwise prepare for a rapid increase in activity throughout the day.

Football attendance is strong at many universities
Football is already a widely popular sport in the U.S., and many stadiums have seen an increase in attendance over the last few years. For example, the Los Angeles Times reported the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) football team charted a 21 percent increase in attendance at home games during the 2012 season. Those numbers generated nearly $6 million in total revenue for the university, which it will likely use to further expand the football program. As teams become more competitive in their respective conferences, more fans are likely to attend games, meaning it's more important for event planners to receive their equipment and goods in a timely manner every week.

Fleet management organizations can ensure food and beverage products are delivered in a reliable fashion by investing in logistic software programs. Instead of manually mapping out individual transportation routes, for example, advanced tools automatically create efficient routes based on customer information, fuel prices and other external factors.

Not only can larger fleet management companies that supply food and beverages from regional warehouses benefit from such technology, but smaller university operations can also enhance operational efficiency by investing in basic dispatching tools. For example, IowaNow said staff members are responsible for transporting 1,200 individual pieces of football equipment from the university's practice field to the laundry room until it ultimately arrives at Kinnick Stadium a few days before every home game. Even if a small number of employees are in charge of the transportation, automated software programs can ensure all necessary items are delivered on schedule and that nothing is left behind. As fuel costs continue to fluctuate on an unpredictable basis, the ability to reduce the number of trips required to transport goods is more important than ever before.

Both fleet managers and universities can ultimately experience an increase in profits by boosting productivity at a lower overhead cost.