Fleet management systems (FMS) and other transportation management software provide fleet owners and operators with a broad range of tools to improve their business operations. From maintenance needs, GPS tracking, driver behavior and fuel consumption to customer service performance, automated customer billing and asset utilization measures, both private fleets and commercial carriers can gain greater visibility and financial or operational insight by investing in fleet management systems, transportation management software and even basic routing and scheduling or logistics software.
Popularity of FMS taking off
According to recent research conducted by ABI Research, virtual solutions for managing fleets are growing in importance. Global fleet management system revenues are expected to grow from $9.08 Billion in 2013 to $27.61 Billion in 2018.
"The commercial telematics industry continues to see strong growth with FMS vendors increasing their installed base of vehicles under management," said Dominique Bonte, vice president and practice director of ABI Research.
With the number of FMS vendors continuing to grow, fleet owners of all sizes can find solutions that meet the needs of their firms.
Fleet management software offers many benefits
Many fleet owners will invest in FMS, but don't maximize the potential of the solutions. An article for DC Velocity outlined the ways fleets can reap the advantages of the technology if they fully immerse themselves in their FMS capabilities.
- Collect consistent information: Firm owners should seek an FMS that can collect and report on data about many different aspects of their trucks. Basic engine bus and GPS tracking data is useful when determining whether a truck needs maintenance or when a vehicle needs to be replaced. More advanced systems can track all maintenance or service costs over the life of the vehicle and combine that data with earned revenue from the business for comprehensive lifecycle value comparison.
- Prioritize the most useful data: To avoid data overload, an FMS should allow users to select only the most relevant information to view routinely. However, it's important to collect a broad range of data with an FMS so fleet owners can examine other information streams as new needs arise.
- Keep staff accountable: A good FMS helps fleet owners keep an eye on all the moving parts - employees, equipment and other assets, even customer billing - within their company. If drivers are running inefficient routes, if schedules are not being met, if trailers leave the yard half full too often or unexpected breakdowns happen too frequently, the FMS can provide the answers.
Don't limit thinking about FMS to vehicle tracking or equipment maintenance records. Explore the full potential of new FMS or TMS software for the fleet to make a significant, long-term impact on profitability.