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A Complete Guide to Vehicle Management Systems

Fleet (vehicle) management can include a range of functions, such as vehicle leasing and financing, vehicle maintenance, licensing and compliance, supply chain management, accident management and subrogation, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, speed management, fuel management, health and safety management, and vehicle re-marketing.

What are Vehicle Management Systems?

Solutions to Truck, bus, and fleet management that automate the processes of fleet management and remote device management through the use of technology and software. They are designed to make sure a business is getting as much from their fleet or bus program as possible.

A vehicle management system is a powerful tool, which can be implemented to improve fleet efficiency, manage drivers’ performance, track vehicle data, and integrate it into a company’s ERP.

Truck Fleet Management Software

A truck fleet management data system will help a business have all of the data in one place. It will also lead to the analysis and correlations of various data that would be difficult to do manually.

Many times, businesses run into problems regarding drivers’ hours or vehicle utilization. These issues are usually due to a lack of up-to-date information. If the information is collected correctly, it can simply be a matter of sorting the information to find problems.

A vehicle management system allows a business to quickly and clearly keep track of drivers’ hours, vehicles status, and other important information.

Taking this information and putting it through the business’s ERP, makes it easy to compare and find possible areas for improvement.

Driver Management

Managing drivers performance is an important step in fleet management. This type of management needs to be on going and continuous. A fleet management data system will keep track of each driver’s habits, performance and efficiency. Each driver will have their own data page and it can be as detailed as needed. The system will give a business the ability to take action when a driver does not meet the performance expectations that the business has.

Other systems, such as those found in retail and manufacturing, often have a rating system. However, those systems are generally not tied in with the ERP. A truck fleet management system will give the business a specific set of data and metrics to track.

If the business has multiple fleets, it can use the system to track the data across multiple fleets. Having the truck fleet management software integrated into the business’s ERP allows the business to quickly calculate variances, problems and opportunities.

Vehicle and Vehicle Condition Data

A vehicle management system allows a business to easily track data on each vehicle. This can include:

  • The current status of the vehicle
  • The amount of tracked time
  • The average fuel economy of a vehicle

This information is gathered through running the reports and then stacking them to find issues. One way vehicle management systems are useful comes from comparing surveys against the tracked data. In this way a business can have more information with confidence.

Nonprofit and Government

Some fleet management systems that are in the public or nonprofit sector are used fairly differently. Public and nonprofit vehicles are usually not used to generate income for the business. The reasons for having a vehicle management system are similar:

  • Improving operational efficiency
  • Improving accountability
  • Maximizing the value of the fleet or vehicle program

A nonprofit or government program will typically have a large number of vehicles that can include:

  • Police Department Vehicles
  • Fire Department Vehicles
  • Ambulance Vehicles
  • School Buses
  • City Vehicles
  • Street Lighting Vehicles
  • Parking Enforcement Vehicles

The vehicles used in the public sector are typically vehicles that the business owns. However, many businesses rent vehicles. This is a notable difference.

In the private sector, it is common to lease vehicles. In the public sector, this is less common. However, a government fleet management system will manage vehicles in whichever way is most beneficial to the government.

The benefits from using a fleet management system can be found in both sectors. This is true for the management problems, the ability to deal with a large number of vehicles and data, and for making the most of the vehicles in either sector.

Direct and Indirect Costs

The cost of fleet management is a mix of direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are things like fuel, insurance and maintenance. Typically these types of costs are directly associated with the vehicles.

Indirect costs are costs that are associated with the vehicles operation; but not directly. For example, a business has to hold an insurance policy on all of the vehicles. The cost of the insurance is an indirect cost.

A business can have a lot of vehicles and a fleet management system can be helpful to manage the direct and indirect costs.

In an ideal situation, one can avoid having indirect cost. This can happen when a business carefully evaluates the vehicles being used and tries to find the most reliable vehicles and then tracks the data on vehicles.

As a business purchases new vehicles, they can track the data and choose the most reliable. This will cut down a lot on indirect costs.

However, it is not always easy to be able to do this. The management reports on the vehicle management system will give a business insight onto how reliable each vehicle is.

It is then up to management to decide whether it will be more or less expensive to have a vehicle maintenance or fleet management contract, to cover the maintenance costs.

What Can a Truck Fleet Management Software do for Your Business?

A reports center for the system will allow the business to produce a lot of reports about various vehicles or drivers. The information available in reports can be used to identify trends and problems. However, when trying to track different trends and problems, it is possible to run into the danger of the reports getting too detailed.

This is where the reports center comes in. It allows a simple reporting structure which can be built over time. The reports will use whatever data the business chooses. For example, if freight companies want to find out which vehicles are getting the worst fuel economy, they can build a report that calculates that information. The reports can even use any other data in a detailed manner.

Through the data and reports center, a business can quickly find the information it needs and build the reports for what they need.

Ultimately, the report center is a big part of the business’s overall fleet management. A business will keep track of its data in one central location. The reports center is the location that the business can sort and view the data.

How to Select a Fleet Management Software

Since there are so many software options available, it is good to have a list of the features that one looks for in a truck fleet management software. For the most part, the features and the cost of these systems are similar. However, there may be nuances or slight differences that may make one system better than another for a specific business.

One of the first things to look at is the cost. Different systems will have different costs. Some systems could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. The benefit of the higher priced systems will be more capabilities or more complexity. This is often useful for businesses with a lot of vehicles or used in a series of industries.

However, other systems will have a lower cost and it will still be very useful. It can be used by smaller businesses or larger businesses that only have a few trucks or vehicles. The low cost may mean that it is not as advanced. However, it will still be very useful.

However, one of the questions that a business should ask is whether or not they want advanced features. Is it what the business needs? Or is it a distraction, causing the business to lose focus on the main tasks at hand. This can happen when a business gets a software solution that is much more complex than what they need.

Since business requirements will vary, it is important to think about what their requirements are before buying a fleet management software solution.

Use Cases

As businesses grow, the amount of data that is necessary to run the business is going to continue to increase. And as the data increases, it is necessary to find a way to manage the data.

This can be accomplished by finding a system that is going to both collect and use the data of the vehicles. However, businesses can run into problems along the way.

As a business increases in size, the number of different types of vehicles and locations can increase. This can present a problem for those who are using a mere excel spreadsheet to manage data. The data can become more and more difficult to track the data. This becomes even more difficult for those who are using more and more systems with more and more data.

This is where it is necessary to find a vehicle management software that will be able to handle the data. There are a number of different software solutions that are available. However, a business has to find the one that is most suitable for their needs.

It will be possible to find a solution that is tailored to fit the needs of a business. The solution has to be able to collect the data from the vehicles, while providing a place where the data can be used to find the trends.

It may even be possible to collect other data. This could include data coming from other systems. It is also possible to collect data from a variety of sources. This could include third parties or from the drivers.

In addition to the location of data, it is also going to be necessary to have a way to view and analyze the data. Yes, a business could use software that is very simple. However, when there are hundreds or thousands of vehicles, it will be difficult to use a system that does not allow the data to be analyzed.

This is why it is a good idea to use a system that allows for reporting and analysis. This will not only allow a business to look at the data, but to find trends and problems.

Conclusion

When a business first purchases a new vehicle, it will be able to completely track the vehicle and any modifications on it. It will also be able to track the cost of the vehicle.

However, over time, the vehicle will not be completely new anymore. There will be more and more modifications on it. Then, the business needs to track these modifications.

As a business needs to manage more and more data, they can find that it is more difficult to find a timeline that they can view the data. That is why it is necessary to have a system that can provide the data and analyze it.

At the same time, the data scattered across the world will not always be able to be accessed. Therefore, the system has to be able to collect it from various sources.

For businesses that are looking for vehicle management software, they should keep these things in mind. However, it should not be hard to find a solution. There are a number of different solutions that are available.

There are also a lot of companies that will be happy to work with businesses to provide the right solution for their needs. It should be relatively easy for a company to find a solution that fits their requirements.

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