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What is Fleet Management?

Fleet management is many things, bringing together definitions and viewpoints of business managers from across the globe, continuing to develop efficiencies that push past the next competitor, to achieve the maximum bottom-line possible. Through this article, we will take a closer look at what it is, along with how it can be controlled and how the business model of fleet management continues to improve each day. 

Fleet management is most often considered for commercial motor vehicles, including cars, vans, trucks, construction machinery, and trailers; however, it can also be described and utilised in relation to rail cars, ships, aviation, and private vehicles.  Depending on how a business serves their clients, the development of fleet management around the business model will be vastly unique from one business to the next. This is because their client’s needs may be far different than others, providing geography or logistics constraints as one example. 

Functions of Fleet Management

Within the scope of fleet management, there is a range of functions that can be considered with each business model. Some businesses utilise all functions of fleet management, while others utilise only a portion to help meet their needs in transportation or logistics functions. Most commonly, functions considered would include vehicle telematics, fuel management, health and safety management, vehicle maintenance, financing, driver management, and speed management. Each component can be organised either internally, via an in-house fleet manager or department, or maybe outsourced via a fleet-management provider. Just as a business may take on components of the functions, they may also utilise a hybrid management structure for both internal and external managers to meet the needs of their fleet. 

Tracking and Vehicle Telematics

The primary function in all fleet management systems, both internally managed or outsourced, is the vehicle tracking component. Tracking capabilities allow for real-time analysis and planning of vehicle location, direction and speed, which are transmitted via data gathered from a GPS component or a cellular triangulation platform. The capability to track a vehicle via telematics provides support to critical decisions made by fleet managers and businesses in furthering the improvement of bottom-line performance while meeting the needs of its consumer. By being able to quickly respond to events in the field, such as heavy traffic patterns, fleet managers can utilise the real-time locations on a fleet map to make competitive decisions that other businesses may have just guessed at.

Communication-lines and goal structure with drivers and employees are improved with the fleet management technology, being able to provide recognition or coaching based on specific behaviours observed in the field. Additionally, this information can help to illustrate value produced by a fleet manager and allow for continued focus and analysis of cost savings potential in a business environment that continues to feel the pressure of rising costs in logistics. The control of decisions and behaviours becomes possible and more so important through the realm of fleet management. 

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