By RAM Tracking on 4 Sep 2018
In today’s technological age, “data” is a term bandied about by industry experts on a daily basis. Data is simple digital information that is created and transferred about a certain subject. It might be the number of sales your company has made in a day, it could be the temperature of your engine coolant and it could even be the number of vehicles in your fleet. Data is all around us and can be used to help businesses make better business decisions that are backed up by numbers, not just intuition.
However, as a popular term, it’s not always clear what exactly fleet managers should be looking. Reading through every item of data possible is a thankless task and sometimes even getting your hands on specific data is easier said than done. So, to help make sense of data, we’ve written down the types of data fleet managers should be trying to find and analyse and how it might help their business.
The speed at which your vehicles travel has a huge impact on your bottom line. Too slow and your customers are likely to be irate and lose your business. Too fast and your business may suffer driver injury, vehicle damage and even legal costs. Keeping an eye on speeding data is absolutely key.
Fleet managers can use GPS tracking devices such as our own to keep a watchful eye on driver speeds. If drivers are making multiple stops (such as to run a non-work errand) during working hours, it might explain why they are always late. With a GPS tracking system you can see within a click of a button when a vehicle was speeding and on which road.
Journey length data
Understanding the distances and times of day that your fleet is in action can prove to be a beneficial piece of analysis. Again, using a GPS tracker can help identify peaks and troughs in traffic. You may decide to run jobs before or after these peaks so less fuel is wasted and that drivers are less stressed getting to jobs on time. Shorter or smaller journeys might persuade your business to invest in electric vehicles that can do short distances on a battery alone. Longer journeys might identify that certain drivers have driven too much in a given week and need a rest to avoid dangerous driving conditions.
Vehicle age data
Storing and keeping track of all of your vehicles in one system can really help keep on top of tasks such as organising annual repairs or servicing. Storing data on your fleet age will also help inform decisions about when is best to buy or sell new vehicles to make sure that your operations move smoothly and without too a high a cost. Manually trying to keep track on this, as well as mileage, is a hugely draining task to do, so getting a system that can do it automatically and digitally is a must-have.
Vehicle usage data
Identifying when and how your vehicles are being used can be a useful exercise to reduce costs. GPS tracking on your fleet can help identify if vehicles are being used out of hours for non-business purposes. If your staff take their vehicle home with them at the weekend, you may have a policy that says it shouldn’t be used for driving thousands of kilometers for a weekend break, taking their children to a hockey tournament or to help friends move their furniture. Tasks such as these can reduce the lifetime of the vehicle and may even invalidate the business insurance without them knowing.
Total costs data
Last but not least is monitoring cost data for everything associated to a vehicle. Fleet managers should look to achieve a “true cost of mobility” for their fleet, not just the cost of vehicle. Managing a fleet incurs all kinds of costs and expenses that are often forgotten about – parking tickets, fuel, insurance, repair costs, toll charges and more. Collecting and combining these costs into one true cost could help fuel decision making about which vehicle to purchase and help with budget planning for the year ahead.
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