When running a commercial fleet of vehicles, there are always areas where businesses can improve. In some cases, identifying these areas can be the challenging part, and this is where technology such as vehicle tracking can play a crucial role. The improvements that can be made can benefit both clients and staff and ultimately make a significant difference to a company’s productivity.
There are several areas where business vehicle tracking can help improve how a company with a commercial fleet operates. These include employee safety, customer service and running costs, and these areas will be expanded on below.
A critical area for any company, and especially those who operate a commercial fleet, is employee safety. When using commercial vehicles, employees face the dangers of a road accident involving what can be a very large vehicle. Ensuring that their employees are as safe as possible when out on the road requires businesses to take steps to monitor both the vehicle’s maintenance and how they are being driven.
Vehicle maintenance plays a crucial role in employee safety. From major safety elements such as the brakes to more minor elements like ensuring the tyres are inflated to the correct levels, it all plays a part in keeping commercial drivers safe while out on the road.
Monitoring vehicle maintenance used to rely on pen and paper with drivers as responsible as anyone. Thanks to computer systems, fleet managers can now track maintenance needs, schedule checks and work on vehicles when needed, to cause as little disruption to work as possible and keep drivers safe.
When out on the road, it may seem difficult for businesses to help keep their drivers safe, but through vehicle tracking systems, it is possible. By installing in-cab coaching systems, drivers can receive direct and instant feedback on actions deemed dangerous, and that could be putting them and other motorists in danger. Harsh braking, acceleration and cornering, along with speeding, are all known to increase the risk of an accident on the road.
Through audio and visual alerts, drivers can self-correct their driving actions and reduce the number of times each day these dangerous actions occur. Therefore, these in-cab systems are helping to keep drivers and other road users safer, which is beneficial to all.
Keeping customers happy is the way any business will succeed in the long term. For businesses with commercial fleets, they are often involved with clients in relation to supply chains, deliveries, or providing a service. In all of these areas, there are two main ways to improve customer service.
Firstly, information is vital. With the number of items we all buy online now, and especially over the last 12 months, we can understand the frustration when we are left with vague and unnecessarily broad arrival times for a delivery. Being told something or someone is arriving any time in a 6-hour window can make it hard to plan your day. This can make things even more difficult for businesses if the delivery makes up a part of a supply chain, or you’re waiting for someone like an engineer to help get part of your business up and running again.
By using vehicle tracking technology and having access to the exact live location of every vehicle within a commercial fleet, businesses can provide more up-to-date arrival times and inform customers of any delays so they can then plan accordingly. Keeping customers updated with accurate information is a great way to improve customer satisfaction and service.
The other key area when it comes to customer service is improving the service they receive. For businesses with commercial fleets, vehicle tracking can help in this area as it can enhance a fleets’ productivity. The routes business vehicles take is crucial to this.
To increase productivity, fleet managers need their vehicles to be running as efficiently as possible and ensuring they are taking routes that allow them to get to their destination quickly. This means not sitting in traffic and holding customers. While this is sometimes unavoidable due to unforeseen breakdowns or accidents, more efficient routes can be developed.
Using vehicle tracking, fleet managers can analyse route data to find areas of improvement and plan more efficient routes. As a result of this, clients can be reached quicker and more clients can be reached each day, making this a positive for the business as well.
Running a business of any size is not an inexpensive process, and it takes commitment to continue investing and supporting a business as it grows. When a business uses a commercial fleet, it faces unique running costs such as fuel expenses and maintenance costs which other businesses do not. So, how can vehicle tracking help in this area?
As mentioned above, vehicle tracking can help fleet managers develop routes that are more efficient, but this also positively impacts fuel usage. By spending less time in traffic with their engine idling, fuel usage is reduced, and therefore fuel costs are also reduced.
When it comes to maintenance costs, commercial vehicles can be expensive to repair, and it can also disrupt how a business is operating, which then impacts clients. By keeping track of the maintenance needs, as mentioned, businesses can plan around any disruption caused by planned work and reduce the impact on themselves and clients. Furthermore, by monitoring vehicle maintenance needs closely, vehicles are less likely to suffer an unexpected breakdown which could be more costly than addressing a minor issue before it develops into a major one.
Overall, vehicle tracking can significantly improve the way a business with a commercial fleet is run. Using the technology available to businesses, such as vehicle tracking, various operational areas can be analysed and improved, resulting in benefits for both the business and its clients.