Your fleet is like a living and breathing organism that requires consistent care and attention. Managing essential factors like fuel costs and freight assignments early in the game helps you scale without making costly mistakes. Having a fleet and asset management system that manages your fleet can keep these essential details organized.
Companies that operate fleets can expect the market to triple in value by 2030. Simply put, those projections make a compelling case. Freight carriers are vital to not just their own competitive industry, but to the entire economy.
Have you been looking for tools that can give your fleet an edge?
Keep reading to learn why a fleet and asset management system is the answer to your problems, and how you can find the right software to suit your team’s needs.
Consider The Variables of Your Fleet
Run a thorough internal audit of your fleet to understand what factors you’ll be managing regularly. What values and processes set your fleet apart from others, and what key performance indicators matter most?
Assess the type of business you run. Consider the vehicles or merchandise you deal with. Review the variables that dictate your ability to get deliveries to customers efficiently, and assess those variables with quality control in mind.
Some of the most important metrics tracked by dispatchers and fleet management teams include fuel costs, cost per mile, overall mileage, driver hours, depreciation, delivery performance, and customer satisfaction.
The more you know about your fleet and how it is performing, the easier it is to know what tools are needed.
Research Software Recommendations and Reviews
Once you’re ready to get moving, look for transportation management systems that other companies in your industry already use and see what systems have the highest recommendations.
There are fleet and asset management systems that offer modernized dispatching, route and load optimization, GPS tracking, sophisticated mobile apps, common carrier bidding and lane rates, easy-to-create manifests, and many other features.
These platforms typically have intuitive displays that help dispatchers easily visualize the work that needs to be done and let drivers quickly see what orders and pickups they’re assigned. Some of the best software solutions can also keep you on track by managing complicated shipping requirements like hazardous materials product segregation, complicated multi-stop routes, loading feasibility, and unique special handling requirements as required by customers.
Rely on trade organizations your company is a part of and check with your business contacts to see what kind of software systems they use. For instance, if you’re in the metals industry, it would be worth polling members of the North American Steel Alliance for their usage.
Additionally, read recent reviews that have been posted about software systems that are used commonly in the industry. These real-world insights can help provide more education and confidence behind your decision when choosing the best fleet and asset management system for your company.
Coordinate With Your Dispatcher
Speak with your dispatcher to find out their thoughts related to incorporating a fleet and asset management system. They are experienced in fleet management, so get their take on the features that they deem most important.
While some dispatchers may be experienced with technology, others are not and follow an old-school approach. Dispatchers that are less experienced with technology will likely have a larger learning curve with any new fleet and asset management system. Old-school dispatchers may resist new technology altogether, so it is also important to understand what move makes the most sense for overall business growth and profitability and handle objections strategically.
At the end of the day, your entire dispatch team is critical to the overall operations of your fleet. Gauge preferences and learn what kind of graphical user interface (GUI) would be easiest and most effective for your team to navigate.
When you pick a fleet and asset management software package, ensure that your team is invested in the process and select a solution that they are comfortable with.
Focus On and Prioritize Fuel Efficiency
Regardless of the types of vehicles you operate, managing fuel consumption and drive times will be critical to the success of your operations.
Fuel is one of the largest ongoing costs that you’ll need to keep up with, and it can fluctuate greatly depending on the market and economy.
When you invest in a fleet and asset management system, focus on those systems that provide advanced load and route optimization, and be sure that those systems have the features required to address the unique needs of your industry. Advanced fleet management systems can automate the load and route planning process, saving time and resulting in fewer miles driven and more efficient routes.
In addition to more profitable operations, optimized loads and routes are also eco-friendly, reducing emissions and waste that is unprofitable.
Consider Scheduling and Employee Management
It’s also vital that you manage your team to the best of your ability. When you have a fleet, you control load scheduling and driver assignments to the benefit of drivers and clients. When your scheduling is more efficient, you’ll cut down on the number of miles that your drivers have to travel, and you’ll lower turnaround times.
By having a fleet management system in place, you’ll also be able to keep a digital record of all loads that have been executed for future reference. This data can provide valuable insights over the long run.
With these important features and functionalities of scheduling and employee management, it’s important to also remember user experience – is there a particular fleet and asset management platform that your team found easiest to navigate and felt the most comfortable with?
If so, lean in. Use that insight from your team to help decide which fleet and asset management system you want to proceed with.
Is There a Support Team To Help With Questions?
Utilize a fleet and asset management system that is available to provide answers to any questions your team may have. If a fleet and asset management software provider isn’t responsive and equipped with a support team that is available to provide insight into technical or user training issues, keep looking and find providers that you’re comfortable working with over the long term.
For any fleet and asset management software that is being considered, ensure that there is a support team that provides quick, efficient help for any issues that may arise.
Invest in a Reliable Fleet and Asset Management System
When it comes to investing in a fleet and asset management system, there are many variables that must be considered. While one software may work best for a particular fleet management team, that same software may not work best for another team. As with most investments, additional research will be required to see what fleet and asset management software is the best fit for your team.
At Headlight Solutions, we provide easy-to-use fleet management products and services that you will be glad to incorporate.
We’d be happy to help you with whatever you’re looking for. Let’s talk! Use our contact form to reach out, or call us at (855) 596-1975.