“Time is Money’, as Benjamin Franklin rightly said once, and since the inception of the industrial revolution, each new wave of technological advancements has worked towards making more money in less time. Industry 4.0 brings an exponential advantage over the efficiency of processes.
One of the most crucial parts of any business is the supply chain, and thanks to fleet managers, we are able to sustain a well balanced and efficient system of logistics and transportation. However, things in the back end are not so easy, and fleet managers have to overcome a gigantic list of challenges to ensure smooth operation.
Fleet management is one of the most time consuming and least efficient processes. It’s less efficient not for the purpose but because of the redundancy and the problems that can be significantly reduced but still exist due to industry practice.
The list of challenges and how technology can help overcome them:
Let’s take a look at some of the major challenges that come with fleet operations and how technology can help you overcome them.
1. High Fuel Costs
Everything in business boils down to its profitability, and fuel cost is a barrier between good profits and fleet operations. A survey revealed that 66% of fleet managers think that they need to do more to reduce fuel costs and that it can be done.
Unnecessary fuel costs are incurred mainly due to three main reasons. Rash driving, unnecessary idling, and longer routes. It might be very difficult to train the driver to mind these things and almost no possible way for you to know which out of the three is the main issue that your fleet is faced with.
Industrial IoT packs in an efficient solution for reducing fuel costs and also your overall expenditure on fuel reporting. You can monitor the state of your fleet and will be completely in sync with the route of your vehicle, and it’s idling time. Accordingly, you can take action to increase the efficiency of the process.
High fuel costs can also be incurred due to the irregular service of your fleet and the inability to identify the right maintenance issue at the right time. So, let’s take a look at that as well.
2. Overhead and Maintenance Costs
As a fleet manager, you need to ensure all your vehicles are in a stout condition to complete the trip successfully. Let’s say you service your vehicles every 4-6 months in rotation, but that doesn’t mean life cannot surprise you, right?
A breakdown in the middle of the road will not only cost you way more to repair but will also disrupt the service and ultimately affect several businesses in line. Instead of you telling when to service a vehicle, allow the vehicle to tell you when it needs one.
IoT solutions that include various sensors in different parts of the vehicle that will provide you with real-time diagnostic issues and send you an alert or a mobile notification to keep you on the loop for you to take necessary service actions.
It can also reduce fuel costs by pointing out the inefficiencies of the engine, tires, or batteries that contribute to reduced mileage. That’s striking two birds with one stone.
3. Inefficient Driver Logs
Gone are the days when manual logs had to be filled in by the driver. It’s more about automating the process and improving efficiency than trust issues with the driver. Electronic Logging Device or ELD mandate is the technology that will ease your work here.
The ELD is directly connected to the engine and automatically creates the log. Everything from driving hours to the distance covered is systematically recorded. The logs cannot be edited for security reasons and to provide a foolproof system.
It also offers the flexibility for the drivers and the fleet managers to track the data as when and required. It also becomes convenient for regulatory authorities to check for anomalies or any fraudulent activity, and since you have the data too, you can ensure an unfortunate situation is avoided.
4. Fleet Safety
The safety of your fleet and the products it carries are all on your driver’s hands once it leaves the warehouse. While it might not always be intentional, the possibility of being careless while on the road for hours is not scarce.
A dash cam that has Artificial Intelligence capabilities keeps an eye out for you while you can’t be physically present. With the help of AI, not only will it record the trip, but it can also detect harsh driving and send close call alerts.
It can also inform the driver when they are being careless or perhaps driving inappropriately. Accidents can cause a lot of damage and in most unfortunate events, claim more lives than just one. Dashcams can ensure you are better safe than sorry.
With dash cams that have dual cameras, you can even know what exactly went wrong with a recording of what happened inside the vehicle as well as outside. You’ll know if your driver uses their phone while driving, which otherwise you would have no idea about.
5. Manual Errors
To err is to be human, but a lot of times, it can end up with uncalled complications. Why regret later when the solution to prevent it is available right before you.
It’s not just hardware that you need to focus on. Fleet Management Software can significantly reduce working hours and the long time you spend that offers very few returns. A fleet management software can integrate all the solutions discussed above right in one place.
Estimated delivery times can be accurately calculated to the last minute with the help of software. Manually, it has to be a window of a minimum of ± 30 minutes.
With GPS tracking integrated into the fleet management software, it leaves very little chance for things to turn south. In the event it does, you will, with the help of technology, be better prepared to handle it.
Technology has come a long way, and the fact that it’s developing new solutions and products ever so fast that most people are unaware of it. This dynamic, fast-evolving nature of technology has to be leveraged by the efficient implementation.
The traditional methods that were once the epitome of operations are now deemed redundant, and this only means we are getting better every day. While change can sometimes be hard, it’s important to accept it with open arms and stay on top of your game.