Optimize fleet management with smart solutions

It is easy to romanticize the idea of driving around with a paper map and being lost in a new city, immersing yourself in its strangeness. However, it’s 2017, the era of efficiency.

Paper maps getting replaced with GPS-equipped vehicles are are one of the best examples of how technology has changed the face of fleet management. However, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The blend of connected devices, networks, and its consequent by-product of big data creates a compelling impact on fleet management. The traditional way of operating the fleet industry, its productivity and its efficiency have been disrupted as a result.

Smart mobility & intelligent fleet

Enter IoT – the Internet of Things. As IoT continues to transform sectors like retail, manufacturing, smart homes and automobile, fleet management is the latest to accept the revolution, connecting vehicles and drivers to the enterprise system real time. It is leading the way traditional fleet were managed with innovation in technology. With intelligent fleet, it isn’t only the operators but construction, automobile, cargo companies and every other industry which employs drivers and delivery personnel. As the vehicles, we drive get smarter, previously labour-intensive or manual processes get automated and an increased efficiency can be seen in asset utilisation.

IoT and telematics connect vehicles and drivers like never before. While more devices, people and data get connected, the opportunities in fleet management too are expanding exponentially. Companies that manage fleets have started using fleet telematics to collect real-time information such as vehicle location, fuel usage, speed, mileage and insights into driver behaviour. Telematics is a broad term used to describe onboard systems that combine GPS sensors with wireless communication, computer capabilities and sometimes even video recordings. Fleet owners and operators can obtain extensive information and intelligence from these systems including vehicle location and performance, driver behaviour and a wide range of other data points.

Just to what extent has technology modernised fleet management?

Let’s consider some of the key use cases of IoT that has brought greater efficiencies and improvements to businesses that manage their fleet:

Gain Better Visibility

Real-time visibility of fleet allows you to be aware of the location of your vehicles while ensuring compliance with established routes and schedules. This wasn’t a possibility with legacy fleet management providers and technology. Now, managers gain an unprecedented level of insight into fleet performance and driver behaviour with automated fleet management solutions.

Reduce operational expenses

Regardless of what your goals are, saving costs is on everybody’s mind. Each day, fleet generates relevant information like fuel consumption, miles logged, speed tracking and vehicle utilization. With a complete real-time visibility of each asset, managers can draw out reliable audit data that includes what each truck has done, where it has been and what its utility is. Fleet managers cannot only collect, analyse and understand collected data but act on it. Connected vehicles will help to minimise wasted miles and cut costs – whether its vehicle maintenance, product delivery, route planning, or dealing with traffic congestion and weather disruptions,

Preventive Maintenance

Apart from providing better insights into driver behaviour, an enterprise can monitor the health of your fleet remotely from any place using any device. One can ensure a vehicle’s longevity by providing preventative maintenance with alerts for service needs like low battery, coolant temperature, check engine, inspection reminders and other such factors. Alerts will notify maintenance managers with early warning signs of trouble- whether it’s an overheating engine, low fluids or declining oil-life. In addition to improving the efficiency of the maintenance cycle, you’ll save costs by diagnosing problems and minimising downtime as well. Maintenance is one of the biggest expenses that the fleet business incurs. Its efficiency has a key impact on the profitability of the organisation.

Greener Operations

Unnecessary wear and tear are caused by factors like excessive idling time, taking longer routes and driving over the speed leads. This is more common than we’d imagine and results in extra fuel costs, apart from creating significant damage to the environment. For instance, developments in fleet management can provide effective routing options to help vehicles transporting large, heavy loads or oil and gas. Often, oil and gas loads involve transportation of hazardous materials and accidents can lead to expensive pollution claims. Fleet intelligence will help provide quick diagnosis of a spill and allow for a faster clean up. Smart fleet management solutions play a role in lowering the number and effect of such severe crashes.

Enhanced Safety and Security

Fleet safety should be made a critical business value. Safety on the job should be instilled as a mandatory practice – not a convenience – especially for businesses with fleets. Driver behaviour attributes to more than 90 percent of accidents according to the US Department of Transportation and the US Department of Energy. This often results from fatigue. When an accident occurs, a business is vulnerable and can be held liable for negligence and hefty workers compensation claims. This can even lead to a potential civil lawsuit. Rather, an intelligent fleet management system can help to notify abuse of vehicle and hazard notification by collecting data such as speeding, harsh braking, vehicle maintenance scheduling status and vehicle location from a hardwired GPS receiver and prevent disasters beforehand. This helps to reduce work-related risks and comply with health regulations, all this while ensuring the safety of employees, passenger vehicles and goods.

The need for smart fleet management has never been more vital. The growing demand for intelligent fleet systems will help save fuel, increase efficiency and reduce traffic fatalities. The level of control kept in-house is also changing as many enterprises choose to outsource fleet management, freeing up time to focus on strategy. Nevertheless, implementing systematic fleet management technology can help you ensure smooth operations and an overall healthier organization.

 

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Avnish Kumar
Avnish Kumar

Avnish is leading the IoTNXT labs at Incedo Inc covering the complete spectrum – Sensors/Devices, Connectivity, IoT Platforms, Data Engineering and Predictive Analytics. He has led innovative market-focused solutions in Industrial, Automotive, Telecom & Media and Consumer electronics domains. In his career, he has built and managed global R&D practices & delivery units managed multiple geographies and created market focused IPs/Solutions.