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INSIGHTS

How today's fleet management solutions optimize costs and efficiency

How today's fleet management solutions optimize costs and efficiency
Owners of fleet businesses would know that managing large numbers of vehicles efficiently requires high-end technology.
Owners of fleet businesses would know that managing large numbers of vehicles efficiently requires high-end technology. Fleet management solutions that offer accurate sensors and software that allow real-time tracking, the safety of drivers, etc., are no longer a luxury.

This has become more relevant than ever as logistics and transportation are now an integral part of the global economy. This article explores how modern fleet management solutions can help businesses lower costs and improve operations.

Lower costs

When trying to lower operating costs, the most important aspect is knowing where exactly costs are coming from. Jeroen Berendsen, Strategic Project Manager at Webfleet, said that their solutions offer insights that help identify and reduce those costs.

“With our solutions, drivers get scored on eight KPI, providing fleet managers insights into how the drivers perform,” Berendsen said. “Simultaneously, the drivers are being engaged through our driver terminals with real-time coaching. The fleet manager can use these insights to incentivize high performance and engage the drivers and offer further coaching. Furthermore, our route and order optimization combined with professional (truck) navigation makes daily planning and routes more efficient.”

There is also the vehicle aspect. Data from TPMS combined with that from the CANbus provides insights on the vehicle's state, the type of service it may need if something is not functioning correctly, or the kind of maintenance the vehicles need or will be needing soon. Webfleet also offers a vehicle check app that helps customers ensure vehicles are roadworthy before departure.

“Our solutions offer a holistic approach that includes the fleet manager, the driver, the vehicles, and the routes,” Berendsen said. “All our insights together allow customers to plan their routes and schedules in the best and most efficient way, not just by calculating distances but also by time of day and traffic information, both real-time and historical patterns.”

According to Suyog Deshpande, Sr. Director for Product and Partner Marketing at Samsara, fuel is the second-largest expense for trucking fleets, accounting for as much as 60 percent of its total operating budget.
 
“As fuel costs surge, organizations need to decrease fuel waste and increase fuel economy across their entire fleet,” Deshpande said. “Samsara fuel management tools help with this by tracking fuel use and reporting vehicle and driver behavior. Organizations can reduce fuel consumption by identifying wasteful driver behaviors, such as engine idling, speeding, and unnecessary acceleration. One of our customers, Summit Materials, expects to save approximately $1 million per year in fuel costs as a result of our solutions. In addition, organizations can use our platform to compare electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles to internal combustion engines to assess efficiency and cost savings with an EV transition.”

Better operational efficiency

Berendsen pointed out that Webfleet’s solution allows our customers to streamline their entire workflow by digitizing the processes and data and minimizing time spent on paperwork and administrative tasks, both by drivers and fleet managers. It helps identify the driver best suited for each job using smart scheduling and dispatch with traffic, order status, and vehicle status.

“The order optimization feature optimizes the sequence of stops in one click, with the aim of reducing mileage and time spent on the road,” Berendsen said. “This all helps to plan better, get more orders done and improve on-site services. Simplify the order workflow and save time by sending jobs and order instructions straight from the office to the driver’s PRO driver terminal.”

The terminal reads the message aloud to avoid distracting the driver. With accurate information on time spent on location, order status, trip information, working times, and driver performance, amongst many other facts and figures, customers can clearly evaluate what areas of their operation need improvement. Furthermore, we optimize routes and orders, saving distance and time. When the fleet manager has insights on the route and order optimization, it helps them save time and reduce downtime.

The back office stays connected with the team in the field, getting regular updates on order status and ETAs so that they can react dynamically to unexpected events.

“Our solutions can be integrated with partner solutions and third-party apps from our marketplace,” Berendsen continued. “In addition, we offer robust APIs, allowing customers to keep using the platforms and interfaces they already have and get data collected from Webfleet Solutions to optimize their fleets. This allows customers to select a solution that best matches their needs, which is especially relevant for certain niche applications.”

For example, you can synchronize these solutions with CRM and billing systems to give a complete view of essential data and reduce administration work. Webfleet’s PRO series driver terminals also allow for further workflow management customization. This device handles activities like vehicle checks and delivery data capture via barcode scanning and digital signature in combination with 3rd party applications. All the data is then stored in one system.

Deshpande pointed out that route performance is a prominent example of how fleet management solutions improve operational efficiency. Fleet managers can analyze the performance of past routes to help them plan the most fuel- and time-efficient routes for future deliveries and better predict departure and arrival times.
 
“Samsara also provides a view into the performance of routes in real-time,” Deshpande said. “They can see whether a route is running on schedule or is completing a stop and estimated arrival times that update based on live traffic.”
 
Deshpande added that the experience of another customer, Uniti Fiber, is an excellent example. They saw a 76 percent increase in dispatch productivity as real-time GPS tracking enabled their dispatch team to consolidate multiple jobs along a route. Another example is driver workflows.
 
The Samsara Driver App provides guided workflows and real-time updates, and one major benefit is a reduction in manual form entry. Centralized documents help improve efficiency and keep information synced between customers, drivers, and the back office.
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