Vehicle managers and fleet management systems alike have to be adaptable in order to keep fleets and businesses moving. For many of us, it may feel like all the demands and changes we are facing are being shaped around Covid-19.
However, a recent study suggests that despite Covid-19, the challenges facing fleets have largely remained consistent throughout 2020. In other words, the main concerns for fleet managers aren’t caused by the pandemic.
Studies from both 2019 and 2020 indicate a clear trend regarding the top challenges for fleets. These challenges will remain central to the concerns of fleet managers across the UK for years to come.
According to the study done by the Arval Mobility Observatory three dominant challenges were identified:
- A lack of road infrastructure and increased congestion
- The introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZ)
- Taxation and unclear government policies
These challenges are affecting businesses now and will continue to do so going forward. Despite the pandemic, the top challenges are consistent from one year to the next. It is clear then, that these problems are unlikely to resolve on their own. This means businesses need to take matters into their own hands.
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Addressing the Problems
These challenges are almost exclusively external issues. That said, there are simple tools available to businesses to make internal changes and overcome these issues. Digitising a fleet with the help of a fleet management system and GPS tracker is one clear step managers can take.
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1. Lack of Road Infrastructure and Increased Congestion
Road infrastructure and congestion is a perpetual problem for fleet managers, drivers and customers. Though funding works to better roads, the process often seems a step behind the needs and growing population of drivers.
Along with the usual increase of vehicles, Covid-19 has affected the number of cars on the road. Reports have shown that some businesses plan on investing more money into their fleets to increase production and mobility. There is also likely to be an increase in personal drivers on the road as more people opt out of taking public transit.
A fleet management system can improve route planning and help your vehicles avoid sitting in traffic.
By digitising a fleet with a fleet management system your business can optimise your vehicle’s most commonly made routes. Comparing journeys from different days to different times makes it easier for you to know what works and what doesn’t. This kind of vehicle tracking will make it effortless to avoid congestion at peak times.
With a fleet management system, managers can also see if their drivers are servicing the same areas at once. Features like ‘Locating the Nearest Vehicle’ can ensure that fleet managers send the closest driver to a customer appointment. This will save other drivers from driving unnecessary miles on bad, congested roads. Decreasing their time on the road and in traffic.
2. Introduction of Clean Air Zones
Though the pandemic has delayed the introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZ), this is a challenge many fleets will find unavoidable. A Clean Air Zone is a defined area where action is being taken to improve air quality. This area could be a single street or an entire section of a city.
Fleet managers and drivers should be familiar with these areas. A vehicle entering some of these areas can be charged or fined for entering.
Documented vehicle route history and Geofencing features can make it easier to follow and abide Clean Air Zone regulations.
With a company vehicle tracker and fleet management system, fleet managers can already start preparing for the Clean Air Zone laws. By taking a look at drivers’ frequently used routes retroactively, managers can identify how Clean Air Zones can be avoided.
Features like Geofencing allow managers to premark Clean Air Zones in their area. Fleet managers will be notified every time a driver enters a pre-designated area, like a CAZ. That way, managers know how often this is happening and can take measures to avoid it in real-time.
3. Taxation and Unclear Government Policies
There is continued concern around the possibility of increased taxation for both cars and drivers and the clarity of ever changing government policies. According to FleetNews, taxation, like the BIK tax on non-electric company cars, are going up and seem to change on a quarterly basis.
Increased taxes or governmental policies changes, like the Clean Air Zone, can sorely hurt your business financially. Businesses can offset these expenses by cost-cutting within their fleet. A fleet management system can save a business on average 20% on annual fleet costs.
Digitising and automating fleet management tasks helps identify and cut hidden, unwanted costs. A quality fleet management software can digitise car and driver records, remind you to do things like MOTs and driver licence checks.
No matter how much government regulation changes or becomes more complex, a fleet software will make dealing with it less of a strain — in terms of time and money.
Solution: A Fleet Management System
Whilst the leading challenges facing fleets remain largely consistent compared to this same time last year, all businesses are currently facing one similar challenge, Covid-19.
Vimcar believes that by equipping our customers with the right software and fleet management system they can be prepared to adapt and succeed in the face of their biggest challenges. That is why fleet managers should digitise their fleet sooner rather than later:
- Cut Costs and Save What Matters: You could save 20% on fleet costs just by investing in a fleet management system. During these times we are all looking to make savings. Cutting hidden fleet costs means you won’t have to make cuts in other, unwanted areas, like salaries.
- Get Extra Peace of Mind: You can be sure that your vans are safe, even if your depot is empty of employees. Whether employees are working from home or a vehicle is left overnight on a job site, anti-theft prevention measures will save you time and money.
- Work From Wherever You Need To: Digitising your fleet allows managers to do all of the above whilst working from home.
Fleet Management System Overview
For decades, businesses have had to put up with numerous obstacles when managing their fleets. Most of these challenges include traffic congestion that reduces workflow, high fuel prices, and unfavorable government policies. These external challenges often left businesses with little choice. However, there are certain aspects of a fleet business that managers can control from their end. This includes an effective fleet management system.
What is a Fleet Management System?
This is tracking management, otherwise known as telematics or GPS tracking. It’s a technology that combines cloud computing software with your vehicle. From this software, you can track and monitor your vehicle’s movements in real-time. This enables you to gather data such as:
- Start and stop points
- Fuel consumption
- Gear changes
- Braking and acceleration
- Suspicious activity on any of your fleet
Additionally, you can locate your vehicle through the Global Positioning System
(GPS) or GLONASS. To access the data, you only have to log into your computer or mobile app and view the information on your online dashboard.
How Fleet Management Systems Works
This tracking technology is made up of two components: hardware and software. The hardware is supported by GPS and installed on the vehicles that make up the fleet. Using software features on a computer or smartphone, fleet managers can monitor real-time data about vehicle progress, mishaps, fuel efficiency, and driving habits.
Functions of a Fleet Management System
- Location (GPS) tracking of a fleet of vehicles.
- Real-time monitoring of driver conduct
- Real-time alerts of suspicious activity such as attack by thugs
- Summary of fleet performance
Why Fleet Tracking as a System is Good for Your Business
Save on operational costs: Whether you have a fleet of five or 5000 vehicles, you need a fleet-management system to cut down operating costs and save more. Fleet tracking technology allows you to save up to 20% while cutting on feeling consumption, maintenance, and general fleet management expenditure.
Save Time: With tracking technology, you can monitor and foresee potential accident locations and congested traffic and divert your drivers accordingly. The faster your driver reaches point 1 from point 2, the more efficiency and increased workflow.
Reduced insurance premium: A fleet using a tracking system is less likely to make frequent accident or theft insurance claims. This translates into insurance discounts and reduced monthly premiums.
Peace of mind: With telematics, you can comfortably attend to your other obligations because you are assured that your fleet is safe and operating according to schedule.
Fleet tracking software like Vimcar offers the most reliable fleet tracking solutions that guarantee:
- 0ver 15 % of fleet management costs
- 30% increase in productivity
- Save up 60% of time spent managing your fleet