In 2019, less than 30% of the UK workforce reported having ever worked from home. But due to recent world events, most Brits have now experienced the pros and cons of a home office.
For fleet managers, working from home may seem like an impossible task. With so many drivers to communicate with, customers to serve or products to move, is managing an entire fleet feasible from your own sofa? In short: most definitely!
It’s easier than ever to work from home and keep an eye on your fleet thanks to new vehicle management systems on the market.
First off, let’s see what benefits come with using a vehicle management system.
Why Use Fleet Vehicle Management Systems In the First Place?
Fleet vehicle management systems give you 24/7 vehicle, driver and traffic visibility. You can use this information, all from your own home (or the office) to:
1. Gain a better operational overview
With fleet vehicle management systems you can:
- See where your vehicles are in relation to your customers
- Find out which drivers are on the road, and which are at the office
- Get notified when a vehicle arrives at a specific location
- Know which vehicles are available for use
This allows you to respond to fleet events instantly and run your fleet with 100% efficiency.
2. Improve Customer Service
Poor customer relationships will cost your business a lot. A good fleet management system can help you forge mutually beneficial relations with customers.
An effective fleet vehicle management system can help you provide accurate ETAs to customers, so they always know when their pick up or delivery will take place.
Plus, whenever you get an incoming customer request, you will always know which driver is closer to that customer. Having a fleet vehicle management system ultimately allows you to deliver a quicker service to customers, deliver to more customers in one day and generally keep clients happy!
Take a look at exactly how customer appointments can be dealt with before and after Vimcar:
3. Save Money: Eliminate Inefficient Vehicle Use
Tracking fleet cars means employees cannot misuse them, or drive them inefficiently.
Vimcar’s vehicle management system, for example, has a Driver Style Analysis function that tracks and scores driver behaviour.
You can then eliminate driving that wastes fuel or makes drivers look unprofessional on the road. Behaviour you can track includes:
- Mobile usage
- And more
Tracking vehicle use also helps you identify any unpermitted personal usage. That helps reduce costs, especially with pool cars. HMRC often impose stringent fines and taxes on companies found to have broken pool car rules.
You can avoid paying needless fines and taxes by ensuring employees use pool cars properly. And a good way of doing that is tracking drivers via fleet vehicle management software.
4. Optimise Routes
Fleet vehicle management systems such as Fleet Geo allow for the creation of optimised route schedules in minutes. This helps save time and energy.
Moreover, fleet management software ensures your vehicles can quickly switch routes if need be. Dispatchers can monitor traffic situations and give drivers up-to-date information on gridlock-free roads to take. That cuts hours spent in traffic, meaning lower fuel costs and savings on operational expenses.
5. Prevent Vehicle Misuse & Theft
Vehicle theft costs businesses £16,000 a year, on average.
Good fleet vehicle management systems like Fleet Geo help safeguard against theft. They can show the exact location of a vehicle, so even if it’s stolen, authorities can track it easily. Thus, you won’t have to spend more on replacing a stolen vehicle in your fleet.
Plus, you can set up personalised notifications and be alerted whenever a vehicle leaves the premises outside of business hours, for example.
This is also perfect for preventing vehicle misuse. You can also retroactively check how all your vehicles are used, so you can make sure employees aren’t using company cars and fuel for their personal benefit.
Read more: live fleet GPS tracking
6. Reduce Downtime
Often, drivers get stuck in traffic and waste time that they could have put to more productive use. The problem here is that you have to pay them nonetheless, especially if the salary is hourly.
Fleet management systems make for better route optimisation and reduce time spent in traffic. You can get drivers to take the quickest routes, reducing time they spend in traffic. That means lower amounts spent on paying drivers and lower running costs.
How Vehicle Management Systems Let You Work From Home
Vehicle management systems — such as Vimcar’s Fleet Geo app — store everything digitally, meaning there’s no need to haul piles of paperwork home with you to stay up to date with your fleet’s movements. With just a few clicks, you can see where all your vehicles are at any given time, review route histories, respond to last-minute projects, and more. Although you can’t communicate directly with your drivers via apps like Fleet Geo, there are plenty of other tools at your disposal to communicate with them when needed.
If fleet management isn’t your primary job, you’ll benefit from vehicle management systems nonetheless. These systems help prioritise tasks concerning your fleet and prevent fleet management from becoming a hassle.
Why Is Working Remotely Important for Fleet Managers?
There are so many technologies that enable conference calls, file sharing, and group collaboration — why should vehicle management systems be any different? A good vehicle management system will allow you to complete the same tasks you’d oversee at the office without having to step foot outside your own home.
Whether you need to schedule a certain vehicle to be sanitised once it’s parked in its designated parking spot or you want to review a vehicle’s route to shorten its idling time in the future, there’s no reason why a fleet manager should be limited to working solely from the office.
Working From Home Tips for Fleet Managers
New to the work from home lifestyle? Here are a few of our top tips for managing your fleet from home:
- Set up a strong Wi-Fi connection — To ensure your workday goes smoothly, it’s crucial that your Wi-Fi connection is good. Vehicle management systems store information digitally, so you’ll need internet access to review your data and track your vehicles.
- Mute phone notifications during working hours — To minimise distractions during the workday, mute any personal notifications on your cell phone (i.e. from your social media, personal email, and so forth). This way, you’ll only be disturbed when a work-related email or call comes through.
- Give your entire team your phone number — As a fleet manager, it’s especially important that your drivers and team members have your home phone number. Since you won’t be in the office, your team needs to be able to reach you should a problem or last-minute project pop up.
Fleet management doesn’t have to be done in an office. With vehicle management systems like Fleet Geo, it’s easy to oversee your fleet from home. Simply download the app to your smartphone or tablet and start working!
Last Words on Fleet Vehicle Management Systems
For fleet managers experiencing an increased demand, these technologies allow you to optimise your fleet and deliver the same top-notch service you always have without needing to commute to the office.
Conversely, fleet managers experiencing decreased demand can use the data collected by vehicle management systems to review their fleet’s routes, idling times, and make improvements to their operations from the comfort of their own home.
Read more: Van Tracking