Fleets may be suffering from “app fatigue” with hundreds of specialized fleet related apps available in the marketplace, but too few actually offer any useful functionality.
This feedback comes from fleet management information system provider Chevin Fleet Solutions, which says that the range and quantity of apps available from manufacturers, leasing companies, daily rental and insurance companies as well as fuel card providers is truly astonishing.
SVP of North American Sales Ron Katz said: “In terms of software design, an app is very specific piece of code. It’s really a solution designed for a common, relatively simple yet often very important task that needs to be accessible while on the move.”
“However, if you look at the vast range of apps that have been made available to fleets over the last few years, very few of these apps accomplish the basic design goals or offer many of functions that are probably better addressed through a web site or other internet based platforms. Too many of these apps appear to have been driven by the marketing department rather than by a genuine fleet need.”
Ron pointed to generally available research that suggests only one in four apps are ever used more than once by the person that downloads them.
He said: “Our experience is that this level of acceptance is probably typical for most fleets. As a technology company, this level of adoption is disappointing because ultimately, this lack of usefulness creates scepticism about the possibilities that apps offer, rather than allowing them to be recognized for the powerful advantages they may bring in the areas of speed, portability and a very direct level of functionality.”
Chevin has recently launched its first app - FleetWave Mobile which is designed to be used in conjunction with the company’s enterprise fleet management software, FleetWave and will work on Android and mobile Windows smart phones and tablets with an Apple iOS version currently in development.
FleetWave Mobile is a highly configurable solution that can be adapted to the specific needs of an organization to gather fleet as well as operational information using manual input, bar codes, QR codes or pictures. Crucially, FleetWave Mobile does not have to be online to capture data – information can be stored and then uploaded whenever a connection is regained.
Ron said: “We’ve waited a long time to launch our first mobile app, but we wanted to make sure that we came up with something that genuinely made use of the available technology to offer something to our clients that solves a specific business need in productive and useful fashion.”
“Certainly, we’ve had countless conversations in the last few years about whether we should have launched an app earlier, just for the sake of having one, but we’re sure that we’ve followed the right path by concentrating on functionality first.”