The fleet sector is being saturated with apps, but not all of them provide and effective way to engage with drivers, according to Ashley Sowerby, managing director of Chevin Fleet Solutions. The fleet industry should consider the effectiveness of mobile apps if they are looking to enhance business functions, he said.
"A large proportion of apps are extraordinarily limited in terms of scope, with some that are little more than skins acting as a means to contact suppliers and other third parties," Sowerby said. "For fleets that want to develop driver contact strategies that cover anything from managing driver timetables to fulfilling duty of care responsibilities, the majority of apps on today's marketplace don't delve deep enough or fulfil a specific task to a high enough standard."
Sowerby said that "the majority of apps that are currently available to fleets are driven by the desires of internal sales or marketing teams, offering novelty apps rather than producing something that is genuinely useful."
Fleets also need to make sure apps have a real benefit and enhance existing functions, rather than introduce processes that aren't needed, he said.
"Consider what the driver really needs to know and what would improve the fleet's performance," Sowerby said. "It's all well and good using an app to collect information, but what happens to the data afterwards? What we need to see is apps that integrate with relevant software and business functions to help reduce administrative burdens and associated costs."
Chevin had resisted introducing its own app for some time, before identifying how the technology could be used in a positive way, he said.
"What makes our app, FleetWave Forms, different from the rest is it's an extremely flexible tool that integrates with our enterprise software but can be used to help manage not just fleet processes, but almost any other work-related task that happens on-the-go," Sowerby said. "Organizations can use the app to fulfill a much wider job function, for example sharing and receiving business-critical information including vehicle inspections; mobile technician worksheets; driver trip records; business expenses; accident inventory; safety and risk assessments; sales transactions; proof of delivery and much, much more."