Fleet management has always been a complex job, but the level of complexity has continued to grow. Staying on top of industry trends to keep up with the intricacies of fleet can be a full-time job all by itself, and to be a top performing fleet requires a little forward thinking and anticipation.
For one, the vehicle-selection process has changed quite a bit from how it was 20 years ago: The OEMs have done a great job of developing lines of trucks and vans to meet every possible application, and upfitters excel at developing ergonomically correct, lightweight packages that can maximize productivity and save fuel.
The only problem with these perks are potential delays in getting the vehicles you want built and upfitted. Additionally the high demand of certain vehicles might sometimes make it take a long while to make their way to the end-users thanks to the shortage in rail cars and vehicle carriers.
Then there is the plethora of in-vehicle technology and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) but identifying what works for your fleet can muddle acquisition decision making. Important, too, is knowing what will be required equipment down the road. Remember, seat belts and air bags were an option at one point.
So identifying which ADAS solution is a must have for your fleet becomes another unenviable task. After all, driver safety is still one of the most important areas of fleet management. You must worry about keeping your drivers safe, along with keeping your company safe from lawsuits.
And then, probably the most important of all, is telematics and effectively mining data from this technology. It’s unfortunate that not every fleet has reaped the benefits of telematics.
There are many reasons fleet managers cite for not taking part in a telematics program, but the statistics don’t lie: Fleets using telematics and safety programs are finding incredible savings in dollars, lost days, and lives. Today, telematics can provide a modern fleet with a steady stream of Big Data that can be used to ensure a fleet is operating in an optimal manner
It’s still an exciting time to be in fleet management; there are a lot of great opportunities for fleet professionals to make a huge impact for their company and influence the direction of your fleet and the direction of your business.