As a fleet manager, you have to make work-related decisions daily. More often than not, you know what to do on a subconscious level, based on your experience. But what does it take to make the best decisions at the right time? Indeed, the answer lies in tracking and analyzing metrics using a fleet management solution. With a detailed view of what’s going on inside a fleet, managers can see a fuller picture of their business and act proactively.
Fleet management is a set of measures that makes managers' lives easier and totally revamps the fleet's organizational process. It’s especially vital for companies with a large fleet of vehicles. However, no matter the size, an effective management system takes on responsibility for the smooth operation of vehicles, optimizes their maintenance costs, and resolves all issues related to reporting.
Tracking and analyzing data allows to:
- monitor the use of your vehicles;
- avoid car downtime;
- track the performance of drivers;
- get a lot of useful statistical information.
The question is what exact data one needs to track. A proper fleet management software provides a myriad of data regarding drivers and assets, so choosing the exact metrics might be challenging. Besides, when exposed to overwhelming information sources, it’s easy to overlook some fundamental aspects. So the question needs to be asked: "Why is it essential to track and analyze fleet metrics?"
Such metrics are the key to understanding a fleet's activities and performance. To make sure the operations are efficient, it’s advisable to keep a close eye on them. Regardless of its operative model, some key metrics are crucial to any T&M business. Below you’ll find the list of metrics you should be tracking.
Five metrics to track
Nowadays, tracking fuel consumption is critical more than ever. For instance, in the first quarter of 2021, prices have risen more than 50 cents per gallon. Such price change is attributed to global demand, so it won't likely disappear any time soon. According to the report by Government Fleet, fleet managers indicate “fuel price increases, parts and oil increases, and technology costs” as the main reasons that have led to higher operating expenses.
With fuel consumption data at hand, it gets easier to make timely adjustments and lower the whole fuel consumption across your fleet. Cost-per-mile expenses data provides important insights: you can analyze the performance of both trucks and drivers.
It basically means that such metrics allow you to take a closer look at your drivers’ behavior on the road. Tracking fuel statistics can warn you if they drive aggressively or use vehicles for personal business. The best thing about fleet management solutions is that they collect data automatically, making manual data entry or dealing with paper receipts obsolete. Instead, drivers log fuel entries via mobile phones in a convenient manner.
Finally, tracking driver behavior metrics and DVIRs (a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report) provided by fleet management software is a great way to avoid accidents and fines.
Maintenance and repairs
In 2022, logistics companies affected by the COVID-19 turmoil are busy looking for ways to reduce operational expenses and gain new clients. Thus, in the post-pandemic reality to come, you’ll need to maximize fleet uptime. The main thing to understand about repair costs is that the asset downtime will surely negatively impact your bottom line.
In this regard, the maintenance data helps fleet managers to introduce effective workflows and streamline maintenance processes. Productivity is crucial to be competitive and minimize expenses. To stay alert, you need to have completion dates from the maintenance team via notifications.
If you manage repairs and maintenance in-house, it’s advisable to use this data for measuring the productivity of the repair team. In case you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can discuss it internally and provide training to match the actual results with what’s been expected.
Secondly, when planning to minimize your fleet’s downtime, make sure you own the corresponding tools. If you track your parts' availability, it will help avoid stockouts and reduce unnecessary inventory costs.
Tracking mileage is an integral part of proactive maintenance as vehicles in good condition consume less fuel and are less prone to breakdowns. Fleet management software helps recording miles traveled to schedule maintenance checks on time. Again, it's all about automatic mileage data collection: this way, you receive alerts only when your trucks need proper repairs.
It’s not unusual when trucks remain operative longer than their serviceable life suggests. Needless to say, this negatively affects their performance while related maintenance costs increase. Therefore, it’s vital to continually track their performance in order to resort to replacement on time. Hence, with a proper approach, vehicle replacement won’t affect your bottom line that much.
The total cost of ownership
This metric is one of the most important and, at the same time, one of the most challenging to track. However, the good news is with the data provided by a FMS, the analysis of the total cost of ownership (TCO) helps fleet managers make the best data-driven decisions for their fleets.
For instance, with the detailed info on expenses and service costs, it’s much easier to figure out what potential the returns would be if you decide to sell your fleet. Besides, you'll understand whether it’s time to replace a vehicle or buy a new one centered on its current value.
A wise fleet manager is the one who gets the maximum out of a fleet's assets. Tracking assets not only increases their service time but translates into a higher return on investment (ROI). Therefore, it’s essential to have a clear picture of what’s going on within a fleet:
- Operational time or miles driven by your fleet daily;
- Timely schedule of preventive maintenance practice;
- Knowing what fleet size is needed at a certain moment.
Assets monitoring is all about saving costs as well. With precise data, you can avoid unnecessary expenses, reduce downtime, and understand whether your fleet meets the current market demand or not.
To sum up
So what is the first step to profiting from tracking metrics? First of all, you need to get a robust fleet management solution. With the variety of available options in the market, it might be challenging to make a decent choice. Visit our fleet management template’s page and check the chart that contains various options for fleets of any size.
It would be fair to conclude that fleet solutions make the lives of fleet managers a lot easier. Sure enough, there are other important fleet metrics, and each fleet has its own requirements. However, we advise you to start with these five to get familiar with the system. The proper analysis of the right performance metrics translates into raising the business’s value of your fleet. With that being said, I hope that this article will help any fleet manager make informed decisions.
P.S. Do you develop fleet management software and need a proper front-end or UI/UX? We’ve got the answer. The fleet management software provides a professional design for solutions of any complexity, so you don’t have to create the UI from scratch.
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