What Is Fleet Management?

Fleet management is in an exciting era, with new and innovative technologies that are reshaping the trucking industry as we know it. In order to oversee a fleet, there are specific tools that modern businesses need to effectively monitor the many moving parts of any company that handles multiple vehicles. As e-commerce takes the world by storm and the demand for efficient trucking solutions increases, fleet management is essential for making the most of your budget and other resources. Here’s everything you need to know about fleet management and how it can serve your trucking business.

What Is Fleet Management?

Fleet management is how a company oversees all fleet performance and maintenance to boost productivity, profitability, and efficiency. This includes monitoring all activities, asset management, vehicle acquisition, compliance assurance, fuel consumption, dispatch and routing, and any other action or resource used to ensure a fleet is running properly. 

A fleet of vehicles (usually five or more trucks) requires a lot of supervision to operate on time and within budget. Taking care of every vehicle, tracking productivity and driver safety, ensuring tasks are completed in a timely manner: the list goes on and on. As fleet managers attempt to monitor all of this at scale in an increasingly digital environment, most fleet management is conducted using a software platform that consolidates the many events and data points into a single resource. For this reason, fleet management often refers to not only the process trucking businesses use to oversee their fleet, but the technology and programming used to do so, often referred to as fleet telematics.

What Is the Purpose of Fleet Management?

With the increase of technology in every industry, but especially in the supply chain and subsequent industries, fleets must keep up with constant purchasing, long hours, several coordinating systems, driver shortages, temperamental fuel prices, and much more. Add employees into the mix with personal lives and valid concerns, and maximizing your operations looks more and more difficult.

Because of the dozens of responsibilities and procedures that go into day-to-day operations, fleet management solutions help managers oversee the big-picture goals and the more tedious but necessary details. Management platforms help centralize your operations so that you can access many data points and metrics in one place. Those metrics include stats about vehicles and their usage, driver behavior, and other measurable insights that help managers gauge productivity and safety.

All of that measurable data makes monitoring and analyses more accurate and useful for fleet managers, so as challenges arise, it’s far easier to make timely decisions, respond in near real-time, and save money that would otherwise impact your bottom line.

What Does a Fleet Manager Do?

A fleet manager has an extensive job with many responsibilities, from handling personnel and driver issues to ensuring each vehicle is running smoothly. Simply put, fleet managers oversee commercial vehicles, the employees that drive those vehicles, and the costs and tools required to optimize business. This means that a manager is primarily accountable for controlling the budget and running the daily operations of a company. Other specific responsibilities of a fleet manager include:

  • Managing driver safety
  • Ensuring driver retention
  • Facilitating fleet tracking
  • Ensuring ELD compliance
  • Ensuring total cost reduction
  • Overseeing vehicle acquisition

Some companies will go with an in-house hire to fulfill this role while bigger companies may choose to outsource the position to a firm that specifically offers a fleet management service. It all depends on the business, the type of company or industry the fleet functions in, and other similar factors.

Fleet Management Benefits

The obvious benefit of fleet management is how convenient and streamlined the many components of fleets can be with the right tools. Getting analytics on your drivers and vehicles and having instant access to the most important data and metrics in one app is a huge advantage for most managers. Other benefits a fleet management platform offers are:

  • Reduced labor. Instead of time-consuming and physically demanding tasks, your checklist of to-do’s is largely accessible from a device where technology and software do most of the heavy lifting.
  • Manage gas costs. Through GPS tracking and other technology, driver routes and dispatching are optimized to help save on fuel costs.
  • Comply with state and federal regulations. With trackable driver behavior and vehicle monitoring, you can ensure that both drivers and vehicles are functioning within government regulations.
  • Track and monitor fleet vehicles. Know exactly what is going on with every vehicle in your fleet, whether you’ve got 100 or 1,000.
  • Ensure vehicle maintenance. Prioritize preventative maintenance and vehicle repairs with software that helps track the health of your vehicles.
  • Improve fleet and driver safety. With vehicles in tip-top shape, better compliance, optimized routes, and notifications on risky driving behaviors in individuals, you can help every employee increase and maintain their own safety.

There are so many industries that rely on fleet management, including emergency services, government agencies, schools, utility companies, construction and landscaping, public transportation, and of course the standard package delivery services.

Tips for Better Fleet Management

The beauty of fleet management is that there are endless resources and possibilities available to managers who want to make a difference in their company. Dangers occur when managers become too reliant on useful technology while losing touch with their team. As a fleet manager who is trying to embrace the technology that will advance your business, don’t forget these key tips for improving your fleet management skills.

  • Willingly listen to others and engage with your team
  • Continue to look for innovative ways to improve and grow
  • Lead out with compassion and appreciation for your fleet of drivers

It’s easy to get buried beneath the duties and pressures of managing a big fleet of vehicles, but especially by pursuing creative and technological solutions, fleet management can be one of the most rewarding jobs out there. Use technology as a support system that gives you more time to focus on leading others and improving your operations.

How To Boost Your Fleet Management Capabilities

Ready to get started with the best tools and resources for your fleet? Summit Fleet prioritizes making your responsibilities as a fleet manager as simple and impactful as possible. How do we assist with fleet management in the modern trucking workforce? Our services help you focus on your driver’s productivity and safety, your customer satisfaction, and your vehicle tracking and maintenance. You can expect a platform that:

  • Handles vehicle licensing and maintenance
  • Lowers costs compared to purchasing vehicles outright
  • Offers GPS-enabled tracking that is accessible through a customer portal
  • A detailed Driver’s Scorecard
  • So much more!

If you want these benefits to optimize your fleet management and protect your business, you can get started with Summit Fleet today. Get your Rate now and see what you qualify for!