Fleet Management Systems Features (UPDATED JUNE 2022)
Geofencing is the creation of a virtual geographic boundary. It is typically a radius around a specific point, or an area marked on a map. It triggers a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. Fleet Management Systems use geofencing to track mobile assets. You can create alerts for situations such as –
- A generator leaving a worksite
- A vehicle entering an unexpected location (such as a shopping centre)
- A vehicle leaving a car park at an unexpected time (such as the middle of the night)
These alerts show up in the fleet management system and may also generate SMS or email.
Geofencing enables asset protection, and reduction in unauthorized vehicle use.
2. Route Optimisation
Route optimisation software helps dispatchers plan routes. It takes into account customer location, timing and which driver or vehicle can do the work. It has the most benefit when there are huge numbers of customers and vehicles in a large area. When evaluating route optimisation software, many companies consider the following –
- Speed of the system and ability to process changes in real time
- Integration with other systems, or embedded within a fleet management system
- Flexibility to consider many scenarios
- Must support modelling while continuing with operations
- Traffic conditions in real time
- Delivery constraints on specific types of vehicles
- Analytics and reporting
Benefits of route planning software include
- Reduced labour costs,
- Reduced fleet wear and tear
- Better customer service
More information on the theory behind routing software is here.
3. Pre Start Checklist
The pre start checklist is a list of items operators must inspect during a daily inspection. It is a crucial part of managing any complex industrial asset (such as a truck, or other equipment).
The operator uses the pre start checklist before starting the equipment for the day. The purpose is to ensure the equipment is fit for use. Operators must record that they have completed the check, and record any issues found. More details are on our dedicated page here.
4. Preventive Maintenance
To maximize fleet life and safety, a proper preventive maintenance program is critical.
Some fleet management systems include management of corrective and preventive maintenance work orders.
You can create corrective maintenance work orders manually, or based on equipment condition.
Preventive maintenance work orders generated based on time or meter reading. For example, every twelve months, change the brake fluid, or, every 10,000km, change the oil and filter
You can create inventory requirements from the approved work orders. When the available stock is lower than reorder point, it can automatically create purchase orders.
Business benefits include better fleet uptime, better reliability, and lower total inventory requirements.
More information on preventive maintenance is here.
5. Driver Coaching
Fleet management systems enable driver coaching by driver-specific metrics.
The system owner defines key metrics for improvement. Examples are idling time, harsh cornering, excessive acceleration, etc.
The in-vehicle unit (IVU) monitors the metrics, and can alert the driver as required. The FMS can also create scorecards or driver ladders. Some fleet managers use these metrics to enable friendly competition between their drivers.
The driver coaching module can also create aggregate reports. These enable managers to observe when, where and how long limits are breached. If necessary they can then adjust the alert levels.
Benefits of driver coaching include improved safety, reduced fuel cost, and reduced emissions. You can also expect reduced business risk, and lower fleet cost (due to less wear and tear on the vehicles).
6. Crash Detection
Crash detection relies on accelerometers and vibration detection in the in-vehicle unit (IVU).
The system filters out false positives, and the driver has the option to confirm or cancel the alert.
Emergency messages are automatically sent via the phone or Iridium network. This instant response lowers the risk to driver safety. Some systems also enable video recording of the events leading to the accident. This enables accident analysis and can be helpful in insurance claims.
Further reading is here
7. Mobile Workforce Management
Mobile workforce management makes it easy to supervise remote workers performing repeatable tasks. The landscaping, courier, electrical, plumbing and air conditioning industries often use this functionality.
Traditional mobile workforce management uses manual scheduling, phone calls, and job confirmation paperwork. Mobile workforce management replaces these legacy systems.
Instead, all your employees log into the same online system. This enables better communication and reduces workload. Dispatchers access the system via a web browser. Remote workers use a mobile app on their phone or tablet.
Mobile workforce management products are part of fleet management systems. The systems are integrated so you can see information about the workers and the vehicles. This helps you make the best decisions for your business and your customers.
Dispatchers, workers and management all have a common understanding of the workload. Dispatchers can see the status of work and send the right person to the next job. Mobile workers can focus on their work, rather than fielding phone calls. When their work complete, they click a button and move on to the next job. And managers can see job status and make corrections as necessary.
Mobile workforce management software enables better customer service too. SMS and emails can be sent to update your customers on expected arrival times. This results in better coordination, and improved customer satisfaction.
Mobile workforce management software also helps industries that provide an emergency response. You can locate technicians in real time, and see their expected travelling time. This enables dispatchers improve customer service and customer satisfaction.
8. Fuel Tax Credits
In Australia we pay tax on fuel when we buy it. When you use this fuel for certain business purposes, some or all the tax is refundable. You can claim this refund as fuel tax credits. Many fleet management systems available in Australia can support fuel tax credit calculations. More details are on our dedicated page here.
9. IAP/Intelligent Access Program
The IAP (Intelligent Access Program) allows trucks enhanced access to the road network. In return they must agree to monitoring and compliance with specific access conditions.
Several fleet management systems support the IAP requirements.
More details are on our dedicated page here.
10. Chain of Responsibility
Many people in the transportation supply chain influence the actions of drivers, loaders, maintenance crews, and so on.
Chain of Responsibility legislation ensures everyone shares responsibility for legal compliance.
Fleet management systems help you follow Chain of Responsibility requirements. More details are on our dedicated page here.
11. Electronic Work Diary
Electronic Work Diary is a system that records a driver’s working and rest times. It is available as part of all leading Fleet Management Systems. It helps ensure legal compliance. Drivers use the system to ecord their work and rest time using a convenient interface.
Electronic Work diary automates the calculations for next rest period. It also monitors driving time. This makes it easy for drivers to remain compliant with the law. They are also able to prove their compliance.
Electronic Work Diary doesn’t only ensure legal compliance. It also ensures that your drivers are well rested. This reduces risk of accidents. The use of EWD has both legal and safety benefits.
The Australian National Heavy Vehicle Regulator must approve Electronic Work Diary functionality. Information on EWD requirements can be found here.
12. Electronic Logbook
Electronic logbooks are more efficient than traditional manual logbooks. The driver records their use of the vehicle via a smartphone app. They then assign each trip as business or private as appropriate. Your drivers can focus on their work, rather than laborious paperwork.
To calculate Fringe Benefits Tax for company vehicles you need to record usage for a 12 week period. You can use Electronic Logbook functionality to record this key information. Once the details are in the system, it can recommend the best 12 week period to submit to the tax office. This also ensures the provision of accurate information. It eliminates any potential liability from inaccurate reporting.
BY MATTHEW PEARSON - TECH WRITER, FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ADVOCATE AND TELEMATICS EXPERT
LAST UPDATED 21 JUNE 2022
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