Vehicle management is an important aspect of the overall management of a company vehicle fleet and can include a range of functions, such as vehicle financing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, speed management, fuel management and health and safety management.
It is an important element in allowing companies that rely on transportation in their normal business operations to mitigate the risks and unforeseen costs associated with any form of company vehicle fleet management, by improving efficiency, productivity and reducing its overall transportation and staff costs, whilst also ensuring full compliance with government legislation (also known as “duty of care”). These functions can be dealt with by either an in-house fleet-management department or an outsourced fleet management company or specialist.
The most basic function in all fleet management systems, is simply knowing where your company vehicle fleet is; naturally, this is made much easier with the advent of vehicle tracking systems, which use GPS signals — transmitted by GSM/GPRS — to track the vehicle fleet. Once vehicle location, direction and speed have been established by the GPS hardware components, additional tracking capabilities can relay this information to fleet management software. Fleet Managers can see the actual, real-time locations of their fleet on a map, which can be very useful if there is a business requirement to quickly respond to unexpected events on the road.
In fact, advanced fleet management GPS tracking systems can connect to a vehicle’s onboard computer, and gather data for the Fleet Management Department. This can include details such as speed, mileage, fuel consumption and heavy braking or harsh steering, which can help to further reduce costs by identifying potentially dangerous driving habits. Indeed, by combining data transmitted by advanced GPS tracking devices installed in a company vehicle fleet, it is possible to form a detailed profile all your drivers and identify any training requirements before an incident might occur.
Vehicle Management through Fleet Management Software
Fleet management software empowers a business to effectively and efficiently accomplish the task of company vehicle fleet management, including any or all aspects relating to normal fleet operations. These tasks can include everything from vehicle acquisition through maintenance to vehicle disposal.
One of the primary functions of fleet management software is to gather, store, process, monitor, report on and export detailed management information for analysis and optimisation — including identifying cost-cutting measures where possible. Information can generally be imported from external sources including, the DVLA, CAP Motor Research, HM Revenue and Customs, VOSA, Transport for London and the Motor Insurance Database as well as from the company’s own data sources, such as Personnel and Finance Departments. Effective fleet management software should naturally be able to manage everyday processes, tasks and events, such as notification of routine maintenance, scheduled maintenance, MOT, car tax and insurance due dates as well as employee driving licence management.