The Future of Fleet Management: 2021 Recap & 2022 Projections
As more people are staying inside, the reliance for home delivery companies to keep up with the pace has become unavoidable and their potential growth undeniable. From mega corporations to your local cupcake shop, businesses have been investing in faster, more efficient technology to upgrade their fleets.
Since consumer demands have shifted online, there is overwhelming pressure for companies to solidify their delivery options. However, these new delivery options come with a slew of fleet management challenges.
Challenge #1: There are only so many hours in a day.
Fleet managers face an array of time consuming problems they must tackle—frequently balancing vehicle maintenance, scheduling, customer service, and other hectic administrative duties. They are required to manage their time effectively in order to keep track of day-to-day business operations and ensure their customer is first. Even the effort of finding productive methods to organize the tasks that fleet managers spend their limited time on can also be a struggle in itself.
Challenge #2: Fixed prices in a volatile market of variable costs.
Costs are a continual challenge for fleet managers to maintain. Typical costs include fuel price fluctuations (the current national average is close to $4 a gallon) and vehicle maintenance costs. Of course, these are affected by driver productivity. It is important that drivers are taking routes that utilize gas mileage efficiently to keep these costs low. Driver productivity and wellbeing also impacts maintenance costs, protecting the vehicle from avoidable accidents and wear-and-tear.
What is the Solution?
As with most problems posed in the 21st century, the solution lies within technology. In this case, Telematics. When installed in the vehicle, these plug-in devices communicate with the vehicles onboard computer systems record and track data relating to driver habits, vehicle location, and maintenance requirements directly to the owner in real-time.
Currently, many businesses are behind the curve in taking advantage of this advanced technology. Forbes reports that only 30% to 40% of all U.S. fleets are currently using telematics to optimize their fleets. Meaning that a majoring of businesses are inefficiently utilizing their fleet at the cost of productivity, safety, and management—all issues on the forefront of every fleet manager’s mind as demand grows and resources dwindle.
Not sure if Telematics are right for you?
Here are the main reasons businesses are moving towards a technologically advanced fleet management system:
The time it would take to calculate the most efficient route manually costs more time than you would save more often than not. However utilizing machine learning equipped with real-time data allows for lightning speed calculations to determine the most effective route. This is just one of the many areas where technology-enabled fleets can free up employee time and identify cost saving opportunities.
Driver & Vehicle Safety
Without technology, the only way to identify driver behavior issues came from ride-alongs, customer complaints, and accidents. All of which are costly to the business in various ways. With telematics, fleet managers can now see driver performance data in real-time to identify and stop issues before they happen. Some telematics integrated systems even offer driver safety insights and incentives to mitigate opportunities for loss and damage.
Seamless Management From Anywhere
Fleet managers want to be able to WFH too. The freedom to track maintenance, mileage, and performance from anywhere with a cell signal is becoming an ever prevalent demand. With the power to assign vehicles to drivers, conduct virtual inspections, and even manage keys virtually; fleet management is now yet another job that can be done from the comfort of your own home.
What We Can Expect From Here: The Future for Fleets
As we enter into a new era of fleet management, we expect to see telematics go beyond vehicle tracking and upgrade to a more sophisticated ability to assist in mapping more specific roadway conditions that help drivers understand (and avoid) high-risk routes. Using telematics as the blueprint, new fleet management technologies are already in the works. Here are a few futuristic trends in fleet management that you should be aware of:
Self-driving vehicles that are able to make decisions using predictive analytics, drawn from telematics. This would allow companies to increase efficiency greatly and minimize human error. Autonomous vehicles are being tested as solutions in different arenas, including last mile delivery, ride-sharing, and public transport options.
A reflection of share-economy, peer-to-peer based sharing that encourages rental over ownership. Examples include companies like Uber and Airbnb. For mobility-as-a-service, users can book vehicles for many different uses (delivery, fleet, personal use, and so on) and pay electronically for any service in one app. Essentially, all transportation options are conveniently listed in one place for the consumer to choose from.
The World of 5G
Telematics rely on data collection and processing in order to relay this information back to the fleet manager. 5G is 100 times faster than 4G and allows for faster data transmission, allowing for more control over your fleet.
What’s Next for My Fleet?
So how do you get your hands on this technology and learn more about what’s coming? Get ahead of the curve utilizing future-forward fleet technology ahead of your competitors. An easy way to get started is to create a free business account with Fluid Truck, a truck sharing company offering an easy-to-use app and fleet rental service providing you with a taste of fleet management technology.
Learn how to improve your business’s delivery options—from home gym equipment to delivery meal kits–by checking out Fluid Truck for Business.