May 26, 2020

Companies that utilize vehicles as the basic business entity apply fleet management to monitor productivity, control costs, and compliance. It would be extremely hard to perform all the operations without an integrated fleet management system. In this article, we’ll find out what is a fleet management software, common functions, and how to implement it.

List of the Content

WHAT IS FLEET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE?

Fleet management software is an integrated system of modules that keeps track of all business operations, vehicle maintenance, and fleet performance. Along with workflow automation, the system carries out business analysis, advances decision-making, and outlines prospects.

The increasing adoption of digital means drives the considerable growth of the global fleet management market. According to the statistics, it was valued at $13.7 billion in 2017 and expected to increase to $28.6 billion by 2022. The diverse technology choice like cloud solutions, big data analytics, machine learning algorithms has brought fleet monitoring to the next level. 

Today’s market is full of choices thus companies have to make several important decisions before they utilize fleet management solutions. After defining the needs and requirements, they need to know how to choose the right fleet management software. Such options as off-the-shelf and custom fleet management tools have their own pros and cons. Even though each type of system is beneficial for fleet control, they should be aware of the following details.

custom vs off-the-shelf software

Time to utilize – It is obvious that off-the-shelf solutions are faster to apply since the custom software takes some time to be developed at first.

Scalability – Custom fleet management software is highly scalable thus allows companies to advance the performance, include extra functionality or change requirements.

Integration – It’s commonly accepted that it will be easier to integrate standard solutions, however, well-planned custom fleet automation software could compete over this aspect.

Customization – Ability to choose technology stack, managing development process, modifying built-in features present some advantages including competitive one.

Security – Even though securing compliance with regulations is required within any development process, the commercial fleet management app is more vulnerable to cyber-attacks even due to the simple fact that they more often become targets for the hackers. The point is that finding the vulnerability in public software allows bad actors to get access to the data of thousands of users in various companies simultaneously. Thus, it is more productive to aim at the SaaS applications with a big user-base in the first place. 

Cost – Purchasing ready-to-use software might seem less expensive whereas the custom fleet management software also justifies the bill and aims at increasing prospects. In fact, custom solutions are less cheap to customize and support. Moreover, the company doesn’t have to spend on licenses, monthly fees, or purchasing additional subscriptions for new users.

The final choice relies upon the business needs and the available budget. However, more and more companies would rather invest in developing their own fleet management system. They focus on meeting initial expectations as well as looking for better chances to differentiate their services.

FLEET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE ADVANTAGES

Fleet management solutions have become a common practice for transportation businesses. Even though they provide different types of services like delivering goods, car renting, or public transportation, the main purpose of applying fleet management software will remain the same. Managing activities and conditions of vehicles has been proved rather efficient, convenient, and more productive with the help of digital means. Along with improved daily operations, companies aim at the optimization of fleet performance and the increase in service quality. 

Understanding the company’s needs helps to outline the required software functionality as well as obtain the distinct advantages of implementing it. Let’s define some real benefits most companies are interested in.

benefits of fleet management solutions

Improved processes

Fleet management software provides all the necessary tools to manage assets, track vehicles, gather data on vehicle utilization, maintenance, fuel consumption, ensure drivers’ safety and productivity, and stay compliant with government regulations. Along with carrying out the general requirements of fleet management systems, it enables impressive extra capabilities to optimize the services to the fullest.

Increased productivity

Process automation is an inevitable part to increase fleet performance and boost productivity. Road planning, preventative maintenance, inventory control can be advanced by automated data processing and machine learning algorithms. Continuous integration within software modules significantly facilitates decision making and introduces new management strategies empowered by real-time data.

Ensuring safety

Staying compliant with safety measures is among the major requirements for this industry. Regulation enforcement might seem the hardest challenge. However, it is greatly supported by safety management tools covered in the system. It is much easier to ensure drivers’ safety, control vehicle conditions, monitor speed, prevent driver’s exhaustion, provide emergency assistance, send notifications of detected breakdowns, road states, accidents, etc. 

Reduced costs

Efficient management targets at reasonable operational and administrative expenses. Planning routes, setting the maintenance schedule, inventory management, procedure reporting, fleet tracking programs are just a few examples that can enhance productivity and balance spendings. For example, predictive software tools can send notifications to mechanics and drivers on vehicle failures and breakdowns even before they happen. At the same time, there is always access to the repairing history to help with maintenance planning and eliminating additional costs. 

Better customer service and satisfaction

Bringing visibility into operations gives a strong possibility to work on increasing service quality. The fleet management software can oversee the necessary actions to get accurate ETAs, improve delivery time, reduce waiting time, leverage real-time traffic data, divert vehicles from traffic congestion, etc. Regardless of the provided services, customers always benefit from the well-tuned management workflow and improved service quality.

FLEET MANAGEMENT AUTOMATION

The web-based fleet management software is a great solution for any business that needs to organize the fleet workflows in an efficient way. It deals with automating performance and optimizing the general process. The main purpose relies upon continual interaction and unified management of operations. The integrated fleet management system consists of modules that are responsible for certain business processes and establish a connection between involved parties. 

Fleet automation

The software functionality has to meet the needs of all the users, including staff, company’s authorities, and third-parties like suppliers, insurance companies, etc. 

Adopting vehicle tracking functionality can be rather beneficial for fleet automation software. All the gathered data isn’t just stored, but processed and shared with software modules for further decision making. Such integration supports performance improvements.

  • Time management is improved due to constant reports and accurate analysis. It would be much easier to schedule the next trip, estimate the delivery time, or assign the driver that is the closest to the needed location.
  • Managing employees is rather simplified as for example you can monitor drivers’ behavior like mileage, travel hours per day, long stops, speeding, accidents, etc.
  • We should consider security purposes and reducing traffic accidents. The company not only tracks vehicles but informs drivers about any potential safety issues like bad weather conditions, dangerous routes, constructions, etc.
  • Better vehicle utilization is performed due to proper maintenance. Providing the location of the closest gas stations or certified car services isn’t just convenient but many companies have agreements on providing those services with particular providers.
  • The administration workload would be considerably reduced due to well-structured integration between all the departments. Reporting on vehicle tracking organizes the fleet lifecycle and outlines the company’s priorities.
  • Good resource management and cooperation with involved parties lead to the cost decrease. Most insurance companies offer better discounts for companies that implement a fleet tracking tool in the fleet management program.

These are just some examples of operations that are simplified with the well-organized workflow automation. Great management and decision support would help to streamline processes and interactions within the organization. 

FLEET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE MODULES

As long as the company decides to develop vehicle fleet management software, they have the great possibility to customize it according to the needs of each department. Moreover, this solution supports continuous integration between the chosen modules to ensure better productivity. We’ve compiled the list of common fleet management software modules in order to ensure efficient administration, smooth performance, and improved service quality.

Fleet management software modules

Assets

This module helps to monitor and utilize the company’s assets as well as reduces operational and financial risks. The information regarding vehicle assets should be easily accessible and updated due to the latest changes.

Quotations

That is a great solution that can perfectly deal with price optimization. In order to complete quotes (both new and used vehicles), the module handles vehicle configurations with attaching related products or services. It calculates rates according to chosen parameters and periods.

Procurement

The fleet control system over vehicle purchases supports the visibility of buying processes. Choosing the right suppliers, negotiating for the best pricing and on-time delivery details improve the business aspects and eliminate the paperless workload.

Prospects

Converting prospects into clients is one of the business requirements. This module will capture contact details, service needs, fleet size, financial aspects, etc. It enables smooth management of future sales qualifications.

Contracts

The contract is subject to frequent changes and revisions in the fleet area. All the contract rewrites, amendments, and terminations are performed there. At the same time, it is tightly related to payment scheduling and billing transactions.

Financials

It organizes all the accounting processes, covers billing and orders, stores financial records, monitors payment transactions, etc. Every billing pattern is usually influenced by individual customers or billing types. Moreover, it is fully integrated with the general ledger.

License

It is responsible for monitoring all the license aspects of vehicle control. This covers new licenses, duplicates, expiry dates, renewals, etc. Instant data access makes license checking possible as often as it’s required.

Driver management 

This fleet management software module manages all the processes where drivers are involved in. Starting with general data like license checks, forming working schedules, tracking the drivers’ behavior like productivity, fines, accidents history, etc. 

Maintenance

The module includes data on maintenance history, schedules the needed repairs, monitors service rates, and defines the maintenance budget for each vehicle. It has to manage both contracted and non-contracted repair services in order to monitor all operations and expenses.

Fuel

Fuel expenses make up the third part of the overall expenses for all companies that have fleets. With the help of this functionality, you can manage fuel cards, log transaction history, and monitor fuel consumption.  

Fines

Tracking the history of parking and traffic infringement, fine and tag payments also has to be under authority control. It will keep the record regarding each vehicle and driver covering their penalties and offenses.

Incident

The incident module handles both in-house incidents and accident cases. It records all the details, damage, images, estimates, etc. Ranging the details of the incidents helps to monitor total losses, uninsured loss recovery, insurance reclaims. 

Task management

This module supports the communication between the clients, suppliers, and internal staff. It is completed over managing diary actions via email sending, messaging, correspondence, reporting, etc.

Disposal

Resale activities require special controlling and monitoring tools. This module covers requests for disposal, sales lists, received offers, records of disposal vehicles, etc. thus it enables maximizing returns at disposal and accepting the best offers.

PORTALS DEVELOPMENT FOR CUSTOMERS AND THIRD-PARTIES

It is rather important to develop separate portals for clients and third-party providers like suppliers, insurance companies, etc. These portals can become the best extension to support business services. It helps to establish good connections. In fact, most interactions are time-consuming and require special attention. As long as the company integrates such portals with the main fleet management software, it allows users to access the shared module functions, support data exchange, and manage the common operations. In order to enhance security, user access has to be limited in accordance with signed roles. Let’s check a few portals that should be considered in fleet management software development.

Fleet management software architecture

Customer portal

Clients can set orders, receive quotes, sign contracts, navigate invoices, make payments, view transaction history. Moreover, the development team can advance it with instant notifications, order delivery status, or automatic reminders. It makes interaction with customers personalized, fast, and efficient.

Portal for drivers

Besides the great communication channels, it brings more visibility and builds connection points with drivers. Self-service approaches decrease the office workload and facilitate the drivers’ job. Relevant and appropriate data exchange accelerates the business processes and results in productivity. Drivers can easily locate necessary information as well as update licenses, request the service repair, record working hours, etc. 

Supplier portal

As an example, we’ll consider the separate portal for repair service providers. It is commonly integrated with the fleet maintenance system and the financial module. Providing that the maintenance order is requested, it will be sent to the chosen supplier. In his turn, the provider has the possibility to progress repair, give quotes, and manage the service fees.

Developing any type of portal is always a win-win decision. As long as it makes tasks more convenient and easier for particular users, it saves the company’s money and time. In addition, it has the potential to create and maintain better, long-term business relationships.

IN CONCLUSION

Good fleet management embraces a considerable part of vital operations for fleet performance. The better businesses manage the lifecycle, the more productive results they will receive. Fleet management software is a perfect tool to automate daily workflows and ensure smooth interaction between involved parties. The integration of software modules provides quick, productive, and distinct service delivery. Therefore, software development has to consider every aspect of your business, meet expectations, and hold high value. 

Have additional questions or plan to improve your fleet management, feel free to contact Existek. We are an outsourcing software development company that has been on the market since 2012. Existek’s team provides full-cycle development services to create sophisticated solutions for our customers. You can get in touch via the contact page or start the discussion in the chat widget on the right.