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 integrated software. In this article, we’ll find out about common fleet management system features, software benefits and how to implement it.
List of the Content
- What is a fleet management system?
- Fleet management system benefits
- How does a fleet management system work?
- Fleet management system features
- Fleet management system development for customers and third-parties
- How to develop a fleet management system?
WHAT IS A FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
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 fleet management 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 is expected to increase to $30 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 adopt the right fleet management system features. Every company has to make a choice to purchase or build software. Such options as off-the-shelf and custom fleet management tools have their own pros and cons. Even though each system type can be beneficial for fleet control, they should be aware of the following details.
Time to utilize – It is obvious that off-the-shelf solutions are faster to apply since the custom fleet management system development takes some time to be implemented 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 – The ability to choose a technology stack, manage the development process, and modify built-in fleet management system features presents some advantages, including a 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 system development 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 SYSTEM BENEFITS
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 for 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 fleet management system benefits most companies are interested in.
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, it enables impressive extra capabilities to optimize the services to the fullest.
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 between fleet management system features significantly facilitates decision-making and introduces new management strategies empowered by real-time data.
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.
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 system features 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.
HOW DOES A FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WORK
The web-based system is an excellent 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 system consists of a set of fleet management system features that are responsible for certain business processes and establish a connection between involved parties.
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 FEATURES
As long as the company decides on how to develop a fleet management system, they have the great possibility to customize it according to the needs of each department. Moreover, this solution supports continuous integration between the chosen fleet management system features 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.
This software module aims to monitor and utilize the company’s assets as well as reduce operational and financial risks. The information regarding vehicle assets should be easily accessible and updated due to the latest changes. Besides, effective assets management supports business transparency and positively impacts the work of other fleet management system features.
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 by attaching related products or services. It calculates rates according to chosen parameters and periods. Fleet management system development allows the team to bring additional tools to get transportation quotes and prevent hidden costs.
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. This module helps organize the procurement process, including preparation, strategy and control stages.
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. That is one of the fleet management system features to examine the changing market and present new opportunities.
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. Great contract management ensures that the fleet procures the most competitive services and products.
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. Integration with other features of a fleet management system enables to balance expenses while optimizing productivity and improving utilization
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. Besides, it helps to track each vehicle licensing and eliminate the risks of having unlicensed vehicles on the road.
This fleet management software module manages all the processes in which drivers are involved. Starting with general data like license checks, forming working schedules, tracking the drivers’ behaviour like productivity, fines, accident history, etc. Besides drivers’ productivity, this feature aims at setting safety standards and following all required regulations.
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. Moreover, the primary goal remains the possibility to enhance the effectiveness and safety of using fleets while meeting business needs.
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. Fleet management system features also embrace good practices to reduce the fleet fuel costs.
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 offences. Accurate fine management helps to improve response times, reduce speeding fines, avoid extra charges, etc.
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, and insurance reclaims. Moreover, fleet management system development embraces digital damage assessment, claim processing and reporting.
This feature supports the communication between the clients, suppliers, and internal staff. It is completed over managing diary actions via email sending, messaging, correspondence, reporting, etc. Managing day-to-day tasks and getting all the required parties involved is easier with good task management. It often relies on data-based decision-making and streamlines productivity.
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. It allows the team to apply the right disposal policy and guide the overall process.
How to choose fleet management system features?
The efficient software adoption greatly depends on the chosen functionality. Existek’s team knows how to address your business-specific needs and select the right set of system modules.
FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT FOR CUSTOMERS AND THIRD-PARTIES
It is rather important to develop separate solutions for clients and third-party providers like suppliers, insurance companies, etc. Adopting 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.
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.
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.
HOW TO DEVELOP A FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
Developing custom fleet management software can be a complex process that involves several stages. Any team has to undergo the following development phases:
Define your requirements
This is the initial stage of developing a fleet management system, where you need to identify and document your requirements. The requirements should cover all the functionalities and features you want the software to have, including vehicle tracking, driver management, route optimization, fuel management, maintenance tracking, reporting, analytics, etc. It involves identifying the target users and their needs and any regulatory or compliance requirements that need to be met.
Design the system architecture
After defining the requirements, the next step is to design the system architecture. It goes with selecting your software’s technology stack, platform, and database. The tech stack depends on your development team’s expertise and project requirements. You will also need to determine the software’s scalability, security, and reliability aspects. An experienced software architect can help you create a scalable, robust, and secure system architecture.
Develop the software
With the system architecture and requirements in place, the development process begins. This phase involves creating user interfaces, developing backend functionality, integrating with third-party systems, and ensuring data security. Developing custom fleet management software involves a team of experienced software developers, designers, and quality assurance professionals. It is crucial to follow the software development lifecycle to ensure that the software is developed to meet the requirements, standards, and specifications.
Test the solution
Testing is a crucial stage in any software development process. The testing process is to verify that the software functions as intended, meet the requirements, and is bug-free. The testing phase includes functional testing, integration testing, performance testing, and security testing. Once testing is complete, the development team resolves any issues or bugs that arise.
Deploy the fleet management system
After the development and testing phases, it’s time to deploy the software. It requires setting up the necessary infrastructure, including servers, databases, and other components. Ensuring the deployment environment is secure, scalable, and reliable is essential. Your development team can provide assistance during deployment and ensure a smooth rollout.
Maintain the software
Maintenance involves monitoring the system’s performance, updating the software, fixing any bugs or issues, and ensuring the system continues functioning as intended. It’s essential to have a maintenance plan in place to ensure that your software stays up-to-date and continues to meet your requirements.
In summary, developing a custom fleet management software involves defining requirements, designing the system architecture, developing the software, testing, deployment, and maintenance. It’s great to develop custom fleet management software that meets your requirements and is secure, scalable, and reliable. The process requires a team of experienced software developers, designers, QA professionals, project managers, and business analysts.
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 system features are perfect tools to automate daily workflows and ensure smooth interaction between involved parties. The well-integrated software provides quick, productive, and distinct service delivery. Therefore, fleet management system development has to consider every aspect of your business, meet expectations, and hold high value.
Have additional questions or want to improve your fleet management?
Feel free to contact Existek. We are an outsourcing software development company on the market since 2012. Existek’s team provides full-cycle development services to create sophisticated solutions for our customers.
What is fleet management?
Fleet management is the process of tracking business operations, vehicle maintenance, and fleet performance. It is normally handled by efficient fleet management software that supports workflow automation. The advanced systems also carry out comprehensive analysis to simplify the decision-making process.
How does a fleet management system work?
The fleet management system consists of various modules that handle specific business tasks. Being responsible for particular operations, they are combined into a fully integrated system. Its work relies on continual interaction and unified management. The system functionality could also vary depending on the needs of the company.
What are fleet management system benefits?
Great fleet management helps to manage workflows, streamline daily operations, and optimize fleet performance. Companies have found it rather productive to implement by means of digital tools. They have ended up with the following results:
Better customer service and satisfaction
Why do we need fleet management?
Despite business specifications, each transportation company has to reach efficient fleet management. Whether goods delivery or public transportation services, the organization is still in demand of reasonable fleet management solutions. The purpose is pretty obvious. It ensures smooth interactions and improves the quality of services.