What is fleet management software?
Fleet management software allows you to track vehicles, monitor their use, and assess drivers, ensuring maximum efficiency and best practice across your fleet
Fleet management software is a vital component of fleet management, helping you to keep track of your vehicles and monitor driver behaviour.
At times, running a business fleet can be an overwhelming experience. If you want to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness from your vehicles, then you need fleet management tools that serve the particular needs of your business.
This article explains just what fleet software can do for your business, and will cover the following:
In this article you will learn:
- What is fleet management software?
- Fleet management software functions
- Fleet management software costs
- GDPR and vehicle tracking
- Next steps
What is fleet management software?
Fleet management software encompasses a range of platforms and technologies that help you keep track of your fleet, ensure the safety and productivity of your drivers, and maximise the performance and efficiency of your vehicles.
It can also log and store essential data and documentation on vehicles and drivers, which both fleet owners and drivers can access whenever needed.
Fleet management software functions
Fleet tracking software comes with a dizzying array of features. Below, we take a look at just some of them, and explain how they can benefit your business fleet.
Keeping track of your vehicles is, obviously, imperative when managing a fleet. Vehicle tracking software uses a GPS system to track your vehicles in real time, round the clock.
Find out more about vehicle tracking here.
Route optimisation helps your drivers find the most cost-effective routes. You can both plan multi-stop routes in advance and manage routes to help drivers adapt to last minute changes when there are road closures or traffic flare-ups.
Route optimisation has the added advantage of protecting the environment. And with transportation a major contributor to global CO2 emissions, it should be your duty as a fleet owner to minimise environmental impact.
Better customer service
Vehicle tracking can help you to improve your customer service by:
- Keeping clients and customers up to date with delivery times
- Quickly dispatching the closest and most suitable driver to any particular job
Driver monitoring and management
From monitoring driving style and behaviour to suggesting improvements and ensuring best practice, tools can keep track of all manner of metrics. It’s amazing how much data software can now produce and analyse to help you optimise your fleet.
There are a number of metrics that vehicle tracking software can measure to ensure driver safety, including:
- Engine faults
- Seatbelt use
Some providers can even issue in-vehicle alerts if they detect unsafe driving.
As well as helping drivers use their vehicles more safely, fleet management software can instruct them to drive more economically by analysing factors such as acceleration and brake use.
Some even employ an element of healthy competition to help educate drivers, who can compete for positions on leaderboards and check how they measure up to their colleagues. They can then discuss their score with a supervisor and work to improve it.
Fleet management software lets you securely store and share all sorts of essential information, including:
Drivers can also access the information they need to carry out their job, as well as alerts and reports, from their mobile.
Fleet management can really help to lift the burden of admin associated with owning a fleet of vehicles, and the upkeep that entails.
For example, by recording important milestones, it can notify you when a vehicle is due for a service or MOT, or when the insurance needs to be renewed.
It can also collect a variety of data on vehicle utilisation, such as:
- Distance travelled per day/week/month etc.
- Travel time
- Time spent idling
- Max speed
This can be used to generate reports and make improvements.
Fleet management software costs
Frequently, the price of fleet management software is based on the size of your fleet and the distance it will be travelling on a regular basis.
Many providers don’t publish their prices, but you can get a clearer idea of cost by contacting them directly.
Generally, you’ll be paying a fixed monthly fee which will scale in line with your fleet. Most providers offer free installation of their hardware. You may also be able to find a fleet management software free download that you can use for a trial period.
As an example:
Quartix is a GPS vehicle tracking solution for commercial fleets of all sizes. The monthly prices for its three tiers are:
- Infopoint: £13.90
- Infoplus: £15.90
- Infofleet: £19.50
Find out more about fleet management costs here.
Vehicle tracking cost
Vehicle trackers vary in cost depending on how feature-heavy they are.
You can pick up a fairly basic tracker for around £60, or lease one for as little as £10 per month/per vehicle.
An advanced tracker will cost closer to £300 outright, and between £15 and £25 per month to lease.
Find out more about vehicle tracking costs here.
Return on investment
Don’t forget that you also need to factor in the return on investment (ROI) of fleet management software.
It more than pays for itself when you consider:
- Reduced fuel costs
- More efficient driving
- Reduction in vehicle maintenance costs
- Reduction in insurance premiums
GDPR and vehicle tracking
Given the wealth of sensitive driver data they have the capacity to collect, you may have spotted the potential for vehicle tracking solutions to contravene General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In case you haven’t yet encountered GDPR, it was introduced in 2018 to modernise data protection laws and give individuals more control over their personal data.
According to Lawgistics, which provides legal solutions for the motor trade, the information produced by a vehicle tracking device would be defined as personal data under GDPR, because it relates to a person who can be directly or indirectly identified.
However, you are entitled as an employer to use tracking devices to collect this data, provided there is a legitimate reason for doing so – operational efficiencies or safety/security benefits, for example.
In order to stay above board, then, you need to have a clear policy set in place which details the nature and extent of monitoring. The trackers should also have privacy buttons.
According to Lawgistics, your policy should:
- Make employees aware of the presence of tracking devices in their vehicles
- Be completely transparent
- Clarify what private use can be made of the vehicles used by the employees
- Explain the purpose of the device and rules on their use
- Explain what data the system can collect, and how the data will be used by managers, supervisors, the Transport Unit, clients, and the general public
- Be consented to in writing by all employees
As you’ve seen, adopting fleet management software can represent a great investment for your business.
Whether large or small, any business that relies on a fleet will benefit from the efficiencies and cost savings a fleet management solution can create.
Unanswered questions? Click on the links below to find out everything you need to know about fleet management: