Companies that focus on delivery, freight, and transportation require a coordinated vehicular operation. A poorly managed fleet can hurt profits through increased fuel and maintenance costs. That’s why it’s imperative to invest in technology to remain competitive and maximize their workforce and revenue. Not only does it help you increase efficiency and productivity, but it will also improve the safety of your fleet vehicles and drivers.
According to Frost and Sullivan’s research company, fleet management data can increase productivity by up to 15 percent and reduce fuel expenditure by 20 – 25 percent. In addition to that, 75% of fleet managers rely on fleet management software to help support their day-to-day operations. Sounds impressive, right? Let’s find out more details below!
What exactly is a fleet management system?
Essentially, fleet management solutions are used to better manage commercial vehicles such as cars, vans and trucks to ensure they’re well maintained and used efficiently and safely. Moreover, they help you monitor the day-to-day activities, optimize fleet routes, and schedule duties among your staff. Only by implementing a fleet management system can you reduce costs and enhance the business performance of the entire company.
What are the types of fleet management systems you can use in business?
Here you can find some information about the types of Fleet Management Systems:
- Off-line fleet management systems: recording units are used in each vehicle to collect data that is processed and analyzed later.
- Online fleet management systems: they use software to connect to a server over the Internet and capture real-time data and automatically analyze it.
Why do you need a fleet management solution?
Managing a pool of vehicles can be challenging, especially if you process the data manually from different sources of information. A fleet management system is a must. With this solution, you will have relevant information on the fleet performance at your fingertips. Let’s find out below why you need a fleet management solution in place.
- If you need to manage huge data streams of more than one vehicle.
- If you need to process a huge amount of information daily.
- If you need to provide your drivers with the working schedule.
- If you need to keep track of all data and deal with issues.
- If you need to make more informed, fast, and optimized decisions.
Having all the data in one place, you may get even more data-driven insights for short- and long-term business decisions and operations.
What’s the idea of the project?
Having a great experience in delivering a plethora of software solutions to meet business needs in logistics, eCommerce, eLearning, recruiting, fintech, and booking sector, DDI Development team are here to stay. Recently, we built and implemented a fleet management system for a US-based truck company. Our client wanted us to create a fleet management system that automates paper-based processes and makes their business move more effectively and smoothly.
With that in mind, we developed and implemented a fleet management system that can help in handling your fleet in-house. Not only does it help our client manage fuel and maintenance costs, but our client can capture a static view of the operational strengths with a simple click. Only by using the fleet management system can our client do the following:
- Capture data on all details regarding your fleet
- Determine the possible risks at every stage of the fleet operation
- Provide longer vehicle life spans
- Ensure the vehicles are well-maintained
Also, you can read about: How to develop Freight Forwarding System for logistic company
The development process of the fleet management system
Here you can grasp the development process of the fleet management system. Let’s dive into the details below:
We need the following development team to develop the fleet management system:
- 1 Business analyst (BA)
- 1 Project manager (PM)
- 2 UI/UX designers
- 3 Front-end engineers
- 2 Quality assurance engineers (QA)
- 3 Backend engineers
When creating the fleet management system, we applied Agile methodology based on the following factors:
- We could easily adapt to any changes in the client’s requirements.
- Our team took into account all the client’s needs over the requirements in the development plans.
- Instead of established processes, we focused more on results that were more important for both the team and the client.
Thanks to the key components of agile-driven development, the development team implemented 24 sprints during which it built and incorporated a fleet management system into the client’s business.
For a start, the Business Analyst had a meeting with the client and stakeholders to clarify the problem they would like to solve with a fleet management system. Once the Business Analyst gathered all the essential information about the business processes, potential users, etc., the team was able to identify key features for the potential project. Not only did we define the users’ roles such as a fleet manager, a diver, a client, and an administrator, but we also came up with the following features:
- Fleet management
- Location tracking
- Fuel usage management
- Real-time field reports
- Driver performance management
- Vehicle diagnostics and maintenance
- Safety management
In addition to these, the Business Analyst produced a project specification document that outlines the desired system look and functional specification which specifies how the client and stakeholders see the appearance and capabilities of the upcoming fleet management solution. Taking into account this information, the Project Manager provided a preliminary estimate to the client and suggested the development process roadmap indicating what a software development team will build. Once it was confirmed, the planned scope of work (so-called Backlog) was divided into 2-week sprints. To sum up, there were 24 sprints and the development lasted 12 months.
Before each sprint, the whole team of designers, front-end and back-end engineers, QA engineers reviewed which features from the backlog they worked on and committed to some result by the end of each sprint. With demo sessions, we gave feedback and discussed with the client any possible changes to the backlog which would help to maximize project value. Once the fleet management system was free of bugs, we launched it and collected feedback from users to make any improvement or upgrade.
Below you can find out what technologies could be used when developing a fleet management system.
There are four key user levels within the fleet management system: Fleet Manager, Client, Driver and Administrator. However, you can create more user roles if there is a necessity for your business.
- Client: a user that can register on the site, create a quote, know the price, place an order, and then close it or track from the user area.
- Fleet Manager: a user who is responsible for vehicle acquisition, fuel management, vehicle maintenance, health and safety and compliance.
- Driver: a user who is responsible for delivery.
- Administrator: this role is assigned to owners or partners who can manage every aspect of the fleet management system; can create user roles by defining access levels and permissions within the fleet system.
Fleet Manager Module
A Fleet Manager can register and log into the fleet account. Once everything is done, you are landed on the Dashboard that is your home page. Not only can you see a general overview of the fleet processes within the company, but you can also view service reminders, fuel consumption, number of active/inactive vehicles, recent comments, etc. On the right, you can find out the main menu that includes the following options:
Only by clicking the corresponding option in your main menu can you land on the Map page. Not only can you see the number of vehicles in movement/stopped, but you can also track each vehicle parameters such as speed, mileage, coordinates, etc. Only by knowing the location of your vehicles can you optimize routes, achieve a high level of productivity, and keep drivers safe.
With the Order feature, you can manage all the orders within your business, assign tasks to the drivers, and keep better control. Moreover, you can get orders from the clients automatically, or create them and turn into 'completed services' once they are closed. On this page, you can see a table with the following columns: ID#, Order, Assigned to, Destination, Order Created, Status (In transit, Assigned), Deadline, Actions.
You can reach the Drivers page from the corresponding option in your main menu. Here you will see a list of persons under the trucking company’s employ including all the essential information about each driver such as full name, date of birth, home address, assigned tasks, etc. Moreover, you can get more detailed information by clicking the person you need and redirecting to this page.
Once you press the Vehicle button, you will land on this page. Here you will see a list with all the vehicles in the fleet and the following information: Name, Status, Type, Current Meter, Driver, Actions. By clicking on the vehicle you are interested in, you will be redirected to the page where you can find out more detailed information about this exact vehicle - details, documents, photos, routes, etc.
With the Inspection feature, you can find and fix any issue related to the vehicles before they cause a costly repair. Here you can see the following tabs - History, Failures, Schedules. On the History page, you will see the table with the following columns: ID#, Vehicle, Date Submitted, Form (Report), Notes, User, Status (Open, Overdue, Resolved, Closed), Actions.
With the Issues feature, you can discover all the issues within your track company. You can filter them based on the status such as open, overdue, resolved, or closed issues. Also, you can see a table that includes the following information:
- Issue Summary
Not only does this feature allow you to take a closer look at some of the major issues you face, but you can also delve into some of the potential fixes you can implement within your fleet.
With the Reminders feature, you are in the know about upcoming events, such as fleet servicing and maintenance activities. Moreover, you will get notifications when it’s time to renew your insurance. In addition to that, you can find two types of reminders – time-based and distance-based - that are completely configurable.
With the Fuel feature, you can track fuel usage and set up purchase limits. Not only does it help you monitor and control fill-up related activities, but you can also get a better understanding of how you pay for the fuel to where you fill up. With that in mind, you can identify the level of fuel consumption and reduce fleet fuel expenditures.
With the Reports feature, you can view relevant fleet performance analytics and actionable reports centralized in one location. Presented in an easy-to-interpret, graphical format, they allow you to monitor vehicles across your fleet and make data-driven decisions on fleet servicing, maintenance, inspections, etc. Only by analyzing fleet-related data can you improve your fleet and optimize it.
After you have registered in the fleet management system, you will land on the Driver Dashboard. Here you can find the following navigation hub - Assignments, Map, Issues, Reminders, and Location History. Let’s take a closer look below:
With the Assignments feature, you can see all the orders you have been assigned to. Not only does it help you to be in the know about all the tasks, but you can also get notifications about any changes. On this page, you can see a table with the following columns:
- Order Created
- Order Created by
- Additional Info
With the Map feature, you can see the visuals helping you to effectively pinpoint landmarks or locations. Moreover, you can plan your route in real-time and get step-by-step voice directions if you need it. In addition to that, you can switch between terrain map type or satellite.
With the Reminders feature, you can keep any issues to a minimum. Here you will see all the reminders about the vehicle you have been assigned to. Once a vehicle’s maintenance is coming up, due or overdue, you will be notified immediately. On this page you will see a table that includes the following columns: ID#, Type, Status, Due, Notes, Actions.
With the Location History feature, you can view all the information related to your previous routes. Not only can you review the list of physical addresses visited, but you can also see the amount of time spent at every location. In addition to that, you can discover the hours of service logs and update their duty in one click.
Moreover, a Driver can use a mobile version of the fleet management system. This allows drivers to access key delivery details they need from anywhere through their smartphones.
After logging in to the fleet management system as an Administrator, you can see the following hub of navigation presented in the main menu - Maps, Orders, Users, Vehicles, Inspections, Issues, Reminders, Fuel, Reports, and System Settings. Let’s take a closer look at some of them below:
The Order feature allows an Administrator to manage all the orders within your truck business, see all the tasks assigned, and control with a simple click. Here you will see a table that includes the following columns - ID#, Order, Assigned to, Destination, Order Created, Orders Created by, Status (In transit, Assigned), Deadline, Actions.
With the Users feature, you can see all the users within the fleet management system. On this page, you will see the following tabs - Clients, Employees - and can switch between them. All the information is presented in a well-structured table with clear logic. Here you will find the following information:
In addition to that, you can invite or create a new user in the fleet management system by clicking the Create button.
With the Fuel feature, you can stay on top of the amount of money spent on fuel for each and every vehicle in your fleet. Not only does it help you eliminate the need for your drivers to maintain a lot of tracking paperwork, but you can also make sure that the right vehicle is fueled at the right time and place. This will help you prevent fraud and reduce costs on fuel.
By pressing the Reports option in your main menu, you will be redirected to the Reports page. With this feature, you can get a better understanding of how well your trucking company is running. In addition to that, you can gain insight into route deviation, identify unauthorized work stoppage, visualize the level of fuel consumption, etc. Based on that information, you can make more informed decisions and make any changes within the fleet management system.
With the System Setting feature, you can make changes in all areas within the fleet management system. By clicking on the tabs such as Users, Vehicles, Issues, Fuel, Reminders, Roles, you can configure the global settings within the fleet management system based on the trucking business needs.
Also, you can read about: How to build an Inventory Management System for eCommerce business
Key features of the fleet management system
Below are the features that can be included in the fleet management system:
- Fleet management: with this feature, you can monitor fuel levels 24/7 and identify cases of leaks or theft quickly.
- Location tracking: with this feature, you can access the real-time location and movement of any vehicle to inform your customers of vehicle arrival times.
- Fuel usage management: thanks to this feature, you can get all the important information about fuel such as reports on consumption, all the purchases and transactions.
- Real-time reports: thanks to this feature, you can analyze real-time data and make informed decisions.
- Driver performance management: with this feature, not only can you monitor drivers’ behavior, but it also allows you to set up alerts and notifications.
- Vehicle diagnostics and maintenance: thanks to this feature, you can organize vehicle diagnostics and maintenance in one click and keep track of everything for compliance and cost control.
- Route planning and monitoring: thanks to this feature, you can anticipate future events, support your fleet management decisions, and minimize fuel consumption.
Benefits of using fleet management automation solutions
Let’s keep on reading what benefits you can derive from implementing a fleet management system:
- Better fuel consumption control: not only can you get a complete and accurate overview of your fuel consumption, but you can also receive alerts and updates once fuel consumption levels have been increased and react quickly.
- Automated reports and insights into fleet operations: with built-in dashboards for reporting, analytics, and visualization, you can easily view real-time data and make any change.
- Better maintenance and control: only by collecting and analyzing the data regarding repairs and planned services can you be notified in advance to prevent downtime, outwears, and costly repairs.
- Prevent fleet fraud: not only can you prevent fraudulent attempts such as fuel card frauds or detect other anomalies, but you can also identify whether your employees use your vehicles to run errands or complete extra jobs outside of work hours.
- Real-time fleet data gathering and analysis: not only can you capture relevant information in real-time, but you can also analyze it to stay up-to-date and get higher level visibility.
- Delivery deadline compliance: you can automatically schedule/reschedule, re-route on the go to comply with the delivery deadlines, and significantly increase the number of deliveries.
Bottom line: Need to track vehicles and drivers in real-time?
In a data-driven environment, using a fleet management solution is a way out. Equipped with technology, you can automate fleet management the right way and take your business to a high level. Not only does the fleet management system help you gain insight into the operating costs of your fleet, but you can eliminate the wastage of fuel and prevent fraud. That’s why it’s imperative for you to invest and implement fleet management software to drive your business growth and revenue. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you want to invest in your trucking company’s future.