Fleet management solutions come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Read this blog to know more!
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The concept of vehicle tracking came into existence in 1978 with the first Block-I GPS satellite. Since then, GPS tracking systems have not looked back and have only grown to dominate the world of vehicle management.
In today’s world, managing a successful transportation-related business without fleet management software is nearly impossible.
So, are you a new fleet manager wondering if you should invest in a vehicle management software system? Or, are you wondering what kind of software will work best for your fleet? You’ve come to the right place!
Continue reading this blog to read the advantages and disadvantages of fleet management software to make your decision!
Why Has Fleet Management Software Become So Popular?
In the world of doorstep deliveries and eCommerce, transportation of goods and at-home services are not too much to ask for. And what does it take to make your ordered goods be transferred from the factory to warehouses and further? Fleets!
In India alone, the eCommerce industry has grown by 21.5% in 2022, reaching a total value of $74.8 billion! This means a similar growth in the need for the trucking industry. Be it for the first mile or middle mile, using and managing fleets of trucks and commercial vehicles is paramount but complicated without fleet management software.
GPS tracking software have become popular in the current time because they track some of the most crucial data from a fleet. Some of them include:
Geospatial Information: The vehicle’s location, direction, speed, satellite images, surrounding traffic, etc.
Engine Diagnostics: The condition an engine is in, the vehicle’s odometer readings, RPM, maintenance schedule, etc.
Resource Consumption: How much fuel a vehicle has and will consume, the route it follows, how drivers treat the vehicle, etc.
Fleet progress: By grabbing all the aforementioned data, fleet management software can build analytical reports that help you understand drive behaviour, fuel consumption, and overall fleet performance.
Collecting and analysing all this data can help you save 36% of your time on manual management and calculations. Moreover, documentation is also beneficial for your fleet in the long run when functions can be automated through historical data.
The Advantages of Fleet Management Software
There is a reason why fleet management software systems have made their way into all significant fleet managers’ offices, right? In this section, let us look at some advantages that you are likely to see while using fleet management software systems:
Real-time Tracking: Real-time tracking is essential for any fleet manager. It is only through live vehicle tracking that managers can rest assured about their consignment and asset safety and can enjoy features such as route mapping, route planning, driver behaviour analysis, and even concise reports.
Automated Operations: Fleet management software solutions help automate end-to-end functions in your fleet. Gone are the days when you had to sit down with paper and pen to make calculations, strategies, and much more.
Low Operational Costs: Fuel monitoring and route planning features help reduce operational costs in an organization. You will learn how to use the least possible resources without compromising on results.
Higher Profitability: The lower the operational costs in an organisation, the higher the profits. Moreover, fleet management software solutions allow you to gain higher profits as you get a clearer insight into how your fleet works and get to understand better operational strategies.
Better Security: As long as your fleet management software solution comes with adequate hardware integration, it offers higher security with features such as parking mode, SOS alarms, and immobilization. Security features cover not only consignment but also your vehicles and drivers!
Data Analytics: Data analytics is how you can make your business grow exponentially in the future with the information you collect today. You can go beyond vehicle tracking and understand nitty-gritty metrics such as the areas your trucks mostly go through, the most theft-prone areas in your route, and even the best vehicles in your fleet.
Till now, using fleet management software systems feels like an obvious and ideal choice, right? Well, in most regards, it is. However, it does come with some disadvantages as well:
Learning Curve: As with all software systems, fleet management software also comes with a certain learning curve. Some systems can be so complicated that without aid from the software provider, you might not unlock the true potential of the tool at hand.
Extra Cost: Sure, you are bound to gain a lot from using a fleet management software system. The profits you’ll make due to the software aid will eventually make up for the initial subscription cost. However, if you are a small business owner, the initial cost might seem like too much.
Infrastructure Needs: You’ll face issues using fleet management software systems if you don’t have proper network infrastructure. Without a stable Internet connection at all times, you will be missing out on the ‘real-time’ aspect of these systems. However, you can hardly do anything effectively without proper network infrastructure anyway.
Resistance From Staff: At least initially, your staff might resist adopting fleet management software systems because they will be under complete surveillance. However, once you explain the benefits they get from automation, the integration process should become smoother.
How To Choose The Right Fleet Management Software?
We’re sure that after reading the advantages and disadvantages of fleet management software, you’re convinced that getting them is a good idea. Therefore, now you must know how to choose the right one for your fleet. And that is exactly what we will explain in this section.
Look into the following aspects of your business before you make your investment.
Your Industry: Ensure looking at the fleet management requirements your fleet has and check if the software provider offers them. For example, for an FMCG industry, sensor integration (cabin thermometer) would be important, while an agricultural fleet would prioritise geofences.
Features: All basic fleet management software offers real-time tracking, fuel monitoring, route management, and driver behaviour analysis. However, according to your fleet’s requirements, you’ll have to check if you need the software offers advanced features like video telematics, automation, and sensor integration.
Customisability: No software can serve every client’s need perfectly. So, either it has to be niche-based, or very flexible. Customisable software helps you get solutions to whatever issues you have with your fleet, custom alerts, as well as personalised UI/UX.
Customer Support: Regardless of your niche, good customer support is a must for good fleet management software. After all, if the software lags and there is no way to fix it, your fleet’s productivity would go for a toss, right?
Scalability: Ensure that the software you go for is not just ideal for your fleet now, but can also support a business 10 times bigger than yours. Only that way do you know that you will not have to ditch the old organizational structure as your business grows just because the software couldn’t handle it.
Budget: Do not go for wasteful features that you will never need to get software that everyone is using. Instead, understand your own needs and invest only in a fleet management system that will help you without burning a hole in your pocket.
The Final Verdict
If you manage a fleet with a lot of money riding on them, you cannot afford to not make the best use of your operations, right? While the time and monetary investment into fleet management software systems might seem too much for a beginner, know that the benefits surpass the initial toil.
The multiple features offered by software, be they simple or advanced, play a huge role in automating and simplifying fleet management.
So, why are you still thinking? Use our guide to single out the GPS tracking system that will suit your fleet the best.
Ayushi Nagalia is a Senior Content Specialist at TrackoBit. She is passionate about music, writing, and reading. When not abusing her keyboard, you will find her lost in her playlists or organizing things.