However, since custom software tends to be slightly expensive, there’s an ongoing debate about whether or not they are worth it. That is the debate we are addressing in this blog while focusing on fleet management software with the example of custom route management solutions.
Let’s look into the cases for both custom and ready-made software now!
What Is Custom Fleet Management Software?
Have you seen the classic Vans Old Skool sneakers? They have high utility value and look appealing, right? But the customised ones come in the colour you’d like and can have varied heel heights depending on your personal needs! Pretty cool and even more usable, right?
It is built on the structure of a classic fleet management platform that has all the essential features anyone can need. However, the custom software development company will tweak this structure as per your needs. They will add or remove features, personalise the UI/UX, and even optimise some use cases according to what you need.
Just like with pumped-heel Vans, the biggest benefit of custom fleet monitoring software is that you get solutions for your exact problems – nothing less, nothing more.
All these solutions do exactly what their name suggests and nothing more. They will track, analyse, and show reports. However, they are mostly ‘dumb’ features that can only do what 62% fleet using some kind of software already do.
However, with flexible or custom fleet management software solutions, they have sub-solutions that are meant to solve distinct problems. They can look like:
Superior safety alarms and alerts
Automated vehicle diagnostics
Regulating defined safety measures for different asset types
Restricting particular routes at a pre-determined time bracket
You might be thinking – but my problem isn’t mentioned here and it seems silly. All I want is for my drivers to not enter a theft-prone area after it is dark. I can just inform them over calls, right?
If you have any problem that requires breaking away from automation and going manual again, the system is failing you.
This is the time when you should be thinking about upgrading to custom solutions. No matter the magnitude of your problem, custom software such as TrackoBit will always have an automated solution for you!
Understanding Flexibility Through a Custom Route Management System
Most factors affecting routes such as weather and traffic conditions are external. Therefore, rigid routes will make only a slight difference in reducing unnecessary expenses. Managers have to manually inform and supervise the speed limits and time restrictions for particular areas, making the word ‘automated’ in automated route management moot.
Flexibility in route planning solutions, however, maintains automation integrity. With sub-solutions in the general route management solution, the smallest issues can be solved.
The idea is simple – understand where your fleet is suffering in terms of route management and let us know. Combining several basic fleet solutions, we’ll tailor our fleet management software, TrackoBit, to perfectly meet your requirements.
Where Can I Use Routing Flexibility: An Example
A transporter improved speed, distance, time, fuel, and safety efficiency in their fleet, not through multiple solutions, but one – flexible route management.
The Problem with Ready-made Route Management Solution
Consider a transporter with a truck that fetches assets from site 1 and has to drop them to site 2 thrice a day.
Here’s all the basic information about the journey:
Distance: 30 km
Time Taken on each side: 3 hours
Average speed: 10 km/hr
Route Details: The most efficient route mostly runs on a highway but goes through a 3km forested area without network coverage and has a school on the way. The route avoiding these problem areas is 12 km longer.
Remember, a simple route management system will only analyse the map from site 1 and site 2 and offer the quickest and most fuel-efficient route. Anything else, such as traffic regulations or geographical and infrastructural issues, has to be looked into manually.
So, the truck’s schedule looks like this
Site 1 – Site 2
6:00 – 9:00
13:00 – 16:00
20:00 – 23:00
Site 2 – Site 1
9:30 – 12:30
16:30 – 19:30
23:30 – 2:30
Some of the problems the transporter is facing with this route are:
Incredibly low average speed
Trucks taking too long to pass the forested area where they cannot be tracked
Safety concerns surrounding the school and children becoming victims of accidents
Fuel and asset pilferage in the forested area
Constant route monitoring
To solve these problems, the transporter could only:
Manually or historically check how long the truck is taking in the forested area
Train drivers to slow down in the school area
Tell drivers to avoid the forested area between 18:00 and 6:30
This was causing a lot of issues since there was no efficient way for the transporter to know if drivers were breaking any regulations. Moreover, monitoring time wastage in the forested area was nearly impossible without real-time tracking.
The Solution Lies in Flexible Route Management Systems
Fed up with the inefficient system, the transporter decided to work with TrackoBit’s custom route management platforms Here’s how the problems were solved by a combination of tools such as trip management, fuel monitoring, tire pressure monitors, and system alerts infused into the route management solution:
Route Scheduling: Instead of informing drivers manually that the forested area is off-limits in the dark, route scheduling automatically changes the route. In case a vehicle enters the forbidden route, the transporter gets instant alerts. The forbidden boundary is removed right after sunrise.
Duration Reports: According to the average speed, vehicles should not take more than 20 minutes in the forest area. So, when a vehicle enters the area, a timer starts and if the vehicle is not out within 20 minutes, the manager would know. They can also check where the vehicle tends to slow down and speed up throughout the route.
Dynamic Speed Limit: To reduce caution near the school, the trucks will have to run at a lower speed limit. In case that limit is crossed, the alarm installed in the vehicle will ring, making the driver slow down and the transporter will be sent a notification as well.
Theft Monitoring: The vehicle’s tire pressure will be monitored while entering and exiting the forested area to note any change in weight (hence, assets). If vehicles take too long in there and come out with low pressure, the transporter understands that that vehicle and driver need to be better supervised. Moreover, safety alarms activate within the forested area to protect the vehicle and driver against hijacking.
Should I Get Ready-made or Custom Fleet Management Software?
For new fleets or businesses requiring fleets to the minimum, ready-made fleet management solutions will work. However, if you own or are managing a vast and specialised fleet, you’ll need personalised solutions.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Ready-made Fleet Management Platform
Ready to use
Limited use cases
Solves all basic fleet management needs
Cannot offer complete automation
Easy on the pocket
All fleets serve the same functions
Makes entering the fleet business simpler
Advantages and Disadvantages of Custom Fleet Management Software
Personalised problem solving
Heavy on the pocket
Solves all basic needs as well
Long wait time before use
Builds 100% automated fleets
Maximises fleet efficiency
Improves scalability in the fleet business
Are Custom Software More Profitable In the Long-run?
The classic solutions are perfect for someone who is just entering the business. They’re cheaper, they solve all general problems, and you can find one you can use within a few days.
However, if your business is past the novice level, rigid fleet management solutions will just not cut it. After all, throughout your experience, you’ve understood your business’ workflow and have distinct problems to solve, right?
Whether custom fleet monitoring software is worth it in the long run or not is a similar question to whether it is better to buy or rent assets.
Renting assets and using ready-made software makes sense when you’re not sure if you’re going to stay in business for a long period and are not aware of your specific needs. However, if you’re past those confusions, investing in assets and a custom fleet management platform makes sense. They will soon reach their break-even point and will practically pay for themselves and reap profits in the long run!
Though we’ve explained only route management flexibility in this blog, there’s a lot more that you can do and fiddle with through a flexible software system. Since you’ve reached the end of this blog, you’re either building a new fleet or are a fleet owner/manager looking to improve efficiency in your fleet.
So, did we convince you to go to custom vehicle management solutions?
If yes, you should try TrackoBit, the fastest-growing custom telematics software in the fleet management market. Tell us the problems you’re facing with your fleet and we’ll develop a custom solution for you!
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.
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