When you think about fleet management, you picture big yards full of vehicles. But even businesses that only have a handful of vehicles on the road still need to manage their fleets daily. Small businesses with fleets benefit from using telematics and GPS fleet tracking as much as large ones. Choosing the best GPS fleet tracking device for your small business can give you the competitive edge.
When you operate a small fleet, not only do you have the same concerns as the fleet manager of a larger fleet, you are often handling more responsibilities than just managing the fleet. Often, small fleets are not overseen by dedicated fleet managers. Instead, this job often falls to someone in operations or accounting or even the owner. Though important, fleet management is often an extra responsibility they take on in addition to other responsibilities. In a small fleet, fleet managers have to wear many more hats. And they often end up with many more headaches and sleepless nights.
Below are several types of small businesses that can benefit from GPS fleet tracking and gain a competitive edge in their industry.
Just because a fleet is smaller doesn’t mean its operations are easier. Managers of smaller fleets often face unique challenges due to limited resources. Making sure your customer get the best possible service, dealing with budget limitations, and keeping your business competitive is a balancing act. If even one area is out of balance, it will affect the entire business. There is much less room for error for businesses with small fleets.
GPS tracking solutions offer benefits that go beyond telling you where your vehicles are. With a telematics system, you’ll gain insight into your drivers’ behavior on the road, be able to schedule maintenance alerts, and more.
Fuel prices are always volatile, and you never know when they will fluctuate wildly. You can’t control them, so you are at their mercy. However, you can curb driving behaviors that can drive your fuel costs up. Harsh braking and accelerating, excess idling, and speeding are all driving behaviors that can cause excess fuel usage.
For a small fleet, it is especially important to keep your vehicles on the road. Unexpected breakdowns that delay or keep your vehicles off the road can really put a wrench in your schedule. With fleet management telematics, you can automate your maintenance schedule based on the parameter you prefer. This way, you can schedule maintenance at your convenience and rearrange your drivers’ schedules accordingly.
You can make sure your tires are properly inflated, so they are safer and last longer. You can preschedule your oil changes, filter changes, tire alignments, and replace spark plugs on time so that your vehicles run better and more efficiently.
Since the device is hooked up to your vehicle’s engine, you can also set alerts based on how the engine is performing and resolve issues before they occur. When your vehicles are well-maintained, they run better, use less gas, and last longer.
Getting your vehicles where they need to be on time is key for smaller fleets. With fleet management telematics, you can optimize their routes so that they are sent to the jobs that are nearest to their current location. You can group all their jobs so that they spend less time traveling and more time on the job.
You can also make sure they are taking routes with less traffic to avoid excessive idling. Your drivers will have enough time to get to their job locations, reducing incidences of speeding. You can also reroute your teams if needed when one vehicle is delayed, or an emergency call comes in.
Whenever your business vehicles are driven for personal use, your company’s fuel is wasted. A telematics tracking system can help you reduce unauthorized vehicle use. You can monitor exactly when a driver starts or finishes a job with your systems driver ID system. With GPS tracking, you can see where they stop, and if they take unauthorized detours or run personal errands. You can also use the geofencing feature to set alerts that let you know if your vehicles travel outside preset boundaries and find out why.
Driver turnover is a big issue in fleets of all sizes, but especially so for small fleets. One of the most common sources of driver turnover is due to disciplinary issues. With telematics, you can reduce disciplinary problems and driver turnover. Training is key to keeping your drivers. You can use data from your system to help your drivers improve, develop a safety culture, and possibly lower insurance premiums. Ensuring your drivers have the tools they need to do their jobs better will lower their stress levels, increase job satisfaction, and reduce driver turnover.
Implementing a driver training program helps you improve fleet safety, manage risk, and increase drivers’ job satisfaction. Your crash incidents will go down and your vehicles will run more efficiently and longer.
Timesheet fraud is real. Not only does it cost you money, but it can result in customers being billed incorrectly. You can avoid this by using a telematics system that generates reports on start and finish times, hours and days worked, average hours and more.
Your telematics systems collect a lot of data, so of course, you’ll want to use it. You can get reports on metrics such as:
There are a lot of challenges when managing a small fleet. Getting the best GPS fleet tracking system can help small businesses keep fleets going while also staying on top of all other responsibilities.