DEALING with vehicle management used to be complicated, mountains of paperwork, unexpected charges, time-consuming admin, and countless legal responsibilities.
Any business that has a fleet of vehicles needs to ensure the vehicles are kept fully functioning. The right policies combined with the right technology can make managing a vehicle fleet much easier on the company’s time and budget.
Fleet management software takes away a lot of the pain. It enables you to accomplish a series of specific tasks in the management of any or all aspects relating to a fleet of vehicles. This includes all operations from vehicle acquisition through maintenance to disposal.
The main function of the software is to gather, store, process, monitor, report on and export information. This information can be imported from external sources such the DVLA, financial institutions, insurance databases, vehicle specification databases, mapping systems and from internal sources such as human resources and finance.
The software should be able to manage processes, tasks and events related to all kinds of vehicles and will manage
- The number and type of vehicles
- Licensing, registration, MoT and tax
- Insurance, including due dates and restrictions
- Cost management and analysis
- Driver licences
- Logging of penalty points.
- Booking system for pool vehicles
- Accidents and fines, plus apportioning costs to drivers
- Route planning
- Logbooks and work time
Fleet management software can be developed in-house but for small businesses better to buy from a specialist company as it can vary in complexity and cost.
If you want to do it yourself you will need to keep records of who is using each vehicle and when. You will need to know which driver has what vehicle, and during which times and how they are using it.
Keep records of vehicle condition and mileage. You can add additional sections to the vehicle log that a driver has to fill out when accepting a fleet vehicle.
Check the vehicle for damage and mechanical problems and make sure they are sorted quickly to save problems building up.
Make sure that regular maintenance is carried out on vehicles according to the mileage and keep records.
GPS tracking devices are useful, not necessarily to keep an eye on the drivers but they are useful if want to know where youjr vehicles are and particularly useful in case a fleet vehicle gets stolen.
This sounds like a lot of time-consuming work so better to go for a ready-cooked software package and there are a number out there that can help.
Look for what fits with your business, is easy to use with a mobile interface and telematics inside.
Packages that run in the cloud allow businesses to manage their fleet and their drivers on the go, using any kind of device.
You simply login and start managing vehicles and drivers. Look out for good analytics, so you can make better decisions to save you time and money.
The software should be able to keep track of vehicle and driver data, including fuel consumption, mileage, servicing and maintenance.
It will allow you to create a practical vehicle policy and the mechanism to ensure drivers sign up too, so everyone is clear about their responsibilities.
Some packages will provide automatic alerts and reminders, delivering peace of mind and more time to focus on getting on with day to day business.
Look for packages purposely designed to support SME fleets and that automate as much of the process involved.