Be the Captain of Your Fleet
Q: How would a business interested in optimizing its fleet operations decide where to start in evaluating technology?
Brown: Most companies decide by asking those they know—relying on word-of-mouth from friends, colleagues, sometimes even competitors. Of the few companies offering solutions in this space, some will claim they are the best, so assessing credibility and reliability of these companies is critical. Do your due diligence in finding the most reliable company, then dig down to figure out what features you need in the technology it offers.
We recommend companies start slowly with a scalable solution that will lead to fuel and mileage savings—achieving initial ROI—then look to implement the vendor's more advanced capabilities to take it to the next level. Are your drivers getting work orders efficiently and consistently? Are your customers being served properly? No matter the size of your business, you're now poised to really leverage the technology. And, to at least some degree, it needs to be embedded into your existing applications and systems, so make certain that easy and flexible integration is available to meet both your current and future needs.
Q: How can companies use fleet optimization software to better manage their supply chains in this difficult economic environment?
Brown: In today's economic climate, every penny counts and satisfied customers are critical. Fleet optimization software gives you the power to run your operations with increased efficiency by helping you maximize driver, vehicle, and fleet productivity while delivering superior customer service. By automating your planning, scheduling, and routing functions, you can significantly reduce driving miles and save on fuel costs while adding more stops per day.
With this capability, you can prepare more precise estimates by putting numbers to hidden costs for travel, and extend the lifecycle of your fleet by automatically logging engine hours and delivering reminders for routine maintenance. This boosts driver, fleet, and management productivity and adds up to dramatic savings—both short- and long-term—improving your bottom line while keeping customers satisfied and loyal.
Q: Is it possible to "green" your fleet operations without incurring additional expense?
Brown: Yes. In fact, the same initiatives needed to reduce fuel usage or miles traveled also enhance an operation's environmental impact. Some may call it 'reducing operating costs,' but you can also call it 'going green'—they have the same benefits.