Using a fleet management software can modernize your operations and give you a competitive edge.
However, with numerous vendors claiming to offer the best fleet management software solutions, it can be challenging to decide which tool is best for your commercial fleet.
In this guide, we discuss what a fleet management software is and what must-have functionalities and attributes a best-in-class fleet management tool should have.
What is fleet management software?
Fleet management software is usually a web-based dashboard that collects all relevant information regarding your fleet operations.
This management software can be a comprehensive information system of modules monitoring your fleet operations, performance, and vehicle maintenance.
What does a fleet management system do?
A fleet management system receives telematics data from vehicles across your fleet and displays all that information in a presentable and easy-to-use format.
A fleet management technology helps you organize and manage:
- Drivers, vehicles, and assets
- Fuel and other operational expenses
- Vehicle and asset location
- Vehicle maintenance and repairs
- Hours of Service (HOS) violations and other compliance-related information
- Driver behavior and fleet safety scores
This system helps you streamline, simplify, and enhance your fleet’s end-to-end supervision and automation.
Fleet management tools feature several functions that can help you with:
- Driver coaching. This feature can help you identify at-risk drivers and manage their coaching programs all in one place.
- Fleet safety. A fleet management solution that integrates with dashcams allows managers to improve fleet safety. It becomes easy with artificial intelligence (AI) detection, driver safety scores, and real-time safety alerts.
- Dispatch and workflow. Some fleet management software offers an end-to-end, integrated platform to manage dispatch, vehicle tracking, navigation, document management, and even third-party integrations to simplify dispatch and driver workflow.
- Vehicle maintenance. Fleet management systems can simplify vehicle maintenance with timely reminders and custom vehicle inspection reports.
- Fuel cost optimization. You can identify drivers who idle for too long or too frequently using the right fleet management software. This tool can have a significant positive impact on fuel costs and operating expenditures.
- Regulatory compliance. Most fleet management software for the trucking industry offers comprehensive compliance solutions to manage HOS violations, driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs), International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA) reporting, and more.
Must-have features of fleet management programs
To get the best return for your investment, choose fleet management tools that provide the following features:
1. Vehicle and driver safety features
Vehicle and driver safety is critical for the well-being of the general motorists and your company.
When you encounter accidents or collisions, your deliveries are delayed and your assets are damaged. Also, your drivers and other motorists might sustain mild to fatal injuries. Using the best fleet management software can protect you from these unfortunate scenarios.
These tools can detect poor driving behaviors, such as rapid acceleration, hard braking, and alert you and your drivers when they’re not driving safely.
The software also has real-time engine fault code alerts that notify your drivers of vehicle malfunctions or problems.
A dependable fleet management platform can assist in training driver safety measures and procedures, which are helpful in improving your timely cargo delivery rate and customer satisfaction.
2. Regulatory compliance
Your fleet management software must be up to date with various transportation-related regulatory compliance requirements. These include:
- Using electronic logging devices (ELDs) and logging HOS. Choose fleet management tools that come with compliant ELDs. The software must accurately record live HOS information and provide access to drivers, motor carriers, and law enforcement officers. It must also present accurate, clear, daily, and periodic HOS reports.
- Populate driver vehicle inspection reports. A reliable fleet management solution should monitor vehicle conditions and issues through DVIRs. With these electronic documents, you can record vehicle maintenance reports, track the vehicle’s fitness, and odometer reading.
- Generating International Fuel Tax Agreement reports. If your fleet travels long distances across states, you might need to report your fuel taxes. Guided by the IFTA rule, your fleet management system should automatically track your vehicle mileage, detect vehicles crossing state boundaries, and compute for appropriate tax dues.
3. High-quality navigation and GPS tracking
First-rate fleet management tools have advanced navigation systems and GPS trackers.
Through those features, your fleet solution can monitor your vehicles’ whereabouts, display a vehicle’s location on a virtual map, and optimize drivers’ routes.
It can also provide valuable pathway information, such as fuel station stops, toll locations and fees, live traffic updates, and more.
Navigation and GPS tools enable you to:
- Identify vehicles that are nearest to job posts.
- Create geofences and zones.
- Send/receive notifications when your fleet leaves or enters these areas.
- Warn drivers of roadblocks and hazards.
- Get information on travel time and possible delivery delays.
4. Performance analytics and insights
Studying how a vehicle performs lets you uncover positive points, issues, and areas needing correction or improvement.
Fleet management platform tools should support your study with historical data analytics and insights essential to performance evaluation. They should present this information in both narrative and visual reports.
Opt for a fleet management solution that uses AI to show more advanced and detailed performance analytics.
How to select the best fleet management solution
Choose an integrated fleet management solution that fits the specific demands of your commercial fleet operations, as opposed to something generic.
Consider these qualities when choosing a fleet management solution.
1. Ease of use
Your prospective fleet management solution should be intuitive and straightforward — from installation to implementation.
Once you’ve installed the software and created an account, your setup and onboarding should run smoothly.
All Pro Logistics is a great example. The company reduced their HOS and ELD training time down to 20 minutes per driver with KeepTruckin. For large fleets like All Pro, the time saved with shorter training sessions can really add up.
2. Flexibility and scalability
Fleets differ in type and size. No matter what size yours is, the ideal fleet management solution can adapt and satisfy your business expectations. The platform must be configurable to your industry type and requirements.
It should also scale as your fleet and demands grow, as well as offer pricing models that work effectively for your budget.
3. Exceptional customer support
When you have questions regarding your software and need assistance, the best fleet management systems will offer 24/7 customer support.
Exceptional customer service is expected, and the team must:
Leverage the best fleet management solution
Don’t let your fleet operations get bogged down by manual and outdated administrative procedures.
Take advantage of modern fleet management software that comes with cutting-edge capabilities to optimize your fleet’s performance.
Choose a software that offers automation, is equipped with AI and mobile app technology, and has research- and client-based recommendations.