Managing a fleet of vehicles is a bit like plate-spinning; it's hard to tell how fast or slow each one is moving, you don't have enough time to focus on each one individually, and it's tough to settle on an optimal route that'll ensure each one has enough in the tank to prevent it from breaking (down).
Without a proper system in place, what you're often left with is a bit of a mess - and an expensive one at that. Fleet tracking systems offer many benefits to businesses, and once you've empowered yourself with one you'll wonder how you ever got by without such a valuable tool. Ultimately, the most important benefit that a fleet tracking system provides is to control costs and leave more money in your pocket after all expenses have been paid - but how does it do this?
The immediate benefits of fleet tracking
If you don't know the exact location of each vehicle in your fleet, you're unable to choose the best routes for them to take. Not only does this cost your business valuable time and money as a result of high fuel costs, but in the long run the excessive mileage and potential damage to the vehicles could result in you needing to replace them.
Fleet tracking systems allow you to monitor driver behaviour in real-time. You can view maps and schedule detailed reports; with these you're able to decipher the optimal routes for your drivers to take, as well as monitoring fuel usage. All of this information will reduce labour costs, minimise your expenses and improve your customer service. As a fleet manager, it makes your life a whole lot easier too - you'll have more time to focus on other important aspects of the job while the fleet tracking system takes care of the rest.
Stolen vehicle recovery and insurance
Often the goal will be to eventually expand your fleet in order to up your service, but this comes with hiked up insurance costs. GPS tracking solutions vastly increase the security of your fleet vehicles; if a vehicle is stolen without fleet tracking in place then you have to file an insurance claim and inevitably get lumped with a premium increase on insurance fees. With the cost of car insurance expected to rise by up to ten per cent, according to the AA, this is a big problem for fleet managers.
GPS tracking, however, makes it far easier and more likely that you'll recover the stolen vehicle and any goods on board, often within hours. As approximately 12 vehicles are stolen every hour in England and Wales, according to our research, insurance firms take notice of businesses who have fleet tracking and often offer great discounts.
If your drivers are stretching your confidence by occasionally breaching the speed limits - even if it's only in an attempt to improve customer service - this could also have a knock-on effect when it comes to how much you pay for insurance. Fleet tracking systems can alert you as to when a driver continually exceeds speed limits by large margins, so that you can provide the appropriate training or incentives necessary to curb this behaviour.
How much could your business save?
A general rule of thumb for the adoption of fleet tracking systems is that it'll save your business roughly ten per cent on fuel savings alone. Unnecessary journeys become a thing of the past, while less time spent on the road results in reduced maintenance costs; these equate to a further five to eight per cent saving.
Let's take a look at some examples. If a business has:
• 12 month rental contracts on each vehicle
• A fleet-average 29 miles per gallon (MPG)
• Current fuel costs per litre of £1.33
• An average mileage per vehicle of 75,000 miles per year
• The potential saving is £1,421.55.
Alternatively, is a business has:
• 36 month unit purchase plus monthly subscription contracts on each vehicle
• A fleet-average 24 miles per gallon (MPG)
• Current fuel costs per litre of £1.88
• An average mileage per vehicle of 70,000 miles per year
• The potential saving is £6,798.49
To find out how much your business could save on fuel alone with fleet tracking, use our fuel savings calculator. But remember, these estimates don't even include the long term savings you'll make through vehicle recovery, insurance, labour costs, unnecessary journeys and so on, so the actual amount of total savings will often be far greater.
Don't keep on spinning plates. Start stacking cash instead by adopting fleet tracking.