For fleet-based businesses, data is everything. But what do you do when you are sitting on a mountain of information without the time or resources to sift through the numbers with the hopes of turning insights into action? Although you’ve invested heavily in the systems that can interpret various fleet data, managing all your newfound insights is still a cumberstone and manual task.
It’s frustrating to expand your technology and system apparatus, yet fail to see a clear Return on Investment (ROI). After all, you expect your investment to translate to reduced operational costs, improved customer satisfaction, and happier employees.
Enter digital transformation.
Digital Transformation for commercial fleets refers to the use of data analytics and automation to optimize the management of fleets. From something simple like a GPS tracker to automated maintenance scheduling and routing, digital transformation can help you reach your organizational goals.
In their latest white paper, ABI Research, a global technology intelligence firm, identifies some common yet critical challenges that commercial fleets are facing and how automated technologies can help business leaders mitigate them.
Managing High-Velocity Supply Chains
Some supply chains, especially those in the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries, have extremely short lead times, making the use of automation a dream come true. Between higher shipment volumes and lower manpower, these fleets increasingly require digitalizing repeatable and straightforward processes that often require manual intervention.
For example, AI ‘bots’ can be used to replace monotonous tasks within fleet operations, such as driver onboarding, prognostics, and maintenance scheduling. Automating these repetitive tasks not only provides organizations with improved efficiency and reduced costs, it frees up staff time for more strategic actions.
45% of fleet managers are looking to streamline and automate workflows for better stakeholder collaboration.
Digitizing Vehicle Access and Control
One of the main contributors to the challenges fleet-based businesses face when automating operations has to do with a common, yet critical vehicle component – the physical key. By moving keys to the cloud, fleets have the ability to replace expensive key fobs with hotel-style key cards and utilize mobile applications that connect via Bluetooth to grant access to authorized personnel based on rules such as drivers and maintenance technicians.
Through the power of automation, this allows fleet managers to:
- Digitally provide keys to the best vehicle based for the driver.
- Revoke access rights to vehicles with reported maintenance and safety issues, ensuring unsafe vehicles aren’t in operation.
- Provide digital access to maintenance technicians who automatically be assigned work orders and quickly fix the vehicle, giving them immediate access via digital keys
Deciphering Mountains of Data
Because of the vast amount of data generated by disparate fleet management systems such as GPS tracking, telematics, cameras and other tools, information overload isn’t only common, it’s expected. With all this information available but often hard to understand and prioritize, fleet managers find themselves asking questions such as:
- What data is most integral to improving fleet operations?
- Does this data paint a complete and accurate picture of my fleet’s health?
- How accurate is the data?
- How long will analyzing this data take me?
To overcome this challenge, fleet automation is a must. As mentioned above, undergoing a digital transformation and implementing the technologies associated with digitizing fleet operations can help identify operationally critical information and automate the often time consuming data collection, storage, and analysis processes associated with fleet management best practices.
50% of fleet managers are looking for a single data view when looking to digitize their fleet operations.
Reducing Notification Overload
Relatedly, notification overload is another fleet management challenge that automation can help alleviate. Fleet managers are often bombarded with a flux of notifications that divert their attention away from what matters the most. Technologies and software can be leveraged to automate data collection and analysis.
For example, trigger-based workflow automation enables fleets to automate workflows predicated on specific triggers, such as the following:
- When a new vehicle enters or exits the fleet
- If a vehicle has a maintenance issue
- How accurate is the data?
- When a driver reaches a certain mileage
Put simply, trigger-based workflow automation enables fleet operators to narrow down their exhaustive list of notifications to the most critical ones. Not only does automation save fleet managers time, reduce notifications, improve efficiency, and reduce errors, these solutions allow managers to prioritize tasks based on what’s the most urgent or which ones can be assigned to another resource.
Fleet Automation Paves the Path Forward
There is little doubt that automated technologies and software are the answer to the many challenges fleet managers face when it comes to better understanding their fleet’s operations. With solutions like the Ridecell fleet automation and mobility platform, businesses that rely on drivers and vehicles for daily operations experience many benefits including:
- Intelligent automation of workflows to increase productivity, efficiency and the bottom line
- Keyless vehicle control to ensure the right driver is in the right vehicle at the right time while increasing vehicle security and preventing theft
- Flexible system integration that promotes the use of one single source of truth even when disparate systems are utilized
- ML/AI Insights
To learn more about how digital transformation can help you overcome fleet management challenges and boost your company’s bottom line, download ABI Research’s whitepaper, “What’s Next for the Digital Transformation of Fleet-Based Businesses” and begin your journey towards moving the world better.
Stacey Papp, Director, Content, Ridecell