As advanced communications networks with 5G technology become widely available, fleet managers will be able to take advantage of telematic solutions that integrate global positioning system (GPS) technology, sensors, and vehicle data to improve client satisfaction, optimize fleet vehicles and reduce fleet costs.
For fleet managers, the question is not, “why should I digitize my fleet operations, but “how do I manage the transition?” Knowing how to manage fleet vehicles can be challenging, but now digitization can help streamline your management processes and increase the efficiency of your fleet.
So as you create a fleet optimization strategy to move to a digitized motorpool, here are four top features that you need to include in a fleet management and automation solution.
1. Better fleet operations improve the user experience for your clients
Traditionally, reserving a fleet vehicle is a manual process that involves physically handing keys to a driver or using an old-fashioned keyboard system. To ensure that a vehicle is available when they need it, clients often reserve a vehicle for the day when they only need it for a few hours. This leads to vehicle under-utilization because a car that could be used several times in one day is reserved for only one driver.
A solution like Ridecell Motorpool automates and manages the reservation process from end to end. Motorpool’s integration with Geotab’s keyless solution lets clients use a smartphone or desktop to reserve a vehicle.
You can authorize a digital key to lock and unlock it. If your organization doesn’t allow smartphone use, you can use an employee badge with an NFC tag to grant access. Online confirmation with digital key access gives clients peace of mind while eliminating physical keys. It shortens the reservation process and simplifies motor pool fleet operations.
2. Optimize vehicle utilization
Commercial fleets are often a centralized department in large organizations and a fleet manager might manage as many as 8,000 vehicles. Motorpool provides tools to help you monitor fleet status across the organization. You can end a rental within a specified period and automatically release a vehicle back into general service. You can track vehicles in real-time and re-balance them across your fleet. The fleet optimization of Motorpool also automates connections with service providers to keep your vehicles in peak condition, extending their usefulness.
Reservation data helps you manage vehicles and improve overall fleet efficiency. You can use reservation history to tag vehicles for service or reduce fleet size and re-allocate budget to other areas.
3. Increase efficiency and reduce fleet costs
When vehicles aren’t where they are supposed to be, it frustrates fleet managers and their clients. You must deploy someone to physically return a vehicle to the correct location and clients are irritated when the vehicle they reserved isn’t available. Fleet management costs are high enough without these types of avoidable complications disrupting unmissable reservation schedules.
Motorpool gives you the ability to designate an area (e.g., a parking lot or structure) as a station and allocate vehicles to it. You can enforce settings so clients must bring the vehicle back to its assigned station to end their trip. Automating and enforcing vehicle return to a specific location reduces work for the fleet, makes it easier to recover lost items for clients, and helps the fleet manager relocate vehicle assets as needed. The system can be configured for multiple stations or just one, giving fleet managers both maximum flexibility and maximum fleet efficiency.
Billing and accounting can be a labor- intensive process. Motorpool lets you implement the bill-back system, (e.g., distance-based or a flat usage), that works best for your organization. You can audit reservation data and provide the departments that you serve with usage reports by quarter, month, or year. Managing your fleet with data from Motorpool’s tools lets you improve operational efficiency with less effort and simultaneously reduce fleet costs too.
4. Enforcing compliance and security
With Motorpool, you know where vehicles are at any time and can control them remotely. You can distribute digital keys automatically and if a client loses their key, you can use the operations console to remotely unlock and start a vehicle in the field, reducing the cost of recovery.
You also have the flexibility to set vehicle usage parameters according to corporate guidelines. This guarantees comprehensive enforcement across a fleet without the exceptions that often happen with manual enforcement. To improve security, you can create rules to automate vehicle immobilization after an incident and protect the vehicle until you can retrieve it.
As a fleet optimization solution, Ridecell Motorpool has the features for an easy transition to digital fleet management. Increasing the efficiency of your fleet is now a simple and straightforward change over. Efficient fleet management leads to satisfied clients, operational efficiency, and cost savings for your department and the organization. A Ridecell Motorpool system can be up and running in just a few weeks. Watch this webinar to learn how you can streamline fleet operations and maximize fleet efficiency with Ridecell Motorpool.
Author: Mark Thomas, VP of Marketing and Alliances