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How GPS tracking can optimize fleet efficiency, lower exposure to risk, and improve customer service levels

5 strategies for fleet optimization to improve safety and operational efficiency

January 17, 2024

As a fleet manager, it can be difficult to pull segments of data and valuable insights together across vehicles, drivers, and fuel. The larger the fleet, the more challenging it becomes to enhance operational efficiency — unless you have the right tools.

Thankfully, there are a variety of fleet management kits, strategies, and methodologies available to help you improve fleet performance and reduce operational costs across your organization.

Here, we’re covering five of the most effective ways to optimize your fleet, improve your bottom line, streamline fleet maintenance, and keep drivers safe.

Ideal outcomes of a fully optimized fleet

Within fleet management, there are a number of operational aspects that can and should be optimized. When done effectively, fleet managers stand to experience a few valuable outcomes:

  • Cost reduction: Efficient routes, reduced fuel consumption, and minimized maintenance costs can contribute to significant savings.
  • Improved productivity: Streamlining operations means getting from point A to point B faster and more effectively, which also contributes to higher customer satisfaction.
  • Environmental sustainability: By enhancing fuel efficiency, training drivers to operate within a best practices framework, and adopting eco-friendly practices — such as deploying EVs — fleet optimization can help reduce your organization’s environmental footprint.
  • Enhanced driver safety: Monitoring driver behavior with telematics/GPS tracking, onboard diagnostics, and dash cameras can help contribute to a safer, more efficient fleet.

5 ways to optimize your fleet

The availability and accuracy of GPS is a key component of today’s latest fleet management services and critical for optimizing certain aspects of your fleet. In fact, tracking is the fastest-growing segment of the fleet management market.

GPS tracking increases efficiency and safety for your drivers
GPS tracking increases efficiency and safety for your drivers

Today, many organizations rely on fleet tracking services to measure and improve operating efficiency, lower exposure to risk, and improve customer service. Telematics applications, also known as fleet tracking systems, can help business owners like you keep a finger on the pulse of your drivers and vehicles, in near real-time, from any computer or mobile device.
Here are five ways you can increase fleet efficiency using GPS technology, fuel cards, and more.

1. Amplify and simplify insights in one platform

Premium GPS tracking and accompanying software show all of your critical assets in one application. Additionally, integrated fuel transactions enhance analytics reporting by combining insights for a clearer picture of your fleet assets.

Receive insights about critical rule violations, such as:

  • Fuel transactions, potential fuel fraud, vehicle misuse, theft, and more.
  • Excessive speeding, idling, harsh braking, and other aggressive or unnecessary driver behavior.

Having access to analytics and insight like these can help you reduce fuel consumption, fuel cost, and vehicle wear and tear.

2. Install dash cameras on fleet vehicles

By pairing GPS fleet management technology with an integrated dashboard camera, you can identify risky or dangerous situations your drivers encounter daily. A quality dash cam integrates seamlessly into a fleet management system, enabling you to capture and produce video evidence to:

  • Augment driver training sessions using real-world examples of good and poor driving behavior.
  • Expedite legal processes should you find yourself in a court of law as the result of an accident or other road incident.

Reduce insurance premiums for good driving.

3. Tailor your operations for customers

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you measuring the time it takes to serve existing customers?
  • Do you want to serve them more or less frequently?
  • Do you want to use different drivers and/or vehicles for certain customers?

By using GPS tracking to monitor drivers, you can better understand how you’re serving your customers and discover ways to improve satisfaction.

For example, you’ll have a record of the time that any particular driver spends at a customer location, allowing you to measure your Cost to Serve and also assess if more or fewer resources should be allocated to any given route or customer.

With solutions like telematics, you get near real-time insight into where your drivers are, enabling you to allocate resources quickly and as needed. This can help drive customer success levels higher by reacting to unexpected situations faster and more efficiently.

4. Increase fleet utilization and efficiency

With the ability to track each one of your vehicles, you can look at your overall fleet utilization to develop operational efficiencies:

  • Are you sending the right vehicle to the right customers or sites?
  • Do you have the right vehicle assigned to the right task for load and distance?
  • Which is the most optimized route for any given driver?

Once you analyze vehicle movement data, you can start to fine-tune your operation. By optimizing dispatch and travel routes for each vehicle, you can increase operational efficiency, deliver more goods and services on time, and reduce your overall fuel spend.

5. Transition to electric vehicles (EVs)

A full-featured fleet management solution – ideal for mixed fleets – can facilitate a smoother transition to bringing EVs onboard and is invaluable in today’s increasingly electric world. 16% of organizations expect their fuel costs to decrease over the next year, presumably as mixed EV/ICE fleets become more popular.

For example, tools like the EV Fleet Converter can help fleet managers understand the value of switching to electric vehicles, including the advantages it can bring to your business. By evaluating your current inventory of vehicles — and how each is used as part of your operations — the fleet converter tool can help determine and recommend which vehicles can be replaced to improve fleet operations.

These data-driven recommendations provide a clearer understanding of your fleet’s electrification potential.

As fleets begin to electrify, fleet managers must navigate a complicated set of technologies and regulations. The best fuel card providers help you keep moving by offering seamless ways to incorporate EVs into your fleet.

Receive insights that make a difference

The best fleet management solutions offer a powerful analytics platform that helps you run your fleet more efficiently. Here are some of the most commonly used features, reports, and alerts used by fleet customers:

  • Activity detail report: Provides a daily snapshot of driving activity for every vehicle to see locations, stops, and speeds driven.
  • Safety alerts: Can alert you when drivers are speeding, working odd hours, or have long idling times during a certain period. There’s also the ability to set up alerts related to your chosen geofencing options.
  • Landmark report: Documents stops at various landmarks including company headquarters, customer sites, and drivers’ homes.
  • Vehicle utilization summary: Provides daily and weekly statistics on the fleet including total mileage by vehicle. Use this to ensure you’re matching the right vehicle and driver to the right job.
  • Fuel usage and MPG report: Compares the fuel usage and miles per gallon of each vehicle to monitor and reconcile against fuel card expenses.
  • Vehicle maintenance service reports: Ensure that all of your vehicles are routinely serviced and monitor the cost of maintenance.
  • Idle time report: Identifies vehicles with excessive idle times and vehicle stops, including location and duration.

WEX speaks the language of small business operators. Whether you’re looking to modernize your insight and reporting efforts, save on fuel costs or take advantage of the latest GPS tracking technologies, WEX offers solutions to simplify the business of running a business. To learn more about WEX, a dynamic and nimble global organization, please visit our About WEX page.

Apply for a fleet card today!

Fleet Car Trends Report

Editorial note: This article was originally published on October 18, 2023, and has been updated for this publication.

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