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How Technology Can Benefit Your Fleet

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Running a fleet is complex, but using the right technology can free up time, make smarter decisions, and save money.

There are many different digital tools which you can use to manage your fleet more efficiently. Think dedicated fleet management software instead of spreadsheets, driver apps rather than paper forms, online risk assessments and driver training, and vehicle telematics to tell you how your vehicles are being driven.

Using digital fleet management tools can reduce the administrative burden by automating processes. For example, instead of having to check when a vehicle service is due, you can have an automated reminder or rather than finding out a driver has been involved in an incident when they phone you, you receive an alert from your telematics device as soon as it happens.

That kind of automation should free up time for you to focus on fleet strategy, such as planning when and how you will reduce fleet emissions to meet your environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) commitments.

Digital tools can also help by giving you the data you need to make informed decisions. Telematics data, for example, will tell you how many miles your vehicles are being driven and the routes drivers are taking so you can work out which petrol or diesel vehicles could be replaced with fully electric vehicles (EV).

Telematics reports can also show you which drivers are frequently speeding, harsh braking, accelerating or cornering, or idling for long periods, and would benefit from training to make them safer drivers and reduce fuel costs.

Systems will usually pull this data into league tables of the best and worst drivers, which can motivate drivers to improve through a reward scheme such as a shopping voucher for the driver of the month or even a driver of the year competition.

Some telematics devices provide live in-vehicle feedback to drivers through red, amber and green lights or an audible warning from a device on the dashboard or a mobile phone app so they can change their behaviour there and then.

Being able to track vehicles has insurance benefits too, from being able to recover a stolen vehicle to providing evidence to dispute a false claim.

If the worst happens and your driver is involved in a serious incident which requires a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation, then having the tools to provide the correct data and a clear audit trail of the steps the company has taken to comply with duty of care is critical. A recent report shows 91% of operations leaders predict that by 2024, they will use automation to update their operations and business processes.

Digital transformation will also enhance the driver experience with easier access to the information they need and AI-driven proactive prompts on car maintenance.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, AI can source repairs and make bookings for drivers at the touch of a button. Technology can also help prevent excess mileage for drivers by monitoring them in real time and sharing advice. It will also do the heavy lifting on administrative tasks such as managing fuel claims.

Perhaps the biggest bugbear for any fleet operator is managing fines. The latest technology can not only process fines but also help to challenge PCN in some cases, for example, due to cloned plates or a misread ANPR.

Seismic shifts are occurring in the fleet sector, everywhere you look. And technology is the engine behind it all.