What is fleet scheduling and why is it important?

18 Jan 2022
What is fleet scheduling and why is it important?

The terms fleet management and scheduling are often used interchangeably and both refer to managing your fleet more efficiently and lowering costs without affecting performance or customer service.

This includes optimising routes, reducing turnaround times, enhancing business intelligence, as well as vehicle financing, tracking, and driver management. This is achieved by viewing and analysing your resources and your commitments, i.e. your driving personnel, vehicles, and customers’ requirements, all on a single screen.

What does fleet management involve?

Fleet management begins at the purchase of a vehicle and ends with reselling, and covers everything in between.

Vehicle Acquisition: Finding the right vehicle for the job in the right size and with any special requirements, such as refrigeration or for particularly heavy or unusual loads, all within the confines of the company’s budget.

Driver Compliance & Safety: Implementing an ELD (Electronic Logging Device) to track the hours a driver spends behind the wheel, so as not to exceed guidelines, without concerns of misreporting through human error. Fleet managers can also implement dashcam systems to ensure drivers follow regulations and behave safely for the benefit of the driver, other road users, and the company’s reputation.

Fleet Monitoring: This feature of an FMS (fleet management system) allows you to track not only the location of vehicles but also their condition, such as RPM (revolutions per minute), engine fault codes and fuel consumption. Monitoring these helps keep your fleet healthy and financially economical.

Route optimisation: This often refers to ordering a driver’s stops so they drive more efficient routes with less mileage, but it’s also about optimising when and where drivers make fuel stops.

Vehicle Remarketing: This refers to selling used fleet vehicles and the fleet manager will have to consider, among other things, vehicle condition and market forces.

How can I manage my fleet?

Fleet management systems (FMS) are a great way to manage or schedule your fleet. They can be used to monitor and improve various aspects across your fleet, including tracking assets, monitoring drivers’ routes and their safety, helping you ensure they don’t drive for too long without breaks.

What is a Fleet Management System and how does it help my business?

An FMS helps you oversee compliance and control as well as vehicle maintenance and driver safety, to streamline management processes for fleet operations.

An FMS displays a range of information including ETAs, ePOD (electronic proof of delivery) and drivers’ tachograph modes, and allows managers to dive into specific job information and communicate with drivers.

Arrivals and departures information can be used to organise the timings of drivers and the warehouse, to minimise turnaround time on-site.

While drivers are out on the road, they can use the FMS to select predefined reasons for delays, such as heavy traffic or technical issues. Management can then look into any ongoing or repeated issues to resolve them. Management can also see where drivers are and how their route is progressing.

An FMS also drastically reduces the amount of paperwork your team have to do, with many of the processes automatically logging and saving their own bits of data: driver mileage is calculated automatically and stored digitally, and the same is true for proof of delivery, drivers’ working/resting states, any delays to deliveries etc.

What are the benefits of fleet management?

A well-executed fleet management strategy can be incredibly valuable for a company, with benefits including:

  • Reduced fuel costs by way of optimising routes and highlighting driving inefficiencies.
  • Reduced maintenance costs through a better overview of fleet maintenance requirements, allowing for preventative maintenance rather than costly repairs.
  • Improved customer service by being able to better plan out a driver’s route and provide more accurate ETAs to customers.
  • Reduced fleet labour costs by automating parts of a driver’s role, helping them complete a job more effectively, and picking up on any underperforming drivers.
  • Reduced theft by monitoring vehicle locations, enabling you to see if drivers are using your resources for their personal errands.
  • Reduced paperwork by logging and saving data automatically.

To discuss ways to enhance your fleet operations, including using our ePOD system, please get in touch!