IoT-based fleet management solutions can help government agencies make the most of their resources, keep their drivers safe, and streamline their overall operations. But how can an agency leverage this strategy to gain the most benefit?
With the ability of IoT sensors to monitor and provide detailed information on every aspect of your fleet – from vehicle diagnostics to driving behavior analytics, real-time tracking, route optimization, and much more – there is a lot of data that you could be taking advantage of.
With that data, fleet managers can identify and resolve a whole range of issues, improving operations and preventing most efficiency-robbing problems by catching the indications of these problems early.
Here are nine ways to optimize fleet management and make it work for you:
1. Asset tracking: It’s not just trucks and cars that you can track. Trailers, construction equipment, road maintenance equipment, and other significant assets can be tracked in near-real time on an ongoing basis. You can track location, operational status, usage hours, and other key indicators for these assets and improve your management of them.
2. Route optimization: Real-time traffic and weather updates can help drivers and managers identify accidents, traffic jams, and other bottlenecks. Fleet managers can make sure drivers are taking the most efficient route, since the fleet management system itself can often make those recommendations without human intervention.
3. Mobile forms: Rather than rely on paper forms that can get lost or become unreadable, mobile forms capabilities make the whole process electronic. Drivers and others can easily track, store, and share data, helping to streamline this aspect of your operations.
4. Predictive maintenance: With IoT sensors in vehicles and on assets, maintenance issues can be discovered and resolved before they cause real problems. The system can tell you when equipment performance may be lagging, so you can address the issues quickly. It also can eliminate unnecessary frequency-based checking of equipment that is running smoothly.
5. Fuel tracking: Analysis of sensor data allows tracking of every aspect of your fleet’s fuel use. This helps you find ways to reduce costs and identify areas for improvement.
6. Yard movement: By monitoring vehicles and other equipment while they’re in the yard, you can gain incremental improvements through analyzing yard movement – such as excessive idling. This can help save fuel. It can also flag you to possible criminal activity if there is yard movement when no one should be there.
7. Safer driver behavior: Unsafe behavior endangers your drivers and others on the road and can damage your fleet, leading to costly repairs. Safer driving lowers insurance premiums and reduces traffic citations and litigation connected with accidents. Monitoring how your drivers behave helps you spot problems and offers you the information you need to train them to do better.
8. Remote management: IoT fleet management simplifies tracking driver location and the status of their job completion, without having to interrupt with calls or texts, which can be distracting. Managers get a thorough view while minimizing the time spent in contact with drivers.
9. Perimeter control: IoT fleet management solutions enable you to set up geo-fences, so that your drivers are discouraged from going places they shouldn’t, such as certain roads that can’t handle heavy equipment. You set up GPS-based boundaries, and drivers are immediately alerted if they cross those lines.
What one state found
One state’s fleet operations agency proved the value of IoT fleet management in a detailed study of nearly 1,300 vehicles used and maintained by a range of government agencies.
The agency installed fleet management systems with an eye toward four priorities: fuel savings, maintenance savings, accident prevention, and underutilization. The results were eye-opening:
- The agency was able to achieve cost savings of more than $138,000, well over $100 per vehicle per year, and reduce carbon emissions by some 75,000 pounds.
- It identified battery and engine issues more quickly and monitored driver behavior (particularly reducing aggressive driving), reducing wear and tear on vehicles and avoiding some $90,000 in work order costs.
- Collisions were reduced through a closely-monitored focus on safety, preventing injuries and possible deaths and delivering more than $50,000 in savings in a year.
- About 25 percent of the vehicles were identified as being underutilized, leading to more than $1 million in annual savings resulting from the elimination of depreciation expenses and other costs.
This study is described in depth in the e-book Is Your Agency Making the Most of IoT Fleet Management?
The greatest value that an agency can gain from IoT fleet management is in the data that it generates. By analyzing that data and better understanding the inefficiencies in your fleet, you can take the steps needed to improve.