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Improve Your Fleet's Performance Brian Dziuk | Apr 22, 2015 9:37:00 AM

As a fleet manager, ensuring your fleet is performing at maximum efficiency should always be a top priority. But what performance indicators should you be monitoring to determine if there are areas of inefficiencies in your fleet? How can you use the data you're gathering to make changes that directly boost overall fleet performance?

Keep reading to uncover tips and tricks for improving your fleet's performance so you can have a safer, more productive, and highly profitable business!

GPS Fleet Tracking

What is Fleet Performance Management?

Fleet Performance Management involves monitoring various aspects of fleet risk management, employee accountability and productivity, and vehicle performance. By measuring how well your fleet is performing as a whole, you can compare how performance has changed over time and more quickly identify specific areas of inefficiencies or low productivity that can be improved upon. 

Areas You Should Measure Fleet Performance

There are many areas of fleet performance you should be monitoring to ensure your fleet is operating at maximum efficiency, productivity, and safety. A few major ones are:

Staff Productivity

If you want your fleet to be high-performing, monitoring staff productivity is a must. After all, your drivers and employees are the ones actually out in the field providing service to your customers. So, you'll want to monitor if they're following their routes, how many service sites they're visiting per day, the customer satisfaction scores each service team is earning, and more to determine just how productive they really are.

Vehicle Maintenance

Your fleet can't perform at a high level if you're constantly slowed down by vehicle maintenance issues. So, you need to ensure planned preventative maintenance is a priority in your fleet and that any necessary repairs are being made before small problems turn into total vehicle failure. This means your vehicles can stay on the road and actually provide the services that drives revenue for your business, rather than sit idle in the repair shop.

Scheduling Processes

Are you drivers saving time by taking the most optimized routes from point A to point B? Is routine maintenance on your vehicles (such as tire rotations and oil changes) being scheduled properly? Do your employees have scheduled breaks that will prevent them from having to eat while they're driving, which can result in unsafe driving habits? Making sure these types of scheduling processes are efficient can help boost performance for your entire fleet.

Fleet Management KPI's You Should be Tracking

Now that you know a few areas where you should be tracking fleet performance, how can you actually determine if you're on track with your goals or falling behind? By measuring KPIs, or key performance indicators. While the specific KPIs you choose to track will be based on your own needs, industry, and goals, here are a few ideas of where to start when it comes to tracking KPIs.

Safety KPIs. Some of the most important KPIs you can track to improve fleet risk management are related to driver behavior, and include:

  • Speeding incidents
  • Harsh acceleration and braking incidents
  • Corner handling incidents
  • Crashes

Efficiency KPIs. When it comes to fleet efficiency, some of the KPIs you should be tracking include:

  • Fuel consumption per vehicle
  • Engine idling time
  • Empty miles
  • Fleet asset utilization

Compliance KPIs. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established rules that apply to all carriers and drivers who have to submit Records of Duty Status (RODS) for Hours of Service (HOS). In order to be compliant with these rules and avoid fines for noncompliance, you should be tracking: 

  • Available HOS fo each driver
  • HOS violations
  • Unassigned mileage by vehicle

Fleet Risk Improvement Ideas

Once you determine which KPIs you should be monitoring in your fleet, how can you keep track of it all in order to improve your fleet risk management? A GPS fleet management solution can help. 

GPS fleet management solutions use satellite technology to triangulate the locations of vehicles, equipment, and other valuable assets tagged with GPS tracking devices. However, GPS tracking doesn't just help you determine the location of your assets—it can do so much more!

At RASTRAC, our GPS tracking technology also allows you to: 

  • Monitor driver behaviors, such as hard braking, rapid acceleration, driving speed, hours of operation, turning motion, and more 
  • Track the completion of service routes in real time
  • Track of variety of vehicle events and conditions, including engine idle time, engine performance, hours of use, door openings and closings, and activations/deactivations
  • Monitor environmental conditions such as refrigeration levels, pressure, temperature, noise, and ambient light
  • Prevent vehicle theft through geofencing 
  • Reduce fuel consumption and costs 
  • Lower insurance costs 
  • Improve maintenance scheduling 
  • Build optimized routes between service sites 
  • And much more!

Four Ways GPS Tracking Can Improve Your Fleet's Performance

1. Save money on fuel costs

There is no question that fuel is the biggest expense a fleet manager deals with on a regular basis. Any type of fuel waste is the easiest way for a company to quickly lose money. If a vehicle is constantly idling, if a driver is taking longer routes to their final destination, or if anyone is unauthorized to take company vehicles on personal trips, unnecessary fuel is being consumed and the company is losing money. 

RASTRAC can help with every one of these issues. You are able to easily keep track of idle time on any vehicle. Plus, you are able to view the track of all of your fleet every day to make sure that only authorized trips are being used. Plus, with the use of geofences, you can receive an instant notification if a vehicle goes off a specific route. 

2. Prevent vehicles from spending too much time in the shop

Of course, it is inevitable that there will come times when your vehicles will have to go into the shop for routine maintenance. What makes matters worse, however, is when they are in the shop for extended periods of time due to missing any type of routine maintenance. The longer that any of your vehicles are in a state of repair due to a breakdown, the more money you will lose. Not only will you have costly repair bills, but these vehicles will be out of commission and not be able to complete their desired routes. That's money practically going down the drain.

If you have RASTRAC and GPS tracking devices installed on your fleet, you are able to set up notifications to be sent to you via e-mail and/or text message whenever maintenance is due for any vehicle. This will allow you to be proactive in your maintenance and ensure costly breakdowns are kept at a minimum. Your vehicles will be able to do exactly what they are meant to do: transport goods and generate more revenue for your company. 

3. Save money on the high cost of insurance

Your fleet insurance premiums can be reduced by as much as 15% with the installment of a GPS tracking system. Some companies that offer these discounts include AAA, USAA, Travelers, The Hartford, and Liberty Mutual.

Several customers of RASTRAC have found that these savings quickly paid for the cost of implementing the GPS system. 

4. Keep an eye on employee performance

It's an unfortunate truth that you cannot rely on all employees to have the strongest work ethic at all times. If an employee is wasting time while on the clock, that is money just being burned. How do you keep your employees accountable?

The use of a GPS tracking program is not exactly "spying" on your employees. And the use of one is not telling your employees that you do not trust them. What it is doing, however, is saying that you value your business and want it to thrive. If the business makes more money, it can only benefit everyone as a whole, right?

If employees know that there is a system in place that will keep them accountable, they are more likely to keep their focus on the task at hand: their job. And with PocketRASTRAC, employees can send statuses (e.g. ‘Clocking In’) and form messages, as well as plain text messages to keep you connected with what is going on in the field.

And that's not all...

These are just a few ways that a RASTRAC GPS tracking solution can help you monitor and improve performance for your entire fleet. Please contact us one of our experts to learn more about how our solutions can help your company save money and operate more efficiently!

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