Javier Ortiz with a new Tech Minute from Rastrac.
Why have an automated fleet management system? Well, the answer seems obvious to me. If you have a fleet, I think the question should be, “Why wouldn’t you have an automated fleet management system?”
Automated fleet management systems take a great deal of the stress out of the day to day operation of a fleet and enable you to do your job more efficiently. I know everyone says that, but what does it really mean to you as the fleet manager? It means your fleet will run better for the same or less money. We’re talking about a system that lets you know where every vehicle is and how it is being used. It’ll alert you if anything goes out of norm or just put it on a report you can look at when you want to. Just this knowledge will make your job so much simpler, you’ll say: “Why didn’t I use a fleet management system before?”
We’ve heard some of our customers describe the need for an automated fleet management system as “You don’t know what you don’t know!” We had a new customer come on board a few months ago, and he was skeptical about what a fleet management system would do for him. However, we convinced him to subscribe to Rastrac for his 8-vehicle fleet of light trucks.
The first night Rastrac was enabled, he looked at the map of where his vehicles were. Then, he immediately picks up the phone, calls our Project Consultant and says: “This thing is a piece of junk!” (He didn’t exactly use the word junk.) “It’s telling me one of my vehicles is at a location and there is just no way it’s there.” Why do you say that? our Project Consultant asked. “Because my drivers are supposed to park their vehicles in my company yard at the end of their shift, and they always do what we tell them to do; we trust them… they are good people.” Our Project Consultant answered, we don’t want to start an argument with you, but the vehicle is where Rastrac says it is, guaranteed. So, our customer jumps in his car and drives to the location showing on the Rastrac map. Know what he found? His vehicle sitting in another business’ parking lot. Pretty safe, but not where it was supposed to be.
After a long conversation with his driver, he finds out why it’s parked at a different location. It’s a reasonable explanation, it’s just not in keeping with company policy or company standard operating procedures. The truck was parked there for personal reasons.
Our customer called his Rastrac Project Consultant back and told him we were right and that he learned a valuable lesson tonight, which was, even though he has known his employees for years and has trusted them to do the right things, he just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. From now on he is going to trust but verify. Since being a Rastrac customer he has learned that he can cut his fleet costs and cover more ground with the same amount of trucks, and his trucks require fewer major repairs.
He also stated very emphatically: “The question isn’t why would you use a fleet management system, but why you wouldn’t you use a fleet management system?”
We are not in the business of spying on drivers, but we find that they can be much better employees when they know the rules and are held accountable. We ARE in the business of helping our customers run their fleets more efficiently, which again, means getting more production out of your fleet for less money.
I’m Javier and that has been your Rastrac Tech Minute. Call us to see what we can do for you.
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