Gathering real-time data is a game-changer when it comes to managing your commercial fleet in the most efficient way possible.
In recent years tools, systems and processes have evolved to help oversee fleet vehicles, keeping track of when they need servicing and tracking journeys, for example. This means there is less downtime for unexpected vehicle repairs or inefficient routes.
A popular tool, vehicle telematics, collects data via a small device installed in the vehicle. It allows for a safer, more efficient and more profitable fleet as it provides insights into how vehicles are being operated and driver behaviour. This often leads to driver training opportunities that deliver improved fuel consumption and less wear on the equipment. The bigger the company, the more significant the savings will be. “Our business is all about providing customers with fast and reliable nationwide transport solutions which are underpinned by our fleet of heavy vehicles,” says Neil Bell, the commercial and strategy manager for Mainstream Freight Group, an innovative New Zealand company specialising in local and international shipping, transport and logistics.
“Good fleet management processes and systems bring multiple efficiencies and therefore play a big role in our operations, which run the length and breadth of the country every day,” Neil explains. He says Mainstream uses tablets that run applications providing information on where vehicles are, what freight they’re carrying and when deliveries are made. “Such systems replace the role of paper traditionally required when picking up and delivering goods which would then need to be brought back to the regional hubs that the trucks operate from. There the details recorded on paper would have been manually entered into our systems.
“The shift to live data using the tablets has delivered significant efficiencies for our business and our customers,” he says.
Mainstream started implementing the tablets five years ago and has progressively enhanced the system to improve data capture and visibility as well as improve the user interface and experience.
As well as tracking freight and assigning tasks to the drivers, efficient fleet management systems enable companies to:
“It’s hard to imagine running a business like ours without these fleet management systems,” says Neil who remembers using radios to maintain communication between drivers and the main office.
“It is critical in today’s fast-paced information-led industry to keep in touch with drivers via real-time information.”