We know that a common mistake with many fleet planners is forgetting the feedback loop. By having no way to measure their effectiveness, many fleet plans are more of an educated guess than a fine-tuned strategy.

Even where post-mortem reviews are done, they are often conducted too late to be helpful or ignored as irrelevant.

The first stage of effective fleet planning is to implement a feedback loop. The Telogis telematics platform provides enterprises with an effective web-based fleet management tool that not only monitors performance, but provides an effective feedback loop that can be used in real-time for maximum gain.

So now you’ve got the tools installed to measure your fleet planning — it’s time to start checking your metrics for areas where gains can be made, improving your bottom line and overall service.

What metrics should I be checking to optimize my fleet plans?

With the help of the fleet management tools that Telogis provides, you can not only measure the performance of your fleet plans, but use these tools to track and fine-tune your improvements.

Here are some examples of metrics that can be used to measure, and then optimize, your fleet plans.

  • On-Time Starts — If drivers aren’t starting when they’re meant to it can have a major domino effect on the rest of the day’s
    plan. Investigate why drivers are missing start times. Possibly there is too much time spent getting vehicles at the depot ready.
  • *On-Time Deliveries * — Every customer believes they are the most important customer in your business, and a late or poorly timed
    delivery can leave a bad impression. By monitoring for any deliveries that are not on time and measuring this in real-time, your customer service team
    can proactively manage customer expectations.
  • Engine Idle Time — Engine idle gets 0MPG. Multiply that across your entire fleet and it could cost you a lot more than you
    think. Excessive idling could also be an indication that your fleet isn’t being as productive as it could be.
  • Driver Speeding — Speeding is dangerous and wasteful. It could also be an indication that drivers are trying to make up time –
    possibly not enough travel time is being allowed for, or jobs are being scheduled too tightly.
  • Jobs Per Day — Scheduling jobs may be fine in theory, but in reality the timing can require tweaking. Jobs may need reassigned
    to different technicians based on location and other factors such as traffic and customer preferences.
  • Fuel Use — What vehicles and drivers are using the most fuel? You can use this information to incentivize your drivers to
    operate more economically or use more economical vehicles on certain jobs.

Depending on your industry you may decide to monitor other metrics. For example, your business may involve delivering hazardous chemicals. You may want to ensure that the route taken does not include restricted roads, or that engines are off during loading or unloading.

Rinse and repeat — The importance of ongoing monitoring

Optimizing your fleet plan is an ongoing process. Your fleet operates in a constantly changing environment. New customers will require new work orders and new customer preferences and traffic factors; even the national economy and fuel prices will impact on your fleet planning.

If your fleet is to continue being profitable in such a fluid environment you need to not only measure fleet performance but also generate ongoing, timely feedback that allows you to know exactly what’s working and what isn’t.

Using Telogis Response and Planned vs. Actual reports will put you a step ahead of both the competition and your ever-changing fleet plan.