The mobilization of fleet management – What does it mean for you?
Technology is enabling two seemingly contradictory trends at the same time — bringing workers closer together while facilitating remoteness and mobility. How can you make sure that you take advantage of the growing trend towards mobile management without losing control of your fleet?
First, what exactly is fleet mobilization? The short explanation is that it involves managers spending less time at their desk and more time being mobile, maybe on-site with the crew. Of course, this prospect can frighten some managers who feel they need to be at their desk and in the control room at all times if they want to stay in touch with the whole fleet.
But there is a new breed of managers and VPs who are noticing that technology has moved on, and they can still manage effectively without being chained to a desk. In fact, some fleets have experienced improvements in productivity by allowing managers to spend more time on location with remote workers.
Why do some companies still resist deploying mobile fleet management technology? Sometimes they fear the unknown — of letting go of a traditional system they’ve grown comfortable with. Or maybe it’s just that they haven’t considered the benefits.
Mobile fleet management brings benefits
In much the same way that cell phones provided benefits that landlines couldn’t, mobile fleet management delivers many advantages to management who can embrace new technologies.
- Cut your operating costs — When a fleet manager is confined to the office, they are limited in what they can do. Additional site-based supervisors might be needed to cover the work they would have done if they didn’t need to monitor the control room. And with instant alerts about driver exceptions or fleet problems, issues can be addressed sooner to avoid potential costs.
- Your open-door policy just got better — A good manager is accessible to his staff. Mobile fleet management means your drivers have better access by using their in-cab PND or cell phone. Emails from staff can go straight to your smartphone, allowing you to respond to them without having to wait until you get back into the office.
- Put the personal touch back into your management style — As convenient as electronic communications or phone calls can be, they are no replacement for the personal touch. Increase face time with your workers and be rewarded with employees who are more loyal and work harder. Mobilized fleet management makes that possible.
So how can you take advantage of new web-based technology to effectively manage your fleet regardless of where they are, or where you are?
Making the transition to mobile fleet management
If you feel it’s time you upgraded your management style from a more traditional, desk-based operation to mobilized fleet management, there are a few things you want to keep in mind:
- Build your ROI model — Before you do anything in business it’s prudent to make sure it passes the positive ROI test. Are you making the change simply for the sake of deploying new technology? Use an ROI calculator and make sure you know why you’re making the change. If you don’t, it’s unlikely you’ll get the project past upper management.
- Find a vendor that will tailor a solution that’s right for your fleet — One size doesn’t fit all, and what might work for a small fleet just won’t cut it for a larger operation. Telogis has fitted customized solutions for fleets from just a few vehicles to large multinational fleets with reporting units numbering into the tens of thousands, in a wide range of industries. What makes this possible is our powerful GeoBase™ platform, flexible development solutions and API technologies to build a customized application that’s perfect for you — all of which help build greater ROI.
- Invest in good hardware — The range of hardware units available to mobile fleet managers is growing all the time, and helping to build a better case for mobilized fleet management. Ruggedized laptops, PDAs with large, sunlight-proof screens and self-powered GPS tracking units have created an infrastructure that makes it easier for managers on the move to stay in touch with every aspect of fleet activity and remote mobile workers, regardless of where they are.
There are definite advantages to mobilized fleet management, and if you think it’s a good time for your fleet to benefit from this growing trend, then feel free to contact us and discuss your options.