No business is free from challenges. There are a few common roadblocks that come in the way of running any successful business.
This is not a cause for worry; it’s as healthy as you could imagine. A perfect product, service, or company does not exist. We live in a dynamic world, and there is no real way to ensure that all the processes run without any glitches.
When we address and assess all that can go wrong at the start, it is much easier to be prepared when we are faced with a situation. Even the world of fleet management is boggled down by some pervasive challenges.
But there is nothing that cannot be fixed. What cannot be fixed can be minimized in friction.
Before we get into the industry challenges, it’s important to understand what fleet management applications are. On the most basic level, fleet management is using a single dashboard to control the whole fleet.
This will keep track of the actions, movements, and drivers of the fleet — all from a single place. To better understand this, you can read this article.
Here are some of the most common challenges faced by fleet managers. We will address each problem and try to reason solutions to either reduce the impact of this or entirely eliminate the issue.
1. Fuel Cost Management.
The cost of fuel is one of the most substantial overheads for any fleet company. They are a cost we cannot remove from the system; neither can we alter the use of fuel with other commodities.
It is literally the fuel that drives the business ahead. The problem many fleet managements face is the varying cost of fuel and the inability to track the usage effectively.
Solution: If the fuel consumption is tracking using electronic devices, you can better optimize its usage. This task will help gauge fuel costs, and also detect low-performance vehicles on the fleet.
2. Goods Safety.
The safety of the good on board is one of the rising concerns in the modern age. When you assure your consumers or clients that you will ship their goods, you are on a contract to ensure the safety of the products. The damage to the loss of goods will ruin the project and hamper the prospects of new clients and repeat business.
Solution: Good safety can be resized using tracking devices on the trucks. The data of these will only be seen by you and can be tracked in real-time. Check out the Samsara’s GPS fleet tracking to better understand this.
3. Driver Safety.
The driver is the backbone of the fleet network. All factors that entail a logistics and fleet business rest on the driver.
The safety of drivers in the form of Hours of Operations Compliance, drive assistance, and better work conditions all play a significant role in keeping the business afloat. If the drives’ safety is at risk, it could bring the whole company to a halt.
Solution: Using a dash-camera that is dual-facing, you can make it easier for the manager to keep an eye on the behavior of the driver. You can also install IoT devices that work as driver assistance.
4. Staff Satisfaction.
Safety is one of the limbs, while job satisfaction is the other challenge. In the last few years, the industry has seen a massive shortage of drivers and working labor.
This could be because of the uncertainty of the jobs, lower wages, or lack of talent. All of these factors have discouraged more people from working in the fleet business. Finding a competent workforce is the singular battle of any industry.
Solution: The best to keep staff happy is by providing the best working atmosphere. If you automate some of the mundane chores and let the team manage them remotely, there is a higher chance of employee retention.
5. Route Planning and Optimization.
Trucks running on poorly planned routes can lead to considerable losses to your business. They affect the company in two-folds.
First, they slow down the delivery process. If the courses are mismatched, they will take longer to reach the desired destination.
The second problem is empty-load-commute. With lousy planning, you will spend fuel costs on running your trucks empty back to the stations.
Solution: Using a sophisticated fleet management system, you will be able to plan these routes using advanced machine learning tools.
6. Government Law Changes.
There is often a time when the government could change the norm of operations. This could be with a change in the law, travel restrictions, or a change in taxations.
All of these are unforeseeable changes that one can never be prepared for. These will not necessarily halt business, but in some way, cause a slowdown.
Solution: No change happens overnight; they are all a gradual curve. By being active on online forums and discussion boards, you can foresee any changes that are around the corner and make changes.
7. Fleet Life.
As long as they could be, the life of a fleet is a recurring cost for the company. If you purchase a new fleet, they will last you a few years.
After this, they will be less efficient or break down. This is the natural wear and tear of any machine. This simple problem might need you to reorganize the fleet or buy new machines over time.
Solution: The life of a fleet is dependent on its efficient use. We can use ELDs and tracking software to keep a check on the health of the engine. This computer-generated log will give practical information and trigger warning for service and maintenance.
This is just a list of the general problems that one may face. It is wise for each company to take time to weigh its pros and cons.
When a new problem is put forth, it comes down to knowing what steps to take to fix this. At the start, any company makes a list of everything that can go wrong in the operations.
This problem can be as simple as a bulb going off to a personal quitting the job. Knowing all the challenges beforehand makes us better prepared for a smooth future.