As customers are purchasing more online than ever before, retailers and logistics providers must adjust to increasing demand for deliveries. This includes more efficient and faster ways to deliver goods to the end customer, and at a lower cost. Fleet management software is one tool that can help manage drivers, fleet managers, dispatchers, and vehicles allowing companies to reduce overhead and increase efficiency. Fleet operations differ from business to business and therefore fleet management solution requirements may be different depending on the company.
In this post we’ve gathered the 7 key features that every business needs from its fleet management system – even if they don’t realize it. We’ll also dive into Bringg’s fleet and driver management solutions to demonstrate how intelligently managing fleets and drivers can make an impact on not only your operational efficiency, but also on your bottom line.
What is fleet management software?
Fleet management solutions help businesses with fleet optimization in order to maximize performance, efficiency and cost. In today’s market, these technological solutions are critical in order to keep fleet operations organized including driver management, dispatchers, and vehicle tracking for an entire fleet.
Some businesses may need to manage a single large internal fleet, while others may manage multiple third party contractors or crowdsourced fleets as well. Your choice of fleet management system will differ depending on your business needs.
Fleet management software for a connect last mile
Bringg’s intelligent fleet and driver management is a cloud-based solution that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems to provide for full visibility and control over both internal and third party fleets. Retailers and logistics providers can use Bringg’s delivery provider management software as part of an open, modular last mile delivery and fulfillment platform to boost efficiency and therefore customer satisfaction.
7 features that every fleet management software should have
- Real-time visibility
- Driver management capabilities
- Full integration and an open, scalable software
- Fleet dispatch and planning software (including vehicle management)
- Machine learning
- Driver performance and retention solutions available via mobile app
- Driver safety and telematics software
One of the main objectives of fleet management is to know what’s happening and where, in real-time. In order to make this happen, you’ll need GPS vehicle tracking (or GPS tracking per driver) to know where each order is when out for delivery, whether it’s with your fleet or with a contractor’s driver.
Fleet tracking software provides visibility into driver location for all relevant stakeholders: dispatchers or fleet managers (including external contractors if it’s their driver), shippers, and of course, the end customer.
The best fleet management solutions will also include a mobile app, allowing for mobile inventory management capabilities. If not, there should be an integration between the two systems, so you can have visibility into your inventory via mobile devices.
Visibility has become especially important now that many businesses are scaling their delivery processes with third party delivery fleets and last mile carriers. Transparency over all delivery operations assists businesses to measure performance, identify issues, and make more informed decisions based on data.
The best fleet management software is cloud based, ensuring your control and visibility don’t diminish as you extend your geographic reach, add more vehicles, or onboard more fleets.
Visibility for all your stakeholders
Bringg’s fleet management system gives dispatchers and fleet managers real-time visibility across your fleet, giving dispatchers the chance to manage by delivery exception or issue. With real time vehicle tracking and location information, communication with drivers and customers is immediate and accurate. Businesses can update orders, create alerts, and communicate with customers and other stakeholders.
Driver management capabilities
Having driver management capabilities within your fleet management solution gives you the ability to manage your drivers and meet your KPIs and SLAs (such as on time delivery rates) and ensure that your entire fleet is running smoothly. This includes tracking vehicles, calculating driver hours and earnings, scheduling, and understanding performance and permissions management.
Fleet management software that is part of a connected, integrated delivery network gives you full control of your drivers whether your fleets are internal or external.
Driver management capabilities should include:
- Calculating driver earnings for your entire fleet
- Driver and delivery scheduling
- Tracking and understanding performance benchmarks and KPIs such as number of orders completed
- Permissions management
Any fleet management solution should include centralized dashboards for fleet managers with real-time status updates for delivery in progress, as well as for managing driver schedules, vehicle capacity and tracking the vehicle’s location, fuel consumption, as well as measuring driver performance (an important element in driver compensation). Business intelligence is an essential part of this process, so robust reporting tools should be included as well.
The driver and delivery scheduling software must be updated in real time, in order to help the dispatcher or fleet manager optimize vehicle and driver management.
With Bringg, companies can automate driver scheduling, payments and permissions, allowing them to save time as well as resources and money with our fleet management tool. With Bringg, you’ll have a centralized view of driver availability, making it easier than ever for your dispatchers to manage schedules and for drivers to receive job assignments and shifts.
Full integration and open, scalable software
One reason many businesses fear new technology is the concern that it will displace existing systems. It’s important to identify fleet management software that integrates seamlessly with your existing solutions across the supply chain. Ideally, data from your transportation management system, external fleets, WMS and other systems – across every touchpoint and interaction – should be consolidated and managed from a single platform to ensure the optimal visibility, and give leadership the insights they need to make better decisions regarding resources and teams.
Just as new fleet management tools must work with your existing systems, they must also be flexible enough to be readily adaptable to your specific logistics and business operations.
Look for open and scalable technology that can be customized to meet your fleet management needs. For example, if you want dispatchers to be able to enter specific data about each delivery run, or customize the criteria for how many orders will go on a single delivery run, an open fleet management system should enable this level of customization.
Similarly, the best fleet management solutions will be scalable and allow you to easily increase the number of fleets, drivers and orders at any given time. This is particularly important around peak seasons, but is also a critical factor in how quickly you will be able to launch new delivery services or options, or expand into new regions.
Bringg’s platform: The best fleet operations software for scale
- Rapid integration with and onboarding of new fleets or contractors
- Rapid expansion through new area codes and pickup/dropoff locations
- Quick launch of new premium services, such as same day delivery, installations or assembly
- Flexible platform to support future growth
While most businesses start looking for fleet management systems to solve specific problems around efficiency, it’s important to keep one eye to future opportunities for growth and expansion, and choose technologies that will support your future growth.
With Bringg, businesses have the opportunity to scale capacity on-demand with a unified platform, with the ability to constantly optimize their fleet with management software.
The Bringg platform is the best in-class enterprise solution of its kind, with an easy to implement scaling process, allowing for constant optimization and improvement.
Fleet dispatch and planning software
The heart of a fleet management solution is helping you decide which orders go to which fleet, and when. But it’s much more than that.
Delivery scheduling must be based on vehicle availability, and knowing which vehicle is best suited for each order. For example, some deliveries may require vehicles with refrigeration or heating, or vehicles that can handle an item with unusual or unusually large dimensions.
Another element is how much space the end customer has for unloading vehicles near their location; if they do not have space for unloading a larger truck, it makes sense to dispatch a fleet with smaller trucks that can unload near the customer’s location to reduce the unloading time.
Efficient management of vehicles is as important as driver management, and vehicle-related factors must be taken into consideration when assigning a fleet to an order.
Optimized routes and route planning
If you only use internal fleets, you will need software to decide the best route based on a variety of constraints.
The best route optimization software will be customizable, allowing each business to decide the weight that different constraints should have on the route planning – for example, cost to deliver, vehicle capacity, road conditions, driver breaks, etc. This, too, requires software with a real-time data sync in order to accurately apply the constraints and come out with the optimal route per vehicle.
Does the fleet manager know in advance the fuel costs per delivery for each fleet? Some fleets charge per mile (vehicle mileage), while others may include a surplus charge for deliveries above a certain distance. Good fleet management software will automatically take cost of delivery into consideration when suggesting fleet assignment (though, again, it should be able to customize the priority of this variable based on your other business needs).
Some countries require fleets by law to allow drivers a certain amount of break time each day, or restrict their working hours to a specific amount. Make sure that any fleet management solution you use automatically includes these breaks into the scheduling, to make planning faster and easier for dispatchers.
With Bringg’s fleet management capabilities, you’ll be able to zoom out on your dispatching, with our single dashboard giving you a macro level view of what’s going on with your fleet. Manage your capacity, schedules, performance together with live vehicle tracking and fleet tracking software, logistics BI & reporting, and more.
For more information on dispatching and fleet optimization, read our article on evaluating dispatch software.
Managing crowdsourced delivery with a fleet management system
Thanks to the boom in online sales, brands are turning to delivery at faster rates than ever. For many, crowdsourced delivery is the simplest option – after all, restaurants have been using fleets like Doordash, Postmates and Uber Eats for years as aggregators and later, with some, as DaaS (delivery as a service) providers for food delivery. Now, many of these DaaS companies have expanded their services for parcel delivery, as well.
As for retail, less than a tenth of retailers (9%) use crowdsourced delivery now, but one in four plan to do so in the next twelve months – and fully 90% expect to use crowdsourced delivery to handle orders by 2028. This is especially useful for offering coverage for local deliveries, which can often be delivered on demand using crowdsourced fleets on bikes, motorcycles or other small vehicles.
The best fleet management software integrates with crowdsourced providers, so that you have the same level of visibility into crowdsourced fleet performance as you do with other third party and internal fleets.
Bringg Delivery Hub: Third party delivery done right
The Bringg Delivery Hub lets you select the exact fleet or fleets you need to meet your business requirements. Choose from the world’s leading delivery providers to rapidly expand your delivery capacity while managing third party delivery like a natural extension of your business.
In order to reach the optimal fleet performance and efficiency, you need to acquire all the data possible – on both macro and granular levels. For example, knowing which fleet delivers more quickly or have a high successful first delivery attempt rate can help you decide whom to dispatch – but so does knowing whether that speed is due to faster time on the road, or time on site, or time back to base (e.g. a warehouse or store). Look for a fleet management tool which can apply historical data to machine learning in order to track time to base, time on side, vehicle unloading time, and other factors.
By better understanding where the gaps in fleet efficiency are, businesses can both address these issues and make more informed decisions about planning deliveries. The benefits of machine learning for delivery companies don’t end there – besides improving efficiency, speeding up delivery times and improving the reliability of delivery estimates will increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Bringg’s machine learning allows companies to optimize efficiency and allows for 20% more delivery capacity, improving the customer experience and allowing you to grow revenue.
Driver performance and retention
In the trucking industry, driver turnover and retention is a well-known issue and expense. A 1996 study of trucking companies found that the average quit rate for drivers was 27%. Fast forward to 2018, where driver shortage is still a huge concern; 69% of surveyed executives said driver recruitment was their biggest challenge (and over half listed retention as another challenge).
Given that onboarding skilled drivers can take as long as six months, the cost of low driver retention is clear. Improving driver retention rates will significantly impact a businesses’ bottom line, and is therefore a critical component of any fleet management tools that you evaluate.
Look for fleet management software that is user-friendly and easy to onboard, and that includes as much automation around delivery flows and task management as possible. Drivers should be able to see clearly when they need to scan items, collect signatures, and perform additional services like white glove delivery.
It also helps to have fewer technologies to deal with – for example, using the same mobile phone or tablet – to scan and log items, review or optimize routes, and confirm delivery. This functionality will improve performance around deliveries and services, but it will also make your drivers’ lives easier and be a competitive advantage over other potential employers.
Bringg’s fleet management system empowers drivers to make sure they are delivering quickly, safely and successfully each and every time they set out on route. Our mobile app allows drivers to avoid traffic, communicate with customers, receive order updates, all while being hands-free, providing support for Siri and Google Assistant and offering an offline mode.
Driver safety and telematics software
Besides safeguarding the people performing your deliveries, safety technology can also lower your insurance costs and be implemented as part of a broader driver safety program. Look for a fleet management solution that includes, or is integrated with, the following driver safety solutions:
The most important safety feature vehicles can have is a safety-conscious driver. Telematics solutions use vehicle tracking devices to monitor driver behavior: identify aggressive driving or dangerous driving speed, how often a driver takes a break, and other data that can be used to rate driver behavior and safety. This information can be used for gamification, giving drivers rankings for how safely they drive, and using it to encourage a healthy competition around safe driving behavior.
No Go Zones
Restrict fleets from traveling through (or to) unsafe areas. These can be temporary (e.g. a slippery frozen road or one struck by a landslide) or constant.
Hands-free driver app
Use a driver mobile app that automatically reverts to a hands-free setting when a vehicle is in movement.
Both internal and external fleets should be tasked with leaving packages at doors where relevant, and utilizing contactless methods of proof of delivery such as uploading photos of the delivered item.
See: The Bringg Driver App – Maximize Efficiency and Safety
Fleet management is about more than managing fleets and vehicles, and must take a multitude of factors into consideration.
How Bringg’s fleet management system works
Bringg’s last mile platform comprises the best enterprise fleet and driver management software available on the market today all in one platform, allowing businesses to rapidly scale up order fulfillment and optimize efficiency across their last mile delivery operations.
Integrating internal and external fleets, including third party delivery fleets, fleet managers can boost OTD rates and reduce costs with Bringg’s system. At the same time, drivers have access to our customized app, making onboarding easier and the delivery process more accurate and quicker.
With smart mult-fleet management, live fleet tracking, logistics BI and reporting, you’ll be able to make better decisions and boost your delivery successes while meeting KPIs with Bringg’s robust feature set. Our BI dashboard gives insights into real-time queries allowing you to gain operational insights and make changes necessary to your fleet.
Implementing Bringg’s fleet management software is a simple process, and our software can grow with your company needs at all times.
Bringg’s cloud based platform helps businesses scale up and optimize their delivery and fulfillment operations for faster time to market, more efficient operations, and improved customer delivery experiences. To learn more about our solutions, visit www.bringg.com or get in touch with one of our representatives here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Fleet management is a set of processes used by a business to control everything related to commercial vehicles, from acquisition to its disposal. Fleet management aims to increase productivity, improve efficiency, minimize expenses, and establish compliance with applicable legislation over the entire fleet operation. Employee vehicles are considered a gray fleet and must be included in fleet management.
– Increases driver’s performance
– Reduces delivery costs
– Automates analytics and reporting
– Improves customer acquisition
– Minimizes fuel consumption and fuel costs
– Enhances vehicle maintenance
– Increases reliability of fleets
– Prevents fraud
– Prolongs fleet lifespan
Fleet management systems are a sum of several components that work in unison. It includes the following areas that operate together:
Software – Creating schedules, communication with drivers, fleet maintenance scheduling, sharing reports, etc.
Telematics – Combined with GPS and on-board sensors to locate vehicles, detect speed and distance, and provide alerts and advanced driving insights.
Maintenance planning – Automation of maintenance services such as alerting drivers, managers, and technicians when the fleet is due for servicing, safety checks, etc.
Tracking warranty and managing parts – These are laborious processes especially when hundreds of vehicles are involved. With a fleet management system, you may track warranties and inventory, and take advantage of streamlined and automatic repair and maintenance alerts.
Fleet management software accumulates, saves, processes, controls, reports, and exports information related to deliveries. The software manages four key areas:
1. Manage vehicles – including fleet inventory tracking, vehicle health, vehicle maintenance, and insurance
2. Accident or incident management- fines
3. Driver management- licenses, payments, booking information, penalties
4. Vehicle tracking- route planning, telematics