Managing any fleet is not a one-person job. There are so many moving parts in the network that need tracking and monitoring at all times. This change has been made easier today with the development of advanced fleet management.
These are software that assists managers for a logistics company or any company that relies on shipping and movement to keep all their assets in check.
There are many companies like Samsara that provide superior software and hardware to allow such a process. These are additions to the existing network to enable the automation of specific tasks and make them faster.
They can be as simple as installing a dash-camera to monitor the driver. Or have a whole fleet management system to track all the limbs of the organization.
We can divide the market into two categories: one that has to transition to the new tech world. And the other is those who consider applications and software the only way to do it.
Let’s take the example of a store launch today. The store owners are going to find inventory management software by default and not do them manually by paper.
Why Get A Dispatch Software?
A technology like this helps to improve the workflow and cut back on processing time for simple tasks. For example, instead of making manual entry of fuel-consumption and miles-driven by each truck, you can use an IoT device and management software to automate this information.
These applications also cut away any chance of human error. A machine will never feel fatigued or lazy to work.
They will function round the clock if all the system settings are up-to-date. It is also much faster for management software to compute the data than using conventional older methods.
When we say “older methods,” we are implying that the world of fleet control has come a long way. Even if we focus on the last decade of this industry, there has been a massive shift in technological innovations. This change has enabled the industry to flourish at an exponential rate.
What Was It Before Managing Software?
Before the boom of software and internet technology, the fleets would still function and take the same amount of workload. But today they are much faster and more productive — both for the user and the logistics company. It has mainly improved in four domains.
Firstly tracking was hardly possible for a fleet. When a truck left point-A, we would only estimate the time it could take to travel to the point-B.
The tracking of vehicles and shipment could only be done at nodes or junctions. It was not until GPS tracking systems came into the picture that now we can get real-time updates of the fleet.
The second would be the optimization. Without the help of automation, the fleet would leave docks and ports as-and-when the load would reach.
Some companies organized the fleet based on routes and destinations. Today the address can be fed into the system, and the system generates a fully optimized route.
The next is driver safety. Driving conditions and hours of operations back in the days would be tedious compared to today’s standards.
Today with the help of advanced dash-camera and fleet software, you can keep a check on the exact HOS (hours of service) compliance. Such cameras also keep video records in case of accidents.
4. Lack of Computer-assisted Diagnostics
Lastly, there was a complete lack of computer-assisted diagnostics. This means the life of a truck, service, engine checks, fuel refills, and minor repairs were all maintained by the driver in a log-book.
Alternatively, they were done by managers at the office. Today, they can be tracked in real-time and trigger warnings for changes and repairs.
A significant change that we cannot ignore is the way we book services today. It’s as simple as booking a taxi using a phone-application.
Everything is faster than it ever was. A simple control unit covers all the aspects of the booking for a consumer. Back in the days, it needed a long trail of telephone-calls and truck-loads of paperwork.
What Is Changed Today?
As we saw above, these dispatch software are a great way to improve business and should almost become the norm with today’s age of technology. It seems like common sense to use the advanced software to ensure the business sees no losses.
Apart from the larger-than-life changes to the drivers and the working staff, these apps play a significant role in analytics. These are computer-generated data that will help better run the fleet. They can gauge the usage of the fleet and calculate better routes, and areas of higher distribution.
These analytics can also help to enhance safety. These will help assign trucks and drivers based on the condition of the route and the experience of the driver; rather than a random method of allocation.
It also gives detailed information about driver behavior. A simple system like a dash-cam can also massively reduce the cost of insurance and assist better in case of an accident.
The hesitation of many companies to move to automation are two-fold. One, they fear that it will displace people doing these jobs, which is not valid.
These systems, as effective as they are, need to be managed and cross-checked by people. These large chunks of information need to be processed and monitored by the staff to ensure better performance.
The second problem is adaptation and cost. Many see this software and application as an added cost to the already running business.
It’s hard to see the benefits when money leaves your pockets. But this small investment in software will bear more fruits later in the course.
The broader picture is that this small investment will help you save in the thousands in the long run. The process of automation will ensure lesser errors and fast operations. It’s a small amount to pay for a wide array of benefits that you and your employees will continue to benefit from.