Adoption of fleet management technology is increasing year-on-year, buoyed by a growing awareness of the business benefits that can be enjoyed by superior operational processes. From reducing fuel costs to increasing productivity; from lowering tax liabilities to aiding legislative compliance, these benefits are many.
Less well recognised is the technology’s role in generating new business and retaining customers. The value of vehicle tracking as a sales tool however should not be underestimated – it can make the difference between leaving the competition in your wake or being left to play catch up.
By saving money on fuel, vehicle maintenance, communication, overtime and admin you are, of course, better placed to offer customers a more competitive pricing structure. Customers, however, may also view you as their supplier or service provider of choice for a good number of other reasons.
Customer service that’s a step ahead of the competition
Customers never like to be kept waiting. Punctual client visits are vital if you are to establish an enviable reputation for reliability.
Fleet management systems enable real-time monitoring of your mobile workforce so you can dispatch your nearest available river to a customer’s site. Because you know the precise locations of all your drivers, you can give customers accurate ETAs. You can also keep an eye on possible delays and warn customers if you think that a driver may be running late.
In addition, advanced navigation devices, boasting two-way messaging and live traffic information, enable you to send job information and direct drives to customers quickly and safely.
Moreover, the information at your finger tips enables you to provide customers with transparent invoices, detailing exactly how long your employee spent on a job, safe in the knowledge that you can generate reports to illustrate this in the event of any dispute.
Fleet management that doesn’t cost the earth
Today’s customers are expecting higher environmental standards than ever before from their suppliers and service providers.
Fleet management systems invariably involve technologies that reduce fuel consumption – and lower carbon emissions mean a boost to your green credentials. Having a well-founded reputation as an environmentally-friendly business can add considerable credibility to your operation.
Drivers utilising live traffic information services sent to their navigation devices, for example, can reduce their average journey times by up to 15%.
As a result, this means you are well placed to slash fuel bills and improve operational efficiency. Greener policies need not mean added expenditure – by taking care of environmental responsibilities, you can also look after the bottom line.
A wealth of information at your fingertips
The variety of available data only continues to grow. On-board diagnostics systems enable businesses to measure and reduce fuel costs and carbon footprint by taking live data direct from the vehicles
This data can be channelled through a vehicle’s OBDII port, without the need for a CANbus connection. The information, ranging from fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and RPM to gear selection and idling, can then be relayed to management so they can view performance at any time during a driver’s journey. They can also use the information to measure fuel efficiency against pre-defined business targets.
Drivers, for their part, can now monitor their fuel efficiency and performance behind the wheel themselves, at a glance of their in-cab sat nav devices.
Sustainable businesses invariably buy from sustainable businesses, but an investment in technology that demonstrates your environmental commitment should not only be communicated to customers, but also to your suppliers and shareholders.
In the spotlight
Not only can fleet management technology imrpove your reputation as an environmentally-responsible organisation, it can also boost your reputation as a forward thinking business.
An advanced technology system, for example, could be your trump card for generating media headlines.
Editors have frequently published articles detailing how companies are using their systems to cut costs and increase efficiencies.
Companies from Scotia Gas Network (SGN) to npower have made the news for simply introducing the technology to their vehicle fleets.
Bill Gates once famously announced: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
Indeed, good PR for your business can only have a positive impact on your bottom line. What’s more, choose the right fleet management supplied and their PR team will conduct all the necessary media activities on your behalf.