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Role of fleet management

When it comes to describing changes in the logistics space, ‘overhaul’ would be an understatement, especially since the arrival of the Covid pandemic. Players in the industry who wish to stay competitive have had to come to terms with three key facts, namely:

Uncertainty will forever be a part of supply chains

Uncertainty will forever be a part of supply chains

upply chains must be agile enough to meet steep end-consumer demands

upply chains must be agile enough to meet steep end-consumer demands

Manual fleet and supply chain management cannot enable agility, especially at scale

Manual fleet and supply chain management cannot enable agility, especially at scale

How does one reconcile with these facts to stay competitive? In the coming sections, we will understand the importance of optimizing fleet operations; why technology solutions provide the quickest and most cost-effective way of promoting agility and dealing with uncertainty, and why Locus fleet tracking solution should be your go-to choice for optimizing your fleet management practices.

What is fleet management?

Fleet management is an essential operation for the efficient functioning of logistics operations. It involves ensuring that the overall costs of transportation, fleet and resource utilization, and regulatory compliance of a fleet are at their optimal. All of these measures are instrumental to improving customer satisfaction, increasing revenues, and bringing agility to a fleet.

What is fleet management?
Enabling supply chain visibility, which means that all relevant stakeholders know where shipments are at all times and in real-time, is important for fleet management. This is easier said than done, especially since the larger a supply chain, the more complexities they involve. Developments in technology have now made it possible for deploying scalable fleet management solutions, right from the first mile to the last mile.
Some of its main capabilities include:
Fleet Tracking

Fleet Tracking

Providing messaging / alerts

Providing messaging / alerts

Predicting estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Predicting estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Providing dashboards

Providing dashboards

Enabling carrier integration

Enabling carrier integration

Key components of fleet management

Fleet managers
Responsible for the overall optimization of fleet operations, right from the strategic aspects of vehicle selection to the execution aspects such as route planning and compliance. Fleet managers are also the first point of contact for resolving any snags on the ground. To efficiently manage the colossal order volumes in a day, they need essential features like analytical reports and real-time visibility. These features help fleet managers make strategic fleet management decisions critical for business growth.
Truck fleet management
Trucks are the lifeline of any logistics operation. Given their size and the large volume of shipments they can carry, any initiatives that can ensure: savings in fuel, increase the volume of cargo they carry on each trip, and reduce empty miles goes a long way in contributing to the bottom line and improving customer satisfaction.
Fleet drivers
Responsible for the delivery of all shipments, fleet drivers can optimize their performance with the help of fleet management services, which often provide the quickest possible routes that save on fuel and improve metrics around deliveries. They work closely with fleet managers to prevent SLA breaches in case of unforeseen obstacles.
Fleet maintenance
A cornerstone of fleet management, fleet maintenance involves those practices that keep the health of all the vehicles in a fleet intact. Regular servicing of vehicles, gauging of fuel efficiency, and replacement of worn-out components, among other operations, fall under this category.

The role of fleet management solutions in supply chain management

To make incremental improvements in fleet operations, it is essential to utilize the fleet capacity in the best possible manner. With improved fleet utilization, businesses can improve productivity, minimize fleet risks, and increase their efficiency.

And taking the appropriate swift action can only be possible if fleet managers know where and how uncertainty has struck the supply chain, communicate to the relevant stakeholders, and optimize fleet performance to minimize errors. This is where fleet management solutions come into the picture.

Growth of the fleet management solutions

Estimated growth of the market is

$59.08 billion by 2028

emarketer
emarketer-graph

The fleet management services market has been showing robust growth and maturation. The trend is expected to continue in the coming years due to the following reasons:

It caters to essential demand of consumers: Enhanced fleet management capabilities has proven its ability in improving customer satisfaction. Customers often demand updates on the status of their shipments in real-time. Thus, what was once used as a tool for differentiating brands from the competition has now become a necessity.

Improves communication: Fleet management software allows for seamless communication between various stakeholders, which promotes proactivity among team members. It in turn improves productivity and customer satisfaction.

Provides opportunities for reducing costs: The large volume of data being captured can be analyzed to provide insights on optimizing costs, navigating fleets better, managing delivery resources more effectively and making overall better business decisions.

Improves efficiency: As the saying goes, “You cannot improve what you cannot quantify.” Supply chain transparency can expose those areas where resources are being inefficiently utilized and corrective action can be taken.

Quicker to deploy: Fleet management solutions take an average of three to six months to implement, making them relatively quicker and less resource-intensive to deploy.

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Why prefer Locus for last-mile fleet management?

Fleet tracking system is one of Locus’ flagship products that provides end-to-end fleet management solutions. What sets fleet tracking software apart from other fleet management solutions is that it also provides advanced capabilities, including:

Advanced analytics

Advanced analytics

Network visibility

Network visibility

Real-time updates on key metrics like fuel consumption, idling time etc.

Real-time updates on key metrics like fuel consumption, idling time etc.

Collaboration

Collaboration

Facilitating payments from end-consumers

Facilitating payments from end-consumers

Real-time updates to the end-consumer
End consumers that receive shipments can also benefit from fleet management solutions as they can track the status of their shipments. Fleet tracking solution is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), which enables powerful capabilities that can help fleet managers to stay on top of any potential service level agreement (SLA) breaches. Rest assured that logistics stakeholders using fleet tracking solutions are being backed by the most advanced technology in the Transport Management System and fleet management space.
Timely alerts and notifications
With the help of fleet monitoring software, fleet managers can keep track of the progress of individual tours and get highly accurate estimated times of arrival (ETAs), reassign tasks if needed, and be notified of any delays from the get-go. The solution can also provide insights that can benefit fleet drivers with shorter trip durations, faster responses to red flags, and improved productivity.
Analytics and Insights
Aside from the advanced features, fleet tracking solutions come with diverse, intuitive interfaces that never lose sight of users’ needs. Managers can have extensive visibility of their operations across a range of metrics through a control tower interface. They can even get custom reports that bring up important metrics on mileage, driver behavior, idling times among others, for making strategic decisions.
Easy-to use support application
Delivery executives on the ground get access to an exclusive app, Locus on the Road (LOTR) where they can view optimal routes, statuses of various tasks, and electronic proof of delivery. And the end customer can keep track of their shipments, communicate with the fleet manager and provide overall feedback through a white-labeled interface.

Locus Fleet tracking software: Under the hood

Clearly from above, we can see that Locus fleet tracking software is a feature-rich fleet management software. To best meet the needs of key stakeholders, fleet tracking system consists of three distinct components, namely:

Real-time tracking: For Fleet managers and supervisors

Real-time tracking: For Fleet managers and supervisors

Locus driver companion app: An app that assists delivery executives

Locus driver companion app: An app that assists delivery executives

Locus tracking link: A white-label feature that shows the progress of deliveries for the end customer

Locus tracking link: A white-label feature that shows the progress of deliveries for the end customer

Here’s a close look at each of these components:

Live View: The command center

Live View is a dashboard that provides fleet managers the control tower-level visibility they need to optimize their fleet. It shows the progress of tasks assigned by the dispatcher in real-time in an intuitive, easy-to-track format as shown below.

Fleet management software dashboard

Through this main page, a wide variety of tasks can be quickly executed, including:

  • Creating new tasks and resequencing or editing the details of existing ones to boost customer delight
  • Receiving alerts and notifications on delays and SLA breaches
  • Monitoring Homebase and customer visit details
  • Setting up geofences
  • Monitoring the progress of existing tasks (up to 150,000) in real-time and getting accurate ETAs
  • Gathering insights for impactful decision making by filtering relevant data points
  • Receiving alerts from customers through tracking link
  • Monitoring carbon emissions data
  • Reviewing execution details like proof of deliveries, cancellation reasons, and line items delivered
  • Tracking the health of various tours according to metrics such as:

Task execution progress
SLA breaches
Sequence edits

Volume utilization
Weight utilization
Custom Resource utilization

Distance traveled vs planned
Time traveled vs planned

Live View also provides a more granular, map-based view of operations by showing the progress of individual riders on the routes assigned.

Fleet tracking software dashboard

This view also comes with a host of functions such as:

  • Identifying all active riders available
  • Monitoring and maximizing the rider’s utilization on the Rider Time Utilisation Screen
  • Tracking information and metrics related to all riders such as stoppage/idling time, distance covered, time taken for tasks, etc.
  • Tracking the current location and routes taken by riders on the map
  • Sharing important rider information with end customers such as temperature through tracking link

Locus driver companion app: The app that makes things happen

Locus driver companion app is an important link in fleet tracking software’s holistic set of features. It is the app that all riders under the fleet tracking system’s umbrella use to complete their assigned tasks. This makes it the primary source of data on-ground that populates the dashboards and updates the metrics of real-time tracking.

Fleet tracking systems driver companion app on smartphone

Depending on the requirements of the management, locus driver companion app allows riders an important range of functionalities, including:

  • Adding, accepting, rejecting, or rescheduling the tasks assigned
  • Viewing the optimal route of an ongoing task on a map
  • Communicating with end-consumers in a data-secure manner
  • Facilitating communication between fleet managers and riders through calls and text
  • Updating the status of tasks after the completion of certain milestones
  • Receiving alerts and notifications of changes in tasks, routes, and SLA breaches
  • Facilitating the collection of proof of delivery such as images of parcels and signatures
  • Providing feedback for improvement of the app
Real-time tracking feature of fleet tracking software on a smartphone

Tracking Link: Enabling true customer satisfaction

Tracking link is a relatively smaller, but equally important feature of fleet tracking solutions. Through Locus tracking link, the end-consumer can gain visibility on the status of their shipment. It is also the first line of communication between a logistics stakeholder on fleet tracking software and their end-consumer via riders and customer service executives. Communication between the end-consumer is reflected on real-time tracking. This ensures that everything possible can be done to ensure customer delight at the backend.

Tracking Link: Enabling true customer satisfaction

In essence, Locus tracking link provides core functionalities to the end-consumer such as:

  • Current status of shipment (Dispatched, canceled or completed)
  • ETA of shipments
  • Total amount to be paid or payable
  • Rider details such as name, phone number, temperature
  • Routes taken by riders on a map
  • Communication portal with the logistics provider for providing feedback or complaints

There are no two ways about it: Fleet management is essential to optimizing supply chain performance and customer satisfaction. And technology solutions are the best way forward. To know how fleet tracking solutions can revolutionize your fleet management practices and enable a new level of supply chain transparency, click here for a demo today!

Siddhesh Raut
About the author
Siddhesh Raut

An endlessly curious reader and writer. When not working, Siddhesh also loves taking long walks, learning something new, and cooking the occasional curry.

Resources

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How to increase operational efficiencies in E-commerce

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How can Locus help manage your logistics?

  • Locus’ proprietary geocoding engine converts the fuzziest of the addresses into precise geographical coordinates thereby helping your on-ground executives locate addresses easily.
  • Digitize all your operational variables such as fleets, delivery persons, etc to come up with the best route plan every day.
  • Track your orders in real-time with the Locus Live Dashboard. Locus’ last-mile delivery app Locus On The Road (LOTR) helps delivery partners process orders.
  • Visualize and tweak your scheduled plans via three key metrics— geography, time, & vehicle(fleet)—with a birds-eye view of your entire operations.
  • Build your own reports and analyze important parameters that you need to make key decisions.

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