What is a fleet management system?
A fleet management system is a hugely beneficial system that can save money, ensure your drivers are trained correctly and even cover your Duty of Care to your staff.
A fleet management system is actually a series of components that work together to increase business efficiency as well as covering legislative requirements. The software comes in a range of styles and formats but the best packages include:
- Driver management including fleet driver training
- Fuel management
These systems can be used in-house or operated by a specialist company who manage the system. Most companies offering these systems allow a great degree of personalisation so that companies can pay for only the elements that they will use while also providing easy to operate systems that don’t take a great deal of training to use.
Driver management starts with a license inspection tool and goes on to include fleet driver training. The system allows an electronic check to be carried out to be certain the employee has the relevant license for the job they are undertaking. As it is an offence to drive without the correct license, it is also an offence for a business to permit someone to drive without checking they have this. Therefore, the driver management system allows this check to be carried out.
What is fleet driver training?
Central to a fleet management program is fleet driver training. The idea behind this training is to reduce or even eliminate the risks encountered by fleet drivers. It has a number of additional benefits including reducing fuel costs, gaining a discount on insurance premiums and most importantly, lowering the risk of crashes.
Duty of Care
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all employers have what is called a ‘Duty of Care’ to their employees. This requires businesses to carry out an assessment that looks at risks to their staff and if they drive for a living, then this includes their activities while on the road. Using fleet driver training and a management system is a part of establishing a business has undertaken its Duty of Care to its staff.
One of the biggest costs for a business operating vehicles is fuel so getting the best fuel efficiency is a big money saving element. Another part of a fleet management system is a fuel management facility to assess where fuel costs can be saved and efficiency increased. This can be things such as vehicle maintenance, management of journeys and even tyre care. It also can be influenced by the selection of the vehicles in the first place. Finally, in combination with fleet driver training, the way drivers operate the vehicles is another element that can be assessed and sometimes improved.
Telematics is a way to monitor information from each of the fleet’s vehicles in a central point and includes elements such as digital maps to allow tracking of a vehicle’s position via a satellite positioning system. Drivers can also contact their base of operations via the system as well as sending digital information while the performance of the vehicle can also be tracked via on-board equipment.
Why use a fleet management system?
More information is always a good thing but are there practical benefits to the business when operating a fleet management system?
For starters, savings in areas such as fuel can be a substantial benefit to using these systems. Understanding driver issues and route problems can also help with this cost saving measure and can aid in avoiding the need for work rescheduling.
According to Lewis Baker of Cheap Fleet better drivers are also recognised by insurance companies and fleet policies will offer discounts for companies with a fleet driver training program in place. Added to this is the reduced chance of crashes, saving on premiums and also the associated costs with a road incident.The business can also be certain that it complies with all of its legal requirements, moral obligations and creates a positive impression for customers. It is protected from prosecution and can even increase sales opportunities through greater efficiency.
Fleet Insurance Spokesperson, Cheapfleet.co.uk