Fleet Management Software

Find the best fleet management software to reduce maintenance costs, increase vehicle safety, and store all vehicle & driver data in one easy-to-access solution.

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Whether you’re a fleet manager responsible for a small fleet of cars and vans or a transport director in charge of a large HGV truck fleet, maintaining the optimal performance of your vehicles and drivers can be overwhelming. But, that’s where fleet management software can help.

Implementing fleet management software is essential for all types of businesses that rely on the use of their vehicles. With the right fleet solution and tools at your fingertips, such as GPS route planning and vehicle maintenance management, you can reduce running costs and maximise the performance of your fleet operations.

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to highlight the challenges you face in your current fleet operations and identify the key objectives you want to achieve with a fleet management solution. You’ll then be able to dive into the market place of fleet management software and discover the best tools that match your vehicle and driver requirements. We’ll cover:

What is Fleet Management Software?

What is Fleet Management Software?

The fleet management process is typically carried out by a fleet manager or business owner and includes the collection of all data regarding their fleet operations. That includes tracking vehicles from acquisition to disposal, monitoring driver behaviour, and never missing required service maintenance checks or MOTs. With a fleet management software solution, all of this collected data is stored into one easy-to-access system.

As well as providing a centralised system for storing your business’s fleet data, a fleet management system will provide you with the sophisticated tools to take your data collecting to the next level. The ability to track and monitor fleet operations in real-time has become such an appealing prospect for businesses that the fleet management market is expected to be worth $34 billion by 2025.

By utilising fleet telematics such as GPS, in-vehicle sensors, and machine diagnostics, businesses are able to collect more data than ever before. This results in improved vehicle and driver safety standards, increased vehicle uptime, maximised productivity, and reduced operational costs. In fact, by implementing fleet management tools, businesses saw a 68% reduction in fuel bills.

The overall benefits of using a fleet management solution are vast and can have a positive effect on how a business manages both their vehicles and drivers.

The benefits of vehicle management

The benefits of driver management

Highlight the gaps in your fleet processes

How to highlight the gaps in your fleet processes and identify the need for a software solution

Whether you’re implementing a fleet management software solution for the first time or replacing an outdated vehicle management tool, you’re here because you want to elevate and revolutionise your overall fleet operations.

Fleet management tools aren’t just designed for larger organisations with a vast amount of fleet vehicles and drivers. In fact, these tools can be incorporated into all different types of companies, such as small businesses with a pool of five vehicles, to enterprises with thousands of cars, vans and trucks.

No matter what the size of your business or your fleet operations, the benefits offered by installing a fleet management solution are still the same. These include:

Identify the gaps and challenges in your current fleet processes

Managing a pool of five to ten vehicles is not difficult for an experienced fleet manager. But, when that fleet consists of thousands of vehicles, it can quickly become overwhelming. Coupled with the fear of not knowing if your investment in acquiring and monitoring your vehicles is paying off, gaps may start to appear.

Before you begin to highlight what you want to achieve with fleet management software, it’s first important to understand the gaps in your current processes. For example, a fleet manager may encounter challenges, such as:

And that’s not to mention the running costs that your fleet will incur. Without a fleet management solution, you’ll begin to lose track of what you’re spending on your vehicles and fail to grasp a true Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Luckily, that’s where a fleet management tool can help. In its simplest form, fleet management software is a solution designed to help fleet managers and business owners effectively track, maintain, analyse and manage all vehicle and driver data in one place; with a purpose to control vehicle life-cycles, reduce associated risks, enhance productivity, and increase efficiency.

The right fleet management tool will help you improve the management of:

The typical costs of operating a fleet

What type of fleet management software buyer are you?

As well as being available for all levels of business, a fleet management solution can also be implemented into various types of industries and market sectors. Such as local delivery services, public services, private shipping, public transport and taxi firms. These, and many more, can all benefit from effective management of their fleets.

The process of recognising the type of buyer you are is an important step in your journey to finding the right fleet management tool. Not only will it allow you to find a tool and vendor that best fits your industry, but it will also highlight the features needed to match your core requirements and achieve your management and maintenance goals.

Below are four examples of fleet management software buyers. You’ll notice that each buyer has a different set of goals for their fleet operations and thus require a solution that offers the right features to match their requirements.

1. Logistics, Third-party Logistic (3PL) Firms and Courier Services

Implementing fleet management software into logistics and delivery organisations can be beneficial in a number of ways, including:

When choosing the right tool, you’ll also want to prioritise particular features that will appeal more to the operations of a logistics and delivery firm, such as:

Being an instrumental link within a client’s supply chain, logistics and 3PL firms require a vast majority of features that can be provided by a fleet management tool. This especially applies for operating within industries such as retail and e-commerce, where you’re responsible for not only receiving the goods but shipping them directly to customers, too.

2. Public and Emergency Fleet Services

With a vast range of services, managing government fleet operations can require a tool packed full of different capabilities. Ideally, you’ll want to look for features that help to:

3. Construction and Industrial Fleet Operations

Fleet managers operating in a large-scale construction organisation will require some form of a management tool to improve and ease the overall workflow. A fleet management system can help to:

4. Food and Beverage Delivery Services

As a manager of a food and beverage company, effective management of your fleet can be critical for maintaining good customer satisfaction levels and reducing operational costs. These targets can be achieved in a number of ways:

Fleet management software can help reduce vehicle idle time in fleets

Identify the key features you require from a fleet management system to deliver your vehicle, driver, and maintenance goals

Coupled together with tools for vehicle maintenance and fuel management, a fleet management tool provides a number of key features for all types of organisations. But, as well as identifying the right fleet management solution for your industry, picking a solution with the right features is essential.

Not only do you need to recognise the features needed to close the gaps in your current processes, but you also need to highlight the core requirements that you expect from your chosen product.

An effective way to do this is to create two groups: Essential features and Non-essential features:

Essential features

Non-essential features

Top Tip: Try to keep your essential features to a minimum. By having fewer core requirements, it allows you to shortlist more vendors and products in a bid to finding the best fit.

Having an understanding of essential features and non-essential allows for a more focused approach when it comes to shortlisting and evaluating your fleet management software options.

As you begin your search, you’ll notice that fleet software vendors offer tools with different variations of features. For example, some products may focus entirely on the real-time tracking of vehicles, whereas others focus more on correcting driver behaviour through telematics.

Although all features are designed with improving your entire fleet operations in mind, it’s important to know the features that are better suited to your own goals. For example, here’re seven of the most valuable fleet management software features that may match your essential requirements:

Here’re seven typical features found in a modern fleet solution that can be applied to all types and sizes of organisations:

1. Route Planning

As an essential part of a fleet management tool, route planning is used to determine the shortest and most fuel-efficient route. Effective route planning can be used to plan a round-trip, such as a courier service’s delivery route or a one-way journey. Either way, its purpose is to help save on fuel costs and minimise vehicle wear and tear by reducing the number of miles a fleet needs to travel. There are many factors that determine a strategy for choosing the most efficient route, including:

Once the most efficient route has been planned, it can then be dispatched to a driver. If the driver attempts to alter this proposed route, you can override their decision and make sure they stick to the plan.

Fleet telematics can be used with most fleet management tools

2. GPS Tracking and Telematics

Among many other benefits, the use of GPS tracking and telematics is essential to help visually monitor where vehicles and drivers are in real-time.

Prior to this technology, most fleet operations would rely on word-of-mouth regarding a driver’s location and if a vehicle had arrived at its destination on time. With GPS, you’re able to:

3. Load Optimisation

The creation of an efficient route plan is only possible once other factors have been considered, such as load optimisation. By collecting data on factors such as weight, volume and dimensions, you are able to create an effective loading plan for each vehicle. This also helps to improve time management by knowing the exact load time of cargo.

A good example of a business optimising its fleet’s load is a courier service. The cargo stored in a vehicle will need to be stacked in order of the planned route. An item that is being delivered at the first stop of a driver’s route will need to be stacked in the most accessible way, and so on.

4. Total Cost of Ownership and Spend Tracking

Tracking and collecting essential data with a fleet management tool is a great way of knowing the exact expenditure of fleet operations. Not only can you see the depreciation of value for each vehicle, but you can also start to evaluate the difference in cost between owning and leasing fleet assets. For example, you may realise that it is cheaper for your business to own a fleet instead of leasing one.

As well as this, you can also track costs such as:

With fleet management software Royal Mail reduced vehicle downtime by 26%

5. Service and Maintenance Alerts

Whether you’re in charge of thousands of vehicles or a small fleet of vans and cars, making sure each vehicle is properly serviced is crucial for developing an effective maintenance schedule. Having a maintenance system in place can dramatically reduce vehicle downtime. It can be so effective, that in 2017, Royal Mail improved the downtime of their 50,000 vehicle fleet by 26%.

You are also able to collect service and maintenance data of all of your vehicles and store it in a centralised system. This allows stakeholders to see and be automatically notified when a vehicle’s insurance policy or warranty is about to expire.

6. Employee Management and Driver Behaviour

By implementing a system that can effectively track vehicles, you’re also able to gather data regarding your drivers. This can be average speeds, harsh acceleration reports, idling periods, and speeding violations. By collecting this data, you can take the necessary precautions to eradicate risky driver habits and encourage safe driving through feedback and coaching tools. This reduces any risk of vehicle accidents that can be costly to business operations. With employee management in place, you can:

7. Fuel Management

A useful feature for reducing costs from a fleets bottom line is fuel management. This is used to monitor excessive fuel burn and idling, while also highlighting the vehicles that are consuming more fuel than others.

An effective fuel management tool can send out instant alerts and notifications, too. This lets you see how much fuel is being used and when a company fuel card has been activated. You can also collect driver receipts and mileage data to cross-check any false claims that may be issued.

5 factors to consider when choosing fleet management software

5 factors to consider when choosing the best fleet management software for your business

Once you’ve highlighted the need for a management system, it’s time to choose the right tool. But, before doing so, there are some things that you may want to consider.

Here, we’ve listed the five most common considerations to make before purchasing a fleet management software solution:

1. Can this tool track and monitor fleet assets as well as vehicles and drivers?

As well as providing features to manage vehicles and drivers, you may also need to monitor other fleet assets. These can include trailers, boats, machinery and heavy equipment. You can also collect data on fleet accessories such as dash-cams and CB radios. With these capabilities, you’ll be able to create maintenance schedules for all of your fleet equipment as well as log services and track expenses.

2. Does the software require you to purchase additional hardware?

Although the features of a fleet management tool match your operational needs, they may also require additional hardware. For example, specific vehicle and GPS trackers can collect data such as average speeds and idle times to plan the most efficient route. GPS tags can also monitor vehicles in real-time and provide stakeholders with an exact location and scheduled delivery times. Another example is a dashcam; these are installed to help with insurance claims and to be used as evidence in case of an accident.

3. Is the system scalable and future proof for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)?

In the coming years, fleet managers will be expected to swap their mechanical fleet for Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). This can be beneficial in areas such as lower fuel consumption, increased productivity, and fewer accidents. But AVs can also provide challenges, such as higher insurance premiums and maintenance costs.

Another problem that vendors may face with AVs is the amount of data storage needed. They will collect a lot more data such as locations, soundings, routes and systems. As a reference to this, Google’s self-driving cars will collect nearly 1GB of data every second. This amount of data collection could prove tough for some vendors to store. In this case, it’s important to know their costs and limits on future data storage.

4. Is the vendor experienced and knowledgeable in fleet management?

Understanding a vendor’s experience and customer history is a good indication of how reliable their product is. You can also see what training and support they offer, either in the form of hands-on or video demonstrations. Another way to identify a vendor’s expertise is to ask about knowledge of fleet compliance certificates, such as:

5. Can you access a free trial or demo before purchasing?

A great way to know if a system best suits your business is to ask for a demo or sign up to a free trial. You’re then able to gauge certain aspects of the tool and ask questions, such as:

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Fleet Management Software FAQs

What is the best fleet management software?

Finding the best Fleet Management Software depends entirely on what you require from a tool that aims to improve the efficiency of your vehicle and driver management. It’s also important to keep in mind that what may be the best fleet management system for one fleet manager, may not be the best solution for your own fleet processes. Factors to consider when choosing the best fleet management solution for your business include:

  • The vehicles in your fleet (cars, HGVs, buses, trucks, etc.)

  • The size of your fleet

  • What type of vehicle maintenance, service, and MOTs you require

  • What fleet telematics you require

  • The number of drivers you employee

  • What fleet data you collect

What are the benefits of fleet management?

Fleet management software is an effective solution to help keep your fleet of vehicles and drivers well-managed, with the option for future growth and sustainability. There are many benefits to deploying a fleet management system to help enhance fleet processes, ranging from effective vehicle maintenance to improving driver behaviour. Key benefits include:

  • Gain real-time visibility of vehicles and drivers

  • Manage service, maintenance, and labour costs

  • Improve fuel efficiency and spending

  • Monitor and improve driver behaviour

  • Automate routes and implement GEO-fencing

  • Prolong the life cycle of fleet assets

  • Increase customer satisfaction levels

  • Improve the safety of drivers

What does a fleet manager do?

Also referred to as transport manager or vehicle manager, the role of a fleet manager is crucial to making sure a business’s fleet processes run smoothly. A well-managed fleet is the priority task of a fleet manager, resulting in reduced running costs, improve safety and compliance, and higher customer satisfaction rates. And, with the use of fleet management software, their role becomes more precise and effective. A fleet manager’s key responsibilities include:

  • Setting driver schedules

  • Ensuring compliance and safety

  • Scheduling vehicle maintenance

  • Ensuring vehicle insurance, service, and MOTs are kept up-to-date

  • Route planning

  • Collecting key data including driver documentation

  • Producing cost reports and audits

  • Vehicle acquisition and disposal

I’m a small business owner with a small vehicle fleet of cars and vans – is fleet management software right for me?

Managing and maintaining the operations of a small fleet of cars and vans is just one of many jobs for a small business owner. With little-to-none fleet management experience, the running and upkeep of your small vehicle fleet can easily be forgotten when focusing on other areas in your business. But, that doesn’t make fleet management any less important.

Managing vehicles and drivers is a huge responsibly for any business, big or small. It allows you to focus on the health and safety of your fleet employees and be compliant with the latest vehicle regulations. While also being a good potential source of income, too.

Swapping out spreadsheets for fleet management software

Using outdated methods to manage your small business fleets, such as spreadsheets or pen-and-paper, can be challenging. By using these, not only do you lack the visible data for each vehicle and driver, but you’ll also find it difficult to understand your fleet’s total cost of ownership. As well as failing to construct an effective preventive maintenance schedule that helps reduce vehicle downtime.

But, by implementing a fleet management software tool, you’re able to keep on top of all your fleet operations and costs. The right tool allows you to collect all necessary vehicle and driver data in one centralised system. It also lets you track spending in real-time, such as fuel costs and maintenance fees. And, by enabling the right tool to automate your fleet processes, you’re able to focus on your other responsibilities in the business.

As a small business owner, not only do you strive to keep operating costs to a minimum, but you’ll also want to keep your expenditure down, too. With this in mind, you may be unsure about purchasing a fleet management solution. But, there are many solutions available that are directed at businesses with a small budget. For example, software vendor packages can be specifically designed for companies that require fewer data storage and have only a handful of fleet vehicles. That’s not to mention their affordable pricing models too, such as usage-based and monthly subscriptions.

What are the capabilities of a fleet tracking system when used to track vehicles and drivers?

Having a tracking system in place, alongside a fleet management software tool, is an efficient way to collect accurate data and improve your overall fleet operations. Whether you choose to implement GPS trackers, OBD devices, or other forms of tracking, the vehicle and driver data that you are able to collect can be extremely valuable.

When executed properly, a fleet tracking system is full of benefits for all types of businesses and solutions. For example, by using a GPS tracking system for commercial operations, you’re able to provide customers with a driver’s real-time location and the exact arrival time of their order. Not only does this increase customer satisfaction levels, but it also gives you peace of mind by having a definitive and detailed proof of service.

Tracking vehicle usage

Beyond commercial purposes, fleet tracking systems can also provide essential real-time data regarding a vehicle’s usage and condition. You can see when a vehicle is being used, how often it is in operation, and by which driver or operator. With all of this data collected in a centralised system, you’re able to identify which vehicles are operating at maximum efficiency. As well as having access to maintenance reports that can alert you to when a vehicle needs repairing or replacing.

Tracking driver behaviour

Fleet tracking systems aren’t only defined in highlighting the location and condition of vehicle fleets. They are also used for tracking and understanding driver behaviour. By knowing when your fleet operators are sitting idle, if they’re wasting fuel, or if they’re incurring traffic offences and fines can be crucial for reducing the costs of your fleet operations. Not only this, but you’re also able to build a library of triplogs and routes that each driver has taken to help improve future route planning.

Can a fleet management tool help build a preventive maintenance schedule to reduce my vehicle downtime?

Unplanned downtime and costly repairs are damaging for both your fleet operations and the company’s bottom line. But, by implementing a preventive maintenance schedule, these issues can be avoided and even improved upon. Especially when paired with the right fleet management software tool.

Although preventive maintenance schedules can be built using spreadsheets, they can be insufficient and disorganised. This results in vehicles missing routine maintenance and service inspections. Leading to downtime, huge repair costs and pricey vehicle replacements. These same problems appear when initiating a reactive maintenance approach to rectify vehicle breakdown.

But, with a fleet management tool and preventive maintenance schedule, fleet operations become easier to manage. There are many benefits to implementing this type of maintenance solution, including:

  • Reducing vehicle repair costs

    Although vehicle maintenance and services appear expensive, they’re going to help you in the long-term. By maintaining your fleet, you can ensure the future health and prolonged usability of each vehicle. As opposed to reacting to a breakdown and spending on repairs that haven’t been forecasted.

  • Reducing fleet fuel costs

    Not only will your repairs budget appear healthier, but so will your fleet’s fuel usage. By keeping vehicles properly maintained and optimal, their fuel efficiency will increase. This is possible by ensuring services are carried out such as regular oil changes and changing air filters.

  • Improving vehicle uptime

    Unplanned downtime is damaging to your business in a number ways, including a delay in fleet operations. By making sure your vehicles are routinely serviced and maintained, unexpected breakdowns and downtime is reduced. This allows fleet operations to continue as usual and less time for vehicles to be sitting in the workshop.

  • Setting maintenance reminders based on factors

    Something that isn’t possible with a spreadsheet is the ability to set maintenance and service reminders. The right tool and maintenance plan will work together to trigger maintenance activities such as inspections, replacements, cleaning and testing. These are triggered when vehicles meet a set criteria based on mileage, fuel used, engine hours, and time.

Can my fleet operations be tracked and managed on a mobile device?

A mobile fleet management tool gives fleet managers the ability to access data on the move. As well as monitor their fleet in real-time and instantly react to work orders. As you’re not always in front of a computer, a cloud-based or web-based mobile fleet management tool is ideal.

With a mobile solution, you can access all vehicle and driver data via a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Effectively giving you the ability to analyse information and make an informative decision straight from your pocket.

As with most software solutions, there are many benefits to implementing a web-based solution. And a mobile fleet management tool is no different. Benefits include:

  • Increased time management

    A majority of delays in fleet operations occur when waiting to receive paperwork or updates to a work order status. But, with a mobile fleet management system, these costly delays are eliminated. Granting access to your cloud-based system allows mechanics, drivers, and operators to instantly submit paperwork. As well as update work orders straight away. They’re also able to attach any other necessary documentation, notes, or media such as images and videos.

  • Reacting quickly to problems and incidents

    You’re able to receive an alert to any problem in your fleet operations as it happens. Allowing you to react and solve the issue before it escalates. This includes being notified when a vehicle is due for service and when a driver is sitting idle. As well as when a planned route is being altered without permission.

  • Instantly viewing historical data

    Whether for reports or analytics, you can access all historical vehicle and driver data on your mobile. This can include fuel logs, service history, maintenance reports, and driver behaviour.

  • Keeping your team in sync

    By granting access to your team, each user can view and update data straight to the system. This allows field workers to instantly edit work orders and log detailed notes regarding their operations. It’s also possible to restrict access to your team by only allowing certain users to access certain areas. As well as locking specific data as read-only.

Web-based management solutions can also work alongside any fleet telematics that you may have installed throughout your operations. For instance, you can access a vehicle’s GPS tracker and receive real-time updates straight to your mobile.

Is fleet management software the right choice to manage my commercial vehicles?

Although similar in terms of operations, there are differences that set apart fleet vehicles and commercial vehicles. Knowing the difference between the two, especially if you’re new to a fleet management role, is crucial. Particularly when it comes to choosing a fleet management software with the right features and functionalities.

What’s the difference between fleet vehicles and commercial vehicles?

Firstly, the term fleet applies to any group of vehicles owned by a business or organisation. Whether that be a fleet of vans, trucks, school buses, ships or planes. It’s important to know that commercial vehicles can also be part of a fleet of vehicles owned by a business. But, a commercial vehicle is set apart by its primary function.

The main function of a commercial vehicle is to transport a variety of materials, cargo, heavy-equipment and groups of passengers. For example, owners of an airport shuttle company or construction site would select a commercial vehicle for their fleet operations.

Whereas, a non-commercial vehicle is primarily designed to transport people while operating in a business format. For example, this could be a fleet of cars and vans that are not privately owned.

The benefits of fleet management software for commercial vehicles

Typical features of fleet management software can be beneficial for the management of all types of fleets, including commercial vehicles. But, if you’re looking to manage commercial vehicles only, there are a few features that you’ll want to prioritise. Such as:

  • Load optimisation

    By collecting data, you’ll be able to know the capacity and amount of materials that a vehicle can safely transport. This is incredibly handy for commercial vehicles operating in the construction or postal industries.

  • Maintenance and repair schedules

    As with other fleet vehicles, the upkeep and scheduling of maintenance are important to avoid costly downtime. This is important for the use of commercial vehicles reliant on the delivery of goods in a specific time frame.

  • Safety standards

    You need to keep in line with regulations regarding the amount of cargo being carried. As well as having the right safety equipment on board, such as fire extinguishers and medical kits. You also have to make sure other fleet accessories pass inspection. These include accessories such as trailers, cranes and wagons.

Other beneficial functions for commercial vehicles include:

  • Fuel management

  • Driver behaviour

  • Route tracking for deliveries

  • GEO-fencing

What data can a fleet management system provide regarding driver behaviour?

While most fleet managers will prioritise the efficiency and maintenance of their vehicles, it’s important not to overlook driver behaviour.

By implementing a fleet management tool with driver management functionality, you’ll notice an increase in productivity and safety of vehicles. To start collecting the right driver behaviour data, you’ll want to prioritise features that can produce data on the following:

  • A Driver’s Real-time GPS and Telematic Data

    With the use of fleet telematics and IoT devices, you can view your driver’s location in real-time. With access to this data, you can see if drivers are swaying from their specifically planned routes. If this is the case, you can use fleet management software to set GEO-fences. This way, if a driver goes outside the set GEO-fence boundary, you’ll be alerted to it.

  • If a Driver is adhering to Safety and Regulatory Compliance

    A fleet management tool enables you to build maintenance schedules for each of your vehicles. This allows you to set up an alert system to notify you when vehicles have missed services and failed MOTs. Safety not only applies to a driver’s vehicle, but also to the driver themselves. With fleet telematics, you’ll be alerted when a driver is penalised for speeding or if they collect a parking fine.

  • The Fuel-usage of Each Driver

    A great way to keep track of fuel usage is to assign each one with their own fuel card. This way, you are able to see which drivers are spending the most on fuel. In comparison to the route they’re taking and their specific driving habits. Excessive fuel usage could be because of unnecessary driver acceleration or even unchecked vehicle maintenance such as low-pressure tyres. Once you’ve collected and analysed this data, you are then able to correct it and enhance operations.