Find out more about Fleet Management Software
What is Fleet Management Software?
Fleet management software (FMS) is a solution that helps companies and organizations to manage, organize, and coordinate their work vehicles from a central data platform. The goal here is is to keep the fleet operating smoothly by reducing costs, improving performance, and ensuring compliance with government regulations. The primary purpose of FMS is to collect, store, process, monitor, report on and export information. FMS is also called a fleet telematics solution. Telematics is an IT category that deals with long distance transmission of computerized information, and in the case of fleet management, data can be collected from external sources such as gas pump processors, government divisions that handle vehicle registration, financial firms, mapping systems, insurance companies, and vehicle specification databases.
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How To Choose The Best Fleet Management Software
FMS is obtained from fleet or vehicle management which started from mainframe computers in the 1970s focused on allowing organizations that depend on transportation for business to minimize or reduce risks and expenses related to vehicle investment, to improve efficiency and productivity, and meet complete compliance with government regulations. In the 1980s, fleet management shifted to more practical personal computers, while in recent times it has moved to more proficient cloud technology.
FMS can be designed in-house and installed on-premise by a company’s fleet management unit to meet their specific needs. It can also be supplied by a third party vendor that can implement it on company machines, or offer it on the more popular and cost-efficient platform nowadays – as a web-based, cloud-hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS).
What are the functions of FMS?
There are four main functions of fleet management software. These are:
- Vehicle management – Manages and streamlines processes, tasks and events related to fleet vehicles such as vehicle inventory; maintenance; registration, licensing and tax; vehicle insurance including restrictions and due dates; cost analysis; and vehicle disposal.
- Driver management – Includes managing licenses, recording of penalty points and infringements, driver scheduling and booking, and driver performance.
- Incident management – Covers fines and accidents as well as apportioning costs to drivers.
- Tracking – encompasses telematics, route planning, work time, logbooks, alerts and notifications.
How to Choose the Best Fleet Management Software
There’s several FMS platforms and services available in the market and most vendors naturally will advertise their software as the ideal ones for your business. However, nobody knows better than you on what works best for your company. Hence, when you’re looking for the best fleet management software it’s important you listen to yourself, keeping in mind your needs and requirements, not that of the vendors’.
Here’s some useful information that gives you an overall picture of what’s out there.
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The first good logical course of action is to sign up for at least a few free trial plans from popular vendors. With that method you will have the opportunity to test the important elements and get a personal overview of the capabilities of the software. The best thing to do is to try the list of services that currently have the highest scores and ranking in review sites and software directories. These sites also usually carry feedback from actual customers and users, so it’s good to hear out their positive experiences with the software as well as downsides, if any. Another sensible strategy would be to check out some of the free FMS solutions offered by some vendors who provide freemium or free features.
FMS is a valuable tool if your business or organization manages a fleet of vehicles that form an integral part of your operation. With today’s increasing amounts of vehicle-related legislation and the expanding number of vehicles companies have to manage, FMS has taken on a more significant role. Companies and organizations with the following operations can take full advantage of an FMS system:
- Field services – Companies that deliver services to customers such as utilities (power, water, cable, ISPs), home services/repairs (plumbing, HVAC, electrical), and construction (trucks, heavy equipment).
- Transportation – Bus and taxi operators, car rentals, ride-booking services, and mover/haulers.
- Cargo and delivery – Long-haul/cross country trucking services (tankers, cargo trucks), and package/parcel delivery.
- Financial institutions – Armored vans and corporate fleet.
What are Examples of Fleet Management Software?
- Wialon – It is a multi-functional fleet management system that can be used for mobile and stationary assets and comes either as a SaaS or server-based package that supports over 1000 device models of various GPS hardware trackers. It includes a cartographic server, has an open API for integration with existing back-office systems, a custom white labeling for the interface, and offers advanced functionality for driver behavior monitoring and robust report building tools. It is used by over 950 solution providers in more than 130 countries tracking over 850,000 combined assets. It is one of the earliest FMS systems having been in the market for the past 14 years.
- Omnitracs Telematics – 25 years and counting, it is a global pioneer of innovative software and SaaS fleet management solutions serving the transportation sector and helping companies of all sizes improve the productivity, reliability, routing, safety, and compliance of their transportation assets. As a GPS-based, SaaS platform it serves the needs of drivers, vehicles, customers, and managers while meeting government regulations and addressing every aspect of fleet management including data and analytics, planning and delivery, productivity, safety and security as well as transportation management.
- NexTraq – It combines the flexibility desktop or mobile web-based solutions with full reporting and real-time access to information, wherever or whenever it is needed. Custom applications integrate seamlessly with Quickbooks and other third-party solutions to enable business owners and fleet managers more ways to leverage vital telematics data. The platform has a variety of fleet management functionalities such as fleet tracking, fuel management, scheduling, assignment and dispatch, routing, driver behavior monitoring, and asset tracking. It is scalable for a fleet as small as two vehicles to large enterprise-sized fleets.
- GPSWOX – Can be used for personal or business purposes to track unlimited number of objects in real time, get specific notifications, and generate reports. It supports over 400 tracking devices and can start tracking in less than five minutes after registering with the online platform that can provide real time notifications. It has powerful features like alerts, reports and sensors, and works in any country with support for over 20 languages.
Key Features of Fleet Management Software
Companies that depend on vehicles to deliver products and services to customers need an FMS to control costs, mitigate risks, enhance productivity, and remain compliant with government regulations. FMS streamlines all processes and activities related to fleet operations and oversees everything from driver safety and vehicle condition to customer satisfaction and corporate profitability. Some core features of FMS include:
- Dispatch, Scheduling & Routing – automates and streamlines all related tasks to maximize dispatching, find the most efficient routes, and improve schedules (arrival, departure, duration), which are meant to get more jobs done on time.
- GPS, Vehicle, Accident, Mileage Tracking – involves telematics and trackers to provide real-time data on vehicle location, miles traveled, and incident/event reporting.
- Cargo Optimization – Improves operational efficiency by managing and planning cargo, facilities, equipment and workforce for more integrated operations and better utilization of resources.
- Fleet Maintenance – fact-based decision making and automated reporting to optimize preventive maintenance schedules, reduce rework, identify high-cost units, and support unit replacement decisions.
- Driver Management – covers driver files and records, productivity and performance, license and certifications, and behavioral data.
- Fuel Management – monitors consumption, mpg, costs, and allows you to identify drivers and vehicles with poor fuel efficiency based on benchmarks and historical data.
- Inspection Management – tracks and maintains strict compliance with electronic inspections as well as with issue management systems.
- Inventory Management – handles recording, tracking, costing, cycle counting and automatic reordering to ensure availability and right amount of parts on hand, thereby reducing vehicle downtime.
- Vehicle Information – a centralized repository of all data on a fleet vehicle including specs, repairs, maintenance history, performance, miles logged and the like.
Benefits of Fleet Management Software
In the not so distant past, fleet management was largely a pen and paper activity for such tasks as route mapping, mileage logging and fuel tracking. Best fleet management software solutions have done away with manual methods which consumed time, resources and money, aside from giving business owners barely enough control over fleet operations. FMS has automated most of the tasks, streamlined associated processes, and even provided real-time insights for better management of both drivers and vehicles. Cloud based FMS enables communication with an IoT device installed in each vehicle, allowing fleet managers to:
- Track where vehicles are at any time – to better meet delivery and service schedules as well as respond in real-time to traffic and other potential road incidents.
- Track vehicle mileage – to efficiently manage the health of vehicles and get them serviced as needed.
- Get notified when anything goes wrong – to better address vehicle performance threshold or driving event such as battery life, coolant, speeding, and the like.
The above are some of the key advantages of fleet management software, but there are several other benefits from using an FMS. These include:
- Time management – Improves productivity and saves time of administrators, managers, drivers and mechanics. With GPS tracking feature, routes can be planned and traffic updates received to predict departure and arrival times. Working schedules are optimized for drivers and dispatchers, while mechanics can get easy access to repair history. All data related to maintenance, fuel and transport are recorded, monitored and available to fleet heads and managers.
- Employee satisfaction – FMS maximizes and enhances driver’s work since it reduces time on manual tasks like record keeping and monitoring. It also improves information flow as well as communication, increasing driver safety and efficiency.
- Fuel management – Various FMS functionality are designed to reduce costs. Fuel information combined with optimized route planning lowers fuel consumption and excessive idle time. Tracking systems can be used to plan fuel refueling while traffic information features help avoid wasting time and fuel on traffic jams.
- Maintenance cost savings – Some FMS systems allow notifications based on mileage, calendar time and other criteria, paving the way for optimized vehicle use and thereby reducing costs on maintenance.
- Insurance cost savings – FMS improves road safety, lowers accident rates, and prevents vehicle theft (a feature on some systems) which greatly reduces insurance costs because of markdowns in risk loss.
Existing and emerging technologies will have a profound impact on the way companies manage their fleet. Many innovations integrated into FMS systems will be introduced as vehicles become more connected and are transformed into true mobile offices. Here’s what you need to know:
- Cloud computing will further revolutionize fleet management – It will allow higher degrees of data and system integration, enable highly customized solutions for fleet managers, increase data download speeds, provide more mobile-centric operations, and greatly enhance remote processing of fleet related data and transactions.
- More mobile apps for fleet operations – There will be deeper integration of mobile devices into vehicles paving the way for hands-free connection and interaction, and wireless syncing of vehicle data (mileage, vehicle health and performance) with mobile devices. Eventually, mobile devices may become the primary tools on how drivers handle their fleet tasks as key fleet information and data will all be digital and accessible from a mobile device.
- Big data factor – Decisions relating to all aspects of fleet management will be driven by big data. Decisions covering vital areas such as vehicle selection, driver safety planning and vehicle maintenance management, to name a few, will be based on insights drawn from fleet analytics that will process greater amounts of data.
- More driver behavior management tools –FMS ultimately deals with man and machine, but the greater part of the equation is driver behavior, performance and safety. More apps will be developed with driver scorecards to track, measure and promote better decision making centered on driver behavior and how it affects safety, productivity and appurtenant costs.
- Vehicles as mobile offices – Vehicles are becoming offices on wheels complete with Wi-Fi, two-way multi-channel communication, and information processing capabilities. Innovations will produce virtual mobile offices and FMS will largely incorporate all these technologies into an integrated, future-proof system.
Fleet management system has been used for the past four decades and its modern iteration, the fleet management software, has proven to be a valuable productivity tool today for businesses and organizations. However, there have been challenges and issues encountered, foremost of which are the following:
- Cost reduction – This has always been the primary and constant struggle of fleet managers. Managing fleet expenses is tricky especially with a fast changing business climate, volatile fuel prices, irregular amounts of vehicle wear and tear caused by a multitude of factors, unexpected events like major accidents or extreme weather situations, and many others. Oftentimes, these are beyond your control and all add up to expenses that you as fleet manager have to explain to your higher ups. Fortunately, an FMS helps mitigate these through features that allow you to plan efficient routes, save on fuel and maintenance, and know everything about your vehicle condition and driver performance.
- Information and tech overload – Fleet administrators and managers were not raised as IT experts and might find it a challenge to handle all that information coming from their drivers and vehicles in the field. Likewise, drivers, mechanics and dispatchers may not be that knowledgeable on data handling and software functions. This is one of the stumbling blocks to FMS adoption – user resistance or lack of know-how. Vendors have addressed this issue through the availability of knowledge resources – documentations, trainings, video tutorials, FAQs, and technical support services. Also, most FMS have simple and intuitive features, interfaces and navigation, allowing quick familiarization even for first-time users without tech background.
- Driver safety – Commercial fleet managers cite this as a major challenge, particularly in reducing preventable accident rates and associated repair, downtime, and liability costs. Even with the most stringent safety measures, accidents can happen anytime. The chances of that happening are greatly reduced with proper driver safety training and with FMS that monitor driver performance. Some FMS also have gamification features that award points and incentives for driver with best performance and safety records.
List of Fleet Management Software Companies
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Our Score Read More
Our site uses our proprietary SmartScore™ method to evaluate all the services in the Fleet Management Software category so that we can help you get the best possible app. It pays attention to the following metrics: cruscial features, collaboration tools, customization, integration, how easy a software is to use and learn, help & support, how secure a software is, support for smartphones and tablets, media rating. As of now, Roadcast is the leader in this category and is recommended by our experts. Following extensive evaluation it had the best results among its competitors and our experts strongly suggest that you include it as one of the alternatives for your company.
User Satisfaction Read More
An overview of overall user satisfaction with the services in our Fleet Management Software category calculated using our unique algorythm that analyzes client reviews, comments and opinions across a broad range of social media platforms to help you make an informed buying decision.
Pricing Read More
Each vendor in the Fleet Management Software category will have a different set of pricing plans for its service and every plan will include a different group of elements. Below we list the general pricing for the most affordable package provided for each app. Keep in mind that advanced features may have an extra cost.
Devices Supported Read More
A summary of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B tools in the Fleet Management Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Laguages Supported Read More
Find out which languages and countries are supported by the popular B2B solutions in the Fleet Management Software category, including spftware designed for international markets and created for multi-cultural groups of employees.
Pricing Model Read More
Examine which pricing packages are offered by the vendors in the Fleet Management Software category to check which one fits your business needs and expenses best. Be aware that specific solutions can offer free or freemium accounts for you to test first.
Customer Types Read More
An overview of what types of customers a selected B2B platform in the Fleet Management Software category aims for, from small businesses and non-profits to big enterprises.
Deployment Read More
A summary of what kinds of product deployement are provided by every B2B vendor in the Fleet Management Software category. Even though the majority of modern SaaS services are cloud-hosted there are solutions might offer an on-site deployment model too.