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Evaluate your year with these key fleet metrics

By Verizon Connect December 23, 2021

No matter what industry your business is in, a lack of visibility into equipment usage, fleet maintenance, driver behavior and all of their associated costs can mean their impact on your fleet is going unchecked. The first step is critical: gain access to millions of data points to track business performance metrics over time using an integrated GPS fleet tracking solution.

But what fleet management metrics are the most important? Even with so much valuable data, many owners and managers are still uncertain how to evaluate their fleet and measure success. For example, declining revenue, increased vehicle replacement or client-retention issues are red flags that must be addressed effectively and quickly.

As you look back at your year to date, here are some key areas to evaluate your performance and identify areas for improvement for next year. 

Payroll accuracy

Managing the paychecks, and thereby the livelihood of your employees, can feel like a burden weighing on your shoulders, and it’s often a top priority on any owner’s list of expenses. Business stops if there isn’t a workforce to manage. Even minor inaccuracies in time worked, such as time spent idling in vehicles versus the time spent actually in the process of completing a job, can add up and have an impact on your bottom line. 

Just as you only bill your customers for hours worked, you should only be paying your technicians for the hours they work. Telematics solutions allow you to set alerts so you can be notified in near real time regarding any unnecessary time idling beyond a specific threshold you define as appropriate.

Get ahead of issues like idling by being transparent as you set your fleet management KPIs. It’s critical to gain buy-in from employees and establish trust as well as effectively implement action plans for workers. Frame the conversation as a partnership with the success of their careers and the success of your business as a common goal.

Download the How integrated APIs can benefit your fleet eBrief to take a closer look at how API integration creates value for your fleet and expands your options for sharing data across your business.

Fuel waste

Fuel consumption can represent as much as 60% of a fleet’s total operating costs. Requiring technicians to log fuel costs for their dedicated vehicles on a daily basis helps encourage employees to be honest and helps minimize your fuel expenses. Fuel can be a significant yet ever-fluctuating cost, and properly tracking its use can help you ensure your expense numbers are accurate, which means you can effectively make adjustments that can help you improve your fuel efficiencies all around, potentially saving your business money and time.

Without proper telematics solutions in place to allow you to track how fuel might be wasted or, in more extreme cases, how fuel card fraud might occur as a result of unreliable fuel-transaction data, inaccuracies can lead your business to suffer unnecessary expenses that quickly add up. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage generally decreases above 50 miles per hour. Every five miles per hour a worker clocks over 50 adds up to an additional $0.17 per gallon of gas that directly takes money away from your business.

Staying ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to operational expenses, is challenging for managers in every industry. Some of the best business lessons come from seeing how companies like yours handle the same challenges you face every day.

Fleet maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the key to ensuring vehicles continually operate at optimal level. But this means knowing the state of all vehicle engines in real time. Telematics can track diagnostic data like battery voltage, coolant temperature, powertrain malfunctions, intake-valve issues, oxygen-sensor problems and more to extend the life of vehicles by ensuring they’re serviced before major repairs are needed or a breakdown occurs.

In addition, operators can automatically track vehicle service and date of completion, regardless of service provider, as well as set proactive reminders for oil changes, tuneups and other routine upkeep. This allows for greater scheduling control and a better sense of maintenance intervals, ultimately helping to determine if certain services can be delayed or whether certain vehicles should be decommissioned for more extensive maintenance. 

Safe driving and risk mitigation

Without specific driver safety benchmarks set for each of your workers, improving overall fleet safety and reducing associated costs is an impossible task. Tracking, monitoring fleet vehicles, and noting accidents, harsh braking or speeding events, incidents involving mobile devices, or any repeated unsafe driving behaviors allows you as a manager to coach more effectively and therefore mitigate repair costs and negative effects on your bottom line. 

Defining a benchmark (how many speeding incidents a worker tallies each month) and then setting a specific, reasonable and measurable goal (reduce speeding incidents by 10% per worker per month) and then tracking the results is one way you can use data to encourage better driving behavior among your employees.

Regulatory compliance

Compliance can often fall by the wayside until urgent and directly consequential issues, like fees and drivers being put out of service, arise. But prioritizing the compliance of your fleet, like with ELDs, ahead of pending changes in the laws affecting your business can help you save money and pain down the line that could cost your business profit. 

Implementing a telematics solution could show returns on investment by tracking the infractions of workers and improving safety, making it an easily justifiable expense to avoid penalties for your business.

You can only improve what you measure

Businesses dependent on a mobile workforce should carefully consider the immediate as well as long-term effects on not only the business but also their individual employees. Evaluating the metrics around a specific area of concern as you create an action plan is the best way to make your fleet management work for you.

Visit verizonconnect.com or call 866.844.2235 to schedule a free online demo.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: Cost control, Customer Service, Data & Analytics, Field management, Performance & Coaching, Productivity & Efficiency, Revenue & ROI, Safety, Team Management, Vehicle Maintenance

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