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How to use data to help reduce fleet expenses

By Verizon Connect July 26, 2022

Business owners know to expect the unexpected as they work tirelessly to grow their business in a constantly changing world. However, lacking insight into where money is being spent, dollar for dollar, can be detrimental to your bottom line. Getting your expenses under control can seem like an insurmountable challenge in the midst of busy day-to-day tasks, but it’s a necessary step all owners must take to increase efficiencies and optimize overall business capabilities.

A comprehensive understanding of your expenses makes you not only a more competent owner, but also a better leader. Visibility and understanding of your operational costs, inefficiencies and other areas for improvement, including safe driving behavior and vehicle health, are critical to managing your business and improving operational processes over time. 

How to use the right data to find fleet inefficiencies

You can’t track what you don’t measure. The ability to gather data automatically and gain insight into inefficiencies empowers you to make changes in the areas that will make the most impact. Telematics solutions have functionalities beyond simply tracking fleet vehicles, designed to help you improve your operations for increased productivity and efficiency.

It's important that you make the most out of your technology investment. As you try to crack the code to your own operational costs, here are a few signs of inefficiencies you may come across, and how to use fleet technology to help overcome them.

Staying ahead of unexpected maintenance costs

Unreliable equipment and delayed or missed appointments can project an unreliable business reputation to current and potential customers. Being proactive about equipment maintenance helps to mitigate the risk of breakdowns, which can have a direct impact on your day-to-day productivity.

Setting up scheduled maintenance alerts for each piece of equipment your business depends on, whether motorized or not, is an easy step owners can take to reduce downtime and productivity slowdowns. Scheduling maintenance around your regular workday can also reduce the impact on employee productivity, and help you make sure you have access to the right equipment for the job at all times.

Save time when tracking unpaid invoices

Though invoices may seem to have more to do with income than expenses, invoices that go unpaid are a top pain point for service-based businesses. Enabling your field employees to invoice customers and receive payments directly onsite helps reduce the occurrence of unpaid invoices. 

This not only helps alleviate the challenge of variances between expected income and your tracked financials, but it also relieves your back-office staff of tracking down historical records and the headache of contacting customers who have outstanding balances. Automated digital invoicing also alleviates the headaches of paper recordkeeping — plus, with that time saved, you can potentially lower your back-office expenses and help employees save time. 

Fleet tracking can help improve your maintenance program with four key software features. If you want more time back and less stress keeping up with oil changes, tire rotations and other service needs, read up on the 4 Ways Telematics can Improve Fleet Maintenance.

Verify that all job hours are adding up

A major expense for any business is payroll. Incorrect timesheets and overpayments can put a serious strain on a business's bottom line. Field service management software has the capability to help reduce timesheet fraud and high overtime costs and improve profit margins.   

When all employees and vehicles are tracked, fleet managers can run reports on the actual hours a vehicle was in operation, accurate daily start and finish times, hours and days worked, and average daily hours and weekly totals. These reports can be quickly generated, and can be used as an electronic timesheet, removing the risk of inaccuracies — whether intentional or not. 

It’s also important to avoid incurring fines for incorrectly paying out overtime. Employers, human resources professionals and managers should be very familiar with the overtime guidelines outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Field service management software can help manage complex time records and reduce both timecard fraud and unnecessary overtime costs. The ability to rely on data also helps prevent leaving your business exposed to fraud.

Help reduce increasing insurance costs

There are many steps in your daily business operations, including tracking driver behavior and habits, that can give you context for a constructive conversation with your insurance provider to better understand your premiums. Data that demonstrates your ongoing efforts to improve driver behavior and reduce accidents also gives your provider insight into where discounts could be available or how lower premiums could be negotiated. 

Taking the next step toward efficient operations

Gaining better visibility into your business needs to be a priority if you want to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Minor adjustments to your daily operations using the right telematics solution to automate processes and gather data can swiftly help you control costs to save both time and money to reinvest in your business. 

The real secret to cracking the code to your expenses is no secret at all — you need to gain better insight into what you’re paying for and why. Though it can be overwhelming for a manager or business owner to monitor the day-to-day costs of running a business, ignoring or assuming fleet-related costs are in order exposes your business to risk, especially when the livelihoods of your employees are on the line.

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, Data & Analytics, Field management, Fuel cost management, Dispatching & Scheduling, Fleet utilization, Payroll, Productivity & Efficiency, Revenue & ROI, Team Management, Vehicle Maintenance

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