We touched on using technology in our article on Driver Performance. Here we explore in more detail how technology can support you in running your fleet.
As technology has developed, become more intuitive, cheaper (and hence more accessible), it has increasingly been adopted by fleets of vehicles up and down the country.
The range of Fleet Management Tools available includes Video Telematics, which provide a visual recording and Vehicle Tracking, which uses GPS tracking to help optimise routes and monitor driver performance.
However, there is a danger of data overload, and a requirement to ensure that data used remains GDPR compliant.
So, what are the key metrics you should be measuring?
Top 5 metrics to measure
1. Driver safety and reducing risks.
Safety should be any fleet manager’s top priority. Just like costs and maintenance, safety can be measured. Metrics specific to safety include driver behaviour such as;-
- Aggressive driving
- Hard breaking
- Harsh cornering
- Idle time
- Time on the road
These metrics are key to improving safety and reducing risks.
Video telematics- provide real-time alerts to bad habits and dangerous driving, so you can take appropriate steps to mitigate risks and reduce premiums. In addition to daily, monthly, or annual driver behaviour reporting functionality, trend graphs show improvements or failings among the workforce or specific drivers.
Driver scorecards are a common feature in the fleet tracking industry. Data can be shared so that both the administrator and driver can see how they are doing. This information can be used to motivate drivers and develop individually tailored training programmes.
Accident logs can be recorded automatically with first notification of loss (FNOL) systems.
Advances in telematics cameras, like driver-facing cameras enable managers to carry out spot-checks by live-streaming footage from a vehicle’s cab.
2. Asset utilisation and productivity
Measuring how vehicles are used allows fleet managers to determine whether assets are being over or underused. Tracking monthly averages like mileage, number of deliveries per week and load size, enables the frequency of deliveries to be improved, using fewer vehicles.
Geo location (asset tracking) is essential for businesses that have costly assets like cranes, forklifts, trailers or rental equipment to be confident that they are safe and accounted for. It also enables managers to view drivers in real-time on Google Maps and manage their route setup.
Route optimisation software looks at delivery schedules, the number of available vehicles and goods/package size. Average job completion time, time on site and vehicle activity can also be reviewed. It even helps with monitoring environmental impact.
3. Camera recording
Commonly known as Dash Cams, provide valuable supporting evidence in any claims scenario. Using telematics can increase the speed and accuracy of how claims are handled while reducing the impact of fraudulent or exaggerated claims. Such systems will help to control claims management, decrease claims costs and facilitate faster claims resolution. It can also help to mitigate third party costs as claims management companies look at video telematics for instant identification of first notification of loss (FNOL).
4. Fuel economy and efficiency
A real-time odometer combined with trips & mileage reports, plus fuel level data, can measure several metrics. These include miles per gallon, engine idle time and unauthorised mileage. All important information for monitoring fuel consumption and efficiency. Tracking fuel consumption is much faster and more accurate if drivers input fuel data into fleet management software and allows you to see fuel costs in real-time.
5. Preventative maintenance and compliance inspections
Monitoring vehicle condition via live maintenance alerts and identifying optimal replacement windows helps to minimise disruption.
If your fleet is not meeting regulatory compliance, your policy is at risk of being invalidated by the insurer, leaving you without cover. Camera and safety technology can help to ensure you meet these requirements.
What software and telematics should you consider?
What software you use will highly depend on the type, size and needs of your operation. Many providers offer a free trial which is worth considering. There are many reviews available online, but the key considerations are; –
- Ease of use – is it intuitive and user friendly to operate?
- Cost – there is a huge variation in pricing dependent upon functionality.
- Length of contract – it is standard for tracking technology providers to operate 36-month contracts.
- Functionality – will it measure the aspects that you can then act upon?
- Futureproofing – how quickly will the system become obsolete/what updating facilities are provided?
- Reporting capabilities – are the metrics presented in a way that is easy to understand and therefore easy to put into practice?
Why use BCD for your Fleet Insurance?
With decades of experience within specialist insurance, you can be confident of getting the best advice for any Fleet and other insurance needs. We take the time to discuss your requirements so that your policy is then individually tailored to your requirements, with the best cover options.
We specialise in road transport, courier and construction vehicles; however, we also provide specific products and prices for many other industries. Whether you operate vans, cars, or HGVs we can cater for most vehicle types and we automatically insure your drivers within the agreed policy driving restriction, giving you flexibility on who drives your vehicles.
We also offer Public & Employers Liability and Goods In Transit Insurance.