From The Editor | July 26, 2011

Need To Cut Costs? Consider Fleet Management

By Sarah Howland, Editor In Chief, Field Technologies magazine

It’s expensive to provide a service in today’s world — and getting your technicians to and from the job is a huge part of that cost. From increasingly expensive fuel and vehicle maintenance to making sure techs aren’t driving unnecessary miles, managing a fleet is no easy feat. Today’s fleet management solutions significantly reduce that burden — and save companies serious dollars. That’s why the technology is being so heavily invested in today. According to analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in North America was 2.1 million in Q4-2010 and is expected to reach 3.8 million by 2015. While these numbers include semis and large fleets used by trucking companies, it also includes smaller, service vehicles such as those used by HVAC, utilities, and delivery companies. Make no mistake — fleet management isn’t just for large fleets. Companies of all sizes can realize the benefits of the technology.

One of the factors that has enabled companies of all sizes to leverage the benefits of fleet management is the Web-based system many vendors have adopted. Rather than investing a large amount of money up front for on-premise technology, you’re able to pay a monthly fee for a fleet management SaaS (Software as a Service). Now, whether you have 5 or 5,000 vehicles in your fleet, the technology can scale to meet your needs — and can be deployed in as little as days. Furthermore, the majority of the companies that are leveraging these solutions see concrete payback on the investment in a very short time.

Fleet Management ROI
What are the benefits of fleet management? While each company is different, here are a few real-world examples we’ve featured in Field Technologies. One of the largest benefits of fleet management is the ability to reduce costs. For example, cleaning company Park-Ellis ServiceMaster has increased productivity 20% and reduced fuel costs by 10% with fleet management. Similarly, the city of Stillwater, OK, has reduced fuel costs by 29%, and contract transportation company The Provider is saving more than $400,000 in driver overtime and reduced fuel costs. In addition to reducing fuel and operation costs, fleet management also helps the company increase the safety of its drivers and the security of its inventory. For example, TXX Transportation was able to recover more than $500,000 in stolen goods thanks to its GPS fleet management solution, and security company Universal Protection Service has cut driver speeding by more than 80% since rolling out its fleet management solution. With benefits like these, it’s clear why fleet management is a technology that will continue to grow over the coming years.