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Digital Tools for Fleet Management

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Efficient data management gives a snapshot of usage. ShutterStock photo

Data management is becoming an indispensable approach to sound fleet planning.

In a webinar presented on 10 May by the US NAFA’s Sustainable Fleet Technology series, fleet managers explained how the judicious use of data enables them to make better informed decisions.

For example, Scott Stephens, fleet manager for Dade County in Florida, is responsible for the smooth operation of some 9,000 public use vehicles.

“Our approach to data management was first to establish what we wanted to do with it,” he explains. “Is it possible to make it simple and personalise the results? The police department has different issues than the waste collection department. Then we identified not only the people responsible in our various departments, but established with them the data that would be useful to them. What’s interesting about amalgamating the data is that we can get an overall picture of the health of the fleet, but also get some detail, tracking the productivity of our maintenance technicians for example.”

Customise reports

The other step was to find the people in the in-house IT team who could collect and process this data into reports in the form and frequency that managers wanted.

External consultants were also used for the deployment of the platforms.

Data from vehicle telematics combined with user input as required provide an accurate picture of usage, maintenance needs and budget compliance.

Anticipating needs

Data management is also used by managers in their long-term planning.

This is the case in Sacramento, California, where Ronald Wirth is responsible for a municipal park of over 2,000 units.

“We need information to make good decisions now and in the long term,” explains the manager. “By seeing the total cost of ownership (TCO) in real time, we can understand how our commitment to cleaner vehicles is developing. Our replacement strategy can be modified as soon as we have new data, linked to inflation or even fuel price fluctuations.”

Data tracking is also a tool used by Mr. Wirth to monitor transactions in more detail, for example the evolution of fees charged by a supplier.

Data management specialist Marc Knight of AssetWorks said that systems for collecting and processing vehicle data have evolved significantly in recent years.

He explained that this huge database, whether managed in-house or by an outsourcer, can be a flood of information.

“The pooling of multiple data sources should lead to structured, personalised and simplified reports and dashboards. Above all, you need to know what each department needs to contribute to the good management of the whole fleet.”

 

Categories : Editorial, Fleet
Tags : Management, NAFA

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