Ashley Sowerby, Managing Director of Chevin Fleet Solutions explains how fleet software can help fleet operators with every aspect of their business while improving efficiency and profitability.
How can fleet software help fleet operators cope with current issues such as rising fuel costs, keeping an ageing fleet on the road, grey fleets and licence checking?
Ashley Sowerby says that fuel is the biggest expense when running a fleet, impacting the budget when prices rise. A fleet software package helps fleet managers cope with this added burden by enabling them to optimise fuel consumption.
Fleet software packages such as FleetWave help fleet managers instantly identify the best and worst in class for mpg statistics as well as fuel fraud/theft.
The current economic climate requires increased business efficiency wherein businesses will need to keep their existing fleet vehicles on the road beyond their predicted lifetime while holding back on investing in new vehicles until absolutely necessary.
Fleet software can help keep vehicles on the road safely and efficiently for as long as necessary by providing instant reports on warranty claims, excessive repair bills and odometer readings for pooled mileage contracts while simultaneously enabling fleet managers to fulfil duty of care obligations.
Grey fleets where the vehicles are not part of the fleet make it very difficult for fleet operators to maintain control and visibility without a software package.
Going beyond simply recording data like traditional spreadsheets, Chevin’s fleet software provides the intelligence needed to transform information into notifications and alerts regarding insurance, MOT and maintenance checks.
This information in turn, can be disseminated to alert individual drivers on their PDAs, laptops and mobile phones.
Chevin now offers direct data from the DVLA back to its FleetWave system, so that the fleet manager can check licences for endorsements, enabling total transparency and full integration of grey fleets.
How can fleet software help fleets to reduce costs/operate more efficiently?
Chevin’s core fleet management software, RoadBASE and FleetWave help reduce costs and increase efficiencies by identifying inconsistencies, reducing administration hours as well as keeping fleets in line with legislation.
The fleet software pulls together all necessary data from across departments and external organisations, transforming the information into up-to-the-minute, accurate intelligence that is required to streamline fleet operations.
Fleet management software identifies the areas that incur unnecessary costs and helps fleet managers reduce and remove these costs from the business by utilising the assets at their disposal.
This is done by close monitoring of repair costs as well as fuel transaction costs and providing collateral to challenge warranty claims.
Fleet software also helps fleet managers implement environment-friendly initiatives in their fleet including encouraging drivers to switch off the engine when stationary, stick to the speed limit on motorways, regularly check tyre pressure and only have the air-conditioner on when necessary, dramatically reducing fuel consumption and cutting carbon emissions fleet-wide while increasing fleet efficiency.
Can the ‘pay-as-you-go’ model overcome the issue of cost of fleet software?
The initial outlay of a fleet management software package can be daunting given the current economic climate and tight budgets that financial directors have to work with in fleet businesses.
A Chevin fleet management software package will dramatically offset the outlay, not just in monetary terms, but also in terms of time, processes and support.
Chevin’s packages are customised to the needs of each client, which means that FDs have the option to limit spend while having the flexibility to upgrade and add interfaces as requirements and circumstances change.
Chevin also offers the pay-as-you-go payment model, a method utilised by many providers as it allows a client to budget accordingly for each monthly payment structure.
Some fleet software providers sell off-the-shelf pay-as-you-go packages that are often a cheaper option but do not adapt to business needs.
Off-the-shelf fleet software packages can become restrictive for evolving businesses and are ultimately not cost-effective.
What is the future of fleet software and how can it help future fleet strategy?
Experienced software development experts at Chevin are always looking to improve client business processes and existing data interfaces by keeping up with the continuously changing industry standards and market forces.
The diverse market sectors that clients function in will determine whether there is growth in the use of SMR information.
The focus of fleet software development and enhancements has shifted onto the driver as the asset with software functioning as support, helping to increase efficiencies.
For instance, new interfaces assist drivers in decision-making for journey planning, expense reclaims as well as online P46 and P11d submissions.
Chevin helps businesses incorporate their fleets into business strategy through a comprehensive set of benchmarking reports and tools within FleetWave that can compare like-for-like fleets anonymously.
This allows fleet managers to determine and develop all future fleet strategies from replacement vehicles through to driver training courses and vehicle de-fleet opportunities.
The demand for fleet software globally will continue to grow as long as businesses realise the major benefits that they can derive from its implementation.