Fleet Management Software: is it time for your business to invest?
Fleet Management Software can be a powerful tool in ensuring your material handling operations are carried out efficiently, cost-effectively, and safely. But before investing in new software it’s important to consider the total price, the ability of your organisation to adopt new technology, and its commercial value to your business.
What it is
A fleet management system has the capacity to provide you with all the data necessary to manage almost every aspect of your material handling operations. There are various technologies, but they achieve the same thing: collecting data from forklifts on site, processing it, and turning it into reports. These can often be tailored to your specific requirements and can prove extremely valuable in future decision-making.
Why you might want it
- Increase cost effectiveness
Fleet management software will allow you to keep an eye on the status, utilisation, and availability of your whole fleet — enabling you to deploy every forklift more efficiently and with no waste. Also offers the potential to cut costs.
- Improve safety
Prevents unauthorised use, identifies and allows you to address operating errors — along with other hazards — in a targeted manner.
- Optimise availability
Monitor and implement maintenance where and when it’s needed to ensure the whole fleet is operating at peak condition with much less risk of unplanned downtime.
Things you should consider...
It’s important to focus on what matters most to your business and especially to those who will use it. Too much information can be as bad as too little.
Identify the total cost. In addition to the price of the software, you’ll need to weigh up ongoing fees for licenses, additional features etc.
Confirm what’s included. Try to get it right first time and avoid unnecessary extras. Focus on the must-have, core features you need and make certain they are included in the package price.
Sounds obvious, but make sure the software is user-friendly and intuitive/easy to use.
Choose a supplier you feel confident will offer the best after-sales support and talk to others already using the system to help you decide whether the software is a good fit for your business.
… before you invest
Like any other software system, fleet management comes with a learning curve. Some systems are so complicated that, without the help (and cost) of the software provider you may never unlock its true potential.
There is the opportunity to save and even make money using fleet management software... but to be worthwhile, the returns must outweigh the initial investment (plus any add-ons). If yours is a small business, you may find the costs out-weigh the benefits.
Be aware of potential staff resistance. Employees might well feel they are being spied on. However, this introduction of this software also presents an opportunity to involve the entire workforce in positive discussions about site safety and better ways of working.
- Action points
- Obtain demonstrations of how the potential fleet management software will work. Is it easy to operate and will it encourage consistent usage?
- Investigate whole-package costs of implementing and operating software, including on-costs such as support and licences.
- Talk to your dealer or the manufacturer for guidance on what software systems will work best with your fleet.