“Data is the new oil” is a common phrase among business leaders today. It’s more than a string of buzzwords, too, as digital data’s value continues to skyrocket and unlock new possibilities. Still, data won’t provide any value by itself. Companies have to know how to apply it. Fleet managers have much to gain from data if they leverage it correctly. Let’s check come possibilities:
- Planning More Efficient Routes
Route optimization is perhaps the most recognizable use case for data in fleet management. UPS has famously saved 100 million miles per year through ORION, its data-based route planning platform. Systems like ORION analyze real-time data to find the most efficient path, saving time, fuel, and money.
Fleets can gather data from GPS networks, transit authorities, weather systems, and other cars on the road. Analytics platforms can then use this data to provide a more accurate, timely picture of traffic and road conditions. Those insights help these systems find the best path forward, even when that’s not necessarily the shortest route by distance.
- Predictive Maintenance
Maintenance is crucial for efficient fleet operation, and data can improve these processes, too. Internet of things (IoT) sensors can gather data on engine vibrations, temperatures, and other maintenance factors. They can then alert workers when the vehicle will need repair in a practice called predictive maintenance.
Vehicles can drive up to 100,000 miles before some maintenance is necessary, but others may not. It all depends on the specific factors at hand, which predictive maintenance accounts for. These data-centric repair practices offer the optimal balance between costs and vehicle safety.
- Managing Fuel Costs
Fuel is often one of the highest expenses for vehicle fleets, and an effectively unavoidable one. Data from various sources can reveal paths to reduce fuel consumption and costs.
IoT and telematics tracking in trucks can reveal whether specific vehicles use more fuel than others. Fleet managers can then perform repairs to make them more fuel-efficient or replace them with newer, more economical alternatives. Similarly, data over time can highlight which routes lead to the highest diesel consumption, informing future route planning.
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- Improving Customer Service
All of these data use cases will also help fleet managers improve their customer relationships. Each of these applications will reduce operating expenses and improve efficiency, which translates into lower costs and wait times for clients. Fleet managers will build a more satisfied and loyal client base as a result.