As the Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace grows, fleet management is poised to be the vertical that may benefit the most. Business owners and supply and logistics stakeholders lean heavily on fleet managers to maintain fleet inventory and manage drivers, all while cutting costs. Without data-backed insights, fleet managers are often left in the dark as to how to best meet any or all of their goals. IoT solutions offer an opportunity to connect fleets, giving fleet managers remote, detailed insights into their operations, allowing for better business strategy. But with such a wide area of opportunity, it can be challenging to know where to begin in the world of IoT (especially if you’re starting from scratch).
The business of owning, operating, and managing a logistics fleet involves many moving parts (no pun intended). You can’t just put your goods on a truck, plane, train, or boat and send them off, only satisfied once they’ve reach their final destination. As a fleet manager, the responsibilities of fleet maintenance, fueling, staffing, etc. fall under your purview. Driver safety and the ever-increasing costs of fuel are just a few of the many challenges fleet managers can struggle to navigate. Often, that struggle stems from not knowing the depth of the challenge in the first place.
The buzz surrounding IoT largely grows from the excitement around knowledge; enterprise IoT gives stakeholders more insight into their activities, allowing for opportunities to make better decisions for their businesses. According to a 2019 report from MarketsandMarkets, the market size for IoT fleet management solutions is supposed to reach $8.28 billion by 2021. In order to best take advantage of this new technology, you need to prioritize your needs and understand what solutions are possible for fleet management.
What Are IoT Solutions in Fleet Management? How Can They Help?
As previously stated, there are many components to fleet management; thus, there’s ample opportunity to capture data. Below, we’ll explain the solutions available based on need to help you narrow down the ones you should investigate further.
If you spend your time concerned about the safety of your drivers, meeting prescribed safety regulations, and the strategic decisions your drivers have to make while on the road, you should invest in IoT solutions for the following:
- Predictive weather analytics so you can get real-time updates about the weather conditions your drivers are facing and course-correct them in real-time. Sensors in your vehicle and along your route can provide the most accurate weather data so you can optimize delivery time.
- In-cab analytics to ensure your fleet is driving responsibly and efficiently. Your company doesn’t need a reputation for having reckless drivers, and you should know if your team is pulling all-nighters to make their delivery schedules.
If you’re trying to maintain the longevity (and safety) of your vehicles while also maintaining budget, you should look into IoT solutions for the following:
- Preventative vehicle maintenance that provides data on things like tire pressure, vehicle battery, and engine health. You can receive standard diagnostic engine codes from your assets (without manual intervention or readings) so you can find vehicle problems before they find you.
- Remote asset maintenance, allowing you to monitor the health of those assets for which you may not have regular physical access or updates. Fleets are not inexpensive to purchase and maintain, so every asset counts (even the ones you forget about sometimes!).
Green Fleet Initiatives
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint, helping you stay compliant and environmentally friendly, you should invest in IoT solutions to do the following:
- Reduce idle time of assets, ensuring they are only burning fuel when necessary. This can mean optimizing routes to avoid wasting gas in traffic or monitoring driver patterns to coach drivers in fuel optimization best practices.
Ultimately, IoT solutions serve to move the industry towards connected fleets. This is a world in which you can follow your assets as they travel, monitor their health remotely, and reroute your team to put them on the safest and most efficient path available. Fleet managers can track driving patterns to pinpoint best and worst practices to enable careful and cognizant drivers. Efforts to go green move in tandem with cost-saving initiatives, backed by data to mobilize programs that protect your budget and the planet. Connecting your fleet makes your drivers better, your budget tighter, and your vehicles safer. All this makes your job easier.