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 reached 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 the Internet of Things (IoT) largely grows from the excitement around the potential knowledge. Enterprise IoT gives stakeholders more insight into their activities, thus 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 so many components to fleet management, and thus ample opportunity to capture data. Below, we’ll explain the solutions available based on needs, to help you narrow down the ones you should investigate further.
If you’re focused on driver management, then you probably 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 this space:
- 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 vehicles and along your routes 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.
You’re trying to maintain the longevity (and safety) of your vehicles while also maintaining a budget. You should look into IoT solutions for:
- 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 expensive to purchase and maintain, so every asset counts.
Green Fleet I
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:
- Reduce idle time of assets, ensuring that they’re 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 of which makes your job easier.