Tracking business vehicles and drivers is nothing short of a mammoth task. As a fleet operator, gaining visibility into day-to-day operations and fleet productivity can get challenging, especially for larger fleets with multiple vehicles plying on different routes.
A fleet management software simplifies tracking fleet efficiency and productivity, assisting business owners in optimizing operations and making smarter decisions. From maintenance schedules to real-time location tracking and logging, the best fleet management software aggregates data from multiple touchpoints and helps you stay on top of your business operations and generate more revenue from your vehicles.
As such, several options are available in the market; businesses must spend considerable time researching solutions that fit their needs. Luckily, choosing fleet management software can be easy if you list out the specific needs, limits, and scale of your business.
Choosing fleet management software – how to find the best one
As stated earlier, there are multiple fleet management software solutions available in the market, each offering unique features. When choosing fleet management software for your business, ask the following questions for more insights.
What features does the FMS solution provide?
Since you will be paying an amount for incorporating the FMS solution, you should pay attention to what you will get for the money you spend. Features offered by FMS solutions can be broadly categorized into the following:
- Vehicle management – gathering and storing information on registry and taxation, maintenance records, spend analysis, and compliance.
- Vehicle Tracking – collecting and presenting real-world data on vehicle location, fuel consumption, complete deliveries, vehicle idle time calculation, etc.
- Driver management – organizing team members, auditing licensing, penalties, etc., logging active hours, generating timesheets, disbursing payments, etc.
- Incident management – tracking incident-related expenses like vehicle repair costs, insurance, legal settlements, etc.
It is really important that you pay only for the features that you will use in your fleet. Some FMS solutions provide tiered subscriptions, while some offer on a per-vehicle basis. Make sure you check all the features before finalizing payments.
Mobility – Does the software move with the fleet?
Basic fleet management software solutions are often repackaged logistics organizing tools, meaning they are only functional once the vehicle reaches the base. So, fuel receipts, incident reports, driver management, etc., are only completed once the vehicle docks at the end of the day.
Also, these types of basic software do not offer features like live tracking and vehicle telematics, meaning you will be relying on finding manual ways to track and manage your fleet. When choosing fleet management software, look for ones that offer dedicated apps for drivers so that they can log operational activities on the go.
Does the software pricing fit your budget?
An FMS solution can offer the best features in the market and still be useless if it does not fit your budget. A rough pricing guide is very important in selecting a software solution for managing fleets.
Fleet management software solutions can range anywhere from $15 to $45 per vehicle. It can go over $200 per vehicle in extreme cases, but that is extremely rare and for custom solutions for specific use cases only.
Almost every FMS software provider has a pricing page on their website that you should check thoroughly. Compare prices for similar features and see which one fits your budget. Make sure to read the fine print, as sometimes the installation and shipping costs are not included in the pricing. Ask for a quote directly from the vendor to get a realistic idea of how it works.
Scale and scalability
As a business owner, it is crucial that you have an accurate grasp of the size of your business and how fast you are growing. When purchasing a solution, look for pricing tiers that suit your scale of business the best.
If you are in the middle of rapid expansion, you need to ensure that you select an FMS solution that grows with you. Certain service providers will survey your business before suggesting a curated solution that meets the specific needs of your business.
When talking to a service provider, make sure that you tell them about your requirements at scale to gauge if they will be able to handle your needs. Meanwhile, also keep an eye on pricing as it can cross beyond your budget if you do not keep it under check.
Does the software solution offer integrations?
Nowadays, simple logistics reporting software is often not enough to handle the workload of modern-day fleets. To ensure higher safety and compliance, fleet managers should look for solutions that offer integrations to other use cases like video-based safety, route optimization, vehicle telematics, etc.
As a general rule of thumb, the more features a software offers, the more experience is required to handle it. You might also need to spend time and resources on training your fleet to handle these features.
Knowing what to look for when choosing fleet management software can significantly reduce the time and effort that goes into researching and sorting different solutions. The right fleet management software will help you reduce costs and maximize company profits while maintaining compliance and storing records for audits. Once you finalize a few, ask the developers for a trial and see if it matches your requirements.