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What Fleet Managers Should Know About Asset Tracking and How to Perform it Effectively

Over the years, companies have realised the numerous benefits of fleet management. Some of these include improved driver safety, updates on assets in real-time, reduced cost and increased efficiency, customer satisfaction, and improved route planning. 

Asset tracking is an important aspect of fleet management, so let’s find out more about it.

WHAT IS FLEET MANAGEMENT?

Fleet management involves overseeing the performance and maintenance of a company’s fleet of vehicles (ships, trucks, cars) to boost productivity and further assist the company in achieving smooth operation.

Fleet managers are people charged with the responsibility of fleet management. They supervise the day-to-day operations and handle duties that involve vehicle maintenance, fuel costs and consumption, driver management, route planning, asset utilisation, and the execution of programs that may increase the company’s productivity and decrease wastage of resources.

The route you take to become a fleet manager is dependent on where you are in your career.

There are no specific requirements as to the required qualifications, as work-based learning, skills training, and higher education courses are all available to support career advancement.

However, a fleet manager must have the following attributes:

  • Ability to multitask
  • Budget management
  • Adaptability
  • Effective communication
  • Leadership

A good fleet manager should also consider taking up professional courses under bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS).

WHAT IS ASSET TRACKING TO FLEET MANAGERS?

Asset tracking to fleet managers is the systematic process of tracking a company’s physical assets by manual or computerised means, which may involve scanning barcodes on the assets, and monitoring GPS positions of vessels.

Asset tracking involves both outdoor and indoor search.

HOW TO EFFECTIVELY PERFORM FLEET TRACKING

Proper and effective fleet tracking is a skill that requires training and expertise, especially with tech advancements in the fields. Some of these methods, as mentioned above, will be discussed briefly.

  • Scanning Barcodes
  • Monitoring GPS locations
  • Using Landmarks

SCANNING BARCODES

This technique runs on a simple yet powerful, user-friendly asset tracking platform. Users get assigned unique serial numbers, which function as digital IDs for every asset to be tracked.

Subscribers can choose one or more methods from the options. It could be RFID tags, Markers or QR codes, or Barcode symbols.

This works because codes scanned verify outgoing and incoming assets, and inventory is checked on a routine basis. Field employees and make use of available public scanners for service requests. When that is done, the system administrator gets an email or text with the request’s complete details and the asset’s location.

MONITORING GPS LOCATIONS

To lower cost and also boost efficiency, fleet management software that uses GPS is a convenient means to the desired end. This particular technology is highly revered among fleet managers because;

  • It is smartphone-enabled and does not require the download of costly software or plans for term licenses.
  • Cost management is flexible and allows for upscaling and downscaling to suit your needs.
  • Unlike traditional GPS, vehicles do not require service centres to install GPS devices.

USING LANDMARKS

This usually surprises most people, as they are unaware that familiar landmarks could easily and quickly track assets within a city.

Fleet managers can use the longitude and latitude of preset landmarks in various ways to track assets.

By choosing boundaries around setting geographical locations on tracking software, you get notified when assets arrive and depart at selected areas.

Landmark monitoring software makes tracking easy. The SkyBiz Insight App allows you to search for assets in the present location at your fingertips, and you don’t have to search out the landmark. It is visible once you log in to the web application.

Another great feature of using landmarks to track trailers is grouping landmarks for greater efficiency. 

Landmarks can be grouped based on ownership, customer or company. You can also group them based on asset type. This way, you can quickly identify when an asset is not in the correct location.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE FLEET MANAGEMENT AND ASSET TRACKING

Today, there are many technologies, facilities, and services that will improve specific areas of a fleet’s performance. These solutions are created to address many of the issues that may well face a fleet operator.

However, to identify the particular solutions or method that will be opportunities for justifiable investment, a genuine identification of the organisation’s actual needs and the current performance standards are crucial.

These tips will help your organisation effectively manage fleets irrespective of the chosen asset tracking method and administrative changes.

  • Identify the purpose of your company’s fleet management
  • Develop policies to guide fleet management
  • Establish a process that follows developed policies
  • Carefully select and prioritise the vehicles that need management
  • Establish communication between line managers and drivers
  • Establish measurements for grade effectiveness of managed fleet
  • Regular review available information to identify lapses
  • Pay attention to improving performance 
  • Be open to changes in policy, processes and procedures
  • Understand the peculiarity and uniqueness of each fleet

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