How fleet management can improve your business sustainability

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fleet management - World Executive Digest

WorldExecutivesDigest.com | How fleet management can improve your business sustainability | Making your business as sustainable as possible has been vital in 2019 and will continue to be as we head into 2020. There are steps any business can take, such as reducing the amount of paper and plastic used in offices, but for some businesses making significant steps towards being more environmentally friendly can seem more challenging.

If your business relies on a commercial fleet, there may be a perception that your environmental impact will be significant because of the large number of vehicles being used to transport either workers or products from one location to another. However, there are systems which can be integrated into your commercial fleet, along with improved fleet management, which can significantly improve vehicles environmental efficiency and improve the businesses sustainability as a whole.

Vehicle trucking systems, sometimes known as telematics, have shown to improve the sustainability of commercial fleets in several key areas. The most important area where using telematics as part of fleet management can improve the sustainability of a commercial fleet is a reduction in fuel usage.

The first way this is done is by improving the driving style of commercial drivers. By installing vehicle tracking systems, drivers can receive instant direct feedback based on their driving. Through in-cab coaching devices the drivers are provided with two types of feedback, audio and visual. They are alerted to a number of detrimental actions, including ones which contribute to high fuel usage. Speeding, harsh acceleration and engine idling are all contributing factors to high fuel usage, which increases the environmental impact of a commercial vehicle.

By alerting the drivers to these kinds of actions, they can alter their driving style. Based on research conducted, these kinds of actions are significantly reduced when drivers are receiving feedback. Furthermore, because all the data from vehicles with telematics systems installed can be stored and analysed, fleet managers can find out which drivers are still contributing to high fuel usage. Specific training programs can then be put in place to help drivers improve their driving style and reduce fuel usage.

Another way fuel usage can be reduced through fleet management is by providing drivers with more efficient routes when out on the road. Vehicle tracking allows a fleet manager to see in detail the routes their drivers are taking and if they could be improved. Better routes can be implemented which avoid certain areas that have shown to be inefficient for vehicles, as they may sit idling in traffic.

While some routes may be shorter on paper, in practice vehicle may use more fuel as they get stuck in traffic. The more efficient option may be to take a slightly longer but quieter route where vehicles can move freely and not sit wasting fuel. Furthermore, by analysing the routes vehicle are taking, fleet managers can work out which journeys may be unnecessary and could be completed by re-routing other vehicles. In this way, they could save the running costs of one vehicle by splitting its work more efficiently between multiple others.  

The other key area in which a business can improve its sustainability through fleet management is with the maintenance of its vehicles. Firstly, making sure vehicles are running in full working condition will allow them to achieve better fuel efficiency. Secondly, by improving the driving style of commercial drivers through vehicle tracking, commercial vehicles are put through less stress. This is particularly the case for a part such as the brakes. In-cab coaching systems alert drivers to harsh braking which not only improves driver safety but can help to prevent  brakes from becoming worn out and needing to be replaced.

The more often parts need to be replaced, the less sustainable a business becomes. Increased maintenance also increases the costs of running a commercial fleet and can reduce productivity, which inevitably drops when a vehicle is suddenly removed from operation.

Overall, fleet management is a vital part of operating a commercial fleet, and it is has become more important than ever that fleet managers aim to improve the sustainability and environmental efficiency of their fleet. Vehicle tracking has shown to contribute to the efficiency of commercial fleets positively, and this can make up a significant aspect of a businesses eco-plan to improve sustainability.

This article was written in collaboration with vehicle tracking experts at Masternaut. You can find out more at their website – https://www.masternaut.com/

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