If you’re managing a commercial fleet and are hearing terms like predictive modeling, data analytics, and predictive maintenance, you didn’t wander into the IT department’s main office. You’re right where you should be, and you’re learning terms about “big data” – which are all designed to help improve your fleet performance.
There’s a tremendous amount of data generated each day from your fleet – and it’s only going to get bigger. That’s because fleet management has entered the digital age, and cloud-based platforms are collecting information that managers can use to monitor everything from vehicle servicing to driver behavior, fuel consumption, tire pressure, and so much more.
Big Data is a Big Deal
For those who service, maintain, or drive a fleet van, big data is already working to improve fleet performance. Data monitoring systems on vehicles are alerting service managers to upcoming maintenance procedures, worn engine parts, and many other aspects of a fleet’s servicing needs. It’s all done automatically, with reports generated that have to be followed up on by service personnel. It not only saves time, but it also saves money as well. That’s because it helps to keep more vehicles on the road instead of in the shop.
Driver productivity is increasing as well, and it’s all thanks to big data. It’s not only helping drivers avoid breakdowns while on the road, but it’s also monitoring their driving habits like speed, harsh braking, and other driving behaviors that can waste fuel and damage vehicles. Once the reports are evaluated, fleet managers can take whatever action is necessary to improve the driver’s habits, so they’re both safer and more efficient on the road.
Fleet managers can use big data to increase overall fleet efficiency and make better decisions about their vehicles and their drivers. It’s estimated that 30% of all fleet vehicles in North America are using big data. That number is predicted to jump to 50% by 2022, as the cost of data devices and programs falls to a more affordable level.
Better Fuel Management
Fuel costs are one of the biggest profit drains of any fleet, and big data is helping to provide better fuel management. It’s not only monitoring fuel consumption but how it’s being consumed. One example is vehicle idling – it uses far more fuel than is necessary, and meaningful data reports can show which vehicles are doing the most idling so corrective action can be taken.
It also helps fleet managers provide better routing for their vehicles, which would help with better fuel consumption. Having the right routes at the correct times is happening due to the manager’s evaluation of big data. Thanks to big data, managers can find the exact cause of spikes in fuel costs so they can find solutions to the problems.
Better Driver Training
By accurately monitoring driver behaviors, training can be tailored to meet the driver’s individual needs. Telematics, the sensors that are placed in fleet vehicles, provide management with critical data on each driver’s habits and behaviors. Those who accelerate aggressively or continually speed in traffic aren’t only wasting fuel; they’re showing unsafe driving habits. By reviewing the data with their drivers, managers can show how small changes in driving habits can result in money-saving driving – along with much safer driving as well.
Big data and data management is now an integral part of the fleet managers arsenal to remain competitive and be more productive. It will lead to an improved bottom line and a much safer and more advanced workforce.