By Todd Ewing
Affordable, easy-to-use technology is helping businesses of all sizes use data to optimize their operations. Relying on drivers and vehicles to build a healthy bottom line means you need to know certain fleet-related metrics and benchmarks that can help you measure success. For companies with vehicles and mobile workers in the field, GPS fleet tracking solutions provide critical information that can help you spot opportunities to improve fleet utilization, reduce costs, coach drivers, and improve safety.
But what metrics should you measure? Here are five data points to start with:
1 Stops made per day
Let’s talk productivity. Do you know the number of stops your drivers or crew make each day? Having a good handle on where your drivers are, the routes they take to get to jobs, and how long they spend on a job site will help you see if you have room to schedule another job per driver, per day – talk about a boost to the bottom line! To see if you can fit in additional jobs, make sure your drivers are taking optimal routes to and from their jobs sites, lunch hours and breaks aren’t being over-extended, and trucks are stocked with the right inventory to cover the day’s work.
2 Fuel usage and efficiency
Fuel represents 60 percent of a fleet’s total operating costs1. That’s a lot of money – and there are a lot of factors that affect your fleet’s fuel consumption. Speeding, harsh driving habits, idling and poor route planning are the biggest culprits for wasted fuel. Tracking fuel usage and efficiency on each of your vehicles helps you to know what you’re spending on fuel and will help you identify how to cut down on unnecessary fuel costs.
3 Harsh driving behavior
Stepping on the gas. Taking corners like a race car driver. Slamming on the brakes. These are all indicators of dangerous driving. Add in speeding, and your fleet has increased likelihood for accidents that could cost you a lot of money. The average cost of an accident for an employer is around $16,500 per incident2; but the true cost of such an incident goes beyond the monetary impact, including damage to your reputation. Understanding how your vehicles are being treated and how your drivers are operating behind the wheel will help you coach your drivers and curb dangerous driving habits before they have a negative impact on your business and bottom line.
4 Maintenance cost per vehicle
Keeping your vehicles on the road is a priority. When those vehicles head to the garage for any kind of lengthy service or repair, you run the risk of losing productivity… and revenue. Vehicles that skip scheduled service appointments (think regular oil changes and tire rotations) often have a higher rate of breakdowns. Automatic service reminders can help you manage time (and money) when it comes to keeping your vehicles healthy.
Manually calculating payroll using paper timecards could be costing you more than you think. And when it comes to billing your customers, knowing the exact amount of time a technician spent on the job is critical so you don’t overcharge. Automating timecards can help eliminate timesheet fraud and help to accurately calculate payroll and overtime pay so you’re paying for only the hours worked – nothing more, nothing less.
Armed with these data points, which can be easily accessed through advanced GPS fleet tracking systems like Fleetmatics REVEAL, managers can have the insight—and foresight—to make smart decisions that can help grow revenue and protect their bottom lines.
Todd Ewing is the director of product management for Fleetmatics. Fleetmatics, a Verizon Company, provides GPS fleet tracking and HOS solutions that address the needs of motor carriers of all sizes. Make the switch to ELDs with Verizon and get up to a $200 discount when you purchase and activate any 4G LTE Tablet and an ELD compliance package. For more information on how GPS fleet tracking can help you improve your business, visit www.fleetmatics.com.