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Grahame Don: Seven reasons why industrial fleet management systems matter

Wednesday, 5 December 2018 ( #901 )
Grahame Don
Grahame Don
Grahame Don is Senior Business Development Manager - Industrial at RCT and is based in Melbourne, Australia. Don has extensive experience in sales and client relations in the Australian Materials Handling sector and joined RCT as Account Manager in 2014 before moving into his current role.

1. Information is power
How do people know how to enhance operations if they don't know what exactly needs improving?
Fleet management systems provide businesses with the succinct information needed to make constructive changes to improve the operation of their fleets. This information is used to address areas to improve upon, whether it be resource- or asset management-related, or both. In some instances, businesses don't realise there are small adjustments they can make to see operating costs reduce and productivity increase. It's thanks to the information supplied by fleet management systems that give people the power to make the required changes needed to see compelling results.

2. Increase productivity
Increasing output, reducing machine maintenance, streamlining efficiencies and improving safety are all made possible with the help of fleet management systems and all aid in increasing productivity in business. For example, productivity can be affected when mobile machines and/or equipment are unexpectedly out of service. Fleet management solutions can alert management when servicing is due and when incidents have occurred to prevent unexpected downtime which directly affects productivity.
With solutions like SmarTrack Fleet management, information is reported electronically, meaning management is more inclined to act upon the notification than if this was manually recorded. The out-of-service notification allows clients to categorise planned and unplanned maintenance which helps allocate resources and understanding of the cost of the client's fleet. The incident reporting feature also ensures operators are more accountable for machine damage.

3. Stay compliant
Compliance is key in the business world! Obeying laws and regulations is of the utmost importance in avoiding incidents and fines, and fleet management systems can help. Fleet management systems can ensure only licensed, qualified personnel can access equipment, preventing any unauthorised use. They allow only authorised personnel to access machines via a swipe card or PIN number, and deliver pre-start checklists. Live email alerts also notify management when operators' licences are approaching renewal dates, ensuring all personnel are appropriately licensed.

4. Improve safety
Safety in the workplace is everyone's responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of themselves and colleagues. Incidents can have a dramatic effect on business, so prevention is key, and fleet management is the answer; helping to adopt a preventative and predictive approach to workplace safety. The implementation of fleet management systems creates greater safety awareness among employees that leads to greater ownership and behavioural changes in operators, which reduces incidents. Fleet management systems can be equipped with impact monitoring, meaning management is notified of any incidents involving machines making contact with anything, and recording of any points of sharp deceleration, making operators more accountable. This also helps management identify where the majority of incidents are occurring to identify and address 'black spots' in the working environment as well as record where impacts occurred if they happened outside in view of satellites.

5. Understanding fleet utilisation
Imagine having the tools available to gain a comprehensive understanding of how fleets and operators are performing and using this information to assist the decision-making process, to ensure the fleet is well-utilised at all times.
In business, it is imperative for a fleet to do more, with less. The more a business can get out of its fleet, the more competitive it is. Being able to strategically improve fleet utilisation not only boosts productivity and decreases costs, but also increases the profitability of a business, which is always everyone's end-goal.
Additional benefits of tracking utilisation include reducing fuel consumption, assisting with fleet deployment and having the ability to compare traction vs idle time to plan and manage personnel across and during shifts.

6. Boost security
Controlling and monitoring access to equipment in a fleet has numerous security and safety benefits. It ensures only those with valid licences and permission are able to access machines, thereby safeguarding companies by preventing incidents. It also gives businesses up-to-date information about where vehicles in their fleet are located at all times and identifies personnel who have had access to the machine.

7. Reduce overall costs
Fleet management solutions can help companies to decrease fleet-related costs, contributing to increased profitability. These systems are integral for monitoring and making progressive changes in managing fleets. It's these step-changes that work towards reducing incidents, damage and costs associated with manual paperwork, which, in turn, significantly reduce costs. All the benefits associated with the implementation of fleet management systems save businesses money in the short and long term.
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