HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE A CAR FLEET? – PIOTR NOWAK FOR GAZETA FINANSOWA – Tronik

HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE A CAR FLEET? – PIOTR NOWAK FOR GAZETA FINANSOWA

Monitoring of carsis a series of solutions which enable effective management of car fleets and agricultural machinery. Monitoring allows to control the operating parameters, smoothly verify the work of employees and supervise vehicle maintenance, operation and usage expenditures. These solutions allow for the combination of expenditure control in the company and human resources management. They are used by fleet managers and those responsible for corporate fleets, transport companies and individuals. It is also possible to monitor operation efficiency of agricultural machines, which our company also has in its offer.

How does it work?

Monitoring of vehicles or machines is possible thanks to GPS modules installed in vehicles. These modules receive signals from satellites thus determining the geographical coordinates of the monitored object. The data is then transmitted through the GSM network to servers, which after processing it, provide information to customers and fleet managers through computer programs, websites smartphones. TRONIK’s original system – GPS ATRAX, is based on satellite location. The operating parameters are transferred from the vehicle or machine computer, sensors connected in the facility, as well as the driver communicator and the GSM network to the TRONIK servers. Then they get to the client’s application. A very important aspect is the integration of GPS data with other, necessary for client, systems as is the case in GPS ATRAX, so that it is possible to maximize the benefits for the client.

What is the most important before we decide on vehicle monitoring in the company?

We should start by identifying our needs. What we want to use such a system for, what problems we want to solve or what we want to achieve in the future. Once we have analyzed the offers available on the market and chosen the supplier who will be entrusted with monitoring the company’s fleet, it is essential to lay down the rules on the use of company cars, taking into account the data that we get from the GPS. This varies in different companies. Supervisors have different views on how employees can e.g. use private cars in their spare time, or how to account the invoices for fuel used during this time. It is natural that there exists a multitude of ideas and solutions, however, it is important that the rules are made clear for all parties involved. The best solution is to create a fleet policy document that will list the principles of use of company cars. Such a document should include all the information on the use of a company car, ranging from the use and operation of the car, through its service, the use of the fuel card, to the use of the car for business and private purposes. The bottom line is that the rules be clear for everyone. Ideally, the document should be signed by all the employees and the management board (superiors), which additionally obliges both parties to follow the established rules. The fleet policy should also include information on resolving any failure to comply with the established rules. It is worth considering a system of rewards that will further motivate employees to drive safely and economically.

What are the benefits of vehicle monitoring?

The benefits stem from several aspects of the system. They are associated with reduced fuel consumption in the company, increased safety for drivers, better and more efficient use of vehicles for business purposes, increased performance, accelerated document flow, employee’s billing and many other elements. Monitoring of vehicles entails undoubted benefits for business that enable optimization of both work of fleet managers and drivers or traders themselves. Apart from cost effectiveness, the system also offers real money savings and relatively fast ROI time. My experience shows that money invested e.g. in our system return to the investor after about half a year (sometimes even faster). Our system offers a range of solutions and benefits such as i.a.: accounting of the fuel actually used by motor/engine or other vehicle equipment, monitoring of fuel consumption with the engine idling, comparison of the amount of fuel bought with data from fuel cards, capturing non-eligible refueling instances (e.g. during weekends), accounting fuel consumption during free time, etc. Also, detailed accounting of drivers’ working time is possible as well as detailed accounting of the use of vehicles for private purposes and business, retrieving information on logged-in drivers, work plan feasibility control, verification of visits to customers based on the address database, creating reports on working time and automatic fraud detection.

It is worth noting that the amount of data the system can provide does not involve its time-consuming analysis. All the information can be obtained in the form of clear reports; options can be set so that the system would independently retrieve work plans and verify their feasibility, and then, independently provide reports to the superiors. The Client would not even have to open the program because the reports will be delivered to their e-mail address.

What concerns do clients have before installing a GPS locator ?

The most common concerns are related to employees’ reactions; they may feel offended by the lack of trust on the part of their superiors, or may fear excessive control. My observations and experience, however, show that proper internal communication in a company and the appropriate preparation of employees for changes and implementations are sufficient for everybody to understand the motives of superiors and appreciate a number of benefits connected with vehicle monitoring in a company.

The article was published in the Gazeta Finansowa dated 15 May 2015.

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