Since a company’s fleet can be the second largest expense for a business, after people, proactive fleet management should be a key consideration. Organisations that have used stolen vehicle recovery tracking services for their fleet vehicles for years, understand the additional value these tracking services can provide. Vehicle telematics has evolved from simple tracking devices to smart devices, which supply companies with a staggering amount of data that can be used to gain insights and proactively manage their fleet.

However, raw data is worthless unless you can extrapolate meaning from it. For some organisations, a lack of resources or time prevents them from collating the data from tracking units to gain business insights. Advanced planning, optimisation and execution management automates this process, using artificial intelligence-based software to deliver analytics that provides full visibility at an operational level regarding all aspects of transport management.

Through an interactive dashboard, the fleet manager obtains real-time transport analytics and insights, which provides better visibility of resources and performance. There is no need to rely on human intelligence and intuition, the system automatically creates plans that are data driven. For example, an intelligent route planning engine will automate route allocation and provide the optimal time of day for travel to reduce fuel consumption due to traffic congestion. It will also provide alternative route suggestions considering real world constraints such as roadblocks and road restrictions.

With manual processing a thing of the past, organisations can save hours in planning time and avoid blind spots. The route mapping accuracy will result in a consistent delivery schedule. Geocoding ensures even the most poorly written addresses obtain precise coordinates resulting in improved delivery accuracy and reducing failed deliveries.

Further benefits come from the increased visibility of resources, including real-time tracking of vehicles and delivery status, which empowers fleet managers to make immediate decisions. By accounting for vacant space, fleet managers can ensure the effective utilisation of vehicles, thereby increasing delivery per vehicle and reducing freight costs. Depending on the nature of the business, additional benefits could include a sales heat map, adherence to and fulfilment of service levels and provision of distributor or transporter scorecards.

Management can access real-time analytics with drill through capabilities to review performance based on various metrics, which enables a comparison between planned and actual performance. Processes can then be further optimised to achieve all business-critical key performance indicators. The digitalisation will optimise overall operational efficiency which will benefit the end customer, plus help the business to manage costs.

Automated processing also enables a business to optimise delivery at scale. This means that the supply chain management platform can streamline an entire logistics chain from planning phase up until last-mile delivery. It assists fleet managers to obtain higher asset utilisation, better driver communication and seamless interactions with shippers and warehouses. Plus, increased throughput at the warehouse will reduce storage requirements.

“With advanced planning, optimisation and execution management, businesses small and large can realise improved operating efficiencies and lower operating costs,” says Kobus Visagie, Executive: Business Solutions at Tracker South Africa. “There has never been a better time to harness the intelligence from the information provided by vehicle telematics and related software and use it to place your business a cut above the rest.”