Data-Driven Decision-Making In Fleet Management

Right now, there are hundreds, if not thousands of things happening in your fleet business all at once. Tonnes of crucial profit-impacting decisions need to be made daily. You don't want to make some of those decisions on a hunch, gut feeling or instinct.

Well, with good fleet management software that's designed to collect detailed data and insights, you no longer have to - you'll be equipped to make data-driven decisions with complete confidence.

Ready to find out how?

In this article, you will:

  • Learn what data-driven decision-making is and its importance for fleet efficiency
  • Find out what types of fleet data you can receive
  • Discover the role telematics plays in collecting fleet data
  • See how Cartrack’s data-driven solutions can simplify your fleet management

What is Data-Driven Decision Making?

Data-driven decision making is the use of data and analytics to inform and guide decision making. When utilised in fleet management, it involves the collecting, analysing, and interpreting of data from different sources, including vehicle performance records, driver behaviour reports, and maintenance logs. This information helps spot trends, patterns, and insights that help your business’s decision-making processes further down the road.

The Different Types of Fleet Data

Fleet metrics are made up of a broad range of information that is gathered from fleet vehicles. Some of these include:

  • Location Data: By making use of IoT devices and GPS coordinates, fleet managers can view the historical movement of their fleet vehicles and monitor their movements in real-time.
  • Driver Behaviour Data: This data gives fleet managers insight into how their drivers are operating their vehicles. This includes their adherence to speed limits, harsh driving, acceleration, braking habits, and their overall behaviour behind the wheel.
  • Telemetry Data: This data gives fleet managers insight into various vehicle metrics, including speed, fuel consumption, engine performance, and mileage, amongst many others.
  • Maintenance Data: This data gives fleet managers insight into the condition of their vehicles and provides them with their full-service history.
  • Safety Data: This data gives fleet managers insight into vehicle safety incidents, including accident reports.

The automatic recording and storage of this data requires innovative, real-time technology. This technology is powered by telematics.

The Role Telematics Plays In Collecting Fleet Data

Telematics is a highly intelligent computer consisting of a GPS tracking unit and on-board sensors. These technologies work together to monitor and report on the overall status and activities of fleet drivers. 

Telematics is essential for the gathering of fleet data by enabling the merging of telecommunications and informatics technologies to collect, transmit, and analyse data from multiple vehicles.

For an effective telematics system, the following parts need to be incorporated:

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology: The incorporation of GPS within telematics is to accurately establish and track the location of a vehicle in real-time.
  • Wireless Networks: Wi-Fi and different cellular networks (e.g. 4G LTE or 5G) facilitate the transfer and storage of data from vehicle GPS tracking devices through internet or satellite connectivity.
  • Sensor-based Monitoring: Combining sensors with telematics into fleet management software, gives fleet managers in-depth insights into their fleet operations. An example of this is the use of temperature sensors in cold chain logistics. These provide real-time temperature monitoring capabilities and can alert fleet managers the moment temperature fluctuations are detected, allowing them to immediately check in with drivers to resolve issues or send a replacement trailer if necessary to prevent massive profit losses.


How Does Telematics Work to Collect Fleet Data?

Telematics works by:

  1. Capturing data based on vehicle location and movement through a GPS tracking device installed in a vehicle
  2. Transferring the captured data via secure cellular networks
  3. Visualising vehicle data and information such as vehicle location, engine status (e.g. ignition on/off or idling time) and driver behaviour using a fleet management software platform (web or app-based)

Why is data-driven decision making vital for fleet management?

Here are 3 ways data-driven decision making helps fleet managers elevate their fleet's efficiency:

  1. It helps you maximise fleet safety

    Data-driven decision-making plays an important role in maximising safety by making use of real-time data to inform and improve safety practices among drivers and fleet operations. This is done through:

    - Identifying risky driving behaviour:
    Telematics provide fleet managers with a wide range of data that can be analysed to identify risky driving behaviours. By monitoring these behaviours and spotting patterns, managers can implement measures to address these safety issues.

    - Preventative Maintenance:
    Data analytics help fleet managers proactively identify potential maintenance issues before they become safety hazards, leading to cost savings and improved fleet longevity. This significantly reduces the chance of breakdowns and accidents caused by mechanical failures, keeping drivers safe.
  2. Drives Cost Savings:

    Cost savings require you to keep track of your fleet's data and use it to make informed, data-driven decisions.

    - Fuel Monitoring: A fuel monitoring system is a fleet cost management system that gives you real-time insight into all your fleet’s fuel costs and consumption, helping you identify where your cost drainages are (such as fuel theft). The accurate data allows fleet managers to proactively intervene and address any issues that may arise, therefore eliminating fuel waste.

    - Asset Tracking: Making use of asset-tracking software helps you gain insights into the state of your fleet vehicles. Know which assets are making you money and which ones are costing you more than they should, helping you use the right vehicles for the right job. These insights can help you make informed decisions as to which assets should be sold and which ones you need more of, helping you run your fleet more efficiently, safely, and cost-effectively.

  3. Improved Customer Satisfaction:

    The quality of service you provide to your customers can either make or break your business. Data-driven decision making aims to improve this through:

    - Route optimisation: Route optimisation can positively impact your business and customer service. By helping you optimise the quickest routes for your drivers, you are able to make more timely deliveries and save fuel.

    - Proactive Communication: By making use of data insights, fleets can anticipate possible delays or challenges in advance. By simplifying communication between drivers and fleet managers, real-time job updates are provided. This encourages proactive delivery communication with customers, which builds trust and manages customer expectations effectively.

Data is just numbers unless it can be turned into something actionable that you can use to solve your fleet challenges. With the insights listed above, a fleet can gain performance assessments and real-time monitoring, helping them make informed business decisions to achieve operational efficiency.

The Dangers of Not Making Data-Driven Decisions in Fleet Management

Fleet management is encompassed by overseeing a company’s vehicles as a means to guarantee safety, cost-effectiveness, and overall efficiency.

If a fleet isn’t making informed, data-driven decisions, they may face the following challenges:

  • Inefficient operations: Without data-driven insights on routes, vehicle usage, or maintenance schedules, a fleet will experience higher operational expenses.
  • Safety risks: The absence of an effective monitoring system leads to the overlooking of dangerous driver behaviour, which increases the risk of accidents and safety violations within the fleet.
  • Poor fuel efficiency: The inability to optimise driver routes and monitor fuel usage leads to an increase in unnecessary fuel expenses and fuel waste.
  • Customer Dissatisfaction: By not looking at past data relating to deliveries and not using it to optimise future deliveries, fleets experience delayed deliveries, which negatively affects customer satisfaction.

Do it all with Cartrack’s Data-Driven Solutions

Making well-informed decisions is what separates success from uncertainty in the field of fleet management. Cartrack USA understands this and brings you data-driven solutions that empower you to steer your fleet towards unparalleled success. Here are 5 ways we do this:

  1. Preventative maintenance: Keep your vehicles running like a well-oiled machine with Cartrack’s preventative maintenance. Our platform helps you automate your fleet’s maintenance schedules by monitoring utilisation hours and the last-service times of each of your fleet vehicles. By using this data, the system can generate timely alerts, which act as proactive reminders to implement preventative measures to keep your vehicles serviced and compliant. These alerts are crucial in preventing unnecessary expenses, minimising downtime, and keeping your fleet healthy and cost-efficient for longer.
  2. Route optimisation: Get ahead of the delay with route optimisation. This feature on our Delivery app makes it easier for you to determine the safest and fastest routes for your drivers to take. By making use of GPS tracking and real-time position, the app gives you real-time alerts of delays or route deviations. With this data, you can make informed rerouting decisions, helping ensure faster delivery turnaround times and therefore boosting customer service. Our Delivery app also ensures drivers and jobs are effectively managed so more timely deliveries can be made. This leads to a boost in customer satisfaction because they can stay updated throughout the delivery process.
  3. Asset tracking software: End the guessing game when it comes to your fleet health with our asset tracking software. It helps you quickly identify signs that your fleet needs an upgrade. Having access to this data helps you make an informed decision when you need to change your vehicles. Cost-draining vehicles affect your entire fleet operation, and with at least 7% of vehicle expenses going to maintenance and servicing, you need to know for sure if a car needs servicing, or needs to be replaced.
  4. Driver behaviour monitoring: Prioritise driver safety with AI-powered and live-stream camera technology. This technology helps you pick up on distracted driving habits (such as smoking), detect yawning (which can indicate extreme fatigue), and track the position of the driver’s head and eyes to detect when the driver is looking away from the road. Once any of these are detected, drivers are immediately audibly alerted, and an event is generated. This video-recorded event data can be used to train drivers, making them aware of their dangerous driving behaviour and promoting safer driving habits. This comprehensive approach helps you proactively address safety concerns, mitigate risks, and guarantee a safer driving environment for your entire fleet.
  5. Fleet cost management system: Cartrack’s fleet cost management system gives you full visibility of all your fleet costs, like tolls, maintenance, and fuel expenses. A key feature of this system is fuel monitoring, which provides you with automated, real-time tracking and collection of data on fuel consumption, mileage, and engine operating hours. This gives in-depth insights into exactly how your fuel is being consumed and helps you identify driver behaviours that cause unnecessary fuel usage, like excessive idling, cornering and speeding so you can improve driver behaviour and fleet efficiency.

Turn Your Data Into Cost-saving Actions With Cartrack USA

In a world shaped by data, being equipped with valuable information to make informed business-benefiting decisions is the cornerstone of effective fleet management. 

Turn your insights and data into cost-saving actions today with Cartrack’s comprehensive solution.

Contact us today, and let’s boost your fleet operations together.

Data-Driven Decision-Making In Fleet Management

Empower your fleet with data-driven decisions that are crucial to your success. Discover how our solutions that will elevate your fleet operations.