Top Four Tips for Conquering New Demands in Fleet Management

By: Pam Baker| - Leave a comment


Fleet managers are awash in both new regulations and seemingly endless technology choices for fleet optimization and compliance. Meanwhile, vehicle and driver data is growing at a tremendous rate, threatening to drown these managers in minutiae and a thunderous storm of alerts.

Behind it all are pressures on networks, including wireless and mobile network challenges and overburdened data storage capacity. But those in charge of these vast groups can seek the help of new technologies that may make their jobs easier.

Elevating Fleet Management Practices

Here are four key tips for conquering this new age of fleet management:

1. Squelch the Noise by Moving to Smart Data

Telematics and drivers’ mobile devices feed a steady stream of data into storage facilities. But not all of that data is actually useful — for example, GPS systems usually default to update every two minutes, meaning 30 updates an hour and 720 updates to fleet managers every full day.

That’s just one vehicle. Multiply that by the number of vehicles in the fleet and the total amount of information skyrockets. Managers can consider setting less frequent updates to curb some meaningless and repetitive data; they can also use a fleet management system that is smart data-capable, meaning it has the means to deliver only pertinent data to the fleet manager by automatically sifting through and analyzing it for the biggest takeaways.

2. Opt for Pay-as-You-Go Data Storage

To accommodate so much data, you’ll need scalable storage that can handle the load no matter how big it grows. But you don’t want to pay for storage capacity that you don’t need right now, as is the case with most traditional, on-premises data centers.

Big data and cloud storage capabilities are usually cheaper and better at scaling than traditional data center options. Additionally, there are many cloud services that can handle related tasks such as data prep and analytics.

3. Ensure Mobile Capacity Is Sufficient to Scale

One example of the new demands on mobile capacity are requirements from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which recently published its final rule on mobile electronic logging devices (ELDs) for recording driver hours. Truck fleets must comply by next year.

“The ELD final rule permits the use of smartphones and other wireless devices as ELDs so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified and are listed on an FMCSA website,” according to a Bulk Transporter report.

But those smartphones and mobile devices are likely to host several other business apps as well as transmit and receive growing amounts of data. To ensure the device can handle this load and function seamlessly, make sure mobile capacity measures up now and can scale to accommodate even more functionalities as needed.

4. Get a MSP to Make the Most of Your Software, Data and Network

Managed service providers (MSPs) can lighten the load on your staff, cut costs and proactively find ways to optimize your network, systems and applications. Considering how much new demands are shifting the network mix — such as how telematics and mobile devices are forcing changes to the WAN — having a knowledgeable MSP is vital to quickly adapting to demand, preventing cloud sprawl and otherwise keeping your fleet management capabilities worry-free.

MSPs can also help you understand the new software systems and resulting data while ensuring there are no technical issues that endanger drivers or cars. MSPs are the smart way to handle fleet management details so you can focus on actually managing the fleet.

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About The Author

Pam Baker

Freelance Writer

Pam Baker is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Georgia. Her published credits number in the thousands, including books, e-books, e-briefs, white papers, industry analysis reports and articles in leading publications, including Institutional Investor, CIO, Fierce Markets and InformationWeek, among many others. Her latest book, "Data Divination: Big Data Strategies," has been met with rave reviews, was featured in a prestigious National Press Club event, is recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for business executives and is currently being used as a textbook in both business and tech schools in universities around the world. Baker is a "big-picturist," meaning she enjoys writing on topics that overlap and interact, such as technology and business. Her fans regualrly follow her work in science, technology, business and finance.

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