How fleet management can boost overall data security and integrity

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COMMENTARY | Cloud-based fleet management can provide actionable insights into productivity-related metrics, expenses and asset ROI.

Inefficient data collection processes, a symptom of manual entry and siloed software, can negatively impact every aspect of an agency’s operation. As more software and solutions targeting specific departments (finance and accounting, dispatch, IT, fleet, etc.) become available, it’s easy for state and local governments to fall into the pattern of adopting multiple specialty management solutions. These technologies can be immensely beneficial, especially compared to a blanket software that claims to handle all areas of business; however, without some level of integration and data transparency among the different products, it can be difficult to achieve the benefits they offer.

Instead, agencies should look to cloud-based software with enhanced security and integration features. It can provide actionable insights into productivity-related metrics, expenses and asset ROI, and it also delivers added security through regular automatic software updates, single sign-on and identity management. Additionally, integrated software allows for cross-departmental data transparency, which improves such processes as costing and invoice/contract reconciliation and routing and dispatch.

Addressing areas of concern

Since the pandemic hit, state and local government agencies have been assessing and rightsizing their operations due to fluctuating workloads, supplies and workforce. Implementing scalable software gives agencies a flexible tool that can grow or shrink to meet operational needs and goals. Plus, the data collected can be used to assess what areas of the operation can benefit most from rightsizing to not only improve operations but improve employee satisfaction and retention.

Fleets are generally the highest operational cost center with some of the highest employee dissatisfaction and/or turnover, so state and local government agencies looking to adopt better, more efficient software can start small, with integrated fleet management software. The level of data and communication transparency afforded by FMS helps ensure work gets done in a timely manner to reduce asset downtime and keep vehicles and equipment in safe, working order. A cloud-based, scalable solution, FMS gives state and local government fleet managers insights into costs, usage and ROI, while providing automated workflows for improved productivity and asset uptime.

Integration aspects of FMS allow agency fleets to sync it with other fleet and business solutions for improved management. FMS provides ease-of-use and ease-of-implementation benefits as well, meaning agencies can see quick results, including decreased maintenance and repair spend, less downtime and improved compliance.

Stakeholder buy-in hastens technology adoption

Profitability and cost are significant factors for adopting the right tools and technologies to meet agency needs. Choosing a software from a provider holding a government contract can help immensely, but calculating the risk-to-reward ratio is also beneficial. 

When thinking in terms of FMS, it pays to understand what metrics are most important to which stakeholder, including comparing upfront cost to short- and long-term value as well as productivity metrics, such as fleet utilization, maintenance and repair time. While valuating the potential cost savings of implementing FMS against current expenses is a big step toward getting the green light, it’s also important to set expectations for stakeholders to ensure any solutions are properly implemented.

Fleet uptime is critical—especially for first responder and emergency services assets. After all, an out-of-commission vehicle doesn’t just affect the agency, it affects the community. With numerous business technologies available to state and local government agencies, it can pay off big to start small with FMS.

Rachael Plant is a content marketing specialist for Fleetio.

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