Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 - 10:47
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:44
Fleet management began as a static process, with transportation companies largely in the dark with regards to the exact whereabouts of their assets. These companies relied on physical inventories and the conscientiousness of operators for fleet data usually manually collected and entered into a simple application. Fleet management has evolved dramatically over the years.
The early fleet management solutions typically employed a locator unit in the truck with a radio link back to headquarters. With this technology, the company knew the general location of fleet assets. Thankfully, fleet management has moved beyond asset location and now uses analytics that integrate the location and condition of your assets – vehicles, drivers, and cargo. This information can help to turn these assets into business tools that supply the enterprise systems and people with critical information in real time, whether the asset is in transit, in maintenance or on the lot.
Analytics can be a powerful tool when it comes to the performance of an asset. Not only do well maintained vehicles perform better and prolong the life of the asset, but they use less fuel, which is always helpful to operating budgets, especially in times of volatile energy prices. These attributes of fleet management aid businesses in meeting their bottom line and environmental goals.
This new comprehensive, analytics based, fleet optimization solutions are instrumented and take the data captured by your fleet assets and integrate it with your enterprise systems - including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and billing systems - interconnecting all areas of your business and streamlining processes. These capabilities ensure that critical information gets to the systems and people who need it, thereby improving decision making and achieving greater efficiencies and savings. Fleet management savings are not only realized by the division operating the fleet but also across the enterprise.
Fleet optimization solutions offer a number of specific operational benefits that make your business more efficient:
- Reduction in total fleet size as a result of better planning and scheduling
- Virtual real-time fleet status, optimized for strategic positioning, scheduling and maintenance
- Reduction in fleet-associated expenses, such as fuel consumption, insurance rates and vehicle downtime
- Improved customer satisfaction through arrival notifications, proof of delivery and fewer billing disputes
- Elimination of manual processes and greater records accuracy
- Inclusion of alternative fuels as a way to meet operational and environmental objectives
Fortunately, today, more than ever before, the benefits of fleet management solutions can far outweigh the costs. There are clearly many opportunities to use fleet management to “take-out” costs across your enterprise while simultaneously monitoring and using fuel more wisely.
Tim Fain is an Associate Partner and Service Area Leader within IBM’s Global Business Services Public Sector. Mr. Fain has more than 30 years of technical, managerial, and consulting experience. Specifically his experience involves developing organizational, economic development and environmental and energy sustainability strategies; improving business models and processes; and helping organizations develop transformation roadmaps. He uses his extensive knowledge of Federal regulatory and budgetary processes, e-Government principles and methodologies, and strategic planning to help public sector clients address policy, service, and transformational challenges.
Prior to joining IBM, Tim spent eight years at the Office of Management and Budget where he worked on a broad range of Federal government information technology and policy issues. A former US Navy Submarine Officer, Tim holds a BS in Metallurgical Engineering, a MA in National Security Studies, and a MPP in International Trade and Finance.
Tim Fain (email@example.com)
Eric Mittnight is a Managing Consultant in IBM’s Strategy and Innovation practice. He has over 20 years of program and project management experience. Mr. Mittnight has worked with public and private sector clients to help define and manage large scale transformation initiatives (to include the transition to Smart Grid technology at a large public utility), is accredited as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and is Certified in Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) and holds an MPA in Public Finance from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Eric Mittnight (firstname.lastname@example.org)