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December 17, 2015

Five reasons for deploying an IWMS solution for fleet management

The number of vehicles on the road in the United States reached a record high of almost 253 million in 2014.  An estimated 6% of those vehicles is comprised of commercial trucks —not cars or van, just commercial trucks! That translates to more than 15.5 million trucks owned and operated by businesses within the United States. These vehicle assets represent substantial economic value to the companies that own or manage them, but handling such a large fleet can quickly become time-consuming and disorganized without the right tools in place.

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With an IWMS solution, organizations can manage their purchased, leased, or rented company vehicles with consistency and ease. But, how complicated and time-consuming is too complicated and time-consuming? When is it the right time to start using an IWMS solution for fleet management?

1. When Microsoft Outlook—or youremail calendar programsare no longer adequate
Setting reminders for major and minor car maintenance services, as well as managing the expiration and resigning of leasing contracts can be done through an email or online calendar program, but becomes less practical as a company’s fleet grows. However, there is no consistent way to oversee scheduling or quickly review the history of past vehicle services, especially on a large scale. Issues also arise when reminders need to be set or changed by multiple departments or managers.

2. When Microsoft Excel is no longer adequate
The same might be said of Excel – while it’s easy to create an overview of a company’s vehicle  assets, the functionality is certainly limited. Try, for instance, to keep track of the following issues for all your vehicles in one spreadsheet: contracts, services and maintenance, costs versus budget, usage, bookings, and emission calculations. With an IWMS solution, these functions automated. They are also used to gain extra insight into Total Cost of Ownership and Use (TCO and TCU) and can be broken down into figures for the entire fleet, or by category, type, or even individual component.

3. When fleet management spans several departments
There are a number of departments involved in managing the fleet including the HR department—who are responsible for on boarding new staff—the facilities team—who manage the vehicles—and the legal department—who manage accidents and damage. By using an integrated software system to manage company vehicles, all of these departments can easily work together and everyone from the fleet manager to the vehicle mechanic can have access to the information and functions they need.

4. When it just gets too complicated
Fleet management is full of intricacies: contracts, insurance, depreciation or write-offs, usage, fuel consumption, tax issues, maintenance, damage and durability. These aspects all have their own mutual relationships. Imagine that an employee has an accident, so the leased vehicle has to be replaced; whoever is working with the different databases in different systems could be busy entering all the changes for days – with the risk that mistakes might be made. An IWMS solution is not only more efficient, but also less error-prone.

5. When there’s no overview process or future insight potential
When managing an asset as expensive and important as the company fleet, organizations want to stay ahead and find ways to prepare for a more productive future. However, if you have no insight on your present, it is impossible to gain insight for the future. An IWMS solution for fleet management makes it easy to get an overview of the current fleet and to review its history to answer questions like, “How much maintenance is too much? Was there a pattern to issues within specific models or brand?” The system also alerts users ahead of time if a leasing contract is going to expire or a normal service is needed. And as already mentioned, this software offers an insight into the TCO and TCU.

Planon Universe is an integrated IWMS platform in which a variety of disciplines and interests are brought together in one solution.

Kurt Van Paesschen
Sales Director Planon BeLux