Once considered as the only effective method to manage vehicle transport systems, the conventional method of routing fleet vehicles has now been considered behind the times.
At the outset, fleet companies facing daily transport hurdles solely rely on dispatcher’s decisions based on past encounters. However, with the growing demand for commercial vehicle transport and increasing number of challenges in commercial vehicle operations, we’ll take a closer look as to whether the conventional ways of fleet management can still rise to the occasion.
In order to get to the bottom of this, fleet companies need to identify most commonly faced problems before the disruption of automated fleet management systems:
1. Response Time
In conventional or traditional vehicle dispatch management, dispatchers and drivers rely on voice communication where both sides are needed to be available to receive information at the same time.
For a single dispatcher managing a group of drivers, and it is not always possible for the dispatcher to answer a driver’s inquiry real-time. Drivers en-route may not also be available to answer calls or take down complex information while driving. This can result to delayed response time and overall substantial delay in the process.
Automated fleet management systems, uses asynchronous communication. Dispatchers can instruct drivers about new information received without having to wait for the other side to be available to accept incoming information. This digital information can be accessed real-time or anytime the driver is available and guarantees the dispatcher that the information is automatically received.
2. Processing Last Minute Job Assignments
With lack of dynamic, real-time information, it is almost next to impossible for conventional fleet management to process new transportation requests arriving at short advance notice.
The time required for the dispatcher to inform driver and get feedback on driver’s status, location and traffic condition, can put the dispatcher and the driver in a tight spot when accepting short notice job assignments.
Automated fleet management systems use telematics and cloud-based dispatch system to handle new incoming requests in real-time and dynamically update planned transport data to modify driver’s route and transport schedule. The improved efficiency of the process allows the fleet company to handle multiple requests and incoming job assignments without impeding current operation.
3. Accurate Real Time Information
Fleet companies often hit a snag due to unexpected vehicle routing problems. Facing these daily transport hurdles, dispatchers using conventional fleet management methods often rely on gut feeling, basing their decisions and judgement on past issues encountered. This can pose a problem as a lot of factors are not being considered including real-time driver location, real-time traffic condition and best route to travel.
Automated fleet management systems are fully backed-up with tools allowing for real-time monitoring of transport situation, updated digital map to monitor driver location and centralised communication which offer simplified but dynamic solutions relying on actual data.
4. Route Guidance and Safety
Most real-life vehicle routing problems that occur daily involve various complexities that a fleet company may have not encountered before, thus a conventional dispatcher may make offbase decisions due to lack of support tools. This could result to inaccurate estimations and higher operational costs.
Efficient route guidance is critical. Calculating the fastest or optimal route is done manually in conventional methods but this does not put into account actual traffic situations.
Automated transport management systems not only take into account real time traffic situation but uses algorithms to calculate optimal routes. Route planning is dynamically generated and synchronised from the dispatcher to the driver. Any changes on the route plan is automatically detected within the system and dispatcher can easily send feedback to driver. This efficient route planning and guidance ensures drivers are provided with accurate information, reduce driver distraction and optimise transport process and road safety.
Do you think conventional fleet management methods are still the best way to go?