Technology continues to infiltrate every aspect of fleet management, but it is not without its pitfalls. Far too often we encounter fleet managers that are struggling to leverage the data that their fleet produces, resulting in technology that appears to provide no real return on investment.
One of the biggest challenges that fleet managers face is data overload. As data pours in from their telematics system, dash cameras, trailers, and more, it can quickly become a war of attrition trying to sift through data and find meaningful information.
Our suggestion – aim small, miss small. Focus your energy on the key metrics that matter and build from there. Below are five strategies to get you started.
Set a clear objective
Anytime you are looking at adopting new technology, whether it be hardware or software, you need to have a clear objective in mind. Most might start with “improving fleet safety,” but that is far too broad. There are hundreds of data points that tie into fleet safety, so you have to get more granular.
Something like curbing distracted driving can easily be nested under the “improving fleet safety” banner, but it gives you a concrete objective from which you can accurately look at the technology that will help in that area.
Prioritize a data source
When it comes to solving fleet problems, there is generally more than one way to cut a watermelon. It could be that there are three or four providers that offer a similar solution, or twenty apps that can be added to your existing platform. Instead of dabbling in all of them, do your research and focus on one data source.
A perfect example of this is within the Geotab Marketplace. A quick search on fleet maintenance trackers, and you will find a dozen or so different apps that could potentially give you the analytics needed for improving your maintenance program. Jumping from one to the next will only frustrate your team and waste time and resources.
Establish a deadline
Getting granular and focusing on a single source of data is a great starting point, but you have to have an end date in mind. If you constantly operate under the assumption that we will eventually get there, it becomes easy to put fleet goals on the back burner.
Whether it is 3, 6, or 12-month goals, those firm deadlines help keep you on track in various ways. During the planning phase, make sure that you are creating milestones along the way to track progress. Doing so allows you to see results and pivot when necessary.
Make data digestible
You might love looking at Excel spreadsheets day in and day out, but not everyone on your team might be the same. This can especially be problematic as your data compounds over longer periods of time, causing nothing short of chaos and confusion.
Just about every piece of software available provides reporting functionality, use that to your advantage. Take that a step further by consolidating dashboards into one system, like MyGeotab. The easier it is for you to decipher your fleet’s data, the more likely you are to stay focused and see the project through to completion.
Build on your success
If you are just starting out with fleet data make sure that you crawl before you walk. Take the time to understand and set up your dashboards before trying to tackle every issue facing your fleet. As you get more familiar with the process of collecting and analyzing data, start finding new pieces of information to incorporate into your strategy.
You might find that you have ample data in the existing system that you simply haven’t tapped into yet, or that you need to explore an add-on solution. In either case, once you have the building blocks of managing your data, you can avoid burnout.
Connect with the Argos team to learn more about managing your fleet data with an industry leader like Geotab.