Utilizing digital technology for vehicle fleet management has become a popular idea for many non-emergency transportation companies; however, understanding the true value behind this addition can be an initial challenge for operators.
An integrated web-based dispatch system, such as Pantonium, is a great starting point when looking to improve the safety of your fleet. Web-based systems are low in cost, customizable and simple to implement. They provide an opportunity for visibility of data and fleet in real time, the ability for drivers to submit real time reports for vehicle maintenance and the capability for operators to keep constant two way contact.
To lower the risk of technology distracting drivers, many dispatch software companies have integrated fleet management software into tablets and smartphones and moved away from the distractions found in a dashboard laptop. In addition, web-based transportation management systems can be tailored to allow only the necessary functions to the driver, further limiting the use of the device while driving and increasing the mobile functions outside of the vehicle.
Here are 5 key points to consider regarding using a digital management platform to improve fleet safety:
- Vehicle Location
Global positioning systems (GPS) enable the in-vehicle device to send and receive information. This capability can be important in the event of an emergency. The precise location of a vehicle can be made available which in turn allows dispatch to be proactive. Sending help and re-routing vehicles on the fly then results in little-to-no interruption in service.
- Logging and Compliance
Ensuring rest between hours of service means a rested driver is behind the wheel, which reduces the number of incidents involving drivers.
Manual logging of hours can be inaccurate and tedious for drivers. Making this process accurate and effortless is easy with an integrated dispatch system. Drivers log in and out of their shifts through the device inside of the vehicles, which relays the information to dispatch. This makes scheduling and vehicle assignment much easier for the dispatch coordinator. In addition, the onboard devices can capture timestamps for customer pick up and drop off, and uses this information together with distance and signatures captured from customers to create invoices in real time. This saves time and resources while ensuring crew safety.
- Vehicle Maintenance
Malfunctioning vehicles can result in lost time, money and danger to a driver or passenger. A web-based integrated automated dispatch system can help build maintenance reports and plan for scheduled maintenance. These systems automatically alert drivers and dispatch of upcoming maintenance as well as allowing for reporting on issues with the vehicle. The reports can be set by calendar time, mileage, and engine run time, among others.
Having this advantage to your dispatch system allows operators to optimize their fleets’ performance by scheduling maintenance and allowing them to anticipate issues before they happen. With proper maintenance and inspection, operators can ensure their vehicles comply with regulatory requirements and extend their life while improving the safety of drivers and passengers.
- Reduced Accidents
Unfamiliarity with roads or changes in traffic patterns can lead to vehicle accidents. An integrated computer-aided dispatch system can help mitigate these accidents risks by helping drivers prepare more thoroughly. The use of GPS, along with street level maps and data available in web based dispatch systems, provides drivers with better routing instructions to arrive at their destination safely and on time.
- Reduced Liability
Unauthorized use of a fleet vehicle is a concern shared by many operators. This type of use can impact your liability and brand presence. GPS tracking solutions can alert dispatch when a vehicle veers off course or is in use during unauthorized hours. In addition, audit reports of routes and destinations taken can be generated whenever a vehicle is in use. This enables operators to know exactly where their vehicles have traveled and who was behind the wheel during those times.
For more information on how a digital transportation management system can aid your business, please feel free to contact Pantonium at any time.