A vehicle fleet is only as strong as the drivers who power it. Efficiently managing driver performance increases route productivity, and will help ensure transportation companies meet their objectives and retain their customer base. With efficient driver performance as an integral part of your vehicle fleet management, this will help create a stronger working environment, as well as providing a great example for prospective new clients. In this post, we examine how to improve a driver’s overall performance in conjunction with a web-based fleet management software tool. While utilizing management software may not seem inherently essential for directing a vehicle fleet, it is highly recommended for optimizing your drivers’ overall performance.
Read on to discover our five key tactics for improving and maintaining driver performance in your fleet.
Route Productivity (Maximizing Resources): Productivity is maximizing the amount of trips you can accomplish with your current vehicle fleet. The more productive you are, the more trips you can do with your current resources. Control and reduce transportation costs by maximizing the number of stops drivers make and minimizing the time the driver spends on wasted mileage. When trips are made on a vehicle without carrying or accepting passengers, this is referred to as “dead mileage”. The least amount of dead mileage in your route will maximize the productivity of your fleet. This can be controlled by an online transportation management system such as Pantonium, where trips can be planned in advance and adjusted in real-time based on occurring constraints.
Route Efficiency (Minimizing Operating Costs): When routes are not optimized to reflect changes in traffic, weather, and more, vehicles are more at risk of running late and causing longer-term disruptions. How does fleet management software reduce operating costs? Pantonium reduces costs by allowing dispatchers to view all the different constraints they have to manage. We figure out the best way to travel based on all the possible information available. Many drivers still do this manually, relying solely on personal knowledge. Pantonium takes your knowledge outside the local and broadens the view for drivers, allowing them to plan more effective routes and save on their costs. Pantonium reduces paperwork, route-planning times, two way communication with dispatch, and overall drastically reduces labour costs for transportation businesses, creating more time to be used for route productivity.
Minimizing Missed Appointments:Missed appointments are much more than a customer service problem. A missed pick-up can happen for several reasons: a customer may not show, wrong information may be used, or a time window was simply missed. These events all waste driver time and usually requires rescheduling a second trip. With effective fleet management, missed appointments should be at an absolute minimum. However, by monitoring late and missing appointments through fleet management software, dispatchers can be in the best position to recover these appointments as soon as possible. Fleet management software allows flexibility on the road, so if an appointment is missed, the time and resources lost are at a minimum. For example, when an appointment is canceled for whatever reason, fleet management software allows dispatchers to adapt routes on-the-fly to reduce the aforementioned dead mileage. The system always gives the best way to do up a route, so even when an appointment is missed, you will still have the most effective route possible.
Managing Driver Performance: Dispatchers need to manage not just their vehicle, but the driver as well. How does one manage a driver? Through visibility, which is how Pantonium helps drivers adjust to different constraints. Visibility allows you to manage your drivers’ performance so you can always adjust your plan and keep productivity and efficiency as optimum as possible. Pantonium helps ensure driver performance. Best practices in fleet management enable management to monitor, measure and ultimately manage driver compliance with the plan. As well, Pantonium generates timely compliance reports for each driver, giving more insight into the profiles of your drivers. With this tool, dispatchers can better plan their routes to the skills and capabilities of their available staff. One way to help manage driver performance in this regard is to help them keep abreast of new technological developments which can aid in improving driving. Popular Mechanics recommends 10 diagnostic apps and devices to make you a better driver in their article linked here. While many of these products are more consumer-based, some of them may prove useful to your fleet. For example, DevToaster’s Rev (an on-board transmitter and iPhone application) relays information to a driver regarding their vehicle’s behavior during a trip. The application displays a graph of acceleration and braking forces, showing the operator the quality of their driving along difficult routes. Rev also stores the data so you can compare trips; the author compares the application to “having a driving instructor and vehicle performance measurement equipment along for every ride.” This is the type of tool which can be encouraged for use in vehicle fleets where terrain may be more challenging, or where complex routes are causing any lateness or errors in pickups.
Efficient Runs & Route Planning: Streamlining the efforts required to plan and execute the run schedule can help yield efficiency improvements. This includes tasks such as:
- Scheduling Rider Appointments –> Utilizing a digital database for rider appointments which can be accessed and updated in real-time is one of the strongest ways to schedule rider appointments. Digital database solutions like Pantonium are the most advanced method to scheduling rider appointments with greatest accuracy and efficiency. Part of Pantonium’s service is allowing appointments to be scheduled based on demand and availability, so dispatchers knows exactly when their vehicles can be at their destination. This service includes allowing dispatchers to check ETAs and ensure appointments are set to the most appropriate available vehicle to ensure strongest efficiency.
- Finding & Validating Customer Locations –> With digital fleet management solutions, dispatchers and drivers can better plan for their routes by searching out customer locations and validating them before the scheduled pickup time.
- Assigning Orders to Drivers & Vehicles –> By assigning orders to drivers and vehicles in advance and in real time, dispatchers can optimize travel time down to the minute. This helps streamline vehicle fleet management into one consistent system across all communication platforms. This minimizes manual communication as much as possible, further enhancing vehicle and driver efficiency.
- Sequencing Stops in Accordance with Appointment Commitments –> One main advantage of utilizing fleet management software to dispatch your drivers is planning out both short-term and long-term routes. Through the day, dispatchers and drivers can plan their routes from stop to stop and also round trip for their day, helping to save on time and costs. Pantonium is able to handle all time constraints and appointment windows our fleet management software, allowing dispatchers to effectively plan their routing, and within this, sequence stops as efficiently as possible.
- Providing Driving Directions from Stop to Stop –> Both drivers and dispatchers can communicate more effectively with the aid of digital fleet management software. GPS allows drivers to plan their routes from the road, while dispatchers manage drivers using the same system from a broader standpoint. By providing drivers with directions from stop to stop in real time and with the aid of GPS, lost drivers and missed appointments will be at an absolute minimum
These practices are only general guidelines to help improve general proficiency in non-emergency transport. Each vehicle fleet is different and will require different focuses dependent on the size and strengths of the fleets. However, these steps should serve as a great place to begin learning about web-based fleet management software like Pantonium, and how it can provide solutions acknowledging the aforementioned points. To find out more about improving driver performance through fleet management software, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tour our platform here.