Out of Sight MUST Not Mean Out of Mind

Posted by Reza Tavassoli on 11-Jul-2019 6:49:00 AM
Reza Tavassoli

Asset tracking problems = lost revenueMissing Car - AdobeStock_160464973

As fleet operators, companies acquire a range of mobile assets for a variety of reasons. For all the benefits those assets bring, their increased quantity means that fleet managers are also increasing the risk of loss through theft and/or misuse by operators. According to automotivefleet.com, there’s an average of 2,248 vehicles stolen each day in the United States alone and these numbers increase on holiday when the majority of vehicles are supposed to be out of service, due to holidaying drivers. Fleets contend with many related asset tracking problems on a regular basis which ends up all but stalling productivity.

Fleet managers hold a responsibility for recording all business activities as either tangible or intangible accounts in their balance reports. Tangible assets are mostly considered physical property, such as vehicles, whereas intangible assets can comprise unique service and brand-related offerings. Intangible business assets are worth more than just money and can add to future growth prospects. When these assets are impacted by the loss or misuse of the tangible assets, then the whole growth prospect is adversely affected.

All types of equipment under the organization’s possession need to be tracked for how, when, and where they are being used, in addition to where they may be lost. This can be done correctly by using the geo-location related modules of a proficient fleet management system like SM2 Locate.  These modules combined with Equipment Tracking Units (ETU) can alleviate asset tracking problems by letting you monitor who is using your asset, how, and when.

 

Benefits of Equipment TRacking Units

Data is extremely important when it comes to audits and industry compliance. For example, here are 3 major benefits of asset tracking that improve operational efficacy:Connected Vehicles On Highway-shutterstock_398500180

  • Real-time managing: Live, web-based systems for recording asset movements allow you to immediately react to asset data and record it accurately for all operators involved in any action taken. This delivers detailed information and eliminates duplication in your system. 
  • Scaling opportunities: Unlike premise-based systems, a cloud-based application allows for centralized management as the business expands. A robust tracking mechanism will identify operator behavior and waste trends, thus letting you integrate corrective actions into plans for future growth as necessary. 
  • Lowering administration expenses: An automated technique for tracking assets will decrease the amount of time spent on locating them and getting accurate details about actions taken. This not only increases organizational efficiency but improves staff productivity as well. 

In addition to freeing up opportunities for growth, efficient asset tracking also reduces financial losses by resolving tracking errors and detecting driver misuse. The best way to deal with oversight errors in your fleet management strategy is to be able to effectively identify challenges and devise ways to overcome them. You can control the following five shortcomings with a well-chosen tracking system.

 

  1. LOSS OF ASSETS THROUGH MISPLACEMENT

Equipment loss and unauthorized displacement due to inadequate security programs are major problems facing fleet managers. A recent report from LoJack shows annual replacement costs an average of up to 10 million dollars from lost equipment in the construction and commercial industries alone. In order to control loss through theft or misplacement, companies are recommended to implement robust tracking systems like SM2 Locate.

An asset tracking solution lets you locate all your equipment with GPS technology. The fleet management system best suited for your organization’s needs allows you to assign unique identifiers to each one of your assets and identify the most important data needed for optimal efficiency. For example, geolocation of both the vehicle and the users assigned to them. Every time an employee wants to use a certain device, they will have it registered with their name in the official database. This information allows fleet managers to track who is using what in case of unauthorized usage. Closely monitoring all your assets will reduce costs associated with retrieving lost or stolen items, but it will also give you a tool to train employees for a more efficient and profitable fleet.   

 

  1. UNTIMELY FUEL SHORTAGES OR EXCESSES

When it comes to fueling up a particular asset, predicting the right amount may be tricky. While dealing with fuel management, you are likely to face shortages or questionable usage excesses when not tracking how the fuel is being spent.  Why do companies continue to deal with inaccurate stock levels? Mostly because of an inadequate system to track the actual quantity of fuel required for specific jobs.  

To deal with this problem, effective companies rely on an inventory tracking module in the FMS, like SM2 Fuel. Such a system allows setting fuel usage and user threshold alerts on all assets. Whenever this limit is reached, an automated message is created, and the fleet manager and/or user can be notified for any corrective action to be implemented. Adversely, fuel could be wasted on inappropriate routes, driver behaviors, and theft. To avoid this loss, it is recommended to carefully study consumption patterns to optimize fuel usage.

 

  1. EQUIPMENT BREAKDOWN FREQUENCYTruck Breakdown-AdobeStock_116547459

A survey in The Boss Magazine  identifies aging equipment (42%) and maintenance neglect (13%) as the leading causes of unscheduled asset downtime. Companies suffering from frequent and prolonged equipment failures need to re-evaluate their preventive maintenance programs. A fully integrated FMS, like SM2 Maintain will contain a maintenance program to help with implementing a rigorous maintenance schedule. By using such an automated tracking software, firms can standardize regular repairs and maintenance for the length of the equipment’s lifecycle.

Preventive maintenance is extremely successful in eliminating downtime by: 

  • Increasing the useful life of assets 
  • Boosting efficiency and productivity of tools 
  • Lowering costs of overall maintenance 
  • Reducing labor costs: overtime and idle downtime

Once your specific data parameters have been implemented on your dynamic dashboard, all concerned employees can be notified of scheduled maintenance downtime with emails. This offers fleet managers time to plan their dispatch needs so no task is delayed, wasted labor costs are minimized, and customers remain satisfied. Organizations will elevate their performance levels by keeping equipment in top shape. 

 

  1. FAILURES DUE TO ASSET UNAVAILABILITY

Most organizations hold a variety of external and internal meetings and conferences daily. These might pertain to important operational planning, business development programs, or even office recreational activities. Regardless of the objective, office events must be planned, and human assets coordinated in advance. This methodology equally applies to your fleet management.

An efficient asset tracking platform shows you which of your assets are available, reserved, checked out or under maintenance, making it easy for you to plan events. Enhanced asset visibility allows conflict-free bookings and room to answer customer-winning emergency calls. Business efficiency gurus at EZ Office Inventory, teach us the important lesson that in properly planning asset availability, managers can make sure to eliminate suffering when need is scheduled and minimize it during emergencies. A dashboard calendar on your FMS dashboard would let you view asset status as per the availability, making it easy to reserve the assets you need for your customers’ requirements.

 

  1. MEETING REGULATORY CERTIFICATIONSReport Scrutiny - AdobeStock_189265617

Most organizations manage a lot of equipment.  Making sure assets conform to the terms and conditions of all levels of governmental and industrial regulations is a big challenge. Small and medium businesses in specialized industry are often heavily regulated. To ensure that you meet the multitude of requirements, you need to have an accurate database showing clear asset information. You need a customized FMS for your unique needs. Furthermore, regulatory compliance means preparing in-depth reports, where inaccuracies can lead to time-consuming audits.

Most fleet reliant industry giants no longer struggle with this; they know there is a simpler way to go about it and it’s easily accessible to any size fleet. A comprehensive FMS with tracking software records every activity related to your assets. Its automated system will let you maintain error-free data which can then be used to conduct corrective actions, create beneficial reports, and assist in growth planning. Having all the necessary maintenance, depreciation, and replenishment records at your fingertips helps achieve compliance easily and efficiently, and gives you more freedom for business development.   

 

The Ultimate Solution

To achieve a profitable outcome in any business, one must have clearly defined objectives, and then a plan to achieve them. For all businesses, the primary vision is to focus on increasing their ROI. This journey begins with implementing a reliable tracking system for gathering real-time data regarding assets and business performance. Then analyzing the information for adjustments and forecasting. The importance of this is seen in contemporary company trends which look forward to the next quarter’s consumption patterns. For this purpose, customized reports must be generated to predict future demand. Knowledgeable analysis of such reports will reveal the weaknesses and strengths in asset utilization and how these can be optimized. 

Don’t wait until you have an emergency, get started today and boost your productivity for tomorrow. The Coencorp team is ready to help and answer your questions, discuss your unique needs, and provide you with the industry leading tools you need. Reach out our professional support team to get more information.

Topics: fleet maintenance, vehicle data, fleet management, AVL, vehicle tracking, real-time data