As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, fleets across industries are facing the dilemma of how to manage operations remotely. The pandemic affects all businesses on a macro level, causing many fleets to develop remote management strategies to avoid the spread of the virus.
Changing your fleet management system to function remotely sounds daunting, but there are a variety of software tools that can help you maximize efficiency across your fleet no matter where you are. Leveraging a cloud-based fleet management software is the most cost-effective solution for managing assets remotely and communicating across your team.
The most important aspect of remote fleet management is communication. Your fleet’s success hinges on how well you and your team communicate. Staying informed of fleet operations in real time is prudent for both the safety and productivity of your drivers. To eliminate communication gaps and improve clarity, many fleet managers turn to fleet management software to manage tasks on an organized platform.
Most fleet managers are used to managing drivers and assets while they’re spread out along their routes, but managing assets without any contact for an undetermined period of time brings about new challenges, especially if you still rely on paper or installed solutions to manage your fleet.
How you set up your remote communication strategy as well as your workspace during this time will be critical for your fleet’s success. Implementing software solutions to help you stay organized streamlines operations and ensures your fleet doesn’t experience unnecessary downtime.
Your daily routine has likely shifted significantly during the pandemic. Setting up a dedicated workspace in your home can provide a sense of normalcy and help you adapt to remote work life. To ensure you stay productive, make sure your workspace is away from your bed and in a quiet space to avoid distractions. If you’re quarantined with family or friends, you may need to set boundaries to help you maintain focus. Consider implementing quiet hours or hanging “Do Not Disturb” signs while you’re in meetings or on phone calls.
Fleet managers need to be able to track and manage assets in real time, so ensuring the stability of your communication channels is a must. A strong Wi-Fi connection and mobile phone signal will keep you connected with your team at all times.
As you transition to a remote workspace, take stock of your current equipment needs. Make sure you have all the necessary resources required to manage your fleet. Don’t be afraid to take all of your equipment, like extra monitors or headsets, home with you. Having all the tools to do your job will help you adapt to remote work life more easily.
Frequent communication across your team ensures you’re on the same page. While working remotely, it’s best to over-communicate with your team. Putting a premium on transparency and clarity will improve productivity, boost morale, and keep everyone in sync.
A mobile phone is a fleet manager’s lifeline. With drivers on the road and warehouse workers still on-site, it’s important to make sure your team can get in touch with you quickly. Providing your phone number to employees and forwarding your office phone to your cell are two easy solutions to stay in touch. To further streamline communication, consider streamlining all fleet management tasks through a mobile fleet management app. Your team can conduct inspections, automate maintenance workflows, and upload real-time data, ensuring you have maximum visibility across operations.
Teleconferencing platforms have made it easy for workers both remote and on-site to still hold meetings. Tools like Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Google Hangouts provide a space to connect with team members face-to-face and share computer screens to provide vital information.
Virtually all businesses use email to communicate, but while working remotely, you may need ways to quickly bounce ideas back-and-forth. Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex Teams are great tools for instant messaging and provide many useful integrations to promote communication and productivity.
Tracking assets remotely and staying connected to your drivers may sound impossible if you’re still using paper processes or outdated systems to manage your fleet, but modern software tools can aid communication and centralize data. For example, fleet management software is a mobile-first platform to manage every aspect of your fleet and view real-time data.
Many organizations leverage fleet management software to streamline communication and gain complete asset visibility. Using a collaborative, mobile-first solution ensures everyone on your team can easily access information and communicate effectively.
As a fleet manager, nothing is more important than maintaining the safety and productivity of your crew. Before you implement remote fleet management processes, be sure to set clear expectations regarding sanitization methods and performance standards to mitigate issues.
Set daily goals and assignments for your team, and consider having appropriate team members reach out to you each day for status updates. To increase visibility across operations, many fleet managers use a mobile fleet management app to create and manage tasks remotely. With a mobile-first platform, your crew can upload maintenance and inspection data from anywhere to keep you informed of critical issues.
In addition to managing day-to-day tasks like work orders and inspections, you can also monitor expenses, vehicle location, and asset use to keep your fleet running smoothly. Increased visibility across operations can provide much-needed peace of mind while you’re away and help you determine the best strategies to maximize efficiency across your fleet.
Whether your fleet experiences a reduction or an increase in demand over the coming weeks, it’s critical to keep an eye on your fleet’s bottom line and prepare for any potential impact. Use this time to analyze your fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO) to forecast future operating costs and avoid unnecessary expenses in the weeks and months ahead.
Understanding your TCO and closely monitoring all expenses can help your fleet weather the pandemic. Centralizing all fleet data in fleet management software makes expense tracking simple. With configurable reports and detailed line items, you can automatically calculate your TCO and make data-driven decisions regarding your fleet’s budget.
No matter how you manage your fleet, having an effective remote working strategy begins and ends with communication. Staying connected to your team and viewing fleet data in real time will help your team stay safe and productive.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find out more about how to remotely manage your fleet, visit www.fleetio.com.