Use software to reduce total cost of ownership.
Fleet Management Software
By: Susan Geoghegan
Cities and municipalities of all sizes rely on fleet management software to streamline operations, improve performance, and reduce costs. Fleet divisions utilize cutting-edge software technology for life-cycle management, maintenance scheduling, purchasing and parts management inventory, and accessing real-time data. The following companies offer highly scalable, Web-based applications that are also available for mobile use.
AssetWorks delivers a comprehensive portfolio of software and consulting solutions that help asset- and infrastructure-intensive organizations control capital and operating expenditures, streamline operations, and manage regulatory and policy-driven risk. They are a leading provider of fleet asset and maintenance management solutions to government agencies, private industry, and public transit authorities, serving over 500 fleets throughout North America.
FleetFocus is a robust fleet-management software application that tracks all functions related to the maintenance of vehicles and equipment, such as processing repair and preventative maintenance PM work orders, billing and tracking vehicle equipment usage, and capturing operating expenses.
Continually improving upon the FleetFocus system, AssetWorks has introduced a number of enhancements in recent years that can increase efficiency and reduce operating expenses. Carbon Footprint/Green House Gas Emissions Reporting allows fleets to run customized environmental reports to establish baselines and work toward improving their carbon footprint.
With Enhanced Inventory Count Management, fleet managers have the ability to analyze data without interrupting normal workday proceedings during a count. Actionable Preventative Maintenance Appointment Alerts allow fleet personnel to e-mail a customer when a PM appointment is coming up. The customer can click a link in the e-mail to schedule the appointment via a Web page, which can make the scheduling process easier for the customer and therefore can improve compliance.
Enhanced Dashboards give fleets the ability to customize data that is shared throughout the organization, both within the fleet department and with outside customers that shows relevant fleet data in an easy-to-understand graphical format. Enhanced sharing options can help you increase transparency within your fleet organization by sharing the information your stakeholders need in a graphical format. The enhancements also include drag and drop configuration to ease in the design of the dashboard.
The New Work Management Portal gives fleet managers a flexible view into the database to assist in the management of a wide range of asset and work data in progress. Utilizing hardware such as a GPS or Vehicle Data Controller (VDC), the Telematics Module provides direct data integration between a fleet vehicle’s on-board computer (OBC) and the FleetFocus database.
The system can process non-actionable information, such as meter readings or engine temperature, as well as actionable items, such as vehicle fault codes. Fleets can set up automatic actions, such as creating a service request based on specific fault codes that are triggered by this information.
Carl Bruce, AssetWorks Vice President of Sales & Marketing, said, “We understand how vital technology can be in today’s challenging economic conditions. Our goal is to help provide our customers with better tools to manage their fleets. It is an ongoing process of listening to our customers’ needs and refining our technology so it can play a key role in their success.”
Chevin Fleet Solutions
Chevin Fleet Solutions is an award-winning provider of flexible enterprise fleet management solutions for both the public and private sectors, helping organizations around the world to operate more efficiently while reducing cost.
In 2001, Chevin launched FleetWave®, a Web-based fleet-management information system that utilizes cutting-edge technologies to provide comprehensive fleet management capabilities for all sizes of fleet operations. In early 2012, Chevin released its latest Management Reporting Suite (MRS), designed to further enhance the comprehensive capabilities already provided by the FleetWave® system.
Agencies that oversee large quantities of vehicles and equipment often struggle to glean meaningful analytics from disparate fleet operational data, wasting precious time and resources in the process. In addition, this complex data must be continually updated to reflect the constant changes in organizational policies and directives regarding fleet spending, utilization, and compliance.
Ron Katz, VP of North American Sales for Chevin, pointed out the lack of summarized data used for financial forecasting and recognizing historical trends often affects an organization’s ability to understand the variances across regions, divisions, or individual departments. “Unable to combine essential operating data into a single cohesive view, decision makers have difficulty interpreting the data and/or making meaningful decisions from it. As a direct result, organizations struggle to provide key decision makers with actionable information that can be used to drive improved performance,” Katz said.
The MRS automatically aggregates data in real time and provides graphical summarized data directly to the desktop, allowing fleet management personnel to easily drill down and interrogate the data to the most basic level. In addition, the MRS features a comprehensive suite of reporting options that can be configured to meet client-specific requirements for displaying the information via an internal interface or a read-only Web interface that can be shared with authorized users only.
The MRS was developed to promote tangible improvements in a number of key business areas that include sustainability, mobility, fuel, CO2 reduction, and total cost of ownership. The MRS provides fleet managers with up-to-the-minute information that relates to any series of sustainability and key performance metrics. The system can be configured to report on a number of mobility-related key performance indicators, allowing fleet managers to make informed decisions regarding mobility strategies.
Fuel data is automatically collated and analyzed, presented in charts and graphs with drill-down functionality, and readily accessed by authorized personnel for informed decision-making. The MRS can be configured to track CO2 emissions relating to vehicle type and specific vehicle/driver for easy identification of worst offending factors to facilitate preventative action. Cost of fleet operations is automatically calculated in an easy-to-read format, helping organizations to become more efficient by reducing cost.
Katz said for organizations seeking to improve process, gain ongoing fleet efficiencies within their operations, and make sound business decisions based on the quality and relevance of the reams of data that is available, Chevin’s Management Reporting Suite provides real-time actionable intelligence over unlimited fleet data points. “With the ability to be accessed by fleet managers from anywhere at any time, gaining visibility over disparate fleet operating data has never been easier.”
FASTER Asset Solutions
Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., FASTER Asset Solutions is an employee-owned computer and fleet services company with over 28 years of experience providing fleet management solutions. With over 350 customers nationwide, FASTER offers solutions for both web and Windows platforms. Their newest FMIS product, FASTER Web was introduced in 2009 and provides
fully featured comprehensive capabilities in the areas of asset management, parts inventory and tracking management, maintenance and labor tracking, fuel management, and accounting and billing tracking.
FASTER Web can integrate with any system via traditional flat-file integration, as well as achieve more robust integration through a suite of Web services, which are available as add-on modules to the core product. The FASTER Web system design supports full life-cycle asset management that includes best-practice business process functions, and is highly configurable to meet the complex needs of fleet divisions. Featuring a system architecture designed for multiple business units, it allows for divergent processes, separate data, and individualized security for each entity.
Geared toward organizations that require the benefits of a browser-based client that can be remotely accessed with any wireless-enable device, FASTER Web features a robust, role-based security model that allows access to the system when a valid user name and password is provided. The user name is associated to a role, which contains specific permissions that define what the user can and cannot do in the system, and allows for any level of permission granularity that is desired. Because roles can be assigned based on the Users’ Organization, Storeroom, Maintenance Shop, and Fuel Site, multiple entities or agencies can utilize the system for their unique business needs.
FASTER’s Web product is a browser-based application that utilizes the following technologies: IIS, ASP.NET, Silverlight, SQL Server, SQL Server Reporting Services, and the .NET Framework. Using the CSLA .NET framework, which allows for 1, 2, and n-tier deployments, it provides the flexibility required for enhanced performance, scalability, security, and fault tolerance, with no changes to code in the UI or business objects. The end result is a flexible system that uses industry standard platforms while reducing costs associated with maintenance and operation.
The FASTER Web system offers comprehensive searching for fast onscreen data viewing, data export capabilities, and the ability to create custom reports. FASTER’s powerful process functionality, flexible configuration, and ample customization capabilities allow agencies to achieve greater efficiency gains, easier implementations, and lower overall cost of operation.
According to Michael Brawley, FASTER’s Vice President & Asset Product Manager, the company built FASTER Web from the ground up to be a “Best of Breed” product built around the industry’s best practices and business processes. “One of our primary goals was to ensure it was a flexible Commercial/Off the Shelf product that includes the functionality needed to fully run your day-to-day business without having to purchase add-on modules or costly customized integrations. This helps fleets to control their initial investment, cost of implementation, and ongoing cost of ownership.”
FASTER prides itself on setting the standard for service and excellence, offering a number of support options that include toll-free technical support 24/7, guaranteed maximum three-hour response time, customized annual onsite consultative visits, and online access to new enhancements and updates as soon as they become available. Customers are assigned a dedicated project manager, as well as an experienced fleet consultant to maximize investment while minimizing the cost and disruption of an implantation. Interested agencies can request detailed information on the features and benefits of the FASTER Fleet Management System on the company website.
Susan Geoghegan is a freelance writer living in Naples, Fla. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.