Fleet management: saving time, saving dollars

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

Running an effective fleet operation is all about efficiencies—especially time efficiencies. According to industry research, the global market for fleet management solutions will experience significant growth over the next few years. The current economic climate, shrinking profit margins and sustainability goals have all driven the demand for technology solutions to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

Some of the more advanced fleet management solutions on the market today have the power to help waste fleets slash up to 30 minutes per truck from daily routes. We can imagine that this will have a measurable bottom line impact. But what exactly are the dollar impacts and how will these be achieved?

Example Implementation

To best illustrate the projected savings from a fleet management implementation, we’ll use the example of XYZ Disposal, a waste management firm with a 50 route per day operation. By using a few simple fleet management tools, XYZ Disposal is better able to manage its assets and staff toward a goal of improving its efficiencies. Whether you reduce route times by 30 minutes, or increase productivity by 30 minutes, the net effect is essentially the same. Time-saving fleet management tools should include:

  • Onboard driver direction to better plan each truck’s routes to reduce time spent on the road and the number of engine hours per day. Driver direction optimizes routes to use less fuel and driving time. This is especially important in the rolloff business where routes tend to have more new stops.
  • Fleet mapping to deliver a real-time map view of individual vehicles’ positions relative to towns, cities, highways and streets. With fleet mapping and the ability to digitally send route information to the driver, dispatchers can more efficiently assign stops with an up-to-date view of the routes for each truck. Combining mapping and a real-time view of the run sheets allows dispatchers to make better decisions to reduce route distance and driving time. Better dispatch decisions lead to better economics.
  • Back office integration with the RMS (routing and billing software) saves hundreds of hours in administrative time as drivers and dispatch no longer have to manually key route data into those systems.
  • Reporting and alarms features provide automated and accurate data for fleet managers to better manage assets. Alarms automatically alert managers on key issues such as speeding and idling in real-time— eliminating the need for ongoing and inefficient data review and analysis. Alarms can alert drivers in-cab if they are exceeding speeding or idling thresholds so that they can adjust immediately. In addition, drivers inherently change behavior once they now know everything they do can and will be monitored and managed.

XYZ Disposal’s time saving analysis is broken down into three potential results from worst case to best case scenario: 15 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes. It takes into consideration the three major costs of operating a vehicle—labor, vehicle maintenance and fuel.

This analysis assumes that the average hourly burden rate to operate a vehicle is $80.13 for an annual cost of $221,155 per vehicle. It further assumes that a vehicle is operating 10 hours per day, 22 days per month, 12 months per year and that administrative costs equal 10 percent of driver labor.

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