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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fleet Management and Logistics in Food and Beverage Transportation

As reported by SupplyDemandChain: Many executives of food and beverage distribution and logistics companies are aware of the need for oversight of employees, vehicles and other assets. It has become a necessary task that businesses in the field face on a daily basis. Fleet and asset tracking are becoming more common than ever as executives and fleet managers look to ensure the efficient and effective use of their fleets, assets and employees.

At the basic level, telematics refers to the use of telecommunications and informatics to provide many practical applications for the food and beverage distribution industry. For example, in the supply industry, accurate delivery times are crucial to ensure the rest of the day’s tasks stay on time.

Another term for telematics is global positioning system (GPS) fleet tracking, however, that terminology does not fully encompass what a GPS fleet tracking solution can do for a food and beverage logistics business. These solutions have many more capabilities than simple track-and-trace options, allowing fleet managers to do more than locate vehicles or assets on a map. A comprehensive GPS fleet tracking solution should be an essential business tool for any food and beverage companies with a fleet, no matter how small. Even with the most basic usage, GPS technology allows for increased fuel efficiency and employee productivity, showing a reduction in overall operating expenses.

Companies must be able to track and manage their investments without compromising security or efficiency. GPS fleet technology, paired with an easy-to-implement solution, effectively monitors fleets, ensuring efficient use of the company’s fuel and time. Whether your business has three vehicles or 300, this technology plays a vital role in maximizing revenue, increasing operational efficiencies and achieving a return on investment (ROI).

Vehicle Tracking to Save on Fuel
GPS fleet tracking solutions offer benefits that go beyond simply knowing where vehicles are. The functions of a GPS fleet tracking solution save companies money, even when the features don’t directly target an issue, such as excessive fuel spend. The routing feature of a GPS fleet tracking solution not only ensures your drivers can get to their next delivery, site or warehouse on time, but also ensures that drivers have the most direct route to a location, thus reducing excessive fuel use.

Some GPS fleet tracking solutions integrate with intuitive and popular GPS systems such as Garmin or Magellan. Many companies choose these solutions for their fleets because of the appeal of the consumer-facing GPS systems that they are accustomed to using in their personal lives. However, a GPS fleet tracking solution that integrates with such a GPS system can have more benefits than a minimal learning curve. One supply chain and goods transportation company, SEKO, cut down on surplus driving in its fleet and reduced fuel costs with the voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions. By using the fleet tracking solution’s routing functionality, the company’s fleet manager made his drivers more productive, and cut down on fuel costs, and vehicle wear and tear.

Hard Data to Cut Back on Costs
A look into operations makes it clear what’s working and what’s not.

GPS fleet tracking solutions provide a variety of reports and information on a number of driving factors, including how many times a truck starts and stops, how long it idles, and if any dangerous driving behavior occurs.

These reports are not used to target or scold drivers, but to simply identify driving habits that can be altered to save money for the company.

The reporting capability provides a wealth of information and valuable insight at a moment’s notice. Perhaps most importantly, the collected data can be presented in a graphically rich dashboard and is actionable, which means the data can be used to improve processes. Dashboards also give fleet managers the ability to set user-defined goals that allow for benchmarking operations.