Most businesses rely on trucking operations to fulfill their supply chain needs and for field operations. They either buy and manage trucks in-house or lease trucks from logistics providers. Either way, the process is rife with challenges and blind spots that have troubled businesses and transporters. With digitization, truck tracking systems have soared in popularity to overcome obstacles.

The biggest issue faced by fleet operators is the need for real-time visibility. When the fleet operator does not know the location of their service van, they cannot plan or control operations.

Many fleet providers still have legacy systems and even manual processes in place. They have no real-time reporting systems or emergency communication mechanisms in place. Ad-hoc measures such as making telephone calls may only sometimes be feasible. As such, the controlling office cannot track fuel theft, late deliveries, cargo theft, accidents, or other issues.

Digitized trick tracking systems, integrated with a field service management suite, offer promising solutions. For instance, a GPS-enabled truck tracking system makes operations more transparent and efficient.

Tracking systems meet goals only when integrated with a field management suite. Here is how to make the fleet management system more effective using an integrated system.

Read more: How To Utilize Your FSM Software To Gain Maximum Field Service Management Efficiency!

1. Ticketing system

Effective fleet management depends on accurate information. In many companies, fleet managers allocate vehicles on an ad-hoc basis. Soon, the entire system, including fleet management, becomes chaotic. Drivers will end up doing overtime and double shifts. Some customers will have extended wait times, and others may see a small truck turn up to haul voluminous cargo. 

A ticketing system streamlines field service operations. When customers make a service request, the system generates a ticket. The ticket leads to a work order containing the details of the job specification, the nature of the cargo, the destination, and other details.

2. Scheduling and dispatching

Planning and scheduling jobs in advance improve efficiency. For instance, the scheduler can group destinations to ensure minimal running time and save fuel. The fleet management app makes this usually complicated task easy.

Manual scheduling is inefficient, time-consuming, and error-prone. A good fleet tracking system: 

  • Assigns trucks and drivers after considering the pre-set rules. The scheduler refers to the available information and assigns appropriate-sized vehicles and crew. For instance, hauling freight over long distances needs experienced drivers. The driver also needs off-duty hours for rest before the commencement of the shift. 
  • Guides the trucks through the best routes to the destination. Often, drivers are unfamiliar with local roads and take roundabout routes, wasting time and fuel. The shortest way may differ from the fastest or the easiest, considering traffic, road maintenance, or diversions. The fleet tracking system integrates real-time traffic data and live maps to guide drivers through the most optimal route. The navigational system may also offer alternative routes to avoid tolls.

3. Information access

Digitized fleet management software offers relevant information to field agents, drivers, and other stakeholders. An integrated truck management system allows fleet managers to:

  • Track the movement of trucks in real time through an app. Truck drivers no longer have to update the office through phones.
  • Offer instant support during emergencies such as breakdowns. Real-time alerts save crucial time and limit the downside caused by delays. It also improves the safety of operations. Fleet managers get alerts in case of unwanted stops or drivers taking unplanned routes. Such out-of-the-norm actions are often a cause for concern. Prompt action by contacting the driver nips issues such as fuel or cargo theft or accidents.
  • Offer accurate ETA to clients. Transporters may share tracking data with clients, thus improving the customer experience.

4. Streamlined workflows

A fleet management suite integrated with field service software streamlines workflows. A fleet tracking software reduces the friction and uncertainty traditionally associated with field service operations. The suite

  • Automates repetitive processes. A fleet management suite automates repetitive processes and eliminates redundancies. For instance, it auto-populates forms to the extent possible.
  • Enable structured data collection. Electronic data collection enables appending images and videos to forms. Users may customize forms to their linking. They need to enter the data only once, with the backend structuring forms and reports as per needs. Reports may co-opt live footage to make insurance claims and compliance reporting easy.
  • Makes it easy to collect field data, prepare invoices, collect payments, and gather customer signatures. When the truck reaches its destination, the driver or the field agent may use their companion mobile app to auto-generate invoices, and collect a payment, all through contactless electronic means.

Read more: Why Field Service Businesses Cannot Ignore Scheduling and Route Optimization.

How ReachOut tracks trucks effectively

ReachOut Suite is one of today’s most popular fleet management systems. The suite enables scheduling vehicles based on technician and inventory availability. 

ReachOut field management suite enables setting scheduling rules. Advanced options make scheduling even easier.

  • An intuitive drag-and-drop scheduler overviews fleet deployments over the day, week, or month. The scheduler may make plans according to the fleet’s assigned tasks. 
  • A flexible job creation module simplifies scheduling and dispatch. Managers may assign tasks to individual agents in a team, thereby enforcing greater control.
  • Configuring pre-approvals for follow-up visits automates repetitive scheduling and eliminates oversights.

An inbuilt CRM module enables service providers to store and manage customer data in a central location. Alternatively, they may transfer data using the suite’s native integration options or APIs. Service crews gather customer information. Field technicians update customer details from the field, enabling live information. 

ReachOut Suite also streamlines workflows, reduces administrative overheads, and enables paperless operations. 

Digital forms and checklists allow recording information and cross-checking task procedures. Service teams may use digital forms to collect data and access product information while on the field. Field technicians may also gather photos, jot down notes and share them with the back office for verification. Connected activities such as collecting signatures and creating invoices also get digitized. 

Sign up with ReachOut and get going. This suite, used globally across 20+ industries, saves two hours daily, on average, compared to legacy systems. The plans start from an affordable $12 per user per month. See instant results, and recoup the investment in a short while. Contact us for more information.

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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