Fleet Management: The Benefits of Outsourced Monitoring and Reporting
Modern transport companies need to stay focused on their core competencies, that is, the transporting of goods. But the modern transporter company are now also exposed to other critical demands and must also ensure that their fleet is driven within legislative, insurer/risk management and cost saving related specifications and requirements. Labor costs are already a major expense for any transporters, but they are now also forced to employ additional staff members to ensure that they comply with the previously mentioned requirements.
The main goal of this course is to provide the knowledge and the skills to manage any kind of vehicle fleet through all its activities and key aspects. The course is aimed to executives, middle managers, fleet managers and any professional related to fleet management.
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These additional staff members are generally employed to focus on other aspects, for example, monitoring and reporting on aspects like driving behavior, route management and to keep a close eye on managing the risks that the fleet is exposed to out on the road.
Some transport companies outsource this monitoring and reporting functions to specialized service providers, popularly known as bureaus or control rooms, but they their numbers are low in comparison to the ones who opt to do it in-house. Companies doing or looking at doing it in-house generally believe that it would be cheaper and easier to manage their own in-house control room environments.
Unfortunately the reality is that establishing such an environment can become an expensive proposition for most, especially small to medium companies. Not only is a major investment required to purchase equipment, workstations, etc. to set up a suitable in-house environment, it also involves a lot of time, energy and naturally costs, to find and train new suitable staff and then to to manage the day-to-day operations ongoing .
Most companies have found, after conducting a proper cost-benefit analysis, that they can manage their costs better and can also focus more on their core competencies, by simply outsourcing the monitoring and reporting of their fleet behavior and compliance requirements.
Outsourcing this aspect to an experienced bureau service partner have several benefits, some being:
- Cost Reduction
Setting up a 24/7 operation to manage monitoring and reporting can be an expensive exercise to firstly purchase equipment and to pay for the newly appointed additional staff on a monthly basis. Outsourced bureau environments allow costs to be spread across several customers, thus allowing the customer to benefit by only paying for the services required and not be concerned about paying for staff or handling day-to-day labor related issues.
- Flexibility and Scalability
Fleet sizes and the operational requirements associated with it differs and staff can become idle during certain times. Outsourced bureaus benefit from multiple customer fleets which help to reduce the chance of staff being idle. Staff are allocated efficiently and can be increased to handled increased fleet sizes without necessarily impacting on the customer’s already agreed rates. Also, outsourced bureau service providers can easily fill the gap when staff go on leave or are off sick.
- Knowledge and Experience
Outsourced bureau service providers have specialized understanding of fleet management environments and the equipment and software required to provide this type of services. Management staff also generally have valuable operational insight that comes with years of experience, some of these with extensive global experience in providing monitoring and reporting solutions.
- Dedicated Staff
Outsourced Bureau staff are trained to be able to handle a big variety of customer fleets with different requirements on various, and sometimes vastly different, software solutions where in-house staff will only be trained to handle one fleet and very specific software solutions. This brings change management into the equation should the customer decide to change a software service provider for example.
- Expertise and Support
Outsourced bureau service providers are specialists and generally attract very experienced staff with years of experience in monitoring and reporting environments. Customers with their own in-house environments often find it difficult to find staff with similar experience, one reason being; experienced staff are generally more expensive to employ in most instances. Outsourced bureau service provider’s also concentrate more on specialized workforce planning, training of staff, quality control and technology support.
- Cost Management
Fleet management monitoring and reporting, especially in the transport industry, are typically based on a monthly cost per vehicle. Rates vary but rates per vehicle are in most instances less than 5% of the cost it would take to fill one tank of fuel per month in a large truck. The total combined cost per month will, in most instances, be less than employing and paying one staff member a monthly salary, depending on the size of the fleet.
- Business Intelligence and Analysis
Outsourced bureau service providers use expensive and state of the art business intelligence tools to provide their customers with specialized business intelligence reporting and analysis. This allows customers to quickly identify and understand problematic areas that need urgent attention.
Business Intelligence software can be expensive to implement making it difficult for most companies to purchase the software. Most companies simply resolve to tool, like Microsoft Excel which, unfortunately exposes them to time related issues and the possibility of errors, for example. By outsourcing to Outsourced bureau service providers’ customers can now get access to specialized business intelligence reporting and analysis on a live or day-to-day basis without investing money into annual license renewals and expensive development costs.
- Quality Management
Outsourced bureau services providers provide their customer with service level agreements (SLA) and customized specific to customer requirement, standard operating procedures (SOP) in order to ensure that all customer requirements are handled professionally and efficiently. Staff are monitored and managed against these SLA’S and monitoring tools, performance management and improvement plans are put in place to ensure that KPI’s are met. In-house environments do not necessarily have these types of resources, nor do management have the time, available for structured, continuous quality monitoring and performance improvement plans.
Outsourced bureau service providers invest in the best technology available to streamline and improve efficiency in their operations. This type of technology might be too expensive to afford for most in-house environments. Outsourced bureaus can however share the cost of this technology across multiple customers without increasing monthly rates and at the same time improve service levels.
- 24/7 Service
All customers would love to have staff dedicated to monitor and report on his fleet’s behavior; simply be able to pick up a phone, send an email and reach a live service agent at any time of the day, any day of the week. But that kind of around-the-clock availability is an expensive option for most transport companies. Bureau outsourced companies can deliver a 24/7 service anywhere in the world at any time, and more importantly, at a much lower cost compared to in-house customer environments
SOQ Solutions provide outsourced Bureau monitoring and Reporting solutions or assistance in setting these solutions up to the transport industry. Please visit www.soqsol.com or contact Wessel Lourens should you want more information.
Wessel Lourens Business Owner at
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