Fleet management is the management of commercial vehicles, ensuring the fleet runs efficiently, cost-effectively and on-time. Fleet managers must have exceptional communication skills as they monitor fleet performance, maintenance needs, efficiency and productivity, timelines and schedules, and compliance and budget. They also ensure that the fleet and business are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Those within the C-suite are facing several transportation-related challenges in the current economic climate. Still, shippers and transportation providers can use technology to optimize their supply chain and increase efficiency.
Michael Zimmerman, a partner with the global strategic management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and lead author of the 31stAnnual State of Logistics Report®, said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought risks to life, transforming the way companies think about supply chains, the logistics that enable them and the tools they need to be successful.
"Supply chains will need to become more resilient, better able to adjust to and recover from future difficulties," Zimmerman said, adding that agility is critical. "That means technology, and 3PLs are investing in technology."
What's more, over-the-road carriers need to fundamentally change their thinking on ways to lower their cost to serve, he said. "A well-thought-out technology strategy and commitment to technology investment—targeted at core elements of the cost equation—will be crucial to shifting carriers' cost curves," he wrote in the report, which was presented by Penske Logistics.
In the medium term, technology can help all players improve utilization and day-to-day execution, Zimmerman said. Technology can help companies move from static to dynamic routing, optimize routes and improve overall network design. It can also help carriers and shippers optimize their assets and find the right asset mix.
Successful fleet management often includes a combination of rented, leased and purchased vehicles. Through a thorough analysis of historical, current and predicted routes and volumes, companies can uncover the ideal mix of equipment. That will help them ensure that company-owned assets are fully utilized and determine where additional capacity is needed. Before adding new capacity, companies can run a comparative value analysis to determine if they should lease or buy equipment or partner with an outside provider.
Penske Is Here to Help
Penske has invested heavily in supply chain, logistics, warehousing, and connected fleet technologies and can use them to help you respond to the changing market. Penske also offers commercial rental trucks, truck leases, logistics services and used trucks to help you find the right solutions for your needs. Penske's team of experts stands ready to help tackle any business challenge.
The series officially launched on April 24 with its premiere two-part episode titled, "Truck Maintenance During COVID-19," focused on Penske's fleet maintenance team and the enhancements they made to their procedures to help protect associates and customers during the current COVID-19 crisis.
"Now more than ever there is a focus on the transportation industry as we move necessary freight across the country to stock hospital supply shelves and fill consumers' pantries," said Sherry Sanger, executive vice president of marketing at Penske Transportation Solutions. "With this podcast, customers and the communities we serve can hear from people behind the scenes that help the world never stop moving."
Host Bill Combs, vice president of connected fleet strategy and experimentation, speaks with Penske's experts and decision makers about topics that are prevalent in today's ever-changing world and trucking environment.
The Never Stop Moving™ podcast, powered by Penske, will cover a wide range of industry topics from fleet management and maintenance to supply chain and emerging technologies that keep the world moving forward.
You can find the Never Stop Moving™ podcast by visiting our website and also on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and PodBean. Listeners can email their questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By "Move Ahead" Staff
The blush of a new year can be the perfect time for fleet managers to explore new tools to help with asset management and performance.
Penske's desktop and mobile applications provide customers with real-time access to vehicle performance data while offering drivers the ability to log hours of service and roadside assistance requests in the unlikely event of a mechanical failure.
"We want to put the tools that fleet managers and drivers need in their hands and leverage the technology we have at our disposal to make their job easier," said Jason Emerich, manager of Penske's extranet.
In November, Penske announced enhancements to Fleet Insight™, the company's proprietary website. Penske's customers now enjoy enhanced navigation and expanded customizable data sets for each fleet's operation.
"Our goal is to create the best experience possible, whether you are on a mobile device or accessing any of our applications from a desktop," Emerich said.
Fleet Insight provides fleet managers with a detailed look at a fleet's overall efficiency, costs and scheduled maintenance, so managers can make real-time decisions to enhance fleet performance.
In addition to the desktop version, Fleet Insight offers a companion mobile app available for iOS and Android to equip customers with fleet information at their fingertips.
In addition to performance insights, the Penske Fleet™ app allows fleet managers to view all aspects of the fleet on the go, including units in the fleet, preventive maintenance schedules, open service requests and maintenance billing.
"Fleet managers are always traveling from location to location, and staying on top of costs is important to them," Emerich said. "They can approve any of the bills from their phone rather than approving them on a desktop."
In addition to maintenance, fleet managers can see if any of their equipment is suffering a mechanical failure requiring roadside assistance.
Professional truck drivers can also access real-time information on the go with the Penske Driver™ mobile app.
The free Penske Driver mobile app is an all-in-one solution developed by Penske Truck Leasing for its full-service truck leasing, contract maintenance and commercial truck rental customers. Launched in 2017, the Penske Driver app has enhanced functionality, enabling truck drivers to:
- Easily log Hours-of-Service (HOS) in Penske rental vehicles and comply with the ELD mandate.
- Quickly locate Penske service, rental and fuel locations as well as other locations, including truck stops, CNG stations and public scales.
- Access essential vehicle information, including full visibility into a vehicle's recent service history.
- Digitally submit fuel receipts with a simple form and receipt photo, virtually eliminating paperwork.
When a truck driver has an unexpected roadside assistance issue, such as a flat tire, drivers can use the app to report the problem quickly and easily to Penske Truck Leasing's 24/7 Roadside Assistance team without ever making a call or being on hold.
Using Penske's mobile app, truck drivers report their roadside issue and simultaneously secure a place in line for assistance. Drivers and their fleet managers receive real-time digital updates about their issue until it is resolved.
Both the Fleet and Driver apps are available for download in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
Penske Truck Leasing is a digital leader in the trucking industry and offers a wide array of Connected Fleet Solutions to keep customers connected, compliant and informed, including consulting advice about telematics and other onboard systems; remote vehicle diagnostics; and web-based and mobile-app based tech solutions that simplify fleet and vehicle management for fleet operators and truck drivers.
To learn more about the benefit of vehicle telematics, visit our website. For more information about Penske's Connected Fleet Solutions, you can call 1-844-426-4555 or email us at email@example.com.
By Bernie Mixon
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