Ron Katz, senior VP of North American Sales for Chevin Fleet Solutions, noted something interesting the other day, especially where private carriers are concerned.
In essence, he said, the fleet does not exist in a vacuum; indeed it cannot exist that way and properly fulfill its role. Rather, just like truck components, it needs to be closely integrated with “internal” corporate functions such as human resources and financial systems, along with “external” service providers such as leasing firms, insurance carriers, and fuel providers.
“Modern corporate thinking recognizes that the fleet lies very close to the heart of corporate operations,” Katz (seen at right) explained. “If you want to maximize the efficiency of your fleet and minimize its cost, then the fleet cannot operate as a standalone entity. It needs to be tightly integrated into the whole corporate structure.”
As a result, that should be in his belief one of the primary drivers of fleet software development going forward.
“If you can deliver high levels of integration with critical internal systems, then all kinds of new efficiencies and decision-making opportunities are created,” Katz said.
A similar rational applies to data drawn from, and exchanged with, external maintenance and service providers as well – with what he calls “tight integration” enabling improved cost control and visibility for the fleet.
“There are dozens of potential external data feeds from suppliers and information sources available to the average fleet and automated integration provides the ability to harmonize this information into near real-time intelligence,” Katz explained – with obvious benefits.
“For example, taking data from your fuel supplier or commercial fuel card will provide you with accurate information regarding fuel use, mileage and sustainability achievement,” he said. “However, system integration also opens the door to all kinds of new managerial strategies covering not just the fleet but by the entire organization – used as a business intelligence tool, not just a tool for managing the fleet.”
Something to think about as the fleet world is only poised to get more and more “digitized” in the days ahead.