Field service fleets see IT benefits

According to a study conducted by Aberdeen Group, field service companies have plenty of potential to boost productivity and profits by managing their most overlooked expense: the fleet.

According to a study conducted by Aberdeen Group, field service companies have plenty of potential to boost productivity and profits by managing their most overlooked expense: the fleet. Field service companies that implement fleet management programs and technologies save on average $1,100 per vehicle annually in operating costs alone, the report says.

Fleets operated by field service companies can save money by optimizing routes, modifying operator behavior, and managing fuel and maintenance, according to the company's recently released research paper. Companies that assign a dedicated fleet manager are twice as likely to achieve vehicle utilization rates greater than 90% compared to those that spread the responsibility among different departments.

Companies that have implemented fleet management technologies to capture driver and fleet data in real time report a 9.6% lower operating costs per mile than those without that capability.

Among the reports conclusions, Aberdeen recommends field service companies leverage technologies that optimize the efficiencies of fleet expenses as well as labor and inventory. Of particular interest to management solutions providers, the field service companies that don't leverage technology cite lack of knowledge on service providers and inability to justify ROI on fleet management solutions as their top reasons, according to the report.

Aberdeen said 29% of the companies surveyed are looking to deploy a fleet management solution within 12 to 18 months — mainly to control fuel and maintenance expenses.

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