by Nancy Van Elsacker
The fleet management market is a burgeoning sector expected to be worth more than $22 billion by 2020, according to a recent report. With this growing market and because of the need for efficiency related to the management and administration of company’s vehicle fleet — from vehicle financing, tracking and maintenance, fuel management, and vehicle and driver performance monitoring to remarketing — there’s likely no better time to sure up the organization’s service management solutions to manage the tracking of these valuable assets.
Fleet management is a unique business to be in, of course. It’s more than caring for vehicles. Fleet management is a daily exercise in the management of operations, logistics, asset management and even driver management. Fleet management’s convergence with service management makes perfect sense. Service management focuses on providing value to the customer and also on the customer relationship; service management helps bring a customer-focused approach to delivering information through technology.
Service management pairs nicely with fleet management in the operation of fleets, reducing confusion and risk by providing real-time information using advanced connectivity technology. Particularly, because increasing complexity of operations in transportation and logistics, organizations need to create efficiencies for both drivers and fleet. Professional fleet management is essential to every organization. Service management solutions coalesce a number of pieces of key information allowing for easily tracked information related to every aspect of managing the fleet. For example: Is this vehicle currently available? Who is driving which van? When is service due on the vehicle or even allowing for the notation of special notes related to the vehicle like whether it needs internal detailing or maintenance related to a specific issue; service management solutions make for the ability to easily monitor all company vehicles, where they are, when they need or have received service and when their useful life has been surpassed.
The first step toward professional fleet management is clear and organized registration. IT service management allows fleet and facility managers the ability to register vehicles in as much detail as they wish. From vehicle type to recent maintenance and from manufacturer to lease contracts, ITSM fleet management modules can register and display any type of vehicle information imaginable.
According to the study, the increased need for operational efficiency is expected to be the primary driver for the fleet management market during the forecast period. “Increasing maintenance cost, fuel consumptions, regulations and accidents have mandated the need for effective and efficient fleet management solutions and services,” the study’s authors note. Other drivers include environmental concerns and decreasing hardware and connectivity cost. Also, integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technology with vehicles will increase the adoption of fleet management solutions in developed regions, such as North America and Europe, which we are already seeing.
Thus, because of the growth in the market, the benefits of service management solutions in the fleet management market are obvious:
- Fleet managers require seamless integration with all of their technology modules, so that they are able to gain full and much-needed functionality, create detailed overviews by linking vehicles to calls, reservations, maintenance, contracts and persons.
- The ability to use graphical planners, making it easy for them to see which vehicles are available, which are in use and when they will be returned.
- Self-service desk capabilities allow for the access to be granted to fleet management employees so that they are able to log vehicle reservation requests via an online customer portal.
- Service management provides comprehensive fleet and department overviews.
- Service management solutions provide fleet managers the ability to create clear overviews of all available company cars by registering them in the system; if someone has reported malfunctions or other issues with one of your cars, these reports and requests for service can be tracked.
- Service management solutions also can be used to register supplier information, making it easy to alert the lease company or supplier.
Because of these points and the importance of service management solutions in the sector, the predicted need for the solutions is expected to rise significantly, based on the feedback from the report. “There is a significant demand for robust fleet management solutions and services among manufacturing, construction, mining and others,” the report’s authors note.
North America is estimated to be the largest market for fleet management market because of technological advancement and early adoption of IoT, and it’s little surprise as the market continues to show strong signs of growth. From vehicle type to recent maintenance and from manufacturer to lease contracts, service management is emerging as a solid solution that clearly benefits the improvement of fleet management’s success, and can register and display any type of vehicle information imaginable.
Nancy Van Elsacker is president of TOPdesk US, a provider of IT service management solutions for IT, facilities management and HR helpdesks.