How can you grow your fleet without a lot of capital expenditure?

10 April, 2017

This linear strategy is fine while the work is there but in these days of increased competition and fluctuating consumer demand, committing to fixed expenses while business is booming can leave you exposed when things change.

So what’s the alternative? Say no to new business? Obviously that’s not an option for mobile enterprises looking to grow.

Fortunately, new utilisation technology is helping mobile workforces get smarter about how they use the assets they have, allowing them to take on more work while avoiding the financial risk of acquiring more employees or equipment.

How does asset utilisation technology work?

Asset utilisation is focused on making the best use of the assets – vehicles, equipment and employees – to maximize your capacity.

Most businesses have unused potential that could be converted into a revenue-generating activity, however they just don’t know where that potential is and how to tap into it.

That’s where asset utilisation software comes in – it monitors each of your assets and allows you to see what’s being used where, and when.

Using the data supplied by GPS tracking hardware fitted to the vehicle (or equipment), asset utilisation software can show you reports on a range of productivity metrics.

Information that can be reported on includes:

  • When vehicles arrive at (or leave) a worksite
  • When equipment is being used (engine on)
  • Which assets have been sitting idle
  • Vehicle travel time (to determine time spent between jobs)

But asset utilisation can extend beyond just knowing when and where assets are being used. It can help you determine if the assets are being used effectively. Just because an asset is being used, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is being used in the best way possible.

How can you make sure assets are being used profitably?

So we’ve established true asset utilisation is more than just making sure your assets are being used – they need to be used in the right way.

What are some ways that assets could be used in the wrong way?

  • Vehicles or equipment could be used wastefully (e.g., empty loads, unsuitable vehicle dispatched, etc.)
  • Vehicles could be used on unsanctioned trips or side jobs
  • Vehicles could be driven unnecessary miles
  • Assets being used in a rough way that increases the chance of breakdown, maintenance costs or reduced lifespan

Assets being utilised in this way are reducing your capacity to take on new business efficiently, and reducing the revenue earned per dollar invested in your assets.

What are some ways telematics software can help you to improve the capacity of your mobile workforce?

  • Review your current inventory – are there assets not being used? Could they be sold or repurposed?
  • Review current routes – could your vehicles be taking more efficient routes, avoiding traffic or working jobs closer to the yard?
  • Review vehicle/equipment usage – Are vehicles being driven in a responsible way? Is equipment being used outside a manufacturer’s recommended operating guidelines? Does the asset need servicing to maintain optimum capacity?
  • Are jobs being sequenced efficiently? Could customer jobs be reorganized to be more convenient for sales reps or delivery drivers? Could you save time by doing them in a different order?
  • Are your trucks or vans utilizing their load capacity effectively? Do you know if there is extra load space that isn’t being used?
  • Do you plan for seasonal fluctuations? Can you adequately prepare for the busy times, while not being over-resourced for the quiet months?

The key to improving asset utilisation is knowledge – knowing what’s being used, and how it’s being used, every minute of the working day. Combining GPS tracking units with intelligent asset utilisation software will provide you with that information in real time (or near real time) so you can make the best use of your assets.

So, as part of your strategic planning for future growth, make sure you consider using a solution that can help you unlock the hidden potential of your current fleet – before you go out and buy more trucks or hire more staff.

If you’d like to discuss how asset utilization software can help your fleet grow, without the burden of unnecessary capital expenditure, talk to one of our sales team today.