The digitisation of business continues to impact every department and office, and the fleet manager’s domain is no different. Expect plenty of changes that provide fresh benefits and challenges as the fleets of the 2020s become all-digital, always-on, connected environments. 

With COVID hopefully firmly in the rear-view mirror for business, every department within enterprises and smaller firms are returning their focus to efficiency and cost savings. What COVID did show is that automation, remote operations and digital business services can all play a part, even in relatively traditional areas like fleet management. 

As more fleet managers adopt data-based insurance, digital fleet analytics and reporting, product vendors will keep updating their tools with improved features to drive sales and boost product performance. 

Fleet managers’ awareness of the many trends and changes across vehicle offerings, fleet vehicle insurance, technology services and network integration is key to remaining in charge of a changing market landscape, as sustainability becomes a key issue for all firms. 

Fleet departments must be adaptable to meet and adjust to these changes. These five trends are key to understanding where the changes are coming from and what they mean to the current fleet market. 

Data visibility will be everywhere

Before the pandemic, many fleet managers were reliant on manual and physical processes to understand their fleet and its performance. This became problematic as COVID took hold. In the ensuing months, fleet managers have understood how vital online and automated dashboards are in making business-critical decisions.

With more granular data comes improved analytics and insights for the business. Fleet management software will update to capture this data and provide dashboards for tactical and strategic decision-making. From expenses to emissions, insurance to driver quality, every aspect can be analysed and fine-tuned through automated services, driver training or strategic adjustments.

5G isn’t just a number

5G continues to roll out across the UK and the continent, boosting the speed at which data is available, allowing for faster updates and efficiency changes.

Mobile tracking and fleet management apps, plus those of insurers and fuel providers will provide instant alerts or notifications. This supports driver risk management and helps teams stay connected and provides advice in real-time. 

A better eye of the driver (or digital drivers)

Automation is accelerating towards us, and it is only a matter of time before automation supports the current generation of drivers. New in-cab apps and services, with video and data feeds, will alert drivers and fleet managers about health and safety issues, driver behaviour and incidents around the vehicle. 

Insurers will have instant insights into accidents and maintenance alerts will improve fleet reliability and reduce downtime. The all round improvement in driver and data visibility creates a total awareness situation for the business. 

The road to electric

Fleet managers can use the huge amount of data generated by these tools to calculate the value of switching to electric fleets. With the UK government looking to change to hybrid or all-electric by 2030, the tipping point will need to be clearly signposted.

Connected fleets will provide the data for legacy fleets to upgrade in phases with insurers and fuel/power providers ready to install new features to power these fleets. The use of data will also prepare businesses for the new flow of information from these highly connected and automated vehicles.

All change for insurance

Even aspects that businesses think might remain static during all of these changes will be impacted by digital and data services. Insurers are already offering usage-based policies based on how many miles have been driven by fleets but we at Rideshur have gone further and developed a unique product offering real-time insurance pricing of every trip taken by vehicles in your fleet. With the real-time insights being surfaced back to the fleet, fleet managers can drive premium reductions throughout their policy rather than at renewal. Data is key to these developments.

Whatever the changes, fleet managers will need to be on top of their dashboards and market awareness to monitor the changing landscape. COVID has helped change the business landscape and while some firms are still happy with Excel, logbooks and time clocks, they will find their efficiency challenged by firms willing to adopt new technology like Rideshur and deliver fleet services that take every advantage that the roaring 20s has to offer. 

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