When it comes to direct store delivery sales, most especially those in the food service industry, top-tier product management and tracking is needed to ensure quality products and services at all times. Spoils and returns have to be accounted for, pre-sales orders need to be considered, and routes have to be streamlined to keep already thin profit margins in check.
In years past, many fleet managers (those in charge of this process) have grown accustomed to tedious, time-consuming spreadsheets to collect and keep tabs on all their data. Not only does this limit real-time visibility of their fleet operations, but it limits productivity as well. In this article, we’ll explain why many fleet managers are now turning to fleet management software as a solution, along with our pick for the best fleet management software for your business.
As with any software, fleet management software is designed to optimize the tasks and efficiency of an organization’s commercial vehicle/fleet operations. As fleet managers are often in charge of vehicle maintenance, the oversight of fuel consumption and costs, driver management, route planning, etc., many of these tasks require immense amounts of time and accumulated data to stay on top of.
By using fleet management software, organizations and fleet managers alike are better able to optimize their resources, securing more opportunities to make sales, nurture customer relationships, and grow their business.
Ask any fleet manager, and they’ll tell you that their days are filled to the brim with a variety of duties, random interruptions, and more. Calculations have to be made, data has to be keyed in, maintenance, inspection, and vehicle data has to be tallied, sorted, and prioritized year-round. As mentioned above, these duties take up valuable time, and manual entry on any type of data is far more prone to mistakes or miscalculations.
Thanks to mobile features built directly into fleet management software, users and drivers can input accurate maintenance, inspection, or vehicle data from anywhere, including out in the field. Likewise, many fleet management software packages integrate well to older systems, meaning updates and workflow requests arrive that much faster, improving overall efficiency in the process.
Let’s face it – spreadsheets are only as accurate as the person who inputs the data. As humans, we’re prone to all the errors or miscalculations that come with long work hours, missed caffeine, or general absentmindedness. These kinds of errors can lead to poor decision making in the long run, meaning they need to be fixed quickly before a snowball effect can occur.
But what if you can’t pinpoint where the error(s) occurred in your spreadsheets? What if you then have to spend hours combing through the data? What if you realize you have to duplicate that data, checking and re-checking every entry along the way until you find the culprit?
Thanks to fleet management software, you’ll never again have to worry about these types of scenarios. Your data is not only error-free, but synced to your other systems as well, letting you spot and correct issues on the fly, wherever they occur.
One of the most frustrating aspects of fleet management is the sheer amount of data that has to be monitored and analyzed, with data ranging from repair and maintenance data to replacement and acquisition.
Given that spreadsheets are notoriously difficult to navigate, often requiring several macros or shortcuts to surf through tables, rows, and tabs, drawing meaningful conclusions becomes especially tedious. Thanks to fleet management software, all of this data is made easier to read, and easier to navigate. Gone are the days of wasting hours on running formulas, replaced instead with configurable dashboards, accurate, auto-generated reports, and new ways to spot trends and improvement opportunities. Fleet managers free up more of their time, and stakeholders are provided with cleaner, much more user-friendly data. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Just as spreadsheets are prone to inaccurate data entry when done manually, so too are their updates subject to same issues. No one (especially fleet managers) can be expected to spend their entire work week updating spreadsheets, which means that as more data piles up, so too does the need to keep that data updated regularly. Days and data missed here and there can pile up quickly, and before you know it, your spreadsheets (and your data) are weeks or even months behind. For this reason, fleet management software is built with automated data entry assistance. Data is collected, organized, and analyzed from drivers and technicians in real-time, with a convenient, easy-to-read dashboard to provide fleet managers with a complete view of all fleet progress throughout the day. It’s truly that simple.
Fleet managers and software developers know the importance of team insight, which is why fleet management software is also built to foster and improve cross-team collaboration between managers, drivers, technicians, warehouse personnel, and even stakeholders. As outlined throughout this article, this type of collaboration is made all the more difficult when relegated to spreadsheets. Spreadsheets eat up valuable time, are prone to human error, and should stakeholders or fleet managers need to analyze that data to make operational improvements, it becomes all the more likely that they are working off of wrong or outdated information.
Likewise, should field technicians have inaccurate information when studying maintenance trends, it becomes easy to understand how fleet operations can take a dangerous turn for the red. Your business needs a proper, uniform solution in place, one that lets you forego spreadsheets, piles of printed pages, and exhaustive back-and-forth emails.
So, there you have it – five reasons fleet managers are swapping spreadsheets for software. As for our pick for the best fleet management software for your business, we wholeheartedly recommend bMobile Route. Built for convenience from the ground up, bMobile is an easy-to-use, ERP-certified solution for distributors already familiar with QuickBooks, Sage, Syspro, NetSuite, Microsoft (Dynamics), and other popular ERP systems, with EDI and DEX integration that are second to none. Drowning in a sea of spreadsheets? bMobile eliminates the need for manual processing of invoice data with the click of a button.
Likewise, bMobile’s customers enjoy all the cost reduction, data entry, and route optimization benefits outlined in this article, along with instant prioritization of delivery stops relative to distance, efficiency, and delivery time windows. With clear audits of warehouse-to-truck, truck-to-truck, truck-to-store, and truck-to-warehouse, your business’s end-of-day reports have never been cleaner, or more accurate. See what bMobile’s fleet management software can do for your business today with their free demo.
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