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Key performance indicators (KPIs) are absolutely crucial to gaining a proper understanding of fleet performance. Knowing which KPIs to monitor should be the first step for fleet managers looking to gain accurate insights into what they’re getting out of their fleet, and where improvements can be made.

Telematics systems are now playing a particularly central role in helping fleet managers to measure KPIs. While including all the benefits of a vehicle tracking system, telematics is in fact far more than just a vehicle tracker and provides uniquely detailed information on how fleets and drivers are performing.

So just which KPIs should fleet managers be tracking? Here’s our top 5:

1. Driver safety. This is always a crucial consideration for fleets and is a central aspect of their basic duty of care to their employees while they are at work – so close monitoring of driver behaviour is essential. It is also an important indicator with regard to overall road safety standards.

Telematics provides managers with information on speeding infringements, rough cornering, harsh braking and harsh acceleration. This information provides a debriefing tool when discussing performance with drivers, and also facilitates the development of individually-tailored training programmes.

Telematics data can also be used to create driver safety scorecards and league tables, with incentives provided for the safest and most-improved drivers.

Recommended metrics: driver behaviour events, both the number of them and divided by category (e.g. speeding events, harsh usage events, high risk incidents).

2. Fuel economy and efficiency. Fuel is a top-three expense for fleet-dependent businesses and improving fuel economy is a matter of both bottom-line cost savings and environmental impact.

Metrics such as kilometres per litre, engine idle time and unauthorised usage are important for monitoring fuel consumption and efficiency. Armed with a clear knowledge based on these metrics, fleets are likely to be in a much stronger position to make efficiency savings as well as cutting emissions.

Recommended metrics: kilometres per litre (Fuel burn), engine idle time and unauthorised usage.

3. Asset utilisation. This is again highly important for understanding the overall efficiency and performance of the fleet, and in identifying potential efficiency savings.

If there is room to downsize the fleet without hurting standards of performance or customer service, tracking asset utilisation metrics will help you identify that room. For example, where assets are not active for over two days, this may be an indication that there is some slack when it comes to asset utilisation.

Recommended metrics: assets inactive for over two days.

4. Productivity. It’s essential for fleet managers to know just how productive their fleet is. Fleet productivity could be measured using various metrics, such as time on site, mileage on site, site entry and exit activity and work vs idle.

Tracking metrics such as these should make it much easier for fleet managers to identify ways in which they can streamline the business and improve service delivery standards.

Recommended metrics: time on site, mileage on site, site entry and exit activity and work vs idle.

5. Preventative maintenance compliance. This is indispensable to reducing the risk of downtime, which is a major threat to fleets and can cause serious disruption and delays – with everything this implies for customer service.

Fleets must monitor preventative maintenance compliance – for example, through tracking the number of non-planned maintenance events – to ensure that essential preventative fleet maintenance tasks are being carried out when they should be.

Recommended metrics: number of unplanned maintenance events.

Monitoring KPIs is a serious undertaking for fleets. This means that it’s important for businesses to have the right fleet management software in place. Your fleet management software needs to present the telematics data gathered on your fleet in a way which is easy to understand, and which is therefore easy to put into practice.

Choosing the right fleet management system for your business could help deliver significant savings while also allowing for improvements to standards of customer service.

Mike Tansley

Mike is an experienced adult educator, working in Training and Development for over 10 years. He has been with Teletrac Navman for the last 5 years currently working as the ANZ training manager, helping users maximise their ROI through a better understanding of their telematics solution.