Nov 10, 2022

7 Must-Have Digital Fleet Management Software Features

7 Must-Have Digital Fleet Management Software Features

When you do it right, adding fleet management software features to your workflow can help your shop save time and money.

Of course, the operative phrase here is “when you do it right.”

It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that not all fleet maintenance management softwares are equal. And if you choose the wrong tool for the job, it can hurt your quality of service more than help.

This can be alarming to think about, but it doesn’t need to be your shop’s inevitable outcome! By focusing on solutions that can supercharge your operation’s efficiency and quality, you’ll be sure to find a fleet maintenance software that’s a great fit for you.

Read on for the seven features your fleet maintenance solution needs to offer.

1. Inventory and Asset Management

Inventory management can get tricky when you’re trying to handle it by yourself. Naturally, this task only gets more complex if you’re in charge of multiple locations. Make sure your fleet management solution can help you:

  • Track and monitor your inventory across one or more shops
  • Generate new purchase orders
  • Order new parts
  • Set parts margins/markup percentages

Of course, if you’re a fleet manager, your inventory management strategy can (and should!) go beyond keeping track of individual parts. These days, a full-fledged digital fleet solution needs to include fleet tracking capabilities, letting you know where each truck in your fleet is at a glance. To benefit from this incredibly convenient feature, look for a solution that integrates with the digital fleet GPS service you or your customer is already using.

2. Service Order Management

If you’ve been working in fleet management for more than a day or two, you already know service orders don’t all come from a single place. You’ll receive requests over the phone, through text messages, via email, and maybe even carrier pigeon. Some will be from regular customers for scheduled PMs, while others will be emergency maintenance requests.

In short, it can be a real mess.

One important fleet maintenance management software feature is the ability to see these service requests in one convenient spot—no matter where, how, or when the service order came through. Ideally, your digital fleet solution of choice will make it easy to set up things like preventive maintenance updates and DOT inspection reminders, too.

Keeping your customers in the loop with service updates and messages is another can’t-miss element of service order management, but we’ll get into that more later.

3. Service Order Workflows

When it comes to fleet inspections, your shop shouldn’t leave anything to chance. But even the most dedicated, hard-working technician can miss the occasional inspection item.

That’s where service order workflows come in. This feature works like a digital checklist and leads your techs through every step of an inspection, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. It helps your technicians offer top-notch service every single time.

Checklists can help your shop level up in terms of efficiency, give you and your customers extra peace of mind, and even create new revenue sources. The thing is, paper checklists can’t help you enjoy these benefits to their fullest. Instead, keep an eye out for a digital fleet solution with guided checklists and other workflow-related features.

Pair your digital checklist with the right truck diagnostic tools, and you can make sure trucks leave the shop happy and healthy every time.

4. Telematics Systems

Your trucks have a lot of tales to tell. With telematics systems for trucks, you can listen in, gather valuable tidbits of information, and untangle kinks in the process you didn’t even know existed. 

GPS is one of the most common types of telematics, but it’s far from the only one. Telematics devices can offer all sorts of cool fleet management software features like: 

  • Real-time vehicle tracking
  • Route optimization
  • Driver support and behavior analysis
  • Vehicle performance monitoring
  • Built-in hands-free features for mobile phones
  • Emergency warning systems and wireless safety communications

With access to info like this, the system can look ahead for roadblocks and reroute drivers before they hit traffic. Performance monitoring can look at factors like fuel mileage or engine temperatures to sniff out potential mechanical problems.If a truck gets stolen or lost, you can figure out exactly where it is in seconds. 

New technology like smart trailers goes even farther. As these tools grow in popularity, we can look forward to even more advanced insights like tracking cargo temperature, how cargo weight is distributed, or even a live feed of what you’re hauling.

With Fullbay Connect, you can track fleet GPS data like miles traveled, engine hours, and vehicle locations. That means more accurate maintenance estimates using real-time, up-to-the-hour data. Neat!

5. Predictive Maintenance Support

Imagine a magic 8-ball that ACTUALLY works!

Instead of waiting for a truck to break down in the middle of nowhere, predictive maintenance… Well, it predicts what maintenance the trucks in your fleet are going to need in the near future. Just shake your fleet management software and wait for it to say either “signs point to yes” or “my sources say no.”

Okay, kidding. It’s more than that. Predictive maintenance is similar to preventive maintenance, except the plan is more individually customized to each truck. Since each truck drives different routes under different conditions (drivers, amount of uphills, weather, etc), their needs will vary. By looking into historical data, you can look for trends and figure out a schedule catered to each truck’s unique conditions. 

Fullbay keeps track of each vehicle’s maintenance history for you. By recording which repairs are made, which parts are ordered for each make and model, and at what mileage that replacement occurred, you can look for clues for what’s coming next. It’s a handy way to avoid fleet downtime (which, spoiler, isn’t cheap).

From there, add it to the service order alongside your regular preventative maintenance checkup for ultimate efficiency!

6. Customer Communication

When customers choose your independent repair shop to maintain their fleet, they’re putting a great deal of trust in you. That means it’s in your shop’s best interest to keep that trust—and an excellent place to start is by giving clients reliable updates on the status of their repairs.

Things are obviously different if you’re managing fleet repairs internally, but keeping the people you’re working with in the loop is still crucial. Communication, as they say, is the key to any relationship.

As part of your customer communication efforts, your shop should be able to use text and email to send:

  • Repair updates
  • Images and notes
  • Estimates
  • Authorization requests

Still, your efforts in this space can go far beyond that. For example, it’s wise to give your customers a chance to check their own repair status. 

In other words, they won’t have to constantly call your shop for updates! Now that’s a cool feature.

7. Fleet Reporting

Since getting a good look at your operations is a critical part of making the right decisions for your future, it pays to find something that can give you the data and reporting you need. Unfortunately, this is a fleet management software feature that’s easy to overlook.

So, what reporting features should your fleet maintenance solution deliver? The exact answer will depend on your specific needs. Start by looking for features related to business operations (like labor hours, invoice status, and revenues), inventory reports, and fleet maintenance reports (including info on cost of ownership and upcoming maintenance/inspections).

How Fullbay Can Help

Now that you’ve had a chance to learn more about the most crucial fleet management software features to look for, choosing a product in this category might sound more daunting than ever. After all, finding a tool that can help you with everything from fleet tracking to digital checklists and more is a tall order.

The good news is that one product in this category can do it all. At this point, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear us say we’re talking about Fullbay.

Whether you run an independent heavy-duty repair shop or manage internal fleet repairs, we have the tools you need to keep operations organized and efficient. Track and manage shop operations like inspections and part inventory at a glance, then dive into the nitty-gritty details or take a step back for high-level reporting. Manage service orders with ease no matter where they come from, guide technicians through step-by-step inspections to ensure nothing gets missed, then quickly communicate repair status to customers, drivers, and anyone else who needs to stay in the loop.

Set up a demo today to learn even more about what Fullbay can do for you!

Emilie Vecera