My father used to try and explain to me how it ‘used to be done’ with long hand arithmetic, trig tables, and so on. I think he realised when it was time to desist after he repeatedly saw the bemused and slightly bored look on my face!
Now calculators are everywhere: on your desk, on your computer, on your phone as an app – we use them every day as a valuable timesaving tool.
A bit like the ubiquitous Excel spreadsheet – it makes our lives easier, helps organise complex material into meaningful numbers and reports.
No wonder so many fleets use it to manage their cars and vans – some 60 per cent according to a 2014 Fleet Maintenance Management Software BuyerView report I was reading the other day from a fleet management research company called Software Advice.
60% of fleet operators still use Excel to manage their fleet.
The report analysed how 385 companies – the majority of these being sub 100 vehicle fleets – managed their vehicles.
Some 60 per cent said they used manual methods using Excel, while only 13 per cent used a fleet management system. An even higher percentage (16 per cent) used nothing at all to manage their fleets.
Quite scary that last bit! (Although, to be fair, 17 per cent of the vehicles in the assessment were with fleets of between 1 and 4 cars.)
The good news to come out of this report is that some 80 per cent want a fleet management software solution and the majority want it to be online, with a rich arrangement of tools to help them manage their fleets more proactively. Specific wants included more organised data, speedier management and a more proactive maintenance programme.
The report notes that the majority of the fleets interviewed were below 100 cars, while best practice in the fleet industry was for larger fleets to outsource the fleet management function.
But there is another way. And it’s right here at Fleet Alliance without having to go to a fleet management specialist.
We have e-fleet – our own cloud based fleet management suite that corrals all your fleet data into one place. It can be accessed at any time of the day from anywhere you choose (on the beach if you really want to …).
And it includes all your fleet, whatever the funder, even those employees who use their private cars on business
There’s mileage and predictive mileage reports, driver lists, inspection reports as well as service due reports and so on – it makes the fleet manager’s job so much easier because the data is proactive, and the interface easy to use.
More to the point, your drivers can use our e-fleet app on their mobiles which provides support numbers should they require assistance – everything is there from booking a service to booking windscreen repair.
The report finishes by saying that respondents were looking for web-based systems with expansive sets of features that make fleet management more convenient.
I think it’s here already with our e-fleet management – which makes the excel spreadsheet a bit like managing your fleet using long hand arithmetic.