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What Is The Best Fleet Management Software for Small Businesses?

So, you’re a small business owner. Maybe you have an army of drivers on your payroll or just one very respectable company car. Either way, you have a fleet that is a business investment, and you want to ensure it succeeds.

While profit-draining issues like fuel costs and driver safety may top your worry list, fleet management software is sure to make business breezier. But, how do you know which system is best for your small business?

Let’s find out.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn what small businesses are
  • Find out what the current climate of small businesses looks like
  • Delve into the challenges small businesses face
  • Explore how fleet management can be the solution to these challenges
  • Gain insights into why Cartrack is the perfect software for all your small business fleet needs

What is the best fleet management solution for small businesses?

Are you a small business looking for the best way to manage your fleet? Maybe you have everything under control and don’t feel the need for a solution to your fleet management problem yet. But, here’s the thing about small businesses – they think big. 

So how can your small business think big? By trusting the industry leaders in fleet management for small businesses. That leader is Cartrack UAE. 

But before we unpack all that our fleet management system has to offer you and your small business, let’s first cover the business side of things.

What is a small business?

A small business is typically a privately owned corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship with a small number of employees and less revenue than a regular-sized business. Small businesses can come in different forms and operate in various industries, whether it be a restaurant, a bakery, a plumbing service, construction, online retail, or boutiques. 

South Africa is home to a large number of small businesses in different industries. But how does the climate of these unique businesses look in the country, and what does their future look like?

What is the current climate of small businesses in UAE?

According to Business Partners Limited’s latest SME Confidence Index, the impact of load shedding, a low growth economic path, and high lending rates on the confidence of small and medium enterprises is clear, causing small and medium enterprises (SME) confidence that their businesses will grow this year to decrease by five percentage points. 

There seems to be hope though, with the author of the document David Morobe, sharing that small businesses are “gaining some confidence in initiatives implemented by both the public and private sectors… to create a more enabling business environment.” 

Although, with these initiatives not being guaranteed, small businesses are still faced with several challenges that can prevent their fleet from achieving optimum success. Let’s explore these. 

What is fleet management?

Fleet management is a general term for all the activities and processes that are essential for the efficient running of a fleet.

A fleet can be made up of buses, trucks, or commercial vehicles that are used for business functions. The main purpose of fleet management is to not only streamline driver’s jobs but also simplify a fleet manager’s responsibilities.

What are the responsibilities of a fleet manager in a small business?

Fleet managers have several fleet responsibilities on their shoulders, including:

  • Driver management: Fleet managers are responsible for overseeing driver behaviour and operations, along with providing the necessary coaching to them. 
  • Documentation and record keeping: Fleet managers are responsible for maintaining accurate fleet records and documentation, including servicing and inspection documents.
  • Fuel management: Fleet managers are responsible for ensuring their fleet remains fuel efficient by monitoring fuel consumption and spotting fuel wastage.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Fleet managers are responsible for keeping vehicles well maintained by scheduling regular vehicle management and maintenance checkups.
  • Cost management: Fleet managers are responsible for monitoring and optimising all fleet-related expenses, ranging from fuel consumption to vehicle usage, to increase their return on investment.

As a fleet manager, this can be a lot of work for you to do, especially when you have to deal with fleet challenges faced by small businesses too. Let’s take a look at these challenges.

What are the fleet challenges typically faced by small businesses?

Due to their size, small businesses deal with a unique set of challenges that can significantly impact their growth and success. The most common ones include:

  • Limited resources: Since small businesses don’t have a large fleet of vehicles, effectively completing all their tasks, especially when there is high demand, can be quite challenging. This increases the chances of consistent wear and tear on equipment due to overutilization, leading to increased maintenance costs.
  • Unforeseen repair and maintenance costs: Due to limited financial resources, small businesses aren’t able to attend to unforeseen repairs and maintenance costs, which strains their financial resources. These unexpected costs that aren’t budgeted for can also lead to vehicle downtime.
  • Unplanned vehicle downtime: Unplanned vehicle downtime is a problem for every business, but it's more damaging for small businesses. Small businesses usually don’t have a large fleet of vehicles, so unplanned vehicle downtime can seriously affect the business's productivity, revenue, and customer reputation.
  • Effectively tracking and managing vehicles and drivers: Small businesses may not have access to the time and the same level of expertise and resources as large businesses, making it difficult for fleet managers to continuously know where their drivers and vehicles are and how they are being operated.
  • Driver safety concerns: Ensuring drivers are operating safely is a major concern for all businesses, but since small businesses typically lack the resources to invest in a robust driver monitoring system, this can pose an even greater challenge for them and the overall safety of their fleet and drivers. This also increases their risk of negatively impacting their fleet’s fuel efficiency.
  • Fuel costs: Fuel costs can be a significant expense for small businesses, especially when they are not closely monitored. Consistently high levels of fuel consumption can negatively impact a small business's bottom line and profitability.
  • High driver turnover rate: Since small businesses don’t have large budgets, they may find it difficult to compete with the competitive packages that large-scale businesses offer. This means that managers need to find ways to keep their drivers happy and loyal to the company, which can be quite a challenging task. 

These challenges may seem daunting, but there may just be a simple, easily accessible, and affordable solution that can help you tackle all of them. That software is a fleet management system.

What are the benefits of using fleet management software?

At its core, fleet management plays a very important role in the successful, convenient running of a fleet. Fleet management software works to streamline all the tasks encompassed by fleet management by bringing you the following benefits:

  • Improving route planning: Route planning is crucial to the successful operation of a fleet because it has a substantial impact on operational efficiency, cost savings, and customer satisfaction. Fleet management software can help fleet managers create routes that are efficient and economical by taking into account factors such as the shortest possible route, traffic conditions, and vehicle capabilities. Efficient route planning reduces fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear, leading to decreased operational expenses. A poorly defined route equates to travelling unnecessary kilometres to perform the most simple tasks, which increases fuel consumption and vehicle wear. By optimising routes, reducing mileage, and cutting costs, businesses can save time and money.
  • Aiding fleet cost reduction: One of the main benefits of fleet management software is the unparalleled fleet visibility it helps unlock. With greater visibility of drivers, vehicle conditions, fuel consumption, and cargo safety, fleet managers can gain better control of their fleet’s costs. By providing features such as fuel monitoring, route optimisation, and preventative maintenance, fleet management software is important in helping fleets reduce their operational costs.
  • Improving customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is crucial to success, especially for small businesses. Studies show that 67% of customers have stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service. On top of that, 39% of customers who experienced poor customer service said that they would never use the company again. By providing real-time tracking and visibility of their entire fleet, fleet managers can keep their customers informed about the progress of their deliveries with accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA) predictions. Drivers are a crucial aspect of fleets, so by improving safety and compliance through driver behaviour monitoring, managers can not only ensure that their drivers aren’t doing anything that could potentially compromise fleet success but also ensure that goods are delivered without any damage. With maintenance schedules, they can ensure that their goods or services are delivered with little to no delays.
  • Improve and extend vehicle health: Vehicle health and longevity are crucial to success, especially for small businesses that have a limited number of vehicles and cannot afford to replace them frequently. Fleet management software gives you access to preventative maintenance, which helps you quickly detect vehicle damage before it becomes worse and affects the fleet's efficiency and driver safety. This helps fleets prevent unplanned vehicle downtime, which can lead to costly delays and lower customer satisfaction. Asset utilisation helps fleet managers know which of their vehicles or equipment is being overutilised, helping them evenly distribute workloads and avoid placing unnecessary strain on specific vehicles/equipment.
  • Encouraging data-driven decision-making: Managers need to ensure that all fleet decisions are backed up by data. Fleet management software gives you access to actionable insights through data and analytics, which help you make decisions that are specific to your fleet and can help take its effectiveness to the next level. By providing real-time visibility into the location, status, and performance analytics of each vehicle, fleet management software makes it easier for small businesses to quickly and thoroughly compile data, helping them generate reports and statistics that help streamline operations and make informed decisions.
  • Simplifying fleet scalability: Fleet scalability for small businesses refers to the ability of a fleet management system to accommodate and support the growth and increased demands of a fleet operation. It involves the system’s capacity to accommodate the increasing demands of a growing fleet. A fleet management system simplifies the upscaling of your fleet by streamlining these operations. So whether you’re adding more vehicles or employing more drivers, fleet management software is the key to ensuring your business remains efficient with little to no growing pains.
  • Simplifying remote management: Small businesses need to make the most of the limited resources they have. By gaining an efficient overview of vehicles and drivers from anywhere and anytime, remote management helps fleet managers stay connected with their drivers and provide support through driver and job analysis 24/7, 365, which enhances overall operational efficiency and safety.

How can fleet management software help tackle challenges faced by small businesses?

The purpose of fleet management software is to streamline the various tasks that are crucial to effective fleet management. Here are 4 ways this software can make this possible:

  1. GPS Tracking: Real-time vehicle tracking in fleet management involves using GPS and telematics technology to monitor the location, movement, and behaviour of vehicles in real time. This allows fleet managers to improve operational efficiency, ensure driver safety, optimise vehicle performance, and reduce operational costs. By implementing real-time fleet tracking, fleet managers can make data-driven decisions. This technology offers the following benefits:

    - Real-time, on-demand visibility of your vehicles: By providing continuous live updates, GPS tracking makes it easier for fleet managers to know exactly where each of their fleet vehicles is at any moment.

    - Prevent unauthorised vehicle use: By giving you insights into how your vehicle is being operated, fleet managers can quickly spot if their drivers are using fleet vehicles for personal use instead of the assigned job.
  2. Maintenance scheduling and alerts: Maintenance scheduling and alerts in fleets involve the use of technology to track and manage all maintenance-related activities for vehicles and equipment. By making use of real-time alerts and reminders, fleet managers adopt a proactive approach to maintenance scheduling, allowing them to stay on top of their fleet vehicle’s maintenance, which offers the following benefits:

    - Lower repair costs: By sending alerts the moment an issue is detected, this technology helps you quickly attend to maintenance issues before they worsen and become more costly to repair.

    - Extend your fleet vehicles’ life span: By automating the scheduling of routine check-ups and vehicle servicing, this technology helps extend a fleet’s life span by keeping vehicles operating at their best and preventing expensive repairs and replacements.

    - Keep fleets compliant: By keeping track of maintenance records and ensuring all issues are quickly addressed, this technology helps you ensure that fleet vehicles always meet legal and regulatory standards and that the fleet operates within compliance parameters.
  3. Fuel management: Fuel management in a fleet context refers to the process of monitoring and controlling fleet fuel consumption. A fuel management system makes use of telematics to measure a vehicle’s fleet usage, and by offering automated software for the monitoring, controlling, and optimising of fuel usage, this system automates what was once time-consuming, manual fuel tracking. A fuel management system is important as it helps fleets:

    - Prevent fuel theft: By equipping fleet managers with real-time fuel capacity monitoring, a fuel management system helps managers quickly spot possible fuel theft, ranging from syphoning and fuel card fraud to fuel card cloning.

    - Reduce human error: By automating fuel monitoring, errors caused by human input are eliminated, which guarantees you accurate vehicle and driver data. As a fleet manager, you can now say goodbye to manually recording data, which would typically lead to inaccuracies that harm overall fleet efficiency.

    - Improve driver behaviour: By identifying and eliminating fuel-consuming driver behaviour, fleet managers can ensure their fleet remains fuel efficient.
  4. Driver monitoring: Driver behaviour monitoring works to continuously assess and analyse driver behaviour and actions while they’re behind the wheel. This is done by making use of a combination of cameras, sensors, and GPS vehicle tracking. The system makes use of a set baseline of normal driver behaviour and can issue real-time warnings when deviations from this behaviour are detected. Whether it be drowsiness, signs of fatigue, or distracted driving, this technology helps drivers correct this behaviour in real-time, which has the following benefits:

    - Reduced distracted driving: By detecting signs of distracted driving, such as constantly looking away from the road, this software warns drivers to focus, which ultimately lowers the chances of a road accident caused by distracted driving.

    - Reduced fatigue: By detecting signs of fatigued driving, such as constantly yawning, this software alerts your drivers that it might be time for them to take a break, which ultimately lowers the chances of a road accident caused by fatigued driving.

So how do you find the perfect fleet management system for your business?

All these benefits tell us just how beneficial fleet management software can be for your small business, but how do you pick the right one for your fleet? Finding a fleet management system isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach because businesses face different challenges depending on the industry they operate in and the product or service they provide. However, there are four key questions you should be asking to find the perfect fit for your business:

  1. Is it compatible with your fleet?

    As a small business, you need fleet management software that can be tailored to the specific needs and challenges you face. The challenges that large businesses face aren’t the same as those that small businesses face, so you need to ensure that the fleet management software you choose supports the size of your fleet and caters to its specific industry and requirements.
  2. Does it simplify fleet scalability?

    Your business may be small right now, but this may not be the case forever. Let’s say you want to purchase another vehicle or hire more drivers, but you’re not sure if your current system is efficient enough to keep your fleet functioning effectively. Fleet management software should work to simplify this and make any transitions as seamless as possible.
  3. Does it help you keep track of your drivers?

    Whether you have one driver or a large team, you need software that makes keeping up with their behaviour simple. It’s not enough to give you a monthly report; you need real-time visibility into their behaviour, as this can help you quickly address any behaviour that could compromise your fleet's success and efficient functioning.
  4. Is it affordable?

    Affordability is a very important part of finding the perfect fleet management software, especially for small businesses. Your business may face financial restrictions that large businesses don’t, so you need fleet management software that understands this and can provide solutions that are tailored to your means and needs.

This may seem like a lot to figure out, but you don’t have to worry, because we have the answer to all these questions and are bringing you a fleet management system that is perfectly suited to your fleet. That software is Cartrack.

Elevate efficiency in your small or big business with Cartrack’s advanced fleet management software

Cartrack’s fleet management system gives you access to a wide range of software that caters to your fleet’s every need and helps you navigate the speed bumps you may face along the way. Here are 9 ways we’ll help you boost your small business:

  1. Live Vision AI cameras:

    Unlock real-time alerts on dangerous or distracted driving behaviour with Cartrack’s Live Vision AI cameras. Our cloud-connected video management software makes use of in-cabin cameras and AI analysis to give you access to real-time driver behaviour alerts. When dangerous driving behaviours such as speeding, yawning, cell phone use, and smoking are detected, in-cabin audible alerts immediately notify your drivers so they can correct their behaviour in real-time. You can also receive real-time alerts and access the footage via a livestream feed, ensuring that preventative maintenance is immediately implemented.
  2. GPS Tracking:

    Accurately track your fleet vehicles’ location in real-time with Cartrack’s live GPS tracking. As a small business, you can use the data gathered from your GPS tracking data to monitor and improve overall fleet performance by pinpointing any inefficiencies. Real-time GPS tracking also gives you access to enhanced security and safety. Stolen vehicle recovery goes hand in hand with real-time GPS tracking, as the data that is recorded and monitored in real-time helps our highly skilled 23-hour recovery team track and recover your vehicle as quickly as possible.
  3. Geofencing:

    Keep an eye on where your vehicles or equipment are being operated with Cartrack’s geofencing feature. This software allows you to set virtual boundaries around specific areas to monitor the movement of your drivers, vehicles, and equipment. Once a geofence has been set up, you can receive alerts the moment the vehicle enters or exits that specific area, which gives you real-time visibility into the activities of your fleet.

  4. Cargo Monitoring:

    Keep your fleet’s cargo safe with Cartrack’s cargo monitoring solutions. Working as a part of our AI-powered SmartCabin system, our cargo cameras help you gain unparalleled visibility of the cargo your vehicles are carrying. This software helps you easily monitor your cargo by live streaming up to four cameras and making it possible to download the recorded footage if potential cargo tampering is detected. Use this in conjunction with our specialised cargo door sensors, which send you real-time alerts the moment your cargo door is opened. If you are handling heavy cargo, you can make use of our tailgate sensors, which work to monitor the safety of heavy cargo by sending live alerts the moment your trailer’s tailgates are activated.
  5. Regulatory compliance:

    Keep your fleet compliant with Cartrack’s SARS-compliant logbook. Easily accessible from our app, this feature helps you log your trips and differentiate between business and personal trips. You can download your SARS-ready reports and send them through to your tax consultant or the SARS eFiling online platform, making your business trip-logging life a whole lot faster. No more lost paper trails or missed tax deadlines.

  6. Vehicle maintenance:

    Keep your fleet vehicles functioning at their optimum with Cartrack’s preventative vehicle maintenance. Powered by artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, our preventative maintenance software analyses vehicle performance and spots potential maintenance issues before they become dangerous and costly. Receive alerts about issues such as damaged brake pads, low water and oil levels, service interval reminders, and more so you can anticipate and avoid costly breakdowns, road accidents, and further damage to your vehicles and create effective maintenance plans.

  7. Fuel monitoring:

    Keep an eye on every litre of fuel with Cartrack’s fuel monitoring system, and make every cent count. Our fuel cost monitoring software works to review your fuel transactions, matches fuel receipts with a vehicle’s advanced telemetry, and provides you with real-time visibility into fuel usage. By making use of a fuel sensor that is installed in your vehicle’s tank, you can closely monitor how much fuel your vehicle is consuming. This makes the system essential to reducing fuel wastage, identifying fuel theft, and improving your fleet’s fuel efficiency.
  8. Route optimisation:

    Determine the quickest and safest routes for your fleet's drivers with Cartrack’s route optimisation. Accessible via our Delivery app, this feature gives you access to real-time alerts of route deviations and delays, which helps you ensure fast delivery turnaround times and boost customer service. You can also conveniently view driver statuses, which allows you to quickly assign tasks to your nearest available driver.
  9. MiFleet:

    Know the exact running cost of your fleet with Cartrack’s MiFleet software. Whether you have one or one hundred vehicles, you need to effectively manage your fleet-related finances, and our software works as your assistant. MiFleet is a vehicle cost management software that helps fleet managers keep track of their fleet expenses, ranging from taxes and vehicle permits to finance and fuel costs. By giving you in-depth insight into your fleet's expenses, you can unlock greater fuel and cost savings and reduce admin time and fees.

Make big moves in your small business with Cartrack’s solutions

Truth is, small businesses need to think big if they want to remain relevant and succeed. No matter the size of your business, let’s get the best out of your fleet and take your company to the next level.

Chat with us here today.

Small fleet, big ambitions? Cartrack fuels your growth with smarter fleet management. Boost efficiency, cut costs, win big.