Mobile device integration is increasingly powering fleet software sales, reports Chevin Fleet Solutions.
More and more, fleets are beginning to realise that utilising the power of smartphones and tablets out in the field – whether company or employee owned – brings a whole range of new possibilities.
Chief among these, said sales director David Gladding, were the ability to use devices to help manage compliance, fulfil legislative obligations and to proactively monitor maintenance needs.
He explained: "Especially among commercial vehicles fleets, we are seeing smartphones being used for a range of tasks – for example to enable the carrying out of basic daily maintenance checks that are part of O licence requirements.
"We are working with an 800 vehicle fleet where this fundamental job generated a paper check for each van every day but a mobile device means that the whole process can become easily automated.
"This kind of gain has obvious appeal for fleet operators in terms of much reduced cost, time saved, auditing and general efficiency. As awareness grows in the market, it is increasingly becoming a factor that swings deals in our favour."
David said that fleets were also beginning to realise that using mobile devices for proactive maintenance inspections could have a real impact on running costs.
"As most fleet operators know, many drivers of company vehicles will continue to use their vehicle with a known problem until it becomes acute and this in itself can prompt further issues. For example, a gearbox fault that could be easily rectified when it first occurred could eventually lead to outright failure.
"However, if drivers are required to carry out a formal inspection of their vehicle, almost all of them will report that problem rather than continue using their car or van. Over time, savings will be made for this reason."
Chevin introduced its own mobile product, FleetWave Mobile early in 2014.
David said: "It has taken a little time for the market to fully understand the potential that a product like this offers but we are seeing more and more interest in using it to carry out all kinds of fleet processes – from the vehicle inspections that we describe to areas like delivery verifications, fleet tracking and much more.
"As a tool, it is exceptionally versatile and, every week, we seem to come across new uses that will deliver real and measurable benefits to fleets."
A key feature of FleetWave Mobile is that it can be used offline and data uploaded when a connection becomes available, David added.
"A mobile app that will only work when a mobile signal is available is useless to the vast majority of fleets yet many suffer from this shortcoming. You need to have something that will remain useable even if you are regularly in a dead spot."