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How to maximize fleet asset utilization

Use fleet utilization reports to see if vehicles are being utilized efficiently or inefficiently.

Tracking the use of vehicles has always been an important part of fleet management. In this new, fast-changing environment, fleet asset utilization is even more vital. Understanding how vehicles are being used and where there is imbalance, can help inform your decisions to keep your business moving efficiently and manage cost.

What is fleet asset utilization?

Asset utilization is the who, what, where, when and how of your fleet. Being aware of what usage is trending in your fleet will help you answer: “Is your fleet being used to its fullest potential?” In times like these, where operations might temporarily be scaled back, or even ramped up, checking fleet utilization more frequently is helpful for fitting vehicles to your changing business needs and validating if vehicles are being used efficiently or not.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for fleet asset utilization metrics include:

  • Days driven
  • Drive time
  • Mileage

You can easily view these vehicle statistics from your telematics system online, without needing to consult equipment logs or time sheets. MyGeotab provides a standard set of reports to help you assess vehicle utilization.

Why is looking at fleet asset utilization vital?

Rarely is business static. Delivery and customer routes change, drivers rotate and some take vehicles home and some do not. New equipment is introduced and old equipment retired. Perhaps EVs are being introduced into the fleet. What impact do all these changes have on vehicle utilization? As policies and equipment change, fleets need to ensure that all vehicles are being used properly and by the right drivers

Here are some advantages of reporting on fleet utilization:

  • Rotate vehicles for service requirements to manage vehicle downtime
  • See how conditions are impacting trip distance, so you can adjust shifts accordingly
  • Identify vehicles that could be replaced with EVs
  • Ensure vehicles are being used to their maximum lifecycle before taking them out of service

Reports can unveil which vehicles are hardly used, or overused, or in downtime for maintenance or repair. Monitoring this activity will help to keep your fleet well balanced from a replacement cycling standpoint and also quickly point out areas of opportunity to re-deploy vehicles into other areas of the business. Holding onto consistently unused assets is very expensive to tag, title and insure when renting a vehicle for surge times may be a better business decision

Utilization reports in MyGeotab

The following MyGeotab reports provide clear insight to vehicle utilization:

  • Asset Utilization Report
  • Fleet Utilization Report
  • Fleet Distance Trend

Another report you will need to run is the Watchdog Report, which provides a quick snapshot on overall device communication and status. The Watchdog report allows you to confirm that all reports you run in MyGeotab are up-to-date with the latest and most accurate information possible from which to make informed decisions.

Here is a quick overview of each report.

Asset Utilization Report

The Asset Utilization report summarizes the 10 most and 10 least utilized vehicles in the fleet. This is a great report to  keep on your MyGeotab dashboard and is useful in identifying vehicles to be rotated with less utilized assets to manage mileage across your assets, or to ask yourself, what are my 10 most utilized assets doing differently than the others to optimize their time?  How can they help to make the rest of my fleet more efficient? Or for the least utilized vehicles,  perhaps they can be repurposed within the business for other revenue streams.

 

When running this report, it is recommended that you look at a one week or one month period, and set the sub-periods or groups to daily.

View your most and least utilized vehicles by number of days driven.

View your most and least utilized vehicles by number of days driven.

Fleet Utilization Report

The Fleet Utilization Report is more of a summary-type report. It has mileage ranges (0-100 mi, 101-200 mi, 201-500 mi, 501-1000 mi, 1000+ mi) and shows a count of vehicles used in each range. This report is useful for identifying spikes in usage by specific vehicles and drivers and where your customers or service range is.

 

You can run this report daily for a 30-day rolling mileage for vehicles and drivers.

 

Tip: In this report, you want to see a balanced bar chart instead of a bell curve.

Comparison chart of vehicle count versus range in mileage.

Comparison chart of vehicle count versus range in mileage.

 

For those vehicles operating within a specific or consistent range, you may want to perform an Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment. Are you considering electrification and not sure where to start? Find out which EVs are best suited to your fleet needs with Geotab’s EV Suitability Assessment (EVSA). There is also Geotab’s Fleet Electrification Knowledge Center which is your go-to resource for those interested in planning an EV fleet journey– from adoption to optimizing their operation.

Fleet Distance Trend Report

The Fleet Distance Trend Report shows the total distance driven against the average distance per vehicle, and conveys the business climate. Use this report to understand: is there capacity to add or downsize?

 

This is a trend report that could be run for the last week, month, last three months or year to date (YTD). Depending upon the date range you choose, you should enable the sub-periods or group to a daily, weekly or monthly reporting.

 

Here are some ways to use the Distance Driven Trend Report:

  • Identify seasonal and regional trends
  • Create budget forecasts
  • Find the best times (down days) to schedule vehicle maintenance and manage downtime

You can also use this report to trend your activity to identify changes or spikes in your distances being driven.

Fleet distance trend views in MyGeotab.

Fleet distance trend views in MyGeotab.

The Watchdog Report

All this being said, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. As stated earlier, The Watchdog Report provides a summary of device communication for all the devices in your fleet. Review this report regularly to identify and resolve any device health issues, to make sure you are getting information from all fleet vehicles.

Next steps

Now that you have a handle on your asset utilization and where there might be imbalances, what’s next?

 

Based on the results, there are different steps you can take to make improvements.

 

Here are several ideas:

  • Have the most utilized drivers coach other drivers on how they optimize their days
  • Rotate vehicles to help extend their life cycles, or repurpose vehicles
  • Clearly define acceptable and unacceptable vehicle usages
  • Realign zones and rules to manage mileage
  • Adjust business practices to maximize warehouse locations to customer service areas

Another example would be to change routes for improved mileage and time savings. For instance, look at where the vehicle is domiciled versus their routes. Instead of having drivers travel out to their regular route, maybe have them start their shift from home and service local areas.

What can I do if I don’t know how to set up a specific report?

If you need more guidance, here is a video tutorial on how to run a report. Please also reach out to your Authorized Geotab Reseller or contact your Geotab Account Advisor.

 

Visit the Geotab Community as well to see if someone is also asking the same question. You can pose a question and get feedback from other fleet managers and Geotab experts.

 

With the high cost of fuel and other economic pressures, allow data to present the information needed to make informed decisions and strategies for your fleet.  Reports, in addition to zones and rules, are critical to asset utilization awareness.  Utilizing the reports outlined here will make the data work for you, and help you see how efficiently your business is or can be!

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