How to Eliminate the Biggest Risks Associated With Our Fleet Operations

To ensure your fleet’s safety, compliance, and efficiency, managers come across various risks that can significantly affect operations. 

Fortunately, they don't have to fight this battle alone; effective risk management and Cartrack solutions are here to swiftly identify and eliminate all risks that can affect operations.

Let’s see what risk management Cartrack Tanzania has in store.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn about the biggest risks affecting fleet operations
  • Understand the causes and outcomes of these risks
  • Discover effective risk management practices
  • Gain insights into maintaining operational efficiency and compliance
  • Explore Cartrack’s advanced solutions for mitigating risks

Understand the biggest risks associated with our fleet operations by first understanding fleet operations

Fleet managers often wear many hats. They are the driving force in fleet operation, with huge responsibilities for ensuring the fleet reaches its objectives within the business, whether that may be delivering packages, transporting people, or simply providing a service like vehicles for mining and construction.

 It doesn’t end there; managers have to effectively track the performance of both vehicles and drivers, ensure safety is upheld in operations, manage finances and fleet expenses, maintain vehicles, and so much more. Organising, managing, and tracking all these different moving parts manually can bring the most experienced fleet managers to tears.

Luckily for managers and business owners everywhere, technology is always available to help with the workload. For fleet managers, it's telematics, GPS technology, tools like dash cameras, fleet management software, and the many features it comes with.

 These technologies streamline the fleet management process, provide easy access to vital information, and allow managers to make sense of the chaos of fleet operations by overseeing the lifecycle of their fleet all from one platform.

What are the biggest risks that affect fleet operations?

Risks differ depending on the business and the industry in which it operates. Fleet management doesn't just ensure vehicles travel safely from one point to another and monitor their drivers; it also mitigates the many risks that can occur daily.

 Here’s a list of risks that can majorly affect fleet operations:

  1. Accidents and safety issues
    Causes: 
    Driver fatigue, poor vehicle maintenance, risky driving behaviour.
    Outcome: Poor driver safety, liability issues, vehicle damage, legal problems.
  2. Theft and vehicle damage
    Causes: 
    Little to no vehicle security, operating/driving past dangerous areas.
    Outcome: Loss of assets, increased insurance premiums.
  3. Vehicle breakdowns
    Causes: 
    Not following vehicle maintenance schedule, mechanical failure.
    Outcome: Delays, increased costs, reduced customer satisfaction.
  4. Fuel mismanagement
    Causes: 
    Using inefficient routes, burning unnecessary fuel, fuel theft, unmonitored poor driving behaviour.
    Outcome: Higher operational costs inefficiency.
  5. Non-compliance
    Causes:
     Ignoring or failing to follow legal regulations towards safety.
    Outcome: Fines, legal action, operational shutdowns, poor business reputation.

Introduce risk management

Often, larger fleets are more prone to risks that can stem from technological issues, accidents, and natural disasters. Even incidents that affect finances, compliance, or the business’s brand can be seen as risks.

 With this scope of concerns, it can be challenging to foresee every potential problem. Unfortunately, issues sometimes slip through the cracks and are ignored until they start negatively affecting fleet operations.

 This is when risk management practices come into play.

Using risk management, companies can use its five-step process to manage risks and effectively start implementing actions to reduce the risks. These steps are essential to successful risk management, touching on:

Step 1. Identifying risk

Each fleet-related industry has its own challenges and risks. This step focuses on identifying the risks that your business is experiencing or will potentially be exposed to.

These risks can fall into these categories:

  • Market risks
  • Legal risks
  • Environmental risks
  • Compliance risks

It's better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. Listing down the risks makes you more aware of them and better prepared to deal with them once they occur. You will be able to identify the signs of the risk and start planning ahead before it affects your operating environment.

Step 2. Analysing risk

Next, you have to determine the scope of the risk. Does the risk affect other departments in the business, or is it confined to one? A serious risk, like a fraud case, for example, can affect the whole company and its image, while others would be seen as more of a minor inconvenience. Risk analysis helps you understand the extent of the risk and whether it needs your immediate attention.

Step 3. Mitigating the risk 

You’ve noted the risk and seen how much it can affect the company; this is when you find the solution. Depending on the scope of the risk, you might have to find a solution to stop the risk from growing or just to contain it. This could be hiring a maintenance team for your fleet if the risk is poor vehicle health or installing Cartrack’s infrared cameras for night-time security if the risk is equipment theft on site.

Step 4. Monitor the risk to show effectiveness

Solving the risk doesn't guarantee that it won't occur again; keep the risk and the solution logged for future use and monitor how well the solution is working.

Unfortunately, not all risks can be fixed, such as environmental risks or inflation risks that affect your budget, their effects just need to be monitored so you can adjust your operations accordingly. 

GPS Insights conducted a fleet safety report in 2022, showing how 3,400 people active in fleet businesses successfully reduce risks by specifically focusing on safety and compliance.

These were their key takeaways:

  • Out of the 3,400 professionals surveyed, 65% of them believed that improving driver training was the key method to reducing risks associated with poor driver behaviour and fleet safety.
  • 57% would rather focus on using GPS vehicle tracking technology to effectively improve safety while out on the road. With increased visibility over one’s fleet comes real-time knowledge of one's fleet’s whereabouts, schedule keeping and speedy response to vehicle theft or other emergencies.
  • When it comes to combating risks associated with their fleet, 41% of participants implemented a camera/video solution for monitoring driver behaviour live, keeping compliant with fleet rules and compliance and gathering video evidence of any events that occur, e.g., proof of following safety measures or road accidents.

This is a clear and comprehensive view of how different managers use risk management practices to see the full range of issues their team faces.

Be smart: Do risk management solutions for fleets the Cartrack way

Now that you have seen what risk management can do, how about partnering with Cartrack? Cartrack is an industry-leading company offering fleet management solutions and vehicle tracking technology that is ready to assist with addressing and mitigating different risks affecting operations.

Here’s how Cartrack can help manage your fleet and your risks:

  1. Security
    Some drivers may take shortcuts and deviate from set routes to complete their tasks quickly, but this can lead to fuel or vehicle theft, putting the vehicle in unnecessary danger. Tracking technology can do more than just inform you of your fleet’s location. With vehicle tracking units installed, you can see deviations, access your fleet's trip history, and see the routes where theft often happens. If an emergency occurs, managers can act swiftly and deploy assistance directly to the vehicle’s location.

    As part of the solution to only use safe, visible, fuel-efficient routes, managers can use route optimisation technology to choose a route that improves travel time and fuel usage and geofencing to create digital borders around no-go areas for your fleet. A notification will be sent whenever your vehicle enters or exits these areas, prompting you to communicate with drivers to correct their actions and keep the fleet safe.
  2. Driver management
    Fleet managers are responsible for setting up safety measures such as performing pre-trip check-ups to ensure vehicles are safe to drive, creating compulsory vehicle speed limits to follow, and ensuring their drivers follow the safety rules such as no texting and driving, no speeding or reckless driving practices of any kind, etc., to achieve optimal driver safety.

    With the help of fleet management companies like Cartrack, a business can achieve its safety-first approach. Managers can leverage Cartrack’s driver behaviour management tools, such as driver scorecards that rate drivers’ performance and driver behaviour and risk reports that show all risk events, such as abrupt braking, rapid acceleration, speeding past set limits, harsh cornering and idling, to monitor driving habits and use the information gathered by these reports to motivate your team into safer driving habits.

    One of the top ten causes of truck accidents is distracted driving. Cartrack’s smart cameras can combat the risk of truck accidents due to drowsy, fatigued, or distracted drivers by recording these behaviours and audibly alerting drivers to them. This allows the driver to quickly correct their behaviour and be more alert on the road.

    If an incident occurs, don’t just focus on the solution, take time to review driver behaviour, look through the data, and find the cause so you know the next steps to take to prevent the incident from occurring again.

  3. Operational efficiency
    Sometimes risks come from poor vehicle health. Proper planning and scheduling can minimise the costly risk of your vehicle breaking down randomly and not being able to function for a while. This can affect the safety of your drivers and cost the business valuable time and profits.

    Unplanned downtime of an asset can be prevented by monitoring vehicle health in real time to schedule preventive maintenance. Cartrack can keep track of your fleet’s health and performance with maintenance history reports. And assist in keeping track of servicing your vehicles at regular intervals with maintenance alerts.

    This:

    • Reduces downtime
    • Provides better fuel efficiency
    • Lowered long-term maintenance costs
    • Lengthens asset lifespan and enhances resale value
    • Boosts fleet safety and ensures compliance with regulations
  4. Fuel theft and misuse
    Fuel is a precious resource that powers vehicles' ability to deliver cargo, goods, materials, and people. A lack of fuel can halt production and hinder fleet operations, affecting fleet efficiency. To decrease fuel theft and minimise the risk of inefficient fuel use, managers can monitor fuel levels in their tanks using Cartrack fuel sensors and CAN Bus for a more accurate reading.

    When it comes to keeping an eye on fuel expenses, MI Fleet, Cartrack's cost management tool, keeps track of all fuel costs from tall gate payments, maintenance, speeding tickets, and fuel purchases. With its three-step transaction approval process, managers can stop fuel theft and ensure that fuel cards are used efficiently.

  5. Compliance
    If an accident occurs due to poor vehicle maintenance or a lack of replacing or repairing vehicle parts to maintain a healthy fleet, the business can be blamed for the accident and deemed non-compliant, which can result in hefty fines, among other penalties.

    Performing small pre-trip inspections on your fleet can go a long way in ensuring your vehicles are road-worthy and able to travel and perform tasks. Inspections can identify issues or problems, such as faulty wiring or loose bolts, that can grow into big problems and fix them. Plus, vehicle inspections don’t halt the flow of operations and only need a few minutes to be done.

For a more smart solution, Cartrack can help your team stay compliant with advanced solutions.

  • Automatically keep track of all your regulatory contracts, insurance papers, permits etc.
  • Receive alerts on paying important paperwork such as vehicle permits, speeding tickets, and licence renewals.
  • Use working logs or vehicle usage reports to track the work hours your team spends on site and ensure your drivers receive breaks mid-shift and are well rested.

Take control of fleet risks with Cartrack Tanzania

Make your fleet risk-free with Cartrack Tanzania. From driver behaviour monitoring tools to tracking fleet expenses and staying compliant, our advanced features and services are the solutions you need to fight against the biggest risks associated with your business operations. Contact Cartrack Tanzania today.

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