What is fleet management?

In 2023, the European Commission unveiled a stark reality: 30% of the European Union’s CO2 emissions traced back to freight transport and are expected to grow by around 25% by 2023. The transportation sector is the backbone of the EU’s market, delivering the products of its industries across the continent and beyond. As the EU economy grows, emissions are likely to rise unless measures are taken to reduce these emissions. So, propelled by the relentless pursuit of eco-friendly solutions, groundbreaking fleet management innovations have emerged.

Let’s dive into the basics of fleet management, explore its role within the construction sector, and discover the latest innovations making it safer, more efficient, and, of course, more sustainable!

What is fleet management?

Fleet management is the process of smoothly coordinating everything that keeps a fleet, consisting of five or more vehicles, running. It’s not just about vehicle upkeep, it’s a strategic art of ensuring punctuality, budget adherence, and operational excellence within any business, small or large.

Picture this: Construction companies and startups have to manage numerous moving parts at once, such as trucks, equipment, and materials, to ensure that the right resources get to the right job sites with minimal delays. Thanks to cutting-edge advancements in fleet management software, it’s easier than ever for companies to monitor all aspects of transportation, saving time and money while optimizing resources and their workforce.

How does it work?

Ever wondered how companies keep their vehicle fleets in top shape?

Fleet management systems are the answer. These systems operate through a combination of hardware and software. Each vehicle is equipped with a telematics device, such as a GPS, which collects various data points such as odometer readings, real-time location, travel history, driving behavior, and vehicle health into a central integrated platform.

Main benefits of implementing fleet management in construction industry

Managing the complexities of a construction project is no easy feat, which is why many industry stakeholders are turning to fleet management systems that provide a wide range of benefits, such as:

Improved efficiency

In construction, getting vehicles and equipment to the right place at the right time is crucial for staying on schedule. Fleet tracking software makes it easy for managers to plan optimal routes and assign the nearest available drivers, ensuring a quick response to project needs. This adaptability allows construction companies to handle sudden changes with minimal delays.

Lowered CO2 emissions

Because of the substantial CO2 emissions associated with fleet transport, the European Commission plans to introduce new measures aimed at making transportation greener, aligning with the ambitious European Green Deal and net-zero emissions targets. Monitoring fuel expenses not only saves costs but also contributes to reducing fleets’ carbon footprint. By reducing spending and optimizing fuel consumption, there is a reduction in emissions since 20% of all carbon dioxide emissions result from burning fossil fuels.

Enhanced safety

In 2023, 62% of fleet managers reported safe, proper vehicle operation as their highest priority, this statistic marks a 39% increase from 2022. Thanks to real-time GPS tracking, construction companies can keep an eye on driver behavior to discourage reckless driving and prevent accidents. Real-time alerts also help monitor idling and ensure drivers stay within designated site areas. This not only reduces safety risks but also ensures productivity simultaneously.

Improved monitoring of truck operations

By integrating fleet tracking software, we can closely monitor truck operations for quality control and efficiency, covering aspects from the state of the vehicle drums to the temperatures of the concrete mix. This advantage empowers construction fleet managers to track truck conditions and ensure swift responses to any challenges that may arise.

Reduced maintenance costs

Beyond fuel, truck breakdowns can be a major expense. Regular maintenance extends the lifespan of construction fleets, resulting in additional benefits such as:

  • Cutting down on hefty repair costs
  • Less downtime due to breakdowns
  • Reducing the risk of accidents due to vehicle malfunctions.

Fleet management software makes it easy for construction fleet managers to stay on top of all servicing schedules, avoiding accidental oversights that could end up costing more in the long run.

Fleet managers, what do they do at their work?

Effective fleet managers are key figures in the building industry. Commonly situated in mid- to large-sized contracting firms involved in construction projects, successful fleet managers require a blend of strong technical and analytical skills, complemented by effective communication abilities and practical experience.

While their role is undoubtedly essential, the question is: what exactly does their work entail? Here, we present their main functions:

  • Fleet vehicle monitoring: Essential for providing managers with an overview of their fleet’s on-road performance.
  • Design and manage maintenance programs: Fleet managers establish customized preventive maintenance policies to enhance safety, reduce repair costs, and optimize the resale value of vehicles.
  • Reporting and analysis: They transform tracking data into insightful reports with key performance indicators (KPIs) for informed decision-making.
  • Create fleet safety policies: Crucial for ensuring driver safety. Fleet managers implement driver training programs to foster safe driving behaviors and respond promptly to any incidents.
  • Maintaining fleet compliance: Achieved through a preventive vehicle maintenance program that addresses faults before they escalate, preventing significant repair costs.
  • Fleet acquisition: Involves strategic negotiations for cost-effective purchasing and leasing, maximizing the value of replacement.

A real example: Ruedata

An example of Cemex’s commitment to continue fostering innovation in the construction industry, specifically related to fleet management, is its commercial agreement with Ruedata, a startup from the 2022 cohort of Cemex Ventures’ exclusive acceleration program: Leaplab.

The Colombian startup has revolutionized fleet management in the construction sector through a Software as a Service (SaaS) that utilizes predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms to understand tire wear patterns. Thanks to their software, businesses can optimize maintenance plans, reduce costs, and enhance safety.

Ruedata has effectively tackled a crucial challenge in fleet management: the substantial costs associated with tires. Tires represent the most significant expense after fuel, amounting to up to 30% of the total costs. The groundbreaking solution was tested in a pilot within Cemex’s supply chain fleet in Colombia, resulting in benefits such as a potential 30% reduction in tire costs and enhancements in fleet maintenance.

Ruedata is now proudly serving ready-mix and supply chain fleets in Cemex’s Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic operations, covering a total close to 4,800 vehicles.

Cemex Ventures is driving towards the future of innovation in fleet management

At Cemex Ventures, we know the challenges that the construction industry faces.  Our mission is to continue playing a pivotal role in the sector by identifying the most promising fleet management solutions and startups.

If you have a technology or business model that enhances fleet management performance in the construction industry, contact us today. We will make sure to respond to you as soon as possible. Let’s keep fostering the construction industry revolution together!

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