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Fleet management is a delicate process that can determine the efficiency of your entire enterprise. It determines how efficient your delivery system is, directly affecting customer satisfaction. It also affects how much gas your vehicles burn, how much money you spend on repairs and maintenance, and even how reliable your drivers are.

While you can handle this via fleet management software, sometimes you need something extra. While transparent in these fleet management systems, various tasks, like availability and maintenance, are sometimes not as visually transparent as possible. This is why a software like Kanban Zone can be so helpful. 

With its help, you can make your fleet management more efficient. Naturally, this doesn’t mean you can just stop using your fleet management software; you can use the platform to enhance efficiency. Here’s how you can use Kanban for fleet management.

1. Visualization of vehicle statuses

You can first create a Kanban board to visually track every vehicle in the fleet. For instance, you can use different columns for vehicles that are available, unavailable, currently in use, or in maintenance. This way, you can immediately see the current status of all these vehicles and know your current capacities. Simply put, everything is more efficient with visual management.

Remember that multiple people can be on the project simultaneously since you can access this software via desktop and mobile apps. Anyone with the appropriate access can see which vehicles are available and which are currently unavailable. There’s nothing more important in fleet management than real-time monitoring, and Kanban Zone gives a simple and elegant solution to this problem.

This also gives you a perfect opportunity for superior resource allocation. For instance, if different vehicles have different fuel consumptions and carrying capacities, you can put a description next to them (or, in the case of a fleet, make it into the name of the vehicle). This way, when the order pops up, if it’s a long-distance haul, you can assign a vehicle that spends less, while if it’s a smaller haul, you can pick one with a smaller carrying capacity.

The main reason why you’re doing this is for more efficient dispatching. This is why you have this fleet in the first place. You want to deliver certain items, and the more efficient you are at delivering them, the better your fleet is. By using Kanban for fleet management, you can easily improve your dispatching process, checking even this item off your list.

Most important of all is scalability. The more vehicles you have in your fleet, the more important visualization and transparency become. The sooner you start, the better.

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2. Fuel and battery management

Remember that, when running a fleet, there are so many fleet-related expenses that you’ll have to handle. These are the expenses:

  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Driver wages
  • Driver-operator commissions
  • Fees and fines

However, the single biggest expense that you’ll face is the fuel. Fortunately, you can use Kanban Zone to improve your fuel inventory management efficiently.

With huge fleets, some businesses buy vast quantities of fuel, and they refuel their vehicles in-house. If they run electric vehicles, it’s not uncommon to enhance their garage by installing several charging stations. This way, you may be able to negotiate a discount, but aside from this, you can make the system far more reliable. 

With the help of Kanban Zone, you can engage in much more efficient fuel consumption tracking.

We’ve already talked about using Kanban for fleet management, but this is just one of many software combinations you can make. If, for instance, your fleet consists of electric vehicles, you can also add a platform like Elysia battery management software to the mix. The embedded software is installed onto the Battery Management System (BMS), offering real time state estimation and control (e.g. State-of-Charge, State-of-Power, Fast Charge, Balancing). 

Have your fleet performance data safely and reliably extracted from the battery, without the overt stress on the cell. This way, you can improve the system’s efficiency and get even more value from your Kanban software use. 

In a battery case, it’s not just about charging but also the replacement that matters. Fortunately, you can more easily track the current battery status (remotely) and even get an estimate of the number of minutes/hours/days before the next recharging/replacement is needed. This enhanced forecasting helps you prepare for the future.

3. Improved maintenance

The most difficult thing about maintenance management is handling the maintenance workflow. With Kanban Zone, the visualization of this process will be simpler and more transparent than ever. 

Maintenance takes time and usually happens in stages, as well. This way, you can visually track the maintenance progress. This way, you’ll see if the parts are there or if you’re still waiting for them to arrive. You’ll also be able to tell which repairs are complete, ongoing, and scheduled next. 

Now, while you can use Kanban Zone to create maintenance requests, you can also download a  maintenance work order template straight from your fleet management tool. After all, combining a product management platform and a fleet management tool is always the more efficient way to handle these things. 

Another important thing for both budgeting and analysis is record-keeping. Maintenance history and documentation are incredibly important. By archiving or storing records of completed maintenance tasks, you’ll ensure that you have all of this and can produce it on-demand at any time. 

Remember that you can improve your maintenance process by shopping around and making changes. This can save you so much money that you can easily justify the expense even with paying for a few more platforms for your system. The savings on maintenance should more than make up for it. 

4. Vehicle reservation for specific tasks and assignments

We’ve already hinted at this before. Some vehicles are better for specific tasks. The key is finding a way to determine how to get the most out of your vehicles. This task is harder than it seems. 

For instance, some vehicles are great for specific runs, but what if you have this type of run once per month? What does your vehicle do the rest of the month? Sit in the garage? What if you can’t accurately predict when you’ll have this request?

Now, if you make a system, you can easily get the most out of this setup. For instance, you can get your reservation requests. On each quest, you would add relevant details, like the name of the request, the purpose of the reservation, the optimal vehicle type, the time of reservation, and a mention of any special requirements, if needed. 

The key is scheduling, so you can designate the approver for each reservation card with Kanban Zone’s assignments and labels. This way, you’re giving access to appropriate team members and organizing your staff while improving your fleet management.

The most important part, and the answer to the hypothetical situation we’ve presented in the second paragraph of this section, revolves around waitlists and alternatives.

  • If there’s no appropriate vehicle, how long can this task wait?
  • If not, is there a suitable alternative (or alternatives)?

You can use Kanban for fleet management to visually represent every step of your process and have the answer ready at any given moment. 

Ultimately, you can set reminders and notifications when there are upcoming reservations. This way, you can have everything ready in time.

5. Consistent improvement

An analysis is one of the biggest challenges in this field. You need to figure out where things have gone wrong or not even that (since it’s too obvious) and what you could have done better.

This is much easier to spot with visual representation. Soon, you’ll have an easier time spotting patterns of which trucks and drivers are more often late, which vehicles are more often in maintenance, and which routes are consistently slower than GPS is promising they’ll be. This way, you can drastically improve your system without putting too much effort into it. 

One of the tricks you can use is to limit work in progress. This means limiting the number of tasks in progress at any given time. This way, you’ll ensure that your team is never overwhelmed and that you can prevent burnout/overload rates. 

So far, the most vital thing we’ve failed to address is the incredible automation and integration capability of Kanban Zone software. This ensures that you can easily make it fit into any existing system. This will improve your information flow and minimize the manual effort of all parties involved.

Just bear in mind that this process requires continuous measurements. Remember that you need to rely on standardization when it comes to data entry and reports.

Kanban Zone is a great reinforcement for any fleet management system

Having a better visual representation for your fleet management is an amazing opportunity to better understand your fleet and utilize it more efficiently. This way, you’ll spend less on repairs and fuel/power, use the right vehicle every time, and consistently improve your system.

This was a guest blog. Please review our guest blog disclaimer.

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About the Author: Srdjan Gombar

Srdjan Gombar
Veteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. He spends his free time reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.