Operating within an environment characterized with increased competition and regulatory pressures, fleet operators globally are in dire need for operational efficiencies that can help them to ‘do more with less’. In recent years, intelligent fleet management systems (IFMS) have become the buzz within the industry with its adoption rates on the rise. However, the key question remains – can IFMS provide fleet companies with the much needed operational excellence?
The fleet management industry is undergoing major transformation driven by internal and external factors. As traditional business models are no longer sustainable due to the constantly evolving market dynamics, fueled by increasing competition, regulatory upheaval, and rising customer expectations, fleet operators have to re-invent their operational strategies in order to compete and win in the current industry environment.
In the past, fleet operators have often overlooked investments in business systems and technologies. Therefore, many firms still operate with legacy systems which are fragmented with poor controls and processes. This eventually results in higher operational costs, misevaluated risks, poor strategies, missed business opportunities, and shrinking profits. Fleet operators need to break these barriers by closely aligning their business and IT systems to streamline firm-wide operations.
There is a pressing need for integrated business systems that can provide firms with holistic enterprise-wide view, allowing fleet managers to gain better control over their fleet operations. IFMS, by harnessing data intelligence, empowers fleet companies with better decision-making capabilities which result in reduced operational costs and optimized fleet performance. Encouraged by these benefits, fleet managers are increasingly utilizing IFMS, and the global trend towards adoption of fleet management systems is on the rise with the industry expected to witness a strong growth between 2014 and 2019 at a CAGR of 24%.
With promising growth opportunities for the fleet management industry, especially in emerging markets, competition is going to intensify among players to capture and grow their markets shares. In order to compete and win in the evolving frontier markets, fleet operators must innovate and transform their business models, by investing in integrating people, processes, and technologies that can help them see the bigger picture. IFMS, through data intelligence, can help fleet operators to streamline operations, improve business performance, and strategic decision making. But it comes with its own set of challenges. At present, technology as well as service providers in the market place are evolving, and due to high implementation costs, IFMS adoption is presently limited to large fleet operators. However, in the coming years, as service providers are likely to gain more industry experience and expertise, data intelligence technologies and IFMS service offerings will mature and become more cost effective.
There is no doubt that in the foreseeable future IFMS will play a vital role in the fleet management industry, helping fleet operators to improve business performance and support robust growth strategies.