With 2021 just around the corner, here are the latest Fleet Management and tech trends you should know about.
First off, let’s start by saying this one last time… Covid-19 made this year the hardest in anyone’s recent memory. Every industry faced unprecedented challenges and the school transportation industry was no exception. We want to take a couple of seconds to recognize the courage and determination shown by transportation departments across the country. Be it transporting kids to and from school, delivering meals and homework, or providing internet hotspots for students, you played a key role in securing student’s access to their education. People like you make this a better place!
Now, let us share insightful findings from a study conducted by Bobit Business Media where they interviewed fleet managers and other industry-related experts to understand Covid-19’s impact on their operations and the role that fleet management technologies played amid this year’s pandemic. The following findings provide a vision of what 2021 will bring.
- Covid-19 pandemic: Out of 700 survey respondents, 55% of transportation managers reported facing new “issues” because of the pandemic. This only helps to further prove the fact that change will be permanent and the “new normal” is definitely here to stay. Transportation Directors have had to deal with the monumental challenge of planning for the unplannable, accounting for multiple “what if” scenarios, social distancing, and keeping students, drivers, and staff alike safe and sound, all while dealing with aggressive budget cuts. But, not all is bad, thankfully this year has also forced all of us to learn how to adapt, and do it fast we must! It feels safe to say that the school transportation community as a whole has evolved in its understanding and use of technology at an accelerated pace as a side effect of covid-19.
- GPS tracking technology: Its adoption has increased by 8% in comparison to 2019 (Trucking Info). Even taking the pandemic out of the equation, this growth trend was expected as each year technological solutions become more and more a part of our everyday life. This is presumed to continue to increase in the following years.
- Fleet Software Solutions Adopted: In regards to the adoption of different fleet software solutions when asked, school transportation industry members reported several types of improvements. In fact, studies showed that 54% of the respondents who used fleet tracking technologies this year felt a marked improvement in customer service (Truck Info).
- Productivity: One of the goals the respondents felt happiest about was an improvement in productivity. With up to 49% noticing a positive relationship since implementing GPS tracking technologies. From the transportation department’s perspective, satisfaction results are also undeniable with 96% of the respondents who used GPS tracking software saying they have found it beneficial for their operation (Truck Info). If you’re looking to sky-rocket productivity a cloud-based software solution is definitely the way to go.
- Budget: There’s a happy ending here too… When asked, 32% of transportation departments said investing in fleet tracking technology demonstrated a positive return on investment (ROI) within six months of their implementation (Truck Info). This finding is especially important considering the economic uncertainties we will be facing this upcoming 2021. There still is no clear economical panorama of what will happen but knowing that school transportation technology can help control your budget can be a game-changer regardless of what 2021 throws your way.
- New Technologies: In regards to new technologies, “in-cab video” was the most commonly used feature with 35% of respondents saying they included it in their buses. This technology includes both front-facing and driver-facing cameras, that are meant to increase the accountability of drivers (Trucking Info). This technology has also shown a positive relation in decreasing road-related accidents. According to a study made by “Volvo Trucks”, 90% of accidents occur because of human error (Canaan Mountain Herald). Minimizing accidents is especially important for the school transportation industry as child safety and road security are a top priority.
- Highest Concern: In regards to the challenges faced, costs fluctuation and uncertainty are the main concerns of the fleet management industry. 44% of fleet managers reported that it has been their highest concern during 2020 and they expect it to continue through all of 2021 (Trucking Info). This concern is not exclusive to the industry, but to the general public and private entities as well. Nonetheless, we should remain optimistic as according to “Harvard Business Review” the economy is recovering at a faster rate than expected.
Medium and large fleet managers seem to be the main adopter of fleet management technologies (Canaan Mountain Herald). With all this in mind, investing in technology for 2021 should definitely be under consideration.
In conclusion, with 2021 knocking on the door, and with uncertainty being at the top of the menu, the school transportation industry is looking at another difficult year ahead. So, how can you prepare for this? The data is conclusive, fleet management software technology will help you reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, productivity, and safety. So what are you waiting for!?