Jason Francis, managing director of fleet software and risk management specialist, Jaama, says: 'Historically, a fleet operator would have their own fleet management software system that would effectively see them being an 'island' information resource. However, the pattern for other departments to at least heavily influence and perhaps manage fleet operations has resulted in significantly enhanced efficiencies. This has been led by departments only wanting to input data once and then seeing it automatically transcend systems and drive processes company-wide.
'For example, integration with a company's payroll and HR systems means that an employee's details require inputting only once. From the HR system, that information feeds into the fleet system along with vehicle grade allocation details. The fleet system then matches the two pieces of information together and suggests a suitable vehicle based upon availability and vehicle type while taking into account the driver's car grade. Similarly, before allowing a daily rental vehicle to be ordered, the fleet system will search the vehicle fleet to check whether there's a spare or unallocated vehicle as a potential cost-saving alternative.
'The ever-increasing amount of legislation impacting on car and commercial vehicle fleets means that in depth analysis coupled with exception reporting on numerous issues is a management essential. This can only be achieved through integrated software systems 'married' up to other company computer software used by other departments, such as HR and payroll'
'With the London congestion charging zone increasing in size and other cities looking to introduce urban tolls; changes in benefit-in-kind tax on vans coming into effect in April and a rocketing amount of red tape emanating from the European Union, which the UK Government invariably embraces, the importance to accurately manage all vehicles and drivers and related costs and issues has never been more important. This can only be achieved if the employee in charge of the fleet operation has all the information at their fingertips.'