Fleet fundamentals: Suppliers in fleet management discuss current offerings and a look ahead.
We asked five suppliers to share information and insights related to the fleet management solutions they offer to help pest management professionals (PMPs) manage vehicles and drivers at their pest control companies. We also want to know more about what products and services you use to take care of your fleet, and what you foresee in the not-too-distant future. Autonomous vehicles, anyone? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
Program Manager and Underwriter for Auto, Property and Inland Marine
Through our insurance program, PCOpro, PMPs receive a broad spectrum of coverage that provides security for their businesses. As fleet needs change and digital technology for fleet management continues to evolve, so, too, must insurance providers in how they look at the commercial auto industry and address risk management and vehicle safety.
PREDICTIONS: New technology for monitoring driver safety is coming to the market every day, including GPS tracking for phones, on-board cameras and other telematics devices. Additionally, reviewing motor vehicle records (MVRs) as part of the hiring process, and continuing to do so throughout a driver’s employment with your business, is critical to assembling a fleet you can trust.
A better future for fleet safety requires high-level training to promote safe driving policies, while implementing technology with the capability to continuously monitor and improve it.
The new Preventative Maintenance feature within Lytx’s Fleet Tracking Service helps pest control fleets initiate service intervals and reminders for routine maintenance. Lytx’s DriveCam Event Recorder periodically detects a vehicle’s odometer reading from its Engine Control Module connection. By using this information in their Lytx accounts, PMPs can keep track of the number of miles before the next service will be needed on each vehicle, and configure services they’d like to track and intervals between services.
PREDICTIONS: Video-based fleet management solutions will become much more prevalent in the pest control industry in the next five years, as PMPs look to adopt solutions that will help them stand out competitively and do more with fewer resources. With this, video also will become the new GPS. From quality control and service verification to route optimization and real-time resource allocation, video is set to transform pest control fleet operations in the same way it has revolutionized driver safety and exoneration.
PestRoutes continues to enhance our robust route optimization solution, most recently, by updating our Job Pool Map to include an option to show technicians’ starting and ending locations, which is useful when scheduling multiple routes. We also launched Routing by Capacity, which works with Dynamic Pricing to help optimize and track routes by measurement capacity. Routing by Technician Skills, coming soon, matches appointments to technicians with specific skill sets required for a job.
PREDICTIONS: PMPs will continue to demand innovation as new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous vehicles push the envelope on traditional routing algorithms and approaches. Connected devices and vehicles will provide real-time vehicle and traffic data, all analyzed by AI to automatically assign and adjust routes. Platforms that provide open application programming interfaces (APIs) and integrations will accelerate development and access to these innovations in the coming years.
There continues to be a tightening up and selectivity of automobile/fleet insurance underwriting. Some carriers now require submission of regular driving reports. Insurers are running motor vehicle records (MVRs) throughout the policy term, rather than just at renewal. They are endorsing policies to exclude certain drivers. In states where excluding drivers is not legal and management will not terminate problem drivers, they simply will not insure the fleet.
PREDICTIONS: It’s no secret that commercial auto is a loss leader in many insurance programs. To ensure their carriers won’t drop coverage, PMPs can protect themselves by being proactive: Install fleet management software on all vehicles, for example — ideally, with cameras and phone-disabling technology. Consider hiring or designating a qualified fleet manager to review reports and hold problem drivers accountable. Such measures will help control premiums and guarantee a company’s insurability.
ServicePro General Manager
Our intelligent routing module continues to evolve. It allows PMPs to build ideal routes according to technicians’ schedules, while factoring in all variables. Our new ServSales native app empowers PMPs to equip fleets with a tool that ensures sales productivity. For example, the app helps technicians prospect in neighborhoods they already are servicing. The pandemic really brought to light how important it is to have a well-managed remote workflow, and ServSales is designed just for that.
PREDICTIONS: To run a business efficiently today, it’s necessary to leverage the power of software like ServSuite. Tools like Intelligent Routing empower PMPs to save on fuel, and also on the office time spent on these tasks. Having a remote, fully operational sales force also is becoming essential. Therefore, harnessing tools that solve these newer needs will continue to be key for the industry.