Technology has changed the way almost every area of a company approaches the day-to-day tasks and challenges that need attention, even for the financial leaders in an organization. Yes, the basics of finance remain the same: to gauge their company’s profitability, c-suite executives will compare the revenues on the top line of their company’s income or P&L statement to what remains after deducting all of their operating expenses – in other words, the bottom line. And, while it is critical to focus on continually generating increased revenue, at the end of the day that is only partially within an organization’s control. Today’s smart financial leaders seek advanced data analysis to evaluate costs and manage them closely in order to drive a profitable bottom line.
Historically seen as simply a cost of doing business, a company’s fleet is one of the areas where financial executives are finding new ways to use technology and data to bring transparency and understanding to the total cost of ownership, which in turn creates opportunities to uncover efficiencies. From assessing vehicle specifications, to maintenance compliance, vehicle downtime, fuel management, replacement cycling, vehicle remarketing, and even driver behavior – companies are able to continuously monitor how the fleet is performing and identify vehicles, equipment and drivers that may not be performing optimally. Modern vehicles generate hundreds of data points that can be analyzed in an effort to uncover inefficient processes and control costs.
But just having the data doesn’t mean the fleet will find the answers that will produce efficiencies and savings. Good decision making is based on good analysis. Leadership needs to evaluate what measurements will drive the most savings – and this is done by looking at the data, talking with the fleet team, and then looking at the data again to see what trends emerge once specific metrics are defined. A rigorous process using the right metrics and the right data will produce answers that will strengthen the organization’s profitability.
The right fleet management partner can help not only define these clear business objectives, but also provide a powerful, fully-integrated data analysis solution that will help a company meet those goals. Tools like forecasting and predictive modeling can provide a fully transparent view of fleet expenses and exceptions to identify patterns. Automatically, the outliers and anomalies become evident, and the vehicles or drivers subtracting from company profitability become clear. This is exactly the information leadership needs to analyze, draw conclusions and make decisions that lower the total cost of ownership across the entire vehicle life-cycle. This will result in cost savings for the fleet and generate a positive impact on the company’s profitability.
Technology is unlikely to solve all of our problems. But it is proving to be a power tool in gaining deeper, more meaningful insight into business operations, which in turn allows for smarter, data-driven decisions. And ultimately, it is those smarter decisions that will help impact the bottom line.