The fleet management software industry is experiencing an unprecedented rise, and solution owners’ profit prospects are excellent. According to Mordor Intelligence analysts‘ forecasts, the size of the fleet management software market in 2020 was estimated at $7.34 billion, and it will grow tobillion by 2026. Apparent success is attracting a lot of attention. Many businesses want to understand what is so great about these solutions and how they can help companies reach their goals faster and better.
In this article, we will look at what fleet management apps are, consider the main benefits they provide to a business, must-have features, and walk through fleet management app development.
What Fleet Management Apps Are all About?
Before delving into this topic, it is worth starting from the basics. Fleet management includes logistics management, namely vehicles, which is a huge part of logistics. It can be tracking the optimal routes of trucks, their fuel consumption, the technical condition of trucks, and much more. The monitored parameters can vary from company to company and depend on the industry of the enterprise.
The main goal of fleet management apps is to simplify and at the same time improve the efficiency of tracking fleet performance and criteria related to it.
Fleet Management Software Types
Before you start thinking about fleet management app development for your business, you should choose the type of app that best suits your business needs. You can choose from three types of apps (or combine all three types in one if the situation allows you to allocate enough resources for it).
GPS fleet tracking
This type is a reasonably popular solution for optimizing fleet performance. Such software has all the necessary features that help track the location of each car in real-time, build optimal transportation routes, and quickly allocate transport if required. In addition, with the help of this software, it is convenient to maintain and share information about the time of arrival of vehicles and store travel histories for later analysis. The most popular solutions of this type are:
- Connecteam. This app provides users with GPS tracking features and real-time reports that help fleet management businesses reduce costs, streamline payroll and timesheets, and automate workflows within fleet operations.
- Director Fleet Software by Teletrac. This any-size-business application is packed with crucial features like vehicle location, driver status, geofencing, traffic updates, and many others for complete control over your fleet.
- Fleet Manager by GPSTrackIt. A highly scalable solution that is all about fleet data and fleet performance management. Users can expect features like geofence breach alerts, indefinitely stored data, vehicle diagnostics, reports monitoring, and much more.
Fuel and speed management apps
Fuel costs always take up a huge chunk of the budget in fleets, and its optimization is something many business owners strive for. Apps of this type help fleets more intelligently monitor fuel consumption and optimize aspects that can decrease fuel spendings (for example, tracking the driver's driving style and much more). In addition, such apps often have built-in convenient analytical features that help to more clearly display the costs of servicing the vehicle fleet. Some of the most popular solutions of this type are:
- Fleet Maintenance Pro. This software grants all essential features like fuel tracking, fuel transactions, preventive, and standard maintenance control if you want to keep your fleet up and running.
- Wialon. Another fuel and speed monitoring app provides business owners with essential data thanks to features like driving quality control, analysis of sensor parameters inside a truck, fuel control, and much more.
- GPSWOX. This application provides detailed fuel level monitoring in real-time and driving behavior that directly impacts fuel consumption.
Want to improve your fleet management and deliveries? Explore our guide explaining how to develop a transportation app
Apps with video recording features
The video can shed light on accidents that can occur on the road with your fleet. Such software often offers a connection to the cloud where videos from car recorders in drivers' cars are uploaded. In addition, advanced solutions can analyze what is happening on the road from the video and signal about speeding and other violations in real-time. Notable examples of such apps are:
- Fleet Optix. AI-powered video recording software keeps control over your fleet with features like driver footage, live view, shock alerts, and much more.
- EYERIDE. A real-time video recording app with 2-way audio communication allows dispatchers to stay in touch with drivers and keep their eyes on them and road situation.
- Lytx. All-in-one AI-based fleet software with real-time in-cab alerts for five different risky driving behaviors, 360° video recording, live video stream, and GPS tracking.
Different app types and famous market examples.
Benefits of Fleet Management Apps
The popularity of fleet management software results from a combination of many positives and benefits that these solutions bring to logistics businesses, regardless of their size. As a business owner, you should be aware of them, so we have collected the main advantages your company will receive if you decide to take on fleet management app development.
Advantages that fleet businesses receive when using fleet management apps.
Benefit 1. Better Routing
To squeeze the maximum efficiency out of the existing vehicle fleet, you should be attentive to the development of routes. The routing feature is one of the most basic in many systems and allows logisticians to develop optimized ways to combine fuel savings and the speed of fleet movement from point A to point B. To take route planning to the next level, you can also consider creating full-fledged route optimization platform that will allow you to define the fastest and cost-effective itineraries.
Benefit 2. Enhanced Driver Safety
According to recent studies by European Road Safety Observatory overof road traffic crashes are the result of speed violations. Fleet management software is aimed at combating these statistics among drivers. Drivers are essential personnel in the logistics industry, as without them the entire business would have sunk into oblivion. Their efficiency and responsibility affect the company’s financial performance, so drivers’ health and safety are always top of the list of business priorities.
Main triggers of car accidents.
Such apps can track bad driving habits, issue warnings about speeding, and constantly monitor the situation on the roads.
In addition, video surveillance built into apps works to improve driver safety, allowing dispatchers to see what is happening in front of the driver, inside a truck, and thereby warning the driver about violations of speed limits, incorrect entry into turns, and so on.
Benefit 3. Lowering Fuel Consumption and Spendings
Any driver, as well as the owner of a logistics company, knows how unstable gas prices are. Perpetual spikes in price make fuel budgeting a real headache. However, budgeting is not only about the consumption of liters of gasoline per distance. In this equation, there are many variables that, in one way or another, also affect fuel consumption.
Fleet management apps are designed to simplify fuel budgeting and identify various savings opportunities through a wide range of analytics features. For example, by analyzing the entire trip, the app can highlight the track sections where the engine has been idling for the longest time. Analyzing this data will help logisticians choose a more optimal path and create specific efficient driving rules for truck drivers. All these methods can significantly reduce business fuel costs.
Learn how you can reduce fuel spendings utilizing route optimization app
Benefit 4. Real-Time Monitoring
Smart fleet management is the key to the efficiency of the logistics business. And with real-time updates, managing individual units becomes much easier. Modern fleet management apps are equipped with GPS features that display the location of the vehicle in real-time. They allow dispatchers to always stay in touch with the car and quickly respond to various situations, redirecting units to more efficient and faster routes without constantly calling the driver.
Benefit 5. Enhanced Vehicle Maintenance
Fleet maintenance is always associated with high costs from which you cannot hide. Besides, the more cars in the fleet, the more difficult it is to develop an inspection and repair schedule for each unit. Fleet management software can significantly simplify tracking the fleet’s health, thanks to the many parameters taken into account in the system and presented in a visual form.
The kilometers traveled, engine operating time, fuel consumption, date of the last inspection, past breakdowns - and this is not a complete list of information that can help draw up an effective inspection schedule and identify various patterns in machine malfunctions for their subsequent elimination.
Read our post to find out how to expand your software capabilities with the route optimization API
Fleet Management App Development Step-By-Step
It's time to move on to the core part of our article - developing a fleet management app for your business. Creating an application is quite long, and you must approach it with a certain amount of knowledge and preparation. We split the whole process into several steps, and now we will analyze each step in detail.
Step 1. Identify Your Problems
This step is the foundation of everything, and you must answer one question:
What problem do I want to solve with my fleet management app?
Without a clear answer to this question, you cannot proceed to the next steps. The main problems of the logistics business and fleet management are:
- Overload with paperwork and administrative tasks. According to “Biggest Productivity Challenges in Fleet Management” research, of fleet managers note that their staff spends more than 2 hours of working time on invoicing, task assignment, informing customers, and other operations not related to transportation.
- High gas spendings. Gas costs are the cornerstone of all fleet management problems. About of logistics business owners claim that fuel costs are several times higher than they estimate.
- Inconvenient communication with drivers. Communication with drivers is another problem in the logistics business since standard communication methods via a mobile phone or e-mail are not always convenient. This challenge increases the time it takes to deliver critical information to employees.
- Missed delivery window. Late arrival is not only customer dissatisfaction but also a severe blow to the company's reputation. Customers always want to know the exact time of arrival, and calculating the precise time of arrival is often too complicated.
Determine which of the above problems prevent your business from growing faster and put ideas for solving these problems into your future fleet management app.
Step 2. Come up With Key Features
When you understand what business problems need to be solved, you need to decide on the features that will be implemented into the app. We can highlight several of the most important features that should be added to your list for further fleet management app development.
This feature will be your "eyes" on the situation with your fleet on the road. This feature should track each car’s location in real-time and transmit information about the traffic situation (traffic jams, various weather conditions, and much more). Thanks to this feature, you will always be aware of what is happening with your vehicles.
This is one of the features of improved routing. To keep drivers on designated routes, you need to implement the Geofencing feature. It allows you to visually display on the map where the driver should not turn off to avoid getting stuck in a traffic jam and not wasting precious time.
Without the right communication tools, you won't be able to effectively manage your fleet. Your app must have all possible means of communication, such as chat, audio, and video communication. These features will help establish seamless communication between you and the drivers. Drivers will transmit reports in a timely and straightforward manner, and you, in turn, will be able to easily help with various questions and emerging problems.
Engine and fuel optimizations
Idle engine operation when the car is stationary is unnecessary fuel consumption and a decrease in engine life, leading to unwanted breakdowns. Implement a system into your app that will notify the driver about the need to turn off the engine during a long idle time. In addition, notifications should also be sent to dispatchers' apps, which will record all idle engine operating times for a trip to further analyze the route and its optimization.
Don’t forget about fuel consumption and its optimization. No fleet management app can do without features to reduce fuel consumption. Driving behavior analysis, re-routing, engine shutdown notifications - all of these features work to reduce the fuel consumption of your drivers.
Fleet maintenance management
Car maintenance is an essential aspect of any logistics business. It is crucial to analyze the condition of each piece of equipment and choose the proper schedule for technical inspections and repairs. Fleet management can be equipped with reporting systems that provide various information about the car, its mileage, the results of past technical inspections, and much more. This information greatly simplifies tracking the technical condition of each unit in the fleet.
We live in the age of mobile devices, and your app should keep up with the trends. In addition to the web or desktop version that will be installed on devices in your office, the app must have a functional mobile app. This application will allow drivers to keep in touch with dispatchers and use the app's functionality on the go. Your drivers will always be aware of changes, be it a new route, a new order or an updated situation on the road.
Step 3. Decide on Development Option
Once the list of the main features for your app is ready, you should decide on a team that will deal with fleet management app development. There are three main options in total, and each has its own pros and cons.
Work With Freelancers
Freelancers are a widespread hiring option because companies can work with specialists worldwide, and they typically charge less than an in-house developer would cost a company. But this cheapness often turns into additional problems that can interrupt the development process or stop it completely.
Like any remote employee, freelancers need to be experienced and self-motivated to help you achieve your goals. Otherwise, you may spend extra time settling organizational issues.
Language barriers and time zone differences are among other possible obstacles of working with freelancers leading to misunderstandings and failed deadlines. Another common problem is that freelancers often work on several projects simultaneously. Therefore you should pay some attention to freelancer’s reputation to make sure they won’t abandon your project one day.
Pros and cons cooperation with freelancers:
- Large pool of developers with different skills
- Numerous hiring platforms
- Language barrier possibility
- Rather hard to manage
- Chances unforeseen challenges, failed deadlines, and project abandonment
Assemble in-house team
This option is the exact opposite of hiring freelancers. You hire app developers, rent an office, and work as a team. In this case, the communication is on a very high level as you’re all under the same roof. As a result, you get more control over the entire development process and can make changes at any time.
But don’t rush into rejoicing. Assembling an in-house team is typically associated with huge expenses. You need to rent an office, furnish it, purchase hardware and licensed software. Besides that, you must pay wages, sick leaves, vacation payments for every single employee.
We’ve compared in-house development and outsourcing to find out all pros and cons of both development options.
Don’t forget about the long and challenging hiring process. It’ll be hard to compete with large companies that lure specialists with huge salaries and numerous perks.
Another pitfall is that you may need someone who can manage your development team. If you don’t have management skills, hiring a Project Manager or CTO is vital to ensure continuous and effective development.
Pros and cons of creating your own in-house development team:
- Complete control over the team
- No communication difficulties
- Long and challenging hiring process
- Team management requires skills
Turn to outsourcing company
One of the easiest ways to create an app is outsourcing the development to a professional IT company. If you do so, you’ll get top-tier services for a reasonable price. This option doesn’t force you to hire employees, rent an office, and make other unnecessary expenses. Most IT companies already have a pool of professionals you need to create an app. Besides, vendors take responsibility for team management and product delivery. This service is an excellent solution to all the disadvantages of an in-house team while maintaining its advantages.
Various outsourcing options.
If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to outsource software development services to an experienced company overseas. You’re free to pick any company from the world’s most popular outsourcing regions that suit your resources and requirements.
Discover all ins and outs of programming outsourcing in our recent article.
However, you may encounter a language barrier and a significant time difference when choosing a foreign vendor. These flaws can affect the overall communication process with the vendor, but experienced vendors have employees with good English and adjust communication time for the client’s convenience.
Pros and cons of outsourcing your fleet management app development:
- The optimal ratio of acceptable costs and the best results
- Wide choice of tech vendors from all over the world
- You can get any tech expertise you need
- No need for management from your side
- Fast project start
Cons: Language barriers and time zone differences may still occur.
Step 4. Prepare for Spendings
The final price of fleet management app development always depends on your requirements for the future product. The more you implement features into the app, the longer the development process will take and the higher its price.
Don't forget about the UI/UX design process as well. A complex design with complex animations also takes a lot of development time, and the more screens your app has, the more impressive the figure will be in the final estimate.
Learn more about app design in our complete UI/UX design process overview.
To find out the final price of fleet management app development, you should contact a professional software development company. Your idea will go through the Discovery phase, during which analysts will collect all the requirements for the app, a list of features, document all the information in the specification, and issue an accurate development estimate based on it.
Step 5. Development Process Key Steps
Now it’s time to talk about fleet management app development flow step-by-step. This information will give you a clearer picture of how an idea can transform into a full-fledged working product.
- First contact. It all starts with the fleet management software development application you left on the vendor’s website. This application goes straight to the Business development manager. Once the application is processed, the manager contacts you to schedule a more detailed conversation about your project.
- Solution phase. The next stage is going in cooperation with Solution Design team, which includes business analysts, solution architects and a designer if needed. The team defines business goals, a work scope, basic quality attributes and main constraints and concerns.
- Discovery phase. his stage is vital for development since it helps to shape out the idea. Discovery phase consists of meetings where a business analyst is completing feature breakdown list, software architecture document, impact map. Solution architects create architecture diagrams and project plan. When all information is gathered, the discovery team compiles it in a detailed specification, which helps make a final project estimate. Besides that, UI/UX designers create wireframes for each app screen and design concept during the discovery phase.
- UI/UX design. When prep-work is set and done, UI/UX designers start making mockups for the future app. They use wireframes created during the Discovery Phase, your requirements, and modern UI/UX design methodologies that help create top-notch mockups that comply with your desires and personal vision.
- Development stage. Once the design process is finished, designers pass all mockups and other documents completed during discovery phase to the development team. Developers transform eye-appealing mockups into a working product using their tech expertise. The development consists of sprints. During each sprint which usually lasts two weeks, developers must implement a certain part of the product’s functionality.
- Quality Assurance. It’s impossible to roll out a bug-free product without proper testing. During this stage, QA engineers conduct precise quality tests that help in seeking bugs and malfunctions. When tests are done, QA engineers pack results into bug reports and pass them to developers. Bug reports show the state of the program during which the problem occurred. This information helps developers to recreate the bug and quickly fix it.
- Release. Developers make final polishing and tweaks to make sure everything works as intended and ready for release. Once polishing is done, the development vendor passes the CRM system to its owner.
- Support and maintenance. In some cases, cooperation doesn’t end after application release. Developers can continue their work on the product. This work can include various updates, new features, and maintenance work based on customer feedback.
We’ve made an A to Z software development process overview to keep you aware of all stages your application goes through.
Fleet Management Software — Cleveroad Experience
Cleveroad is a software development company based in CEE region with years of experience in the logistics industry. We’ve helped many various-sized fleet businesses, and our expertise and capabilities allow us to create custom software solutions to increase the efficiency of companies from a wide variety of domains.
One of our recent projects is a full-fledged fleet management software for the Indonesian trucking company. We were challenged to create better fleet management tools for dispatchers and a real-time shipment monitoring feature.
This project is under NDA, but if you want to discover more about fleet-related solutions and ways how we can bring your fleet management ideas to life, feel free to contact us, and we’ll gladly help you. Still, you can check the expertise and other projects in our portfolio.
We are a professional software development company, and we will help you overcome your business challenges and consult you on all your questions that arose along with the article reading.
Need a fleet management app?
Drop us a line, and our manager will contact you to schedule an information-gathering meeting.
Fleet management includes logistics management, namely vehicles, which is a huge part of logistics. It can be tracking the optimal routes of trucks, their fuel consumption, the technical condition of trucks, and much more. The monitored parameters can vary from company to company and depend on the industry of the enterprise.
There are three main app types:
- GPS fleet tracking
- Fuel and speed management apps
- Apps with video recording features
These apps solve main problems of fleet business and bring these benefits:
- Enhanced driver safety
- Lower fuel consumption and spendings
- Real-time sitreps
- Enhanced vehicle maintenance
- Better routing
No fleet management application is complete without these features: GPS tracking, mobile-friendly core, communication tools, geofencing, engine and fuel optimizations, maintenance management.
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
Give us your impressions about this article
Give us your impressions about this article