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Fleet Management Software Development: Types, Modules, and Development Stages

Updated 18 Aug 2021

Published 20 May 2021

17 Min

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More and more companies that rely on transportation in business are looking for new ways to optimize logistics processes, save costs, and manage drivers effectively. And software solutions can help achieve it.

Fleet management software development is a great solution for freight and transportation companies to reduce fuel consumption, cut down the time spent idling in traffic and increase drivers' productivity. The fleet management market grows rapidly and is expected to reach $34 billion by 2025, so you have considerable opportunities to make money quickly.

In this post, we’ll guide you through fleet management software development aspects: from types of fleet software to required features. You’ll also learn how to create a high-quality and client-oriented product.

What is Fleet Management Software

Let’s discuss what fleet management software is all about and how logistics companies can benefit from fleet management automation.

Fleet management software or FMS is a self-powered app or cloud product that helps businesses track and manage vehicles and technicians from a central platform. Consider it as a centralized dashboard that fleet managers can use to track multiple data: vehicle’s speed, temperature, fuel level, door opening, geographical location, route direction, and so on.

The whole process sounds easy. In reality, communication between devices and software is a complicated sector of the network. After installing a device on the vehicles, the system collects information from them using GPS technology. This data is displayed on the manager screen that allows users to monitor all their vehicles in real-time, figure out when they get to the destination, and how well the drivers manage them.

Have questions?

Learn more about software development and its benefits for your business.

Fleet managment operation

Fleet managment process

The vehicles are connected to the cloud platforms via telematics. This term refers to the use of information technology in remote communications.

Fleet telematics is the built-in onboard system that supports the exchange of information between vehicles in the fleet and central authority. It’s a device placed under the dashboard and connected to the diagnostics port or the CAN (Controller Area Network) bus port. Using GPS and onboard diagnostics, a telematics device transfers the data from the vehicle to software.

Fleet telematics

An installation instruction of a telematics device

Types of Fleet Management Software

Bear in mind that you need to define what type of fleet software you want to build before you start looking for software developers. Each solution is unique and requires its own specific features.

Delivery management. This type of software allows delivery businesses to manage fleets and to automate dispatching operations. Managers can assign tasks to delivery agents based on their schedules and monitor the live location of on-field staff using geofencing technology.

Fleet maintenance. Fleet maintenance software aims at fleet inventory tracking, preventive maintenance, repair logs, order management, and reporting. Users can make custom schedules and work orders based on repair requests or preventive maintenance schedules.

Fuel management. This type of software helps businesses optimize processes related to fuel monitoring, vehicles, and more. Managers can keep fuel receipts, vehicles' maintenance history, and drivers' personal information in a centralized repository and monitor fuel consumption using detailed reports.

Route planning. Its main features include route planning and routing guides. It lets fleet managers enter or upload customer addresses and plan a route for them. Managers can also monitor driver progress on routes in real-time and manually move them from one route to another.

Truck dispatch software. Truck dispatch software is designed for freight brokerage companies. Its features include dispatch and scheduling, GPS tracking, freight brokerage, and rates and quote management.

Fleet managment software types

Types of fleet software

Benefits of Fleet Management Software

Transportation companies tend to use FMS solutions to solve many problems and optimize day-to-day operations. Let’s consider the core benefits of fleet management software.

Reduced costs

A fleet control software, however, can significantly reduce vehicle operating expenses (OPEX). It can improve everything from driving performance to route optimization, cutting down money that would otherwise be lost due to inefficiency. For example, tracking fuel consumption can reduce a company's fuel costs by up to 25%.

Improved Drivers’ Performance

Experienced drivers decrease accident risks and save near 10% on fuel costs. That’s why keeping an eye on driver performance will be worth it. With the help of built-in GPS tracking, managers can track speed, vehicle conditions, driving patterns (sharp braking, idling, or cornering) and, thus, boost drivers’ efficiency.

For instance, the drivers will get reward points based on their safety measures, delivery times, car maintenance, etc. All this information can be shared with drivers to encourage them to do better.

Optimized regulatory compliance

Logistics companies have to adjust to many rules to comply with state, local, and federal laws. A fleet software management can keep your company up-to-the-minute with the ever-changing regulatory landscape, restricting noncompliance issues that could lead to fines. It provides users with real-time regulation data and alerts users about the changes.

Improved output

By analyzing critical metrics like vehicle maintenance, route optimization, and driver behavior, companies can haul goods faster and reduce downtime. For example, logistics firms that adopt a fleet management solution can reduce total miles driven by up to 5–10%.

Benefits of fleet management software

Benefits of fleet software

Fleet Management Software Modules

A fleet management system can have a variety of features depending on business-specific tasks. Custom FMS development allows you to pick a set of unique features that align with your business requirement.

The following modules are:

  • Routing to monitor vehicles based on their GPS position, duration of stops, speed, and so on.
  • Fuel management to control fuel consumption to minimize idling time, emissions, and more.
  • Vehicle maintenance to optimize the process of diagnosing and inspecting, reminds of preventive checkups.
  • Drivers management to store personal information and the number of working to track productivity and behavior.
  • Shipment management to consider expenses, quotas, licenses, etc., to streamline delivery, dispatch, and cargo placement.
  • Security features to support drivers with various safety issues on the road.

Each module of fleet management software consists of various features. To make it easy for you, we've prepared an overall sheme of modules and their key features. Click on the picture down below to download full PDF file.

Fleet management modules

Fleet management software system

Routing Module

The FMS routing module lets fleet managers monitor the vehicle location, miles traveled, and status updates in real-time based on data gathered via a telematics device.

Routing module

Routing module and its core features

Let’s review the main features of this module:

  • Asset tracking. Fleet managers can monitor and review the vehicles in the fleet using a GPS locator beacon installed in the dashboard. A radio frequency identification system ensures tracking in low signal areas like underground or a tunnel.
  • Geofencing. This feature lets freight and logistics companies monitor vehicles' whereabouts within geofenced areas: when they depart, when they leave a specific area, operate after hours, and so on.
  • Route planning and optimization. Besides, the system can timely alert on any road accidents. Route optimization functionality stands for determining the most fuel-efficient paths between each stop. Besides, the system can timely alert on any road accidents.
  • Custom mapping. Clients can create their own business-relevant maps customizing them in terms of views, legends, zone shapes, and sizes.

Fuel Management

A fuel management module controls a fuel tank and makes fuel management reports. Thus, fleet managers can plan routes and coordinate drivers efficiently yet cut fuel expenses.

Fuel management module

Fuel management module and its core features

The core fuel management module’s features are:

  • Engine idling. Fleet managers can utilize an FMS to set alerts that will send notifications each time a vehicle idles overtime. Real-time engine running reports will also help manage driver behavior to avoid future idling.
  • Fuel cards. As a peculiar form of cashless payment, fuel cards help managers maintain cost records and analyze inefficiencies across the fleet.
  • Remote fuel tank monitoring. The Engine Control Module (ECM) gathers all types of data about the condition of your vehicle. ECM sends information about miles per liter to the vehicle dashboard. And if the indicator begins to flash, it’s time to fill up.
  • Fuel management reports. These include information on every fuel purchase made. Thus, managers can easily find out unauthorized purchases and set limits for each fuel card.
  • Fleet emissions. This module allows managers to control the fleet emissions due to an extensive analysis of fuel economy, idling, and emissions for each vehicle.

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Vehicle Maintenance

A vehicle maintenance module aims at scheduled checkups and alerts about the required diagnostics.

Vehicle maintenance module

Vehicle maintenance module and its core features

This module includes the following features:

  • Remote diagnostics. The utilization analysis feature lets fleet managers figure out the vehicles’ execution and which one needs to be replaced. FMS provides users with business insights about the top 10 vehicles due for planned maintenance.
  • Vehicle inspection DVIR. Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (or DVIR) contain comprehensive information about the vehicle operations and safety concerns. Using these reports, managers can quickly identify and track vehicles that require planned or urgent maintenance.
  • Service history recording. Fleet software management automatically documents the vehicle’s maintenance history. Managers can use this data to analyze costs, wear tendencies, and abuse to make effective fleet decisions in the future.
  • Maintenance alerts. FMS ensures automatic engine diagnostic alerts, monitors service records, and sets reminders for planned maintenance like oil changes or tune-ups.

Drivers Management

This module lets you manage human resources effectively by increasing the drivers’ productivity and reducing financial losses related to vehicle security risks.

Drivers management module

Drivers management module and its core features

Let’s look at the primary drivers’ management’s features:

  • Driver profiles. FMS stores drivers licensing and medical information up-to-date, structured, and easily accessible from a central location. It lets fleet managers examine if their drivers have valid licenses, need to pass medical tests, etc.
  • Behavior monitoring. With the help of a built-in accelerometer, the software scrutinizes driving habits by evaluating drivers’ overloads. Thу telematics device provides feedback based on driving parameters like acceleration, braking, and cornering.
  • E-logs for Hours of Service (HOS). Сonnected to a vehicle engine, electronic logging devices (ELDs) automatically file driver working time (HOS). It allows managers to restrain tired and distracted drivers from working.

Shipment Management

The shipment management module operates a fleet’s workflow, orders, deliveries, and expenses to decrease rework and boost incomes.

Shipment management module

Shipment management module and its core features

  • Delivery scheduling and dispatch. FMS helps the fleet deliver more jobs on time by exaggerating dispatching and increasing schedule productivity.
  • Rates and quotes management. In the context of shipment management, FMS helps shippers collect carrier rates and quotes.
  • Compliance documents. All documents (licenses, fleet insurance, fuel transactions) are securely stored in FMS. Fleet software lets managers account and pay fuel taxes effortlessly by automatically making and filing their tax reports.
  • Cost analysis. FMS optimize administrative processes by helping operate expenses like cost registration, cost/km and cost/hour ratios calculation, etc.
  • Cargo optimization. This feature streamlines the cargo space and thus leads to better resource utilization. Based on cargo’s volume, weight, and dimensions, fleet managers can define the max load the vehicle can carry.
  • Inventory functionality. The inventory control feature manages recording, tracking, costing, cycle counting, and automatic reordering to provide availability and the right number of parts, thereby trimming vehicle downtime.

Security Features

Safety management features protect vehicles and drivers by providing emergency roadside support, vehicle theft alerts, and remote tracking. However, it is a must-have feature for mid-sized and large transportation companies with fleets bigger than 50 trucks with 40 or bigger concurrent users.

Safety management features

Security features

  • Road risk alert. Alerting services provide drivers real-time data about the current state of the road, the weather, or last-minute changes on the route.
  • Remote control. Vehicle control mechanisms allow managers to monitor and gradually reduce the speed of an asset. It can be specifically beneficial in finding stolen vehicles.
  • Accident detection and reporting. If drivers have an accident, the software allows for capturing necessary data in real-time from the scene to further claims processing, repairs, and risk management.
  • Roadside assistance. If drivers meet any roadside issue, they can ask for help through their telematics device with an integrated roadside assistance solution.
  • Dash Cam. Dash cam with an integrated telematics device makes photos, videos, and panorama thumbnail views. Thus, you may analyze the incidents and driver behavior.

Fleet Management Software Development Steps

There are two approaches to FMS development: out-of-the-box software or custom software.

A ready-made solution is a good choice if you’re limited on budget and want to integrate the software into the business processes as quickly as possible. In turn, custom software provides flexibility in terms of features, design, logic and gives you a competitive advantage.

To build fleet management software from scratch, you should think through the following points:

Steps of fleet managment software development

Steps of fleet managment software development from scratch

Step #1. Do Your Research

Firstly, you need to define your product’s requirements and business goals: what type of fleet software you need and what challenges you want to solve. For example, you want to create a fuel management app to reduce fuel costs by 20%. Or you need driver management software to enhance drivers’ skills, minimize vehicle damage, and cut the costs for repair and idle time, respectively.

The well-formed business requirements and goals will help the software development team draw up the detailed project’s specification and choose the right tech stack.

Step #2. Get a Team

Custom FMS development can be a resource and time-consuming process, so it’s better to hire a dedicated development team with confirmed expertise in building fleet management solutions.

There are three standard options to hire software engineers:

  • Cooperate with freelance developers
  • Build an in-house team
  • Hire a reliable outsourcing company

Let’s consider the ups and downs of each option.

Freelancers

You can hire independent contractors using popular freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Toptal. But it works well for small tasks or software upgrades, as one freelancer can’t provide a full cycle mobile app development service. Pros:

  • Low pricing solution

Risks:

  • If you don't have technical backgrounds, you’ll need to hire a tech lead to check the product’s relevance
  • Provide straightforward project’s specification and make a work plan for the next couple of weeks
  • If you don’t want to manage the whole process on your own, you’ll need to look for a project manager
  • Freelance developers can’t provide you a detailed project estimate since they don’t have a business analyst on their side
  • FMS development requires long-term cooperation, while freelancers can abandon the projects after a couple of weeks.

In-house team

You can assemble an in-house team. It’s the right option if you want to be entirely involved in the development process.

Pros:

  • Complete control over the development process
  • Developers are available round the clock

Cons:

  • Like the freelance, you need to build a tech team to help you with the project's requirements and testing part
  • The hiring process takes much time since you need to hire each specialist separately
  • It requires many additional expenses like office rent, hardware, software, taxes, and more.

Outsourcing company

You can consider outsourcing app development. In this case, you’ll shorten the time to market and get a high-quality product for a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • Outsourcing companies already have a team of experienced specialists you need to build custom fleet management software
  • Create project specification based on your requirements
  • A detailed estimate made by business analysts
  • Turnkey testing
  • Start with MVP app development to speed up the time to market and collect initial feedback
  • Guarantee working product delivery on time – all arrangements are documented

Cons:

  • Outsourcing is more expensive than freelance but cheaper than creating an in-house team

Step #3. Define Key Features

Now it’s time to identify features and tell about your expectations of optimizing business processes in a company.

Start with step-by-step minimum valuable product development (MVP). It lets you validate your idea without investing a lot of money in building a full-fledged app. MVP model includes only the vital features that will increase your team’s performance the most.

Further, when your product will generate profit, you can reinvest it into developing new features.

Learn more about MVP software development steps, how your business can benefit from it, and go through some MVP examples.

Step #4. Development

The development stage is about designing and developing the fleet management software under the approved requirements, including coding, testing, and deployment.

After, the QA engineers run multiple tests to ensure that the software is bug-free and works appropriately against the test plan.

Finally, the team prepares a product demo to let you test the functionality. If the software works the right way, the team proceeds to release the software.

Do you want to learn more about the software development life cycle? Check our full guide dedicated to Cleveroad’s software development process.

Step #5. Release an MVP

After all the points are considered, you can launch the MVP on target markets to test the whole concept of your project, identify weak sides, and continue development, making improvement decisions based on users’ feedback.

Step #6. Maintenance

The development process doesn’t stop after the software is built. If you want your product to run for years, you should consider its maintenance.

Usually, project maintenance includes:

  • Performance improvements
  • Code optimization
  • Adding new features
  • Supporting the latest versions of third-party services

Notice:

Even though custom software development requires extra time and money, it can save you a lot of money in the long term.

A ready-to-use solution requires the same development stages. The difference is that there already are a set of features necessary for effective fleet management. To achieve the best cost efficiency, you need to compare the app’s functionality with your requirements to define whether the software matches your business goals.

Top 5 Fleet Management Software

As a software development company with the required tech expertise in the logistics domain, we’ve pointed out the following ready-made software solutions.

  1. Fleetio

It is a cloud- and mobile-based fleet platform that covers all aspects of fleet management. It enables managers to monitor their vehicles, auto parts, and drivers. It supports unlimited users, offers both monthly and annual plans, and includes webinars for fleet team onboarding.

  1. Samsara

It includes real-time GPS tracking, wireless sensors for asset monitoring, and AI-based dash cams to ensure drivers’ safety. Samsara provides separate iOS and Android apps both for drivers and fleet managers. Moreover, the website offers an ROI tool to get an accurate estimate of your investment.

  1. Onfleet

It’s a delivery management software that includes route optimization, delivery analytics, proof-of-delivery tools (barcode, signature, etc.), and auto-dispatching. It provides real-time notifications to customers and enables API integration (e.g., connect the software into online ordering programs).

  1. FleetFocus

It’s a fleet maintenance software that enables the management of every aspect of the vehicle: from purchasing to disposing of vehicles. It aims at avoiding wasteful spending with maintenance schedules, work orders, parts, and inventory tracking. Moreover, it includes integrated fuel management software and a mobile workforce management system.

  1. Avrios

It’s a packaged fleet management solution. The main benefit of Avrios is automated routes. Fleet managers can input a client's address and process this information to determine the cost-effective route. Among that, it keeps the fleet compliant with the latest regulation.

We’re ready to build a similar product or develop a custom solution from scratch. The Cleveroad team will help you transform your business idea into ready project requirements and make a free estimate.

Notice: A ready-built solution lowers the app development time and costs. You can book a meeting with our managers to get the price of your prototype.

Wrapping Up

Fleet management software development has many benefits for companies that utilize multiple vehicles, as it automates business tasks and reduces operational costs. The only thing you need is an experienced development team that’ll transform your business vision into a fully-fledged solution.

At Cleveroad, we provide enterprise-level software development services, including custom fleet management software development. We’ll create software that helps you streamline logistic processes and enhance cooperation between businesses, partners, and clients.

Welcome to look through our portfolio to see what projects we’ve developed before and find ideas for your business solution.

Need a custom project estimate?

Our Business Analysts will assess your requirements to draw up an estimate for your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Collected data from a vehicle's sensors is displayed on the manager screen that lets them monitor all their vehicles in real-time. Telematics devices ensure the connection between vehicles and fleet management software.

Fleet management software is a self-powered app or cloud product that helps businesses monitor and manage vehicles from a central platform.

The main benefits of fleet software management are reduced costs, optimized regulatory compliance, and improved output.

There is no standard answer. The final cost of fleet management software development depends on the required features and types of fleet software.

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