Fleet Management Software Development: Types, Modules, and Development Stages
Updated 24 Feb 2023
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 tons of vehicle data: speed, temperature, fuel level, door opening, geographical location, route direction, and so on.
The fleet management process implies communication between devices and software, which is a pretty complicated sector of the network. After installing a device on the vehicles, the logistics management system software collects information from them using such integral elements as the GPS technology and sensors. 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.
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. Embedded integration technology for logistics businesses are indispensable here- 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.
An installation instruction of a telematics device
Types of Fleet Management Software
There are different types of fleet management software. We have listed the main ones below for your reference. However, you do not have to opt for any particular type in its pure form. You can always combine several features into one application to maximally benefit from product. To choose a relevant type, contact our certified specialists with your business challenge and we will tell you which type can help you. Each solution is unique and requires its own specific features, they are listed below.
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 valuable features include route planning and routing guides. It lets fleet managers enter or upload customer addresses and plan custom routes for cost-efficiency. Managers can also monitor driver progress on routes in real-time and manually move them from one route to another.
Truck dispatch software. Trucking dispatch software is designed for freight brokerage companies. Its features include dispatch and scheduling, GPS tracking, freight brokerage, and rates and quote management. There is also an enterprise-level solution called freight management software that allow transportation companies to improve cargo planning, and simplify the RFP process with carriers.
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.
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. Therefore, your software should meet the latest industry standards regarding security, usability, and interoperability, such as:
- GDPR compliance
- Regulation (EC) No 561/2006
- Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85
- Regulation (EC) No 2135/98
- Regulation (EU) No 165/2014
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.
By analyzing critical metrics like vehicle maintenance, driver behavior, and creating route optimization apps, 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%.
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 core modules are:
- Route management 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.
Note: We've described the most widely-applied modules of fleet management software. You can always extend your solution with advanced elements, such as vehicle leasing, acquisition and remarketing, maintenance services, tolls and compliance services, collision response, garage management, and many others.
Fleet management software system
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 and its core features
Let’s review the main features of this module:
- Route planning and optimization. Route optimization functionality stands for determining the most fuel-efficient paths between each stop. Besides, the system can timely alert on any road accidents. You can consider route scheduling feature as a part of the fleet management system or go further and build a standalone route optimization software. It will contribute to more accurate and efficient route planning.
- Custom mapping. Clients can create their own business-relevant maps customizing them in terms of views, legends, zone shapes, and sizes.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
A vehicle maintenance module aims at scheduled checkups and alerts about the required diagnostics.
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.
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 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.
The shipment management module operates a fleet’s workflow, orders, deliveries, and expenses to decrease rework and boost incomes.
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.
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.
- 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.
Read our article on how to create an on-demand delivery app: features, cost, and monetization.
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:
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. To complete the process of gathering requirements efficiently, we highly recommend you to apply to a competent software development vendor. The team of qualified specialists will research the existing pains and demands of your business to offer the most relevant solutions.
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.
Although, you can consider freelancers and in-house teams' hiring, for fleet management they are not the most optimal. To streamline the fleet management software development flow and get the maximal quality at reasonable costs, consider the following three cooperation models:
- Get a dedicated software development team
- Hire a reliable outsourcing company
- Team augmentation with a competent tech specialist for your project
Let’s consider the peculiarities of all the mentioned options.
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.
Values of project outsourcing:
- 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, decreasing your costs
- Guarantee working product delivery on time – all arrangements are documented and comprehensively tracked
Dedicated Team is a cooperation model that refers to getting an utter team of software development professionals from a service vendor on a long term basis. These tech experts are selected due to your requirements for their professional background and skillsets. To build a project from scratch, you are able to hire a dedicated team, fully focusing on your product and decreasing the need of your involvement.
What are the core benefits of this model?
- Focused approach
- Team scalability
- Transparency in workflow
- Delegated management
Staff augmentation implies a type of outsourcing model that uses temporary employees to fill the expertise in short-term job positions within your project. You can augment a professional with a deepened specialization in the technology required for your idea, but missing in your existing team- the efficiency of such an external employee is also guaranteed and controlled by the software development vendor.
Why is it beneficial?
- Efficiently filling the essential expertise
- Proven experience and qualification level
- Boosted performance and efficiency
- Costs reduction
- Guaranteed service quality
- Decreased recruitment time
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 how to build an MVP, 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.
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’ requirements. For this, the team of tech experts accompanied by a Project Manager and Business Analysts help assemble and analyze the feedback effectively. Besides, they conduct focus groups interviewing efficiently. Besides, your partners also complete further research of feedback and transform it into requirements aimed at the new features implementation and product upgrading.
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
Please keep in mind, that 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.
Do you want to learn more about the software development life cycle? Check our full guide dedicated to Cleveroad’s software development process.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Discover more opportunities of the route optimization API in our article
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.
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.
Cleveroad Fleet Management Expertise
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, field service mobile app development, and others. We’ll create software that helps you streamline logistic processes and enhance cooperation between businesses, partners, and clients. To prove the quality of our tech services in the logistics industry, let us introduce some of our relevant project cases:
Cleveroad team has designed a transportation app the key purpose of which is to link drivers with riders. Besides, the platform optimizes the transportation of disabled individuals or those who have the other medical issues. This P2P ridesharing solution delivers a lift giving service similar to Uber and Lyft, meeting each party's requirements. Within our cooperation, the customer received a sophisticated utter product, reflecting the set business goals. We consider this project to serve as an excellent illustration of the product implementation in the logistics niche, based on the highly positive feedback left by customer on Clutch. Here's the opinion of our client:
Owner, Unified Potential, Inc.
Cleveroad built a high-quality app that's received lots of positive feedback from testers thus far. Extremely accommodating, communicative, and fast to turn around deliverables, working with their team continues to be seamless. They also genuinely care about the project's success.
Transport management system
Within this project, we've built a route planning and transportation management solution for a company that delivers logistics and warehousing services. The final product comprises automated route building module as well as integrations with the organization's ecosystem.
What solutions we've delivered:
- Development of the customizable system that enables automated route planning and handheld edits, as well as management module. Drivers are provided with a mobile app for the efficient navigate
- Building of a turnkey transportation management system to robotize the fleet, management delivery points, as well as the entire supply chain stages
- Transmission of warehouse data from the warehouse management system. Implementation of a "Jobs for delivery" module, its integration with warehouse and client relationship management solutions
Optimize your logistics business
Apply to Cleveroad team and streamline your workflow with flawless fleet management software
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.