Beware Winding Window Syndrome: What it Takes to Be Successful in Business in 2023

What it Takes to Be Successful in Business

The basic principles of business have not changed over the years, because the combination of a good initial idea built up by hard work and efficiency simply works, it worked in the past and will work in the future. What has changed is the world we live in and particularly the availability of technology to assist us. To be successful today, we must embrace the technology and not be afraid or suspicious of it. That is as true for fleet managers as for anyone else. As anyone who has been in the business for a good while will know, it wasn’t so long ago that people were debating whether electric windows in trucks and vans were necessary, or merely a gimmick and just one more thing to go wrong.

The innovation that faces us today is fleet management software, which essentially involves handing a lot of the tedious attention to detail over to a computer that can do the job better than we can. This can revolutionize the operations of the fleet, and the only thing to fear about it is that if our competitors have got this and we haven’t, we are at a disadvantage. In the logistics business, you don’t get any kudos for being old-school. Old-school is big, noisy, inefficient vehicles polluting the atmosphere and clunky, inefficient systems that result in mediocre service to the customer.

Fleet management software gives you clear and actionable data about the vehicles across your entire fleet. That means getting access to the service record of each vehicle in an instant; it means, by the wonders of GPS, knowing exactly where each one is at any given time. It means being able to see what route the driver took, how often they stopped, and where. It means knowing when each driver needs to take a break because the old attitude of “No, I’m good, don’t worry, I can do another run” is not just undesirable and unsafe but illegal.

Even the most experienced of fleet managers can’t keep up with all this and manage what needs to be attended to right now.  With the best will in the world, how are you going to track your vehicles without this software? The only clue you will have to whether someone has taken your carefully researched optimum route is to ask the driver afterward.

Develop a Welcoming Attitude

The key to understanding trade secrets as it pertains to this, then, is acceptance of the technology. In the rather tree-hugging modern parlance, we must embrace it, rather than see it as a threat that undermines us. The successful modern manager makes the best use of what is available. Another thing on this list, and it’s an ever-growing one, is the dashcam. Initially, this idea may have been regarded with suspicion by some because nobody likes to feel they are being watched, but dash cams can absolve us from blame as well as incriminate us. If a driver is going about their business steadily and responsibly but, through no fault of their own, an incident occurs on the road, the dashcam footage can show it was somebody else’s doing.

Just like in camera coverage of sports, the truth can be revealed by taking a careful look at the recording. This can protect your company from liability and help with insurance claims as well as avoiding court appearances. In sports, the video assistant referee (VAR) can take some of the initial euphoria out of key incidents because they may have to be checked before we can resume or abandon our excitement, but they are there to ensure justice is done. Some dashcams are interactive, so not only can you, back at base, see what’s going on, but you can give instant advice to the driver.

Save Time and Money

Efficiency, then, is a key area that can be improved with fleet management solutions, but there is also another ever-present factor to consider: profitability. Good driving and taking the best routes save fuel, which means lower costs. So does regular maintenance, and some software can even predict what parts are likely to need attention before they malfunction and take a vehicle off the road for precious hours or days when they could be making money for you.

Add to these your avoidance of higher insurance premiums and you’re on the way to better business profitability, which is good for shareholders, managers, and the company in general.

As an extra benefit, good driving does not go unnoticed by the public, and even in an unglamorous industry, image is important. When your vehicles are out there on the streets and highways of our nation, they and their drivers are your ambassadors. To use another very 21st-century expression, the process of running a business is a holistic one. All aspects of it contribute to its eventual success or failure, so the more control you have over every area, the better your chances of doing well. Or do you really want to wind your windows by hand?

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