Planes Trains & Automobiles?

Fleet Management matters!

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Fleet management includes planes, trains & automobiles, as well as rail cars, boats and trucks.  Owning, operating, and maintaining a fleet is an important component of business across many different industries, but it is also incredibly expensive.  The expense incurred around a fleet can typically be broken out into front of the house and back of the house.  The front of the house expenses typically involve acquisition of the fleet (purchase or lease) and the back of the house costs are operation and maintenance of the fleet.  Fleet acquisition costs (buy or lease) are fairly straightforward, while the operations and maintenance are where variable costs can spike at any given time and drag down profitability.  A few of the common challenges heard around operating and maintaining the fleet are:  Operator Safety, Hiring & Retention, Fluctuating Fuel Prices, Carbon Emissions, and Asset Depreciation.  The key to managing the fleet is getting ahead of the operational challenges, but that is only part of the story as effective fleet management has more to offer than just saving costs.

What is the Opportunity?

The opportunity within fleet management is the data collected from the sensors attached to the fleet.  Sensors and connected devices are embedded in planes, trains and automobiles which produce enormous volumes of data that allow businesses to determine optimal utilization, improve safety, predict maintenance failures and improve on time performance just to name a few. A great example is each General Electric Jet Engine that goes into operation is manufactured with a digital twin, and outfitted with 100+ sensors to capture data on pressure and temperature.  The same data collected from the operational engine is fed to the digital twin, and if the outcomes do not match up then the operational engine requires servicing.  This is a great example of using for predictive maintenance, to improve engine utilization and avoid costly repairs.  

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What is the Next Step?

So you have a fleet and you have data around the fleet.  The next step is a data analytics platform that can wrap around the fleet, the systems that support the fleet and the external environment.  The best fleet management data analytics platforms will include the following capabilities:

  1. Combine Disparate Data –  Fleet data will not live in one place.  Inevitably operational fleet data, financial data and external data will need to be combined to see the whole story in your data.
  2. Data Association – To garner true insight a fleet manager needs the ability to understand relationships in data, and that may include relationships across disparate data.  Perhaps a certain part in the fleet keeps failing, wouldn’t it be nice to easily find an alternative from another manufacturer with a tap on a mobile device?
  3. External Data – Benchmarking the fleet against the environment the fleet operates in is essential.  Great examples are 3rd party fuel surcharge data providers like Chainalytics and Transcore which can be quickly combined with internal data to determine if you are paying more than the market for fuel surcharge.
Fleet management is complicated but there is opportunity to not only remove cost but also improve the overall performance of the fleet with the right data analytics platform.  The Qlik Visual Analytics Platform is the ideal platform to address fleet management challenges because it provides a user the three key capabilities of easily combining data sources, showcasing data associations, and analyzing 3rd party external data. I invite you to take the Qlik Fleet Management Dashboard for a test drive to see for yourself!

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