Why connectivity and fleet management software matters!

 

Torsten Wiecker

Why fleet management software matters and our outlook for 2021...

2020 has been a tough year for many businesses and people across the UK, but there have also been some positives where businesses have learned to adapt to the pandemic. Remote working is one key area and thanks to web-based fleet management software tools like FleetManager™ 4.x, even operation and fleet managers can look after their vehicles remotely. In this interview Torsten Wiecker, Managing Director of STILL UK gives his outlook for 2021 and how fleet management software and consultancy can benefit businesses of all shapes and sizes.


What is your outlook for STILL and the MHE industry for 2021?

My outlook for next year is a positive one, as a business and industry we have all learned how to live, adapt and operate during the pandemic. With social distancing measures and remote working methods well established, I am expecting a growing market next year, especially in the E-truck segment.

There will still be some major challenges next year, COVID-19 has not disappeared, however we remain hopeful for the vaccine roll-out which will undoubtedly have a positive global impact. We also have the challenges brought on by BREXIT which we have been preparing for. Change is of course part of business, now we must manage the impacts of these challenges and find the opportunities which are right for STILL UK. Even in times of change, there are always opportunities and we continue to follow our mission statement of “benefiting everyone ​who is associated with us.”

This year is the centenary for STILL and we have already seen a great deal of change. STILL is a strong and unified family and we have been successful for the past 100 years because customer focus and the ability to change and adapt is part of our DNA.


What are the Intralogistics trends for 2021?

What we have come to value during the pandemic is the importance of connectivity and communication, these are the biggest opportunities and challenges of our time. In periods of lockdown, we have seen a ‘connective society’ evolving through the continual use of technologies, the link between everything and everyone no matter where they are in the world.

Connectivity was and still is a mega trend and as a result, STILL have invested in our digital environment, STILL neXXt – our digital eco-system. More and more applications will become available to support the connectivity within STILL and with our customers and partners. Other web-based products like FleetManager™ 4.x are already available and bringing many benefits to our customers.

These applications connect our customers with our services and solutions, helping them to operate wherever their staff are based. Other trends which I see for 2021 are the continued growth in sales of electric forklift trucks as more businesses update their fleets from internal combustion trucks to greener and more cost-effective vehicles. The decision of the UK government to now ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 will have a huge impact…it is clear that ‘electric’ is the way forward and not just within our industry. And finally, the trend in flexible automated solutions; more businesses are seeing the value of automating elements of their warehouse operations.

fleet management software matters

What does fleet management software do?

Fleet management software provides a status and overview of each vehicle operating in your warehouse, providing answers to questions like how much a truck is used? Who is authorised to use which truck? And when was it last involved in an accident? This information can help managers of all fleet sizes to make informed decisions on how to improve the efficiency of their warehouse operations.

To achieve this, fleet management software uses a GPRS component on each truck to track telematic and user data to send back to the software. The technology has also now greatly improved with web-based applications which allow fleet managers to access a comprehensive view of their fleet’s performance on any PC or tablet.


What are the benefits of a fleet management system?

The main benefit of fleet management software is the transparency of information which it provides. Fleet managers can optimise their fleet of trucks through a ‘utilisation efficiency evaluation’ which helps to reduce accidents and operational costs.

STILL recently launched FleetManager™ 4.x our latest web-based tool, which provides fleet managers more transparency and insight into their fleet’s activity through a visual and usable interface. The key features and benefits to FleetManager™ 4.x include:

  • Vehicle access and authorisation controlled via data card.
  • Vehicle parameterisation and speed control using the data card.
  • Reporting on operational statistics including collisions and accidents.
  • Vehicle administration and technical data including technical, commercial and battery data.
  • Vehicle needs orientated analysis and efficiency evaluations to optimise your fleet.

Discover more about FleetManager™ 4.x here


What can forklift tracking data tell you about your warehouse?

The data available from tools like FleetManager™ 4.x gives fleet managers greater transparency about their operations. From that data, costs can be reduced, and utilisation rates increased.

Providing the right data to our customers can help them get the most out of the vehicles in their fleet, ensuring a harmonised operation across their warehouse. We also like to ensure our customers draw the right conclusions and understand the information available to them. To achieve this we also offer a ‘Fleet Management Consultancy’ service to our customers.

Fleet Manager

Which fleet management software is right for a small business?

It’s just as important for a small businesses and indeed larger operations to use fleet management software. Our FleetManager™ 4.x suits businesses of all sizes because of how the tool is configured. We build our software just like our vehicles and intralogistics solutions; they’re based on the application and what the customer needs. Every warehouse operation can benefit from the data and insight available through FleetManager™ 4.x.


How else can you digitise your warehouse?

As outlined, we can clearly demonstrate the efficiency and cost improvements from tools like FleetManager™ 4.x and we also have several other applications which customers can use to digitise their warehouse, such as STILL neXXt fleet. This tool provides customers with a completely digital view of their fleet. STILL neXXt fleet is a powerful, web-portal system with 9 applications which is used by our customers to have cost transparency, maintenance control or truck life analysis. This is another step by STILL to offer more connectivity to our customers, all packaged within a useable and easy to access application.

Discover more about STILL neXXt fleet

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