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System integration – how it can improve fleet operations?

What data do you need?

Integration is the key to making your fleet and other IT systems work together in harmony, but it can be expensive and does present challenges…

There’s massive volumes of fleet information you can look at but it’s important to remember that, despite having a lot of data at your disposal, not all of it will be relevant to the task in hand.

In fact, some data is quite otien just a distraction from ataining measurable improvements in the fleet. A starting point is to document the current workflow of your main responsibilities. Go through the whole process step-by-step whilst answering the following questions: ☑ What is the goal of the task?
☑ How long does it take to do?
☑ What data is gathered?
☑ How is that data used?
☑ How is What are the challenges faced?
☑ How long does that process take?

If it’s 16-hours a month of administration efforts paired with incorrect odometer readings and chasing missing receipts, there is a clear opportunity for introducing new digital receipt submission paired with integration into the fleet and finance system. Then ask yourself… What data is going to be collected?

What data is going to be collected?

For example, the answer could be:
1. Vehicle Reg
2. Fuel amount
3. Fuel type
4. Fuel Cost
5. Tax
6. Odometer reading

On identifying your end goal, you should be able to cost up that system – with integration included – in order to figure out whether it will be a good investment to replace the current process.

Making sure you have the right systems in place

When evaluating vendors, it’s not always possible to know all of the integrations that you will ever need, but you want to avoid having to scour the internet to find a company that integrates your SAP system into a fleet management system.

To make sure you have the right systems in place, it’s worth doing periodic appraisals on what’s currently in place before you look to purchase something new. In your appraisals, you should:

☑ Review your legacy systems – are they advanced enough to deal with all the fleet information you need?
☑ Make sure systems that you own or plan to purchase have a wide-range of integration capabilities or APIs before you invest in them
☑ Make security a priority – check for accreditations such as ISO 27001 Information Security Management System‎ and others
☑ Consider single sign-on features – this allows you to reduce the login details you need to remember when using multiple applications
☑ Choose a provider that really understands big data and its value
☑ How long does that process take?