How to Improve Vehicle and Fleet Management during Holiday Rush With the rise in volume and extreme time sensitivity during the holidays, businesses count on their transportation operations to be reliable, efficient and secure. This time of year doesn’t just mean an uptick of consumer shopping, but also an increase in demand for businesses to deliver for the bustling season. Ground, rail and air fleets deliver cargo between manufacturing and production facilities, from those facilities to stores and merchants and more. What Happens When Fleet Management Isn’t Properly Controlled? Some aspects of the holidays, like weather, can’t be controlled. However, with the aspects of transportation management you can control, there are various ways mismanagement can cause a negative impact on operations. If the management of keys to transportation vehicles is not adequate, the process of successfully transporting items from point A to point B swiftly unravels. Keys being issued to the incorrect driver or confusion in cargo transfers lead to the loss of valuable time and increased delivery errors. For example, without a proper or automated key management system in place a driver could easily take the wrong set of keys for a vehicle, deliver the wrong items to the wrong facility and cost the company both time and money—perhaps even losing business. Additionally, assets may be lost or stolen. The increase in products, employees and distractions during the holidays can contribute to a higher likelihood of product misplacement. Without the proper accountability and auditability, these instances may go unresolved. This also costs the company time trying to find and retrieve the lost or stolen items and have serious consequences if a delivery is incomplete due to loss or theft. How to Streamline Transportation Operations These issues with operational processes for vehicles and fleets in the transportation industry are highly problematic, particularly during the busy holiday season. But, with proper key management, you can streamline operations by increasing efficiency and managing accountability to achieve reliable and efficient management of your company’s transportation. A properly designed key management solution isn’t about the keys at all; it is about driving and controlling processes that will ultimately make the business more profitable while mitigating risk at the same time. Increase Efficiency Simplifying the reporting and problem solving processes directly leads to improved efficiency. This can be achieved with an automated key vending process that controls user access to vehicle and fleet keys. An automated system helps to: Ensure only authorized drivers can access vehicle keys Notify managers if a key or asset is not returned within the allotted time Eliminate lag time between shift changes and transfers of cargo between vehicles and facilities Automate the maintenance of vehicles through things like fault logging and mileage logging These various improvements with an automated key system will allow you maintain organized management and oversight of procedures and keep your deliveries on time throughout the busy season. Manage Accountability With an automated key system, managing accountability is also a lot more comprehensive and documented. With a system that allows complete monitoring and tracking of key access and use, you have better management with: Reporting and recording of any vehicle defects and potential dangers within the solution Real-time, remote notifications to security or fleet managers of any series of important events – such as who hasn’t returned a key or why did Bill return a key that John check out Easy tracking of who is driving what vehicle and where at any moment Easy distribution of keys or vehicles based on job functions – ensuring a salesperson has the correct vehicle, maintenance team is using the appropriate vehicles, etc. Control the issuance of keys based on needs not “someone’s favorite vehicle” through things like Web booking or key allocation These process controls optimize the operational efficiencies of transportation vehicles and fleets and minimize time and confusion when adverse circumstances do take place. More importantly, it gives any organization 100% accountability while actually improving daily workflow, not disrupting it. Applying These Solutions to Your Business Complete control and management of company fleets and vehicles during the holiday season is extremely important. One of the best ways to provide improved operations is with automated key management. With a line of advanced, automated key cabinets that each allow managers to monitor key access 24 hours, 7 days a week with real-time auditing capabilities, Traka can provide the vehicle and fleet management solutions your business needs. Traka solutions also include seamless integrations into access control platforms, security systems, HR databases and Work Order ERP systems, allowing for a complete solution to improve your operations and reduce administration, acting as more than just a box that holds keys. Curious if you are up to par with key and asset management? Put your facility to the test with our Security Checklist, HERE, and learn more about how you can improve your transportation facility’s security with Traka’s advanced asset management solutions HERE.