Today, complex tools like fleet management systems (FMS) minimise the time fleet operators spend on administrative tasks. These improve fleet efficiency and performance while helping manage compliance-related issues– all in a cost-effective manner.
Despite all these benefits, many organisations in Malaysia still face challenges while choosing a dependable FMS provider. Today’s article aims to serve as a guide when engaged with the predicament of choosing reliable FMS providers.
What is a Fleet Management System?
Generally, a fleet management system is a computerised system that manages fleet operations to ensure maximum operational efficiency, safety, compliance and productivity of all fleet vehicles.
In practice, an FMS principally concerns itself with managing a group of vehicles (cars, trucks or even planes) to meet the goals and technical objectives obtained from an enterprise computer system.
Fundamentally, fleet management systems power the activities of today’s fleet managers, fleet operators and business owners.
What are AMR Fleet Management Systems?
An AMR Fleet Management System is essentially an FMS that helps manage and regulate a fleet of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) to optimise AMR delivery operations and maximise productivity. An AMR FMS optimises AMRs’ assignments, movements, manages battery life, establish travel routes and moderate traffic in real-time.
Factors to consider before shortlisting an FMS company in Malaysia
As you seek out an FMS provider, you should carefully consider the factors below:
1. Industry experience
In all honesty, fleet management is a very delicate business. Any small mistake, and one can find themselves on the wrong side of the law, or even subject to multiple lawsuits. As such, you need a dependable and experienced partner to help you manoeuvre this complex world. This is why experience is a vital factor you can never ignore.
When evaluating FMS providers, it’s imperative to assess their history while working with clients across different industries like manufacturing and healthcare.
You can also establish their industry experience in dealing with disparate types of vehicles. This can help you judge if they have what it takes to deliver services that exceed client expectations.
2. Expertise in developing, manufacturing and supplying FMS products
When searching for an FMS provider, ensure to judge and research their expertise with handling FMS products. Ask yourself if their catalogue includes a diverse range of FMS products.
For example, you might be a business that seeks an FMS for real-time GPS services but could find that you later need an AMR system for your warehouse.
Your chosen provider should be able to show expertise and flexibly cater to different client needs with diverse products for efficient routing and vehicle diagnostics, or to maximise fleet utilisation and productivity.
3. Provides integrated AGV/AMR solutions
Investigate if your shortlist of FMS providers maintains complete AGV/AMR integrated solutions to automate intralogistics processes.
Overall, your ideal solution should include AGV/AMR programming, complete FMS setup, and hardware & software customisation capabilities for specific material handling.
Additionally, they should have the ability to integrate with building facilities (such as doors, lifts, lights), third-party systems or software, and handshaking features with other machines, etc.
4. Capability to integrate third-party software for automation
Ensure to check whether your potential FMS integrates with specific existing or new systems, or not.
Also, check if the provider’s FMS enables data sharing with CRMs and maintenance systems.
The ideal FMS should be able to integrate with accounting, finances, and inventory departments to enable seamless operations.
An advanced FMS also typically has pre-built integrations that provide entry points to help businesses to build custom integrations. Additionally, ask if the FMS vendor periodically rolls out software updates that could impact integrations and interrupt operations as well.
5. After sales support
Customer service and sales support play vital roles in the success of any business. How a FMS provider relates with its partners speaks volumes of their efficiency and values.
If communication is terrible, you will be left in the dark when you require timely delivery of crucial information and updates, or inquiries replied to. Therefore, ensure to choose an FMS that demonstrates quick emergency response, and has reliable communication channels and infrastructures.
6. Customer Reviews
A reputable FMS company will have a solid reputation online as customer reviews speak for themselves. Ensure to research and seek out testimonials or previous clients’ reviews to learn more about their quality of service and how they handle their clients.
As we have established in this article, the ideal FMS provider will have a good online reputation, optimal service delivery, available customer support and vast industry experience and expertise.
When selecting a potential FMS provider, do ensure to take your time considering all the factors shared in this piece, as fleet management can be quite delicate.
The article is a part of our comprehensive series on “Fleet management system”.
LinkedIn: Dr. Yeong Che Fai
Dr Yeong Che Fai is the Chairman and one of the co-founder of DF Automation & Robotics. He is also an Associate Professor at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. He graduated with a PhD from Imperial College London and his M.Eng and B.Eng were from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. He is known as one of the leading robotics experts in Malaysia.
His interests are in AI, robotics, innovations and entrepreneurship. He has won more than 100 awards such as MOE Entrepreneurship Mentor Award, British Invention Show, Star Outstanding Business Award (SOBA), APICTA and ROBOCON.
He was in Austrian Leadership Program (Vienna) and also the Newton Fund Leader in Innovation Fellowship Program (London) sponsored by the respective government. He had undergone two entrepreneurship programs at Silicon Valley.
He has published close to 100 publications and is a seasonal speaker for various topics including AI, robotics, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. He has spoken at TEDx twice and will speak his 3rd TEDx talk in October 2021.