Fleet Advantage, the U.S. transportation fleet solution provider has unveiled new enhancements to their ATLAAS software, a solution that has helped fleets better manage their transportation assets and financing. ATLAAS has been in a constant state of flux over the last five years. “It was initially a platform that we put together for our personal needs, because we were looking to understand the performance of the assets while doing lifecycle management,” said Jim Griffin, COO and CTO of Fleet Advantage. “So we needed data to help us understand how those assets were performing, from the fuel economy perspective.
The interests soon widened, leading the company to look at costs coming in through maintenance and repair, fuel economy, and finance. Though this was internal circulation, a few of Fleet Advantage’s customers caught wind of the solution, leading to a formal induction of ATLAAS into the company’s offerings.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve noticed that on the operations side of the fleet, our customers are using a different set of systems and data to manage the units that they need to be managing on a day-to-day basis as well as on a monthly basis. We are helping them substantially with regard to the lifecycle management of these assets,” said Griffin.
“On the finance side, they were using a different set of systems and data to calculate actual fleet and operating costs to do budgeting. It was very difficult to reconcile because they were operating off two different systems and data sets, which didn’t align well.”
Using data coming in from the fleets’ telematics and based on its cost factor analysis, Fleet Advantage guides fleets in perceiving the operational value of its assets, by zeroing in on when it would no longer be financially advantageous for the fleet to run an older asset. Griffin termed this economic visibility as the Tipping Point, which is a feature built into ATLAAS.
To understand costs better, the company has built integrations in its ATLAAS platform, helping put all the costs into one house. Customers can now operate out of the same data structures, allowing finance to get costs based on the true operational performance. This enhanced version of ATLAAS is now called ATLAAS Unified – symbolizing its extension from being about performance, to now adding costs to the mix.
“We bring costs to the unit level, and also break it down to the cost-per-mile level which you can then aggregate in a variety of different charts and dashboards. From a fleet perspective, that is the biggest functional enhancement we did to the platform – with the addition of all the new data from different sectors of operations and finance,” said Griffin.
The software now offers the feature of creating custom dashboards for every individual in a company, depending on their specific needs and operational specifications. It also comes with a fleet list capability, which Griffin mentioned was born out of customer requirements, as clients were in the habit of maintaining lists on archaic excel spreadsheets.
“Those excel spreadsheets were rarely up to date. As we got more ingrained with our customers, we used those fleet lists to collect raw data off their telematics providers. But we were having challenges at times, because they were giving those units on fleet lists that didn’t exist anymore,” said Griffin. “We realized that they struggled to have a cohesive and in-sync fleet list on where all their units are by location.”
Fleet Advantage had also noticed that fleets miss out on some units in their fleet lists and realize it only when the list is pulled up for data sharing. To improve efficiency and to eliminate hours of manual work in filling out excel sheets, Fleet Advantage has now made the functionality more real-time, by offering it on its web portal. Location managers can update the location of their fleets, while a national transportation manager could come in and have a comprehensive view of where all the units are located – all in real-time.
Since inception, ATLAAS has helped clients save nearly $75 million, with the company servicing 28 of the top 100 private fleets in the U.S. “We have almost seven billion miles on our database. We are collecting data off 40,000 units a month, and are getting about an additional 100 million miles every month added to the database,” Griffin said. “This allows us to benchmark operating costs within industry verticals and use predictive models to locate the tipping points.”