“Collaboration” is now being named by one in three companies buying fleet software as a key reason for purchasing, reports FleetCheck.

The factor has become much more important over the last year as the pandemic has forced many fleet departments to often work across a number of locations, explained Peter Golding, managing director.

“There’s a section of the fleet industry that has persisted for many years in using tools such as spreadsheets and paper-based systems instead of modern fleet management solutions.

“The pandemic has however, exposed the limitations of these older approaches. They are viable, if inefficient, when those fleet departments are working from the same location. However, if those people are home working, operations tend to quickly fall apart.

“That’s why collaboration has risen so quickly up the list of factors behind why people buy fleet software. During the current crisis, these products have become essential for fleets who need to access centralised data and work together.

“Of course, while those fleets might be adopting a specialist software product for that core reason, they are also accessing a whole range of tools that will doubtless have a positive impact on the efficiency and safety of their fleet.”

Peter said that FleetCheck had been, on average, signing up a new customer every day during the pandemic, showing how the situation had stimulated demand.

“Sales have stayed relatively strong all through the pandemic and, in addition to collaboration, there have been a couple of additional growth factors we have also seen which again are probably related directly to the home working situation.

“The first is demand for our driver walkaround app, which is linked to the need to ensure safety checks are needed for vehicles driven by those who are no longer office based, and meeting the requirement in those instances for an online, auditable solution.

“Similarly, we are seeing demand from commercial vehicle fleets with O licences for software that is capable of handling Preventative Maintenance Inspections. Again, this is at least in part related to risk management for those who are home working.”