Automated key management systems used in motor pools and other vehicle fleet operations are an effective tool for helping to improve efficiencies in fleet practices. Along with other new technologies that lead to fleet management best practices, fleet key control enables management to regulate and track vehicle usage and ultimately to contain costs.
Using a municipal government fleet as an example, authorized drivers can access keys from the fleet key cabinet by simply entering their personal identification number and/or biometric information. If the entered information coincides with the information in the system, the key cabinet will unlock and the key can be removed or returned — all without the assistance of paid personnel to administer the system.
Each individual key is secured to a locking mechanism with built-in memory chip and data from the chip is stored every time a key is inserted into a key slot. At any time, fleet operations can view who currently has which keys/vehicles out and when they are scheduled to be returned; or who has had keys/vehicles out and when. This remotely accessible data trail can also serve to monitor an employee’s work schedule and productivity, help to eliminate false overtime claims or enable faster resolution of unreported damages.
Fleet operations that network their key control systems can experience additional benefits in managing vehicle usage. Networked systems allow keys to be returned to any fleet key cabinet in the system. For instance, an employee picks up keys for a car and then drives to another building located across town. The car is parked there and the keys are returned to the key system cabinet in that building. The system will record the location and time so anyone looking for those keys will know where they are currently located. This benefit allows vehicles to be moved around and located as needed.
Vehicle fleet management best practices rely on best practices for optimum use of vehicles and automated key control systems can help achieve those goals.